How much do pellet stoves cost?

Updated

Wood pellet stove in stylish lounge
Pellet stoves can come in many different sizes and designs to be both aesthetically pleasing and an effective heating solution. Image credit: Osborn 3000

Pellet stoves are gaining popularity as an eco-friendly form of heating for homes. With their low running costs and minimal maintenance requirements, more people are looking at pellet stoves as a potential heating option.

However, some homeowners aren’t aware of a pellet stove's upfront costs and heating ability. That’s why we’re going to assess the costs of a pellet stove and see whether it is a good heating option for your home.

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    Pellet stove costs

    The cost of a pellet stove can vary depending on its size and features. If you’re planning on installing a pellet stove in your home, you should expect to pay between $1,500 - $5,000. This makes the pellet stove one of the more expensive heating alternatives for your home.

    Installing a pellet stove has high upfront costs compared to other heating options, but you are able to save on installation costs; this is especially the case if you're able to use an existing chimney. A freestanding pellet stove also offers convenience as it can be installed in any room and directly vented to an external wall. 

    Running costs

    There are a number of different suppliers of wood pellets, with Lignetics and Vermont Wood Pellet Company among the most well0kinown suppliers. Prices can vary depending on the quality and the types of wood pellets available. 

    A 40-pound bag of wood pellet fuel costs between $4 to $9. You can also purchase wood pellets in bulk, which will save you money in the long run. For one ton of pellet stoves, you should expect to pay in the range of $250 to $380.

    With these wood pellet prices, running a pellet stove in your home will cost you on average between $35 to $45 per month.

    Bag of Lignetics wood pellet fuel

    The most common way to purchase fuel for a pellet stove is through 40-pound bags of pellets such as this by Lignetics. Image source: Lignetics

    Pellet stove maintenance

    You should clean your pellet stove regularly to ensure that it is performing at its full potential. When cleaning a pellet stove, you should prioritize the burn chamber and the ventilation. Cleaning these areas will be as simple as removing any leftover ash. Just be sure that when cleaning your pellet stove that it is completely cool.

    Although a pellet stove should be cleaned regularly, it should only require servicing and inspection by a HVAC professional once per year. Having a professional service your pellet stove will cost you between $150 to $300. 

    Price factors

    Stove type

    The choice to install either an insert or free-standing pellet stove can have a major influence on your upfront costs. A pellet stove insert will generally be more expensive than a free-standing stove, due to the need for holes be cut in the wall, and the added chimney installation. A pellet stove insert may also require additional elements to be installed. Selecting the type of stove will also depend on your heating requirements, and your home's design.

    Size

    In most cases the bigger and more powerful your pellet stove is, the more it will cost you. The size of the pellet stove doesn’t necessarily refer to the physical size of the pellet stove, but rather the British Thermal Units, or BTU rating. The higher the BTUs, the more you should expect to pay for a pellet stove. A pellet stove’s BTU rating will likely fall between 9,000 and 60,000 BTUs.

    Aesthetics

    A pellet stove can easily become a key feature in a living area, so the aesthetics of the appliance is often important. This is why there are certain pellet stoves that may have the same BTU rating but will come at a higher price than others due to their high-end visual appeal. 

    Make / model

    A more reputable and popular model and brand of pellet stove will most likely come at a premium. This is because of the quality and energy efficiency of the model.

    Pellet stove brands

    There are a number of reputable pellet stove brands that provide a wide array of products. Choosing a pellet stove brand will depend on your requirements and preferences. With a range of various sizes, styles and capabilities there’s most likely a pellet stove that will meet your heating needs.

    Some of the most reputable and popular pellet stove brands are Comfortbilt and Breckwell. Comfortbilt has one of the widest ranges of both freestanding and insert pellet stoves. Their pellet stoves are best known for their high efficiency and capacity. Breckwell are popular providers of different heating appliances and are renowned for their pellet stoves aesthetics and capacity.

    Here is a list of some of some of the most popular pellet stove brands and models:

    Brand Model Capacity (BTU) Price
    Osburn 2500 39,260 $3,999
    US Stove Company GW1949 Wiseway 40,000 $1,999.99
    PelPro PP130 50,000 $1,199.99
    Comfortbilt HP22 50,000 $2,299
    Breckwell Blazer Insert 50,000 $3,295
    Harman Stoves Allure50 52,600 $4,649

    Wood stove with fire blazing

    One of the most popular pellet stove options: Breckwell’s Blazer Insert. Image source: Breckwell

    Financial benefits

    If we go off of a cost-per-BTU basis then pellet stoves, once installed, are more affordable than fuel, propane and electricity heating options. A pellet stove operating at 85% efficiency will cost about $18 per million BTU. 

    However, pellet stoves cost-per-BTU is far more expensive than wood-burning stoves. On average both wood and natural gas stoves will cost $13 per million BTU. 

    With the higher cost-per-BTU compared to wood stoves - and the high upfront costs - it is clear that a pellet stove will not provide financial benefits compared to a wood burning stove. Although compared to other forms of heating, the pellet stove is a relatively cost-effective alternative.

    Rebates and incentives

    As of January 2021, you’re able to claim a 26% tax credit for purchasing and installing a highly-efficient pellet stove. The 26% tax credit is uncapped and is based on the total cost of installation. On top of that, several states offer other tax rebates for purchasing pellet stoves, including New York and Alabama.

    However, the federal tax credit doesn’t apply to all pellet stoves. The tax credit was introduced to help consumers get more efficient heaters. So, only pellet stoves of higher efficiency will qualify for the tax credit.

    Pellet stove pros and cons

    Pros

    • Easy to use and maintain: With automatic ignition and power modulation a pellet stove is very easy for anyone to use. A pellet stove also doesn’t require any kindling or tending to once ignited. The cleaning process is also very easy with most pellet stove manuals providing step-by-step cleaning instructions.
    • Eco-friendly: Pellet stoves are one of the most environmentally-friendly forms of solid fuel heating. In comparison to wood and coal burners, pellet stoves will generate much lower emissions to produce the same amount of heat output. The pellets used for pellet stoves are also created from recycled materials, which are heavily compressed and free of any moisture content.
    • Greater temperature control: Most modern pellet stoves are accompanied and controlled by a thermostat. This means that you’re able to easily control the temperature in the room. 

    Cons

    • High upfront costs: When you compare the price of a brand-new furnace to the price of a pellet stove, it is clear that a pellet stove is very expensive. With some pellet stoves fetching more than double that of a new furnace, it can be hard to rationalize a pellet stove.
    • Mechanical noise: Within a pellet stove there are a number of electrical and mechanical elements. These components help automate the appliance and therefore run throughout the entire burning process. With these components a pellet stove is far noisier than other home heating options.
    • Requires a backup system: With most pellet stove units requiring electricity to operate, you will need some form of backup power supply to operate it during a power outage. This means that if you’re relying on a pellet stove to heat your home then you will need a generator or battery to keep it operating when the power is out. This makes a pellet stove heating system far more expensive compared to other heating options.
    Find out if solar panels can reduce your home’s energy costs

    Key takeaways

    • A pellet stove is an efficient and environmentally-friendly method of heating your home.
    • You should expect to pay between $1,500 - $5,000 for a pellet stove, but these prices can escalate depending on the complexity of the installation process.
    • The price of a pellet stove will be determined by the type, size, make and aesthetics of the pellet stove.
    • With the price of wood pellets ranging from $4 to $9 per 40-pound bag, operating a pellet stove will cost you on average between $35 to $45 per month.
     - Author of Solar Reviews

    Cameron Bates

    Blog Author

    Cameron is a business analyst and content specialist at SolarReviews.

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