Need a little heat? Whether you need to heat your entire home or just a room, a pellet stove will get the job done. They are also ideal for the homeowner who doesn’t want to run up their energy bill during the colder months. Pellet stoves have a similar appearance to fireplace inserts and wood stoves. Instead of burning whole wood, they burn pellets made of compacted materials like recycled sawdust, peanut and walnut shells, wood shavings, and corn.
They save money on heating costs and the smaller pieces of ‘wood’ burn cleaner, more efficiently, and hotter than whole wood. If you are looking for a cleaner, more affordable way to heat your home, consider one of these 5 best pellet stoves.
The 5 Best Pellet Stoves:
A great pellet stove will be safe, efficient, and easy to use. Here are our top five picks:
One of the reasons that people may decide against a pellet stove is because they do not have a chimney or flue in the home. This is not a problem with the Serenity pellet stove, because it is able to be installed with direct ventilation. The install is also easy, taking most non-professionals less than two hours to get the job done. In addition to being direct vented, this model has certification to use in mobile homes, as well as certification of its air quality safety from the EPA.
Another great feature of the Serenity is its included programmable controller. If you have a busy schedule, then this is ideal for getting your home warm before you arrive. The controller lets you set different schedule for the days of the week, which means you can have the temperature cooler when you are not at home and when you sleep, but still have the house warm when you wake up and when you return home. This is made possible by a built-in thermostat that tests the surrounding atmosphere and then warms it until the temperature reaches your preferred setting.
This model is ideal for heating areas around 1,500 square feet or smaller. In addition to its programming features, it has a manual setting where you can choose from 5 different blower speeds and feed rates. This means that regardless of whether you want it blazing hot or just warm, there is a setting for you. Additionally, this unit features an ash tray that makes clean-up easy and more than 69.8% thermal efficiency. You can learn more about thermal efficiency here.
The one downside of this unit is that it must be manually turned off if you do not use it with the programmer. For example, if your room temperature is at 65 degrees and you set it for 70 degrees, the unit will run on high speed until 70 degrees is reached. Then, the stove switches to a lower setting, but continues to heat the room until manually shut off.
This is an ideal pellet stove for larger homes, with heating capabilities for up to 2,200 square feet. It’s 85% efficiency rating and EPA approval makes it ideal for people who want to really cut costs on their heating bill. It also comes packed with features, like an outside air kit (which makes the heater a good choice for mobile homes) and a convection blower. It is easy to install and features 5 separate heat setting, a dial-up thermostat that makes adjusting the temperature easy, and a separate option for continuous operation either on minimum or maximum heat. This stove also shuts itself down once the set temperature has been reached, so your home does not get too hot. Another great feature is the air wash system, which improves the quality of the air in your home.
This Pleasant Hearth stove is also a good choice for people who want their stove to reflect elegance and beauty. It features in arched ceramic glass window, a solid black design with a black cast iron door, and a spring chrome handle. The stove is also easy to use, since it features a large, 120-pound hopper that means less trips with pellet bags. If you fill it up, the stove could easily heat your home for up to two days.
Finally, this pellet stove has a solid warranty of five years. This is a longer warranty than the average for the market, so it is nice to see a company standing behind the quality of their product with such a long warranty.
The one major downside of this stove is the loud noises that come from the convection fan. The fan can be disturbingly loud, even when on the lowest setting. This can become annoying quickly, but the fan is able to be replaced if you choose to.
This sleek, small sized unit is pleasant to look at and is intended to heat a room or area that is 430-645 square feet. When the stove is not being used, the glass of the door is mirrored, elegant, and reflective. When activated by heat, the glass becomes clear so that you can enjoy the view of the flames burning within. The stove is also made attractive by the handle that is located stealthily on the side of the unit instead of the front.
Another great feature of this wood pellet stove is its easy-to-use LCD display. The control panel lets the user control every aspect of their stove, including setting the lighting, stabilizing the heat and fuel consumption, feeding the stove, and cleaning the stove. It is also built for safety, since the unit will shut down if it reaches 158 degrees. This makes it a good choice for homes where children or the elderly may live.
Finally, this stove has a TUV certificate and is incredibly efficient, blowing at a 90% efficiency rate. This efficiency may be caused by the warm-air vents, which are located on either side of the unit, in addition to the front. It has an easy-to-remove firepot to collect ashes, which is large enough that it only needs to be cleaned every 2-3 days.
The only major downside to this unit is that it must be run through a chimney. You may be able to purchase other attachments if you choose, but not all will be compatible. While it is mobile home safe, not many mobile homes have chimneys so set-up can be difficult in one of these situations.
If you want an efficient unit that can heat up to 700 square feet at an affordable cost, this is a quality, affordable unit. Even costing less than $400, this unit does not skimp on quality. It heats efficiently and quickly fills the room with warmth. It is also easy to operate, with a thermostat control that allows you to set a temperature that the unit then meets before powering down again. One thing to note about the thermostat is that the controls are set farther back than they appear in the picture, however, they are still accessible when the unit is running.
