There’s nothing cozier than a heated home when the weather starts to turn cold. Most households utilize a central furnace to provide heat. But that’s not the only type of heater in town. One stands out among the rest – the wood pellet stove. That’s because these stoves are more efficient. In fact, according to Energy.com, pellet stoves that are certified by the EPA can be expected to be in the 70% to 83% efficiency range. Not only that, wood pellet stoves are environmentally-friendly. These pellets are made from 100% recycled wood with no additives. Because they’re dry, these pellets burn hotter and emit fewer pollutants. In fact, they’re considered carbon neutral which means that it has a net zero carbon footprint. Moreover, wood pellets are inexpensive which means that the ongoing cost of fueling your heater isn’t going to break the bank. As an added bonus, these stoves are incredibly convenient with none of the mess you can expect from a regular wood stove.
The best thing about wood pellet stoves is that you can use them as your primary heater or in addition to your current heating system. You don’t have to overhaul your heating system. You can try it out and see if this kind of heater works for you. Of course, you’ll need to choose one first. Fortunately, we’ve got a list of the best wood pellets in the market reviewed below.
Table of Contents
- Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22 50,000 BTU Review
- Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller Review
- SOLOMARK Nextstep Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller Review
- US Stove 5660 Bay Front Pellet Stove Review
- US Stove Company US GW1949 Wiseway Non-Electric Pellet Stove Review
- Q-Stoves Wood Pellet Outdoor Heater Review
- Pleasant Hearth 35,000 BTU Medium Pellet Stove Review
- Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove – 95,000 BTU Review
- Buying Guide – How to Choose the Right Pellet Stove
Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22 50,000 BTU Review
The Comfortbilt Pellet Stove HP22 is one of the most beautifully designed wood pellet stoves we’ve ever seen. It features beautiful design. It has a beautiful chrome finish as well as bay windows that feature large glass viewing panels. Watching the flames through these windows can be pretty soothing. Of course, that’s just the outside. What made us pick the HP22 model was performance. This wood pellet stove is huge, weighing 320 lbs. It is the perfect choice for heating a large space, one that measures 2,000 square feet or more. It is incredibly powerful, producing up to 50,000 BTUs with a 55-lb hopper capacity. It has a powerful blower, auto ignition, and the programmable thermostat makes the stove easy to use. We also love the fact that it can reach a pretty hot temperature in 30 minutes. Plus, despite how bright the flames are, there’s not a lot of ashes to clean. There’s not even any soot that you need to wipe from the large windows. Plus, there’s an ash pan which makes clean up a breeze. The stove is relatively quiet, especially for its size. More importantly, this unit is EPA certified at 86% efficiency of burning. Another great benefit to getting the HP22 is the company’s excellent customer service. If you have any questions or problems, they’re just a phone call away. However, there are certain drawbacks to this model. One, it is very expensive, almost $2000. While there are pellet stoves that are easily that expensive or more, that amount of money can still place a huge hole in your pocket. Second, refilling the hopper can be a pain because it only has a small hole. Third, it uses up more pellets compared to other comparable stoves. That being said, the HP22 model is well worth the money and a stove that’s going to keep you warm all throughout the cold winter months.
Castle 12327 Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller Review
The Castle Serenity Wood Pellet Stove is another great option though it is not as powerful as the HP22 model from Comfortbilt. It’s also not as aesthetically pleasing. But it does offer certain advantages that might make it the better choice for you home. First, let’s talk specs. This pellet stove has a 40-lb hopper capacity and can heat up a large area measuring 1500 square feet. The unit is quite small but it packs quite a punch. It has a BTU Input of 31,960 BTUs and an output range of 9,575 to 22,226 BTUs. The Serenity Wood is EPA certified with a thermal efficiency that’s greater than 69.8%. Looking at these facts, it’s easy to see that the HP22 is the bigger and badder wood pellet stove. However, you should note that the Serenity Wood Pellet Stove comes with a new Smart Controller. Not only does it allow you to turn the unit on and off, this controller lets you choose from different modes to heat your home. You can create a schedule for when the heater will turn on or off, either using the calendar-based option or time-based option. You can enjoy a warm home as soon as you step through the front door but remain cool while you’re sleeping or out during the day. You can also choose to set a local thermostat or use one of the five burn levels programmed into the unit. This smart programmable controller makes up for the lack in size, coverage, and power that the unit offers. Of course, the Serenity Wood has other benefits such as easy installation, auto light ignition, and a hopper and vacuum safety switch. The unit also comes with an air wash system which keeps the glass seal of the stove clean throughout the heating session. However, this unit is fairly loud at the higher settings as well as during startup and shut down. And the hopper capacity is not enough empty out a whole bag because the unit stops feeding the pellets into the auger before the hopper is completely empty.
