During the winter season, there is one problem that continually pops up. How to heat your home. One choice is heating your home using gas, but it’s so expensive. A more cost effective choice is using a stove. But another decision looms in the horizon. What type of stove? Choosing between a wood and a pellet stove can be difficult because there are many pros to each but also many cons.
Price and Installation
When choosing a new stove, most likely the first factor you look at is price. When it comes to wood stoves, the price averages at around $3,000 – $4,200 after the installation cost. On the other hand, pellet stoves come in between $3,500 – $4,000 after installation. As for installation ease, wood stoves can be a hassle. If you don’t have a fireplace unit, then even more fees will be tacked on to the total cost so that a ventilation system can be installed. When looking at pellet stoves however, installation is much easier than wood stoves. Pellet stoves can be ventilated through a small hole in the wall, and can be installed anywhere in the room. This also saves money since you wont have to buy a ventilation system. If price and installation were the only factors when it comes to buying a stove, then the pellet stove would be the easy winner. But there are more things to consider.
Cost of fuel
The main difference between pellet and wood wood stoves, is like fireplaces, wood stoves burn logs. The upside of this is that wood is usually easy to get and also rather cheap. Pellet stoves though, use wood pellets for fuel. The downside about these pellets is that since they are specially manufactured and are harder to find. When it comes to price, pellets are more expensive than regular wood. Wood is a better choice than pellets in this category because it is affordable and accessible.
One thing that truly sets wood and pellet stoves apart is power. Wood stoves work like fireplaces as in you add wood and light it. Pellet stoves on the other hand rely on electricity. Wood stoves win when it comes to power. If a power outage occurs, then a wood stove will still remain functional as long as you have dry wood and a match or a lighter. If you have a pellet stove then you are dead in the water without a true heat source.
When it comes to how environmentally friendly these stoves are, the pellet stove comes out on top. Wood stoves emit 2-7.5 grams of smoke per hour and pellet stoves emit less than 1 gram per hour. Even though both fuels are not considerable hazards, pellet stoves are slightly more green.
Safety is always very important when dealing with fire. But each of these stoves have different safety factors other than the fire part. Wood stoves give off sparks which can lead to burns. Also, wood stoves can accumulate creosote deposits that result in house fires. Another thing is that firewood has the potential to bring mold or pests into the house from outside. Pellet stoves burn cleaner and safer and don’t have the risk of harming you or your home. The flames are contained which keeps your family safe from flying embers and sparks. The stove will be hot to the touch though. When it comes to safety, pellet stoves are a much better choice than wood stoves, but don’t put the sofa right in front of either appliance to avoid an accident.
Since you buy your stove to keep you warm, an important thing to know is which type does that better. Wood stoves have an efficiency level of 70% and pellet stoves are at 83%, making pellet stoves the better choice in this category.
Wood stoves are maintained like chimneys, which requires that a certified chimney sweep has to be brought in annually to do an inspection of the system. Reside and soot also must be cleaned out of the chimney. Pellet stoves are simple to maintain. It is straightforward and is cheaper. Pellet stoves win again.
One thing that most people want to know is which stove is prettier. Both stoves are made to be attractive while being functional but the main factor is the burn itself. When looking into a wood stove, you see orange flames engulfing dried, aged logs. Also the aroma of burning timber is present. Pellet stoves still have the same flames but the “wow” factor may decrease since there are fragments of wood instead of logs. When it comes to aesthetics wood has pellet stoves beat.
Each type of stove has a good side and a bad side. When trying to decide which type of stove to buy, think about what you truly want. If you want a more cost efficient stove with better safety and less maintenance costs, then a pellet stove might be a good fit. But if you love the crackle of logs burning, wood stoves are the better choice.