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With the rising cost of energy bills these days, the thought of the winter months coming does not bring excitement for the beautiful snowfall that we will encounter but only brings anxiety about how a family is supposed to pay the high energy bills through those months. The answer to this problem could very well be using Pellet Stoves in your home.
Rather you use gas, oil, or electric, you are bound to have a pretty hefty amount to pay when it comes to your electric bill, but with Pellet Stoves, you will maximize the heat that you have in your home as well as lower your energy bill.
The reason why Pellet Stoves are more energy-efficient than most other heating units is the fact that they burn pellets. These pellets are most commonly created from sawdust, wood shavings, or corn that have been recycled. The Pellet Stoves look exactly like fireplace inserts or wood stoves with the one main difference of what they use for their fuel.
These stoves are combustion appliances that are very sophisticated and are capable of offering a very low heating cost to the homeowners who have installed them. In order to save money on your energy bill, please keep reading this pellet stove reviews to find the best one for your home.
Top 6 Benefits of Pellet Stoves
There are a lot of reasons to use a pellet stove to heat your home. Here are 6 of the best reasons. In another post, I explain some of the disadvantages of pellet stoves versus other heat sources.
- Wood pellets are made from recycled materials, so you can feel good about what you’re burning in your home.
- The fire is contained in a heat box inside the pellet stove itself, so there is not much smoke smell in your home, and the outside of the unit does not get as hot.
- Pellet stoves are easy to operate. Depending on the size of the hopper and the temperature you set, you may only need to fill it once per day.
- Pellet stoves create very little waste in the form of ash. Compared to a regular wood stove the waste is minimal.
- Pellets are relatively inexpensive compared to firewood.
- Because the pellets are made of dry material, they burn hotter and cleaner than firewood, which is often moist. This leads to more heat and less waste.
Top 5 Best Pellet Stove Reviews
1. Comfortbilt Pellet Stove-HP22 50,000 BTU – Apricot
When it comes down to capacity, the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove – HP22 50,000 BTU can heat up a room that measures 2,000 square feet. It is powered with 50,000 British Thermal Units that use an Auto Ignition Programmable Thermostat technology and it comes with a powerful blower. Due to the 50,000 BTU, it also comes with an 86% burning efficiency that has been EPA certified.
Our Rating: (5 / 5)
For the power source and energy of the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove – HP22, it is powered with 110 Volts. When it comes to aesthetics, this model has a bay design. Moreover, it comes in a natural-looking apricot color with a large viewing area. When it comes to function, it has a 55 pound Hopper Capacity. For better control and maneuverability, it comes with a Remote Control.
The cleanup and maintenance of the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove – HP22 is also easy. Basically, you just need to make sure that nothing is clogged and all the components are kept clean. The entire pellet stove weighs almost three hundred pounds and it has a dimension of 30 x 34 x 38 inches. This makes it compact, but it is also more ideal for smaller rooms. For your peace of mind and security, there is a one-year warranty that covers technical assistance and spare parts.
- Quiet operation
- 86% burn efficiency
- Natural looking
- Auto Ignition Programmable Thermostat
- 55-pound hopper
- Removable ash pan
- Remote control operation
- Large heating area
- Short warranty period
- Complicated to operate
2. Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22- 50,000 BTU – Charcoal Gray
Similar to the previous HP22 model, the charcoal gray version of the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22 carries almost the same benefits and disadvantages. It is able to efficiently heat a room with a square footage of 2,200. This heating space can be maximized if you put your pellet stove at a central location. This is extremely achievable because this model is powered with 50,000 BTU and it has a hopper capacity of 55 pounds.
Our Rating: (4.6 / 5)
In terms of aesthetics, this Comfortbilt Pellet Stove comes in charcoal gray color. It appears to blend in with homes that have a modern look. On top of that, it has a large viewing area with a bay design that can fit into smaller rooms. The weight of this model clocks in at three hundred twenty pounds and it has a height of thirty-five inches, a width of twenty-four inches, and depth of thirty inches.
