Wood versus Pellet Stoves – An In-Depth Comparison
If you’re thinking of buying a new stove for your home, one of the big decisions you’ll need to make is whether you want to get a wood stove or a pellet stove.
Both can provide dry and consistent heat for your home and family. But their costs, their maintenance and their operation can vary widely.
Which is better for you and your family? Let’s take a look at some of the most important factors in Wood vs Pellet Stoves.
Ease of Maintenance
A pellet stove is much easier to maintain than a wood stove. Pellets burn very cleanly when compared to wood. They produce less smoke, less ash and less debris.
Wood stoves will not only have a lot of ash, but also a lot of wood chips and splintered bark.
Ease and Cost of Installation
Both types of stoves need a chimney or some sort of ventilation to operate. However, wood stoves generally require a full chimney, whereas a pellet stove can get by with a smaller chimney or with direct venting.
In some cases, this could mean that a wood stove would cost a lot more to install.
Cost of the Unit Itself
The cost of the actual unit is generally very similar between both types of stoves.
Cost of Wood or Pellets
The cost of fueling your stove is one of the most important factors. Unfortunately, there’s no hard and fast rule as to which is more affordable.
If you live in an area where you can simply walk out and collect unlimited firewood, you’re almost always better off with a wood stove.
On the other hand, pellet stoves can often be more cost-efficient than buying firewood. Because pellet prices and firewood prices can vary so much throughout the country, you really have to do the math yourself.
Just multiply the amount of fuel you think you’ll need over winter by the cost of the wood or the pellets, then compare the price.
On Blackout Protection
Pellet stoves need electricity to work, which wood stoves can work without power. In a blackout, a wood stove could be a lifesaver. If your area is prone to blackouts in winter, this could be a big plus for wood stoves.
Ease of Operation
One big downside to pellet stoves is that pellets almost always come in 40-pound bags. That makes it a lot harder for smaller individuals, for the elderly or for kids to operate.
As you can tell, there are serious pros and cons on both sides. Look over what the costs would be for your installation, as well as for your fuel costs. Look at the operational pros and cons, including having to carry fuel, as well as blackout protection. Compare the pros and cons as a family and make a decision together.