Comparing Pellet Stoves with Wood-Burning Stoves

wood stove vs pellet stoveAre you in the market for a new heating system and trying to decide between a pellet stove or a wood-burning stove? Today’s appliances are incredibly efficient and for that reason, you really can’t go wrong. There are plenty of differences between a pellet stove and a wood-burning stove, however, which gives you a lot to consider.

Fuel Cost

  • Pellet Stoves – Pellet stoves are quite different from other appliances because they are designed to burn only small pellets made from wood waste that are about the size of rabbit food. The  pellets are purchased in 40-pound bags which stack neatly and store well as long as they are kept away from moisture. Wood pellets don’t attract rodents or insects. People who heat with pellet stoves usually use between two to three tons of pellets during each winter season. It’s recommended that all the pellets needed for the winter be purchased up front, in case the local supply of pellets runs out mid-winter.
  • Wood Stoves – The least expensive fuel to heat with is wood, even when you consider the cost of wood that is split, delivered, and stacked for you. Anyone who owns wooded property has the option of cutting down trees for fuel. There are other opportunities to get free wood, especially when tree-trimming businesses allow people to freely haul off the wood they cut.


  • Pellet Stoves – Efficiency is one of the top features of a pellet stove. In fact, pellets are the cleanest burning solid fuel. Some models can adjust automatically, to produce the amount of heat that is set on a wall thermostat. A pellet stove with a large hopper that is burning at a low heat can run for over 65 hours completely unattended. Blowers move the heat from the stove into the home. The technology of pellet stoves and the pellets they burn seems to be all about efficiency.
  • Wood-Burning Stoves – Today’s wood-burning stoves are airtight and far more efficient that in former times, using 1/3 to ½ less wood than older versions. Wood stoves produce a lot less smoke and creosote and a lot more heat than a traditional fireplace. The size of the stove you purchase determines how much wood can burn at once; many sizes are available.

Two Cons

  • Pellet StovePellet Stoves – One potential disadvantage to a pellet stove is that a small amount of electricity is required to run fans and possibly the augers which feed the pellets into the burn box. You can get around this issue when the electricity goes out by buying the battery back-ups that are available.
  • Wood Stoves Whereas pellet stoves can inexpensively be vented directly to an outside wall, wood-burning stoves require a chimney. Most wood stoves must be installed at least a foot away from combustible walls, whereas pellet stoves can be anywhere from 3 inches to 6 inches away from combustibles.

There are definite advantages, whether you go with a wood stove or a pellet stove. We believe that either choice is a good one. Simply compare the differences between the two and decide which features have the most appeal for you. Whichever appliance you choose, give us a call so that we can provide professional installation for your wood burning stove or pellet stove.

Northeastern Chimney, Inc.
formerly Nayaug Chimney Services, LLC
37 Cody Street, West Hartford, CT 06110
Phone: 860-233-5770

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