When it comes down to function and capacity, the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22 has a burn efficiency of 86%. This burning efficiency has been EPA certified. It is equipped with the automatic ignition, an electronic thermostat control, programmable temperatures that is complete with remote control, and an ash pan for easier maintenance. It still carries the same warranty period of one year that covers both spare parts and labor.
- Easy cleanup process
- Large area for heating
- Automated ignition
- Remote Control Operation
- EPA certified burn efficiency
- Long restart period
- Tricky to operate and control
- Complicated instruction manual
- Warranty period is short
- Pricier than other pellet stoves
3. Pleasant Hearth Cabinet Style 50000 BTU’s Pellet Stove with 120-Pound Hopper
If you have been looking around for the best pellet stove for quite some time, chances are you have come across the Pleasant Hearth Cabinet Style 50000 BTU’s Pellet Stove with 120-Pound Hopper. This pellet stove has been earning great feedbacks because of its durability, functionality, and performance. First, when it comes to the construction of this pellet stove, it is sturdy and appears to be able to withstand frequent use.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
Now, when it comes to the functionality of this model, it comes with several features. The Auto Light Ignition function, which is common among pellet stoves, is also found in this model. There are five heat settings to this unit, but you also have the option to run it continuously on MIN or MAX settings. On top of that, it is equipped with a technology that is exclusive to them and that is the Comfort Control System. It also comes with an outside air kit and a convection blower. On top of that, it has a lengthy warranty period of five years.
You might be impressed with the performance and capacity of this model. This is actually the main reason why this pellet stove has been garnering positive reviews. First, it is able to heat up 2,200 square feet. This makes it ideal to use for larger rooms and spaces. This model has a hopper with a capacity of 120 pounds and it has a burn time that ranges from 24 to 70 hours. When it comes to the burn efficiency of this pellet stove, it has been EPA certified to have 85% burn efficiency.
- Requires minimal clearance
- High-efficiency rating
- Five-year warranty period
- Minimal assembly
- Comfort Control System
- Difficult to maintain
- Instruction manual could be better
4. Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller
If you think that pellet stoves are only for large spaces, the Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller will prove you wrong. Since it is meant for light-duty tasks, it is also lighter in weight and smaller in size. It weighs 186 pounds and it measures 23.8 x 18.5 x 34 inches. Due to its measurements, it is also easy to install on your own. It will only take up a couple of hours of your time and you can begin heating up your home using pellets. The exhaust, on the other hand, measures three inches.
Our Rating: (4 / 5)
To optimize the heating process, there is an adjustable thermostat that is equipped with an integrated fan. This is operated using a LED programmable controller. An important thing to remember is that this pellet stove has a capacity of forty pounds. At its maximum capacity, the burn time of the Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove is at twelve hours for the highest setting. On the contrary, when you use the lowest setting, it can last for an entire day. In terms of coverage area, it can heat up a closed room that measures 1,500 square feet.
When it comes to the performance of the Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove, it has an EPA certified thermal efficiency of 69.8%. It operates with automatic ignition and it comes in with five different feed rates and blower speeds. The smoke stays in the pellet stove because of the auto-ignite works efficiently.
- EPA certified
- Automated ignition
- Lengthy operating time
- 3.3 Amperage
- Lightweight and compact design
- With a smart controller
- Quick installation
- Sturdy built
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Low thermal efficiency
- Limited coverage area
- 40-pound hopper
- Loud operation
- Manual power button and timer
5. US Stove 5660 Bay Front Pellet Stove
For the final pellet stove on our list, the US Stove 5660 Bay Front Pellet Stove has made the cut. This model is not only heavy when it comes to its weight, but it is also heavy when it comes to its performance. This unit tips the weighing scale at 270 pounds and it measures 26.2 x 24.2 x 30.5 inches. Consequently, you would need to allocate a large space in your home for this pellet stove. It is equipped with an LED display to ensure that you can easily operate this unit. On top of that, it is designed with a large bay window-styled door with a glass that has been air washed. If you want to adjust a setting on your pellet stove, you can simply use the digital control board.