SOLOMARK Nextstep Serenity Wood Pellet Stove with Smart Controller Review
For those who want to heat a smaller space like a modest-sized apartment, you may want to check out the SoloMark Next Step Serenity Stove. Yes, it has the same name as the model offered by Castle. It also has the same price. However, this is a much smaller unit measuring 20 by 28.5 by 18.25 inches and weighing approximately 143 pounds. Despite its small size, the Next Step Serenity Stove has proven itself to be worth the money. Why? For a variety of reasons. One, it comes with a heating efficiency of 86.5% which is a lot higher compared to the other models we’ve reviewed so far. Its minimum consumption of pellets is 0.6 kilograms an hour while the maximum consumption is 1.2 kilograms an hour. Two, it is a fully automatic pellet stove with auto ignition as well as intuitive controls. Even new users won’t have a problem learning how to operate this pellet stove. The Next Step Serenity Stove comes with a digital control board that allows you to choose between several heat settings just by pushing a button. Moreover, installation is a breeze. You don’t need an engineering degree to do it on your own. Third, refilling the hopper is a breeze. Unlike the other models, you can put pellets in through a large opening that’s covered by an access door located on top of the unit. However, we do have some concerns. The hopper capacity is just 17.6 lbs. Yes, it is a small unit but this is a really small capacity. At the highest setting, you will need to refill the hopper within 13 hours. Not a big deal but inconvenient.
US Stove 5660 Bay Front Pellet Stove Review
The 5660 Bay Front Pellet Stove is one of the most eye-catching models on our list. Like the HP22 from Comfortbilt, it features bay windows that offer a large view of the fire. Very cozy. Plus, it comes with air wash glass so you won’t have to worry about soot blocking your view. And like the Next Step Serenity Wood Pellet Stove from Solomark, this is also a fully automatic pellet stove that features automatic ignition and easy-to-use electronic controls. But while it has a lot of the same features of the other models we’ve reviewed, that doesn’t mean that US Stove hasn’t given us anything unique. This wood pellet stove features a 120 CFM blower with automatic circulation so that heat is spread evenly throughout the space. Speaking of space, this baby can heat up a space as large as 2,200 square feet. That’s pretty big, comparable to the HP22. Another great feature of this model is the digital control board which lets you adjust the heat level (you can choose from 6 heat settings) using easy, one-touch adjustments. More importantly, you can see the settings through the LED display which makes the unit much easier to operate. The output is up to 48,000 BTUs which is pretty powerful. The unit is EPA certified in all states and features an integrated damper control and heat tube scraper to ensure efficiency. You can even use this unit in a mobile home because it’s certified for that too. Plus, hopper capacity, we’re happy to note, is at 55 lbs. And unlike the Comfortbilt model, the pellet opening on this one is pretty big, measuring 16 by 9 inches. However, the unit is made in China which is a dealbreaker for some buyers. Also, some users reported that the fan is a bit loud.