Something to note is that this is an alternative to pellets. It is ideal for people who want to enjoy a fire, but do not want to burn wood pellets. This stove can be powered by liquid propane or natural gas. It is also vent-free, meaning that you can install it without the use of a flue or chimney. Even though it burns either propane or gas, its energy efficiency allows it to have a small environmental footprint. Something to keep in mind is that the ignition in this unit is powered by a AAA battery. If you cannot get the unit to ignite, this may be the problem.
For some people, the vent-free function of this stove makes it a great option because it does not have to be run outside. In some areas, however, stoves of this stove are illegal because of safety issues. If you are unsure if this vent-free stove can be used in your home, reach out to your local energy supplier.
Costing just under $1,500, this unit would seem expensive to the untrained eye. However, this pellet stove is worth it for the money, because you can easily and efficiently heat up to 24,000 square feet with it. This unit includes a powerful blower that allows the stove to quickly heat your home. It features an 86% efficiency rating, the second highest on our list. Some customers have even said that it can heat an entire two-floor home.
This pellet stove by Comfortbilt is also attractive to look at. It is Granite Gray in color and features a large window where you can view the beautiful fire. Additionally, an ash pan and 55-pound capacity mean you will not need to maintenance the stove daily. The programmable thermostat that is included is also easy to use.
Something else to keep in mind is that this unit can save you money on your taxes too. In many states’ tax incentive programs, incentives are offered for buying equipment for cleaner, renewable sources of energy (like for clean wood burning pellet stoves or solar panels). Call your tax representative and find out how much you can save before making your purchase- you may find that the higher price was worth it.
This unit may not be the best choice for homes with pets and small children. This unit gets very hot, on the front, top, and sides. This makes it easy to accidentally bump into. If you do decide on this unit, buy some fencing or another material to block the pellet stove off and avoid burn injuries.
Pellet Stove Buyer’s Guide
If you have ever purchased a wood pellet stove for your home, then you may already have an idea of what to look for in the ideal stove. If not, do not fret- you will be an expert in no time.
Efficiency of the Unit
For wood burning pellet stoves to be efficient, you must first choose one that is practical for the size of the area you are trying to heat. Whether you need to heat a single room or your entire home, there is likely a pellet stove that is the perfect fit. Try to find out the square footage of the area you are trying to heat before shopping. Then, find a stove that is close to or slightly higher than that square footage. Once you have a few options, look for the efficiency ratings on the unit.
Many states offer incentives to encourage their citizens to live a greener, eco-friendlier lifestyle. For this reason, they offer tax breaks for everything from solar panels to wood burning stoves. If you cannot find out whether the unit is applicable by looking at the model, call your preferred tax office and ask them for information on what you should be looking for to save on taxes with your home heating purchase.
Unless you purchase the unit directly from the supplier, you may not be able to find a company willing to help with installation. If you must install the unit yourself, you should choose a unit that is easy to install. If you read the information on the product, you may find information on installation. If not, do not be afraid to ask the selling company some questions. Another thing to keep in mind as you consider installation is the compatibility of the unit. If you do not have a flue or chimney in the home, you will need to find a unit that is vent-free or that directly releases the air outside.
Some wood pellet stoves stick out like a sore home. While heating your home is necessary, you should not have to purchase a bulky, unattractive unit to do so. Find something that is discreet or that will fit into your décor. You should also consider if you want to see the flames as the unit runs. For some people, it adds an aesthetical value to their home.
Ease of Operation
From units with a simple thermostat to those with programmable controllers and setting that help clean, load the stove, and more, you must decide how easy you want the stove to be for operating. As you consider how easy it is to operate, however, consider how much control you want over the features of the pellet stove. The complexity of operation often depends on the lesser or higher amount of control that you have over the unit.
Safety should be your number one priority as you choose a wood pellet stove. Ideally, your stove should have a TUV or EPA safety rating. If you have young children in the home, you should also consider how hot or cool the unit remains outside. If the unit does get too hot for your liking, you do have the option of fencing it in.
Read the Customer Reviews
The final consideration you should make as you choose a unit is what previous buyers have to say about the product. Not everything written on the manufacturer’s packaging has to be true. They are not going to mention possible flaws or annoyances that others have with the device. For this reason, do a little research before making a purchase.
The best wood pellet burning stove will be efficient, safe, and affordable. For that reason, the most recommended selection is:
This stove is ideal for someone who wants minimal interaction with their pellet stove. The large hopper means that more pellets can be added that in any of the other units listed. Additionally, this heats an impressive 2,200 feet to your set temperature, before powering down so your home does not get too hot. The 5-year warranty also sealed the deal, since it is easier to trust a company that believes in their product.
Remember, however, that not every pellet stove is one-size-fits-all for any home. Always be aware of the recommended square footage for heating and choose accordingly. Decide which features are most important to you, then find a stove that satisfies both these standards.