Our Rating: (2.8 / 5)
When it comes to the features of the US Stove 5660 Bay Front Pellet Stove, it has six heat settings that allow you to adjust the setting based on your heating preferences. Moreover, it is equipped with a 120 CFM blower with an automatic circulation that allows the heat to circulate evenly throughout the entire room. When it comes to the operation of this unit, it generally produces minimal noise. This allows you to remain undistracted by the operation of this pellet stove. However, its heating space is rather limited, which is why it is best to use this in a smaller room.
- Great LED display
- Aesthetically attractive
- Heat circulates evenly
- Quiet operation
- Six heat settings
- Performance is hit-or-miss
- Small heating space
- Expensive for its quality
- Poor construction
Top 5 Best Pellet Stove Brands
Most people are aware of the many advantages a wood pellet stove can offer. They do not need being re-filled on a daily basis and are eco-friendly as well. These stoves get their heat by convection which makes them much safer around children. Their fuel comes from wastes wood pellets which mean no daily cleaning. As long as your pellet stove has all the top features like a thermostat, an automatic starter, and you have a battery power back-up than you have the best thing possible for warming up your home during the chilling weeks of winter.
It is no surprise that the popularity of these pellet stoves is on the rise. A lot of people are choosing them over traditional heating methods today. This has caused a lot of companies to bulk up their lines of wood pellet stoves for consumers. The sad thing is that not all of these companies are stocking top quality products into their stores. A new buyer can find it quite confusing to choose the right company to trust. In order to help these confused consumers here are the top 5 quality brand pellet stoves to choose from. You will be pleased to know that these companies have stood the test of time and know this business well. You can rest assured their products are of high quality.
The Harman Stove Company
This company has been in this business for 25 years. They take a seat at the top of this list for best wooden pellet stoves and brands. These Harman stoves have expert craftsmanship built into them and are extremely popular among buyers. They have been put together using cutting-edge technology and have been injected with the most modern features available for easy use and safety.
This company only deals with reliable products that are easy to use and are eco-friendly. That earns it a second place on this list. They know this trade extremely well having experienced it for a total of two decades. By signing up on their website you can get yourself a whopping $100 off your next purchase.
If you like a stove that is elegant and simple and maintains its great quality as well, then Breckwell is a name you can trust. This company will even offer you a limited lifetime warranty to go along with its products. This is a great indicator of the confidence they have in the quality of what they put out. They have been doing this for over twenty years.
Lennox Hearth Products
This Nashville-based company was established back in 1994. They produce a large range of outdoor and indoor stoves and fireplaces.
This is a brand from Travis Industries, which happens to be the absolute largest privately-owned fireplace and stove company in the United States. Their pellet stoves are known for their durability and dependability. You can be confident that the products you buy from them are of excellent quality.
I would like to add that Enviro, Jamestown Pellet Stoves, And the United States Stove Company should all at least get an honorable mention.
Whenever you go to buy a wood pellet stove, remember the amount of space you need to warm up. Then search for a stove that accentuates the interior decoration of your home. It is highly recommended that you purchase your stove online because of all the available discounts you can enjoy.
How Do Pellet Stoves Work?
While wood fires can be attractive and warm, maintaining them can be time-consuming, messy and hazardous. Pellet stoves provide an economical, healthy and simple alternative for many households. They are simple to operate and work on the basic principles of heat exchange.
Pellet stoves use the unwanted leftovers, namely shavings and sawdust, produced in sawmills and other manufacturing venues. These wood remnants are combined to form small pellets that can be burned to produce heat. Since the pellets are tightly compressed, they are able to produce a strong flame and increased heat output. Electricity is required to run a pellet stove. A collection of pellets are loaded into the stove hopper and are directed to the burn pot via the mechanical action of the augur. Users can control the speed of the augur which, in turn, controls the burn rate and temperature of the stove. When the pellets reach the burn pot, the pot ignites as a result of air combining with the pellet fuel. Cold air from the room is drawn into the stove and passed over the burning pellets. This makes them burn more strongly, allowing hot air to be released throughout the room via the blower. The heat exchangers are pipes that ensure that the heat produced moves away from the stove and into the surrounding room via convection.
It is simple to control the temperature of a pellet stove. Naturally, the more pellets that are burned at once, the greater the heat output. By setting the stove thermostat, users can designate how many pellets are released into the burn pot in a given time period. Burn rate is typically described in pounds of pellets per hour, with one pound producing a mild flame and five pounds creating a roaring fire.
When a pellet has burned, it produces ash remnants that fall into an ash collection area. This is emptied regularly to prevent buildup. Gases produced during burning must be vented outside. This can be achieved via a chimney or designated hole through the wall. Gases are expelled through the exhaust blower and released into the outdoor atmosphere.
Are Pellet Stoves Loud or Noisy?
You may be wondering whether adding a pellet stove to your home will add a lot of noise to your living room or wherever you decide to install the stove. I’ve heard several pellet stoves operating and have found the noises they do make to be relatively easy to tune out. However, if you install one and are using one for the first time, you will notice that there is some noise from a few different sources.
- Pellet stoves are mechanical machines. You may hear three motors operating the pellet stove: a combustion fan, convection fan and an auger that turns to allow pellets from the hopper into the furnace.
- You will hear some airflow as the pellet stove blows air into the room.
- You will hear some pellets dropping from the hopper into the furnace, especially right before the flame is lit. However, this only lasts for a few minutes, and once the fire is burning this sound will be replaced by the sound of the fire burning and the blower blowing.
If you hear any other noises, such as rattling, they are not typical and are probably the result of something being loose. You may want to try tightening different components of the stove or having it serviced by a professional if you do hear other annoying sounds.
Are bottom feed or top feed pellet stoves better?
If you are doing research on pellet stoves, you have probably noticed that there are two distinct types. There are pellet stoves that feed pellets from the top as well as those that feed on the bottom. There is no simple answer to which is better but factor the points below into your decision about which type to purchase. If you want to read more take a look at some things to consider before purchasing a pellet stove.
Top Feed Benefits:
The most important benefit is that there is less of a chance of a fire burning back into the hopper, where all the pellets are stored. Because the auger turns and pushes the pellets from the hopper into the furnace, this is very unlikely. So in this sense, top feed pellet stoves are safer.
Bottom Feed Benefits:
You can purchase cheaper grade pellets for use in bottom feed stoves because the ash and clinkers are pushed directly into the ash pan.
Top Feed Disadvantages:
It is more likely that a top feed stove will have the combustion chamber blocked by ash, so manufacturers of these stoves typically recommend using premium (more expensive) pellets that produce less ash when they burn.
Bottom Feed Disadvantages:
Bottom feed pellet stoves typically deliver pellets horizontally into the fire, so you have to load the pellets closer to the fire itself. Many bottom-feed versions are not as efficient as their top feed counterparts.
Wood Pellet Stove vs Traditional Fire Log Stove
Wood Pellet Stove VS Traditional Fire Log Stove is a better choice for many reasons. A stove is used to heat spaces. They provide heating and can be used to heat food as well. Many people like an outdoor kitchen like a wood-burning stove.
Need & Circumstances
- Your choice of pellet versus wood stoves will rely on your heating needs, circumstances that you live in and personal preferences. People, who like wood heat, choose wood pellets over logs for several reasons. First of all, you do not have to worry about the logwood size and go store to store looking for wood if one runs out of your size of logwood. Secondly, you do not have to feed logs to the stove when you are using a pellet stove. All you do is load the basket with wood pellets and leave it. The pellet stoves heat as good, as log stoves, and you will not shiver at night if you forget to chuck a few more logs in the stove in the middle of the night. Just fill the pellet basket every day, and it will keep giving you the consistent temperature.