US Stove Company US GW1949 Wiseway Non-Electric Pellet Stove Review
The problem with a lot of pellet stoves is that they require electricity to run. What happens when a blizzard comes and the power goes out? What’s going to keep you warm then? Well, the US Stove Company has an answer – the Wiseway Pellet Stove which is the first and only non-electric pellet stove in the market that is EPA certified ad UL-listed. This heater does away with the need for electricity because it relies on gravity to do all the work. You not only save money by using a more efficient heater, this unit spares you the expense of electricity. Moreover, the natural gravity feeding system does not require as many mechanical parts as automatic feeding systems which means lesser parts will break down and require repair or replacement. Now, at first glance, this heater looks more like a work of modern art than a wood pellet stove. But this revolutionary design is not just interesting to look at, it’s pretty effective. This baby can heat up to 2,000 square feet of living space and has an output of 40,000 BTUs. Starting the heater and operating it is pretty simple. You start the pellet flowing and light up the propane torch. The fresh air intakes on the front of the stove allow you to adjust the stove’s temperature. There’s even a small window that lets you see the flame traveling up the body of the stove where the heat is radiated off the steel baffles on the back ad the 3 1/2″ tubing. There’s also a thermometer near the top of the heater so you can see how hot it’s burning. But what we really love about this heater is the large hopper capacity and the long burn time. The Wiseway Pellet Stove can hold up to 60 lbs of pellets in the hopper and can burn 31 hours straight. Compared to the other models we’ve reviewed, this has by far the longest burn time and biggest hopper capacity. And it doesn’t even cost as much as comparable models.
Q-Stoves Wood Pellet Outdoor Heater Review
We’ve been talking about indoor heaters for awhile now but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any wood pellet stoves that can be used to keep you warm outdoors. The Q-Flame Portable Eco-Friendly Heater from Q-Stoves is a great option for those who want an alternative to campfires, outdoor electric heaters, and outdoor propane heaters. Like the Wiseway Pellet Stove, this heater also uses a natural gravity feeding system. There are no augers or fans that require electricity in order to fuel your fire which makes it the perfect companion outdoors and even during power outages. This pellet stove is built to travel with you; you can easily break down the heater into smaller parts because it is comprised of detachable sections, making it easier to transport from point A to point B. The output of the Q-Flame is very powerful at 106,000 BTUs (maximum) which means you can expect to stay warm even in the coldest of seasons. The heat radiation has a radius of 10 feet so you don’t have to stay too close to the stove just to stay warm and cozy. However, the run time of the heater is 3 to 4 hours which means it’s great for hanging out with friends but not for overnight heating. This is because the hopper has a maximum capacity of 20 lbs. It’s not the smallest we’ve seen but it is pretty small in comparison to other models we’ve looked at. Also, it’s not EPA certified. Then again, this unit costs less than $500 so we shouldn’t really expect too much. It already exceeds expectations based on its value.
Pleasant Hearth 35,000 BTU Medium Pellet Stove Review
The Pleasant Hearth 35,000 BTU Medium Pellet Stove is elegant in its simplicity. It looks exactly like the wood stoves of old – a squarish body with a big, solid cast iron door with a large ceramic glass viewing area that allows you to gaze into the fire. But don’t let its looks fool you. This heater has been completely upgraded by the addition of modern technology. This high efficiency EPA approved pellet burning stove features an auto ignition system and 5 heat settings for you to choose from. You can even opt to have the stove run continuously on minimum or maximum heat levels. The exclusive Comfort Control system has transformed this unit into a set-it-and-forget-it heater, you set the heat by just turning the dial and let the heater do the rest of the work. The Pleasant Hearth Pellet stove also comes with an exclusive integrated diagnostics, an air wash system, and an outside air kit that includes a convection blower. The stove has an 85% efficiency rating with a burn time of 12 to 24 hours. The hopper capacity is 40 pounds and the output is 35,000 BTUs. The heat coverage of the stove is up to 1,750 square feet. This wood pellet stove as well as all other Pleasant Hearth pellet stoves are all made in the USA. This unit, in particular, is backed by a 5-year limited warranty which is one of the longest warranties we’ve seen. Plus, there is little assembly required and you can easily install this in your single family home or your mobile home. The only drawback that we can see with the Pleasant Hearth Pellet Stove is the need for constant cleaning. Not just the ashes, in fact. If you want the unit to continue running smoothly and prevent the pot from overflowing, you need to take the unit apart every two weeks to clean the fans and ducts thoroughly. Not really a big deal but takes up time you can use elsewhere.
Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove – 95,000 BTU Review
If you want something rugged and old school, you can’t go wrong with the Drolet High-Efficiency Wood Stove. A lot of our other picks are very sleek and modern. This one does not fit that bill. Instead, it’s made of a 5/16-inch steel top plate, a firebox lined with firebricks, and a heavy duty cast iron door. It’s like a mountain man’s stove or one found in that cabin in the woods. And unlike the models we’ve already looked at, this is not a fully automated pellet stove. This is a wood stove. An honest-to-goodness wood stove. The firebox measures 3.93 cubic feet which is pretty spacious and can fit logs up to 22 inches in length. It can burn all night long due to the steel plate, the firebricks that extend the life of the fire, and the cast iron door which is excellent at retaining heat. The stove has a 78% efficiency rating and is able to heat up a house measuring 2,400 square feet. To help you monitor temperature, the unit comes with a thermostat as well as an air control lever. What about cleanup? Well, this unit features a large ash drawer that you can easily access in front of the stove. The entire unit is incredibly durable and built to last. And it costs a lot less than the other stoves on our list. However, the Drolet High Efficiency Wood Stove requires manual labor (stuffing the firebox with logs and cleaning up all that ash) and the cost of logs is more than the cost of pellets. In addition, this heater weighs a hefty 500 lbs. You’re going to need help installing it. You should also take note that this wood stove is not approved for mobile homes.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Right Pellet Stove
So, you want to buy a pellet stove. Well, we’ve already got several recommendations in hand. That being said, you can’t make a purchase without knowing exactly what you’re looking for. By that, we mean a wood pellet stove that suits your heating needs.
Obviously, you want a wood pellet stove that’s efficient and environmentally friendly. Pretty much most of them are. Of course, you also want your stove to look good. It will be placed inside your home after all. Fortunately, a lot of models look really cool and can easily become the centerpiece in your living space while keeping you warm and cozy on long winter nights. But there’s more to pellet stoves that just efficiency and looks (though that does help). If you want to make the right choice, you’re going to need to look at other important factors such as size, heat coverage, burn time, pellet feeding system, installation, and safety, to name a few. So, let’s get started.
The size of a wood pellet stove is a good indication of hopper capacity as well as heat output range. The bigger a stove is, the bigger the hopper capacity usually is and the higher the BTU reached. The output range of pellet stoves are usually from a few thousand to 90,000 BTUs.
Now, when you’re looking at the size of the stove, you need to consider what your intended purpose is. Is it to heat a room or an entire house? Do you want it as a primary source of heat or just as a backup? According to experts, you need around 25 to 35 BTUs for each square foot of space that you want to heat.
Here’s a tip: don’t choose a pellet stove that’s too powerful for your purpose. It will force you to operate the heater at its lowest setting which can cause clogging and require you to maintain the stove more frequently.
Another consideration is space. By that, we mean the actual physical space that your pellet stove will be occupying. Where will you be placing the stove? Do you have enough space for it to fit?
The last consideration in terms of size is hopper capacity. This is the amount of pellets that you can place in the hopper before needing to top it up again. The hopper capacity affects the length of the units maximum burn time. The bigger the capacity, the longer your stove can keep the fire going.
What is heating efficiency? Well, it is the amount of heat that the stove produces that can actually be used to heat your home. So, the higher the efficiency rating of your heater, the more cost effective it is to operate. A lot of pellet stoves have an efficiency rating of 70% and above. Just be wary of manufacturer’s claims. It’s best if you check the efficiency rating of the model based on the EPA certification.
While pellets generally do not produce as much ash as wood, you’ll still need to do a bit of cleaning every now and then to keep your pellet stove in tip-top shape. That means you need to choose a model that has an easy cleaning system like an easy-to-access ash pan. Another consideration is the soot that can stain the viewing glass of your pellet stove. A lot of models utilize an air wash system which is pretty convenient for its users. But there are some that don’t have this feature so make sure to take note when you’re checking out a model.
Pellet stoves typically feature a fan and/or blower to raise the temperature or cool down the unit. Some pellet stoves are relatively quiet; you’ll only hear the fan if you really concentrate on listening to it. If you’re sensitive to noise and plan on placing your pellet stove in the bedroom, then you might want to consider checking out the noise level of the