Self Igniting…Thermostat Controlled…Safety Checks…
- The modern wood pellet stoves are multipurpose machines. They are self-igniting and can be controlled by a thermostat to go on and off. The newer models come with remote controls, so you do not have to leave the comfort of your couch to monitor the temperature. Modern technology has added software to the stove that performs safety checks, in case, there is a problem with the stove.
Easy to Clean – Less Creosote
- The wood pellet stove is also more manageable, and easy to clean. It does not create creosote, which is responsible for making chimney fires. Wood pellets burn cleanly and make only fine fly-ash. There are various qualities of pellets in the market. The better quality produces very little ash, as compared to low-quality wood pellet. When you are using an electronic wood pellet stove, make sure you use the same quality of pellets always, as a change in grade can create problems with the machinery. So, always using a good grade of pellet helps in the long run.
With a wood log stove, you will have to stack the wood and pay constant attention to the burning process, checking on and off if the stove is giving you ample heat. Wood log stoves also require a blower, which needs replacement when old. If these are not replaced on time, you can have a fire or smoke in your home. Besides, you will have to deal with temperature swings, with a wood stove.
So, the better option is the wood pellet stoves as these are easier to use and are safer as well.
Some Things to Consider Before Purchasing a Pellet Stove
If you’re thinking about purchasing a pellet stove, there are a lot of great reasons to do so. However, there are also some things you will want to consider before making the purchase. Below are a few things you should be sure to think about.
- The initial purchase can be pretty expensive. Pellet stoves range from about $1,000 to over $2,000, and also typically require installation, which may involve another fee.
- You will need to keep your pellet hopper full, which typically means filling it about once per day, depending on the size of your hopper. So there is a little bit of manual work involved lifting bags, pouring pellets into the hopper, etc.
- You will also need to clean out the pellet ash and vacuum your pellet stove regularly to keep it clean. Keep in mind that the amount of waste produced by a pellet stove is minimal compared to a regular wood-burning stove or fireplace.
- One of the biggest drawbacks of a pellet stove is that they require electricity to feed the pellets from the hopper into the stove itself. If you lose electricity in a storm, your pellet stove will also not work. However, you can purchase a back-up generator as a safeguard to keep your pellet stove running.
How to Clean a Pellet Stove?
If you own and use a pellet stove, you know that they require regular cleaning in order to keep them performing at an optimal level. So, how do you properly clean a pellet stove?
The first thing you want to make sure is that your pellet stove is cool. Do not clean while it is still hot.
Once your pellet stove is cool, open the door to the stove and pull out the burn pot liner. Pour any ash from the liner into a waste bin, and clean the liner with a wire brush. Brush off the perimeter of the burn chamber with a soft brush, and remove any excess ash. You will want to clean the liner and burn chamber about once every 2-3 days. You can also use a shop vacuum to suck up any ash that you cannot get to with a brush.
While the door is open, you should also clean the inside of the door with a soft brush to remove any ash and grime. Clean the glass door with a soft cloth and a glass cleaner specifically for fireplace glass. You should clean the glass door once every 2-3 days.
Next, unlock the ash pan and pull it out from the pellet stove. Empty the ash from the ash pan into a waste container. Clean the ash pan about once a week.
Finally, you should have the exhaust vent of your pellet stove cleaned once per season by your professional dealer.
Keep in mind that you may have to clean your pellet stove more or less often depending on your level of use.
Pellet Stove Safety Guide
While a pellet stove has many advantages to it, you still need to be cautious when using it. There are still safety hazards involved when operating this type of machinery. It is important that your pellet stove is installed properly and it has met the required building codes. This is to ensure that your pellet stove is operating at its safest state. You should always follow the instruction of the manufacturer when it comes to proper use of your pellet stove. They will indicate the correct use and maintenance of your unit.
There are certain precautions that you can do when you have a pellet stove.
First, you should get a CO detector to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning. It will serve as an alert if the carbon monoxide level in your room is at a dangerous level.
Second, you should only be using the pellets that are recommended by the manufacturer. This is to ensure that your pellet stove is operating at its optimum performance. Moreover, it also ensures that your stove is safe and efficient to use.
Another important precaution to remember is that this equipment can expose you to burns. The glass on the front is especially prone to causing burns. Ashes also raise a cause for concern because ashes can cause potential fire hazards. When clearing up the ash in your ash drawer, you should throw them far away from your home. This is because ashes can start a fire when they are placed in close proximity to combustible items.
However, it is also important to remember that you need to inspect your pellet stove regularly to ensure that it is in tip-top shape. Clogging is a common occurrence when you have a pellet stove. This is why you have to check the components of your pellet stove regularly. You may also want to schedule routine inspections to ensure that you can fix the damage before they even occur.
Pellet Stove Installation
If your local code permits, you can take a leaf out of our book and install your pellet stove on your own. However, you should be aware that you should practice complete safety when you decide to install your pellet stove without the help of professionals.
First, you should choose your desired location for your pellet stove. It is ideally located at a central location so it can spread heat evenly throughout the room. It can even serve as a supplementary heating system to your pre-installed heater.
Second, the key to your ultimate safety is proper venting. Before you begin installing your pellet stove, it is vital that there is an allowance of the three-inch flue. This is to ensure that there is room to exit out the back or top of the stove. Moreover, there should also be room for it to go pass the wall and then stretch in an upward direction through the house eaves.
Third, your pellet stove should stand on a surface that is non-combustible which is at least half an inch thick. Moreover, in terms of optimum location, you should keep it an inch away from the back wall. On top of that, it should be kept three to four inches away from the walls at its side.
Fourth, when it comes to the type of pellet stove, you can safely install a freestanding pellet stove. However, if you need to install a pellet stove insert, it is ideal to leave it to professionals.
Now, for the actual installation process, we will run through the general instructions. However, your chosen pellet stove would likely have an instruction manual that will guide you. There are five components of the pellet stove that you should always consider closely when installing your unit.
The first component is the hopper and the auger. You do not want a hopper that is clogged with sawdust because this can cause blockages. Clogged hopper and auger can lead to serious damage to your pellet stove.
The next component is the burn pot, which is the area where you burn your pellets. In short, it is the part where heat is produced. Therefore, this is the area that is left with some of the ash, which can also cause clogging. In order to maximize the heating process, the burn pot should always remain clean and clear of ash.
The third component is located beside the burn pot and this is the part where the heat from the burner is converted to cool air. Since this part is composed of interconnected tubes, you should ensure that there are no ash buildups in the tubes.
The next component is the actual storage of the ash, which is the ash drawer. The cleanup of this component is the easiest. You just need to detach the drawer and toss out the ash. However, you should be certain that the ash is cool enough to handle.
The last component is the glass viewing screen and this is maintained by wiping a standard glass cleaner.
There are more than five pellet stoves on the market today. However, you might be wondering which of the five pellet stoves on our list was able to take the cake?
Our favorite is the Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22- 50,000 BTU – Charcoal Gray. This is because it comes with a large heating area. Moreover, the burning efficiency of this pellet stove is truly impressive. Apart from the performance of this pellet stove, the structure of this unit is also appealing. The built is sturdy and it seems as though it will withstand the test of time.
However, the Pleasant Hearth Cabinet Style 50000 BTU’s Pellet Stove with 120-Pound Hopper came in as a close second due to its large hopper capacity. Moreover, the difference in the burning efficiency of the two units is rather minimal.
We hope that you have understood how pellet stoves work after reading this review and before buying your pellet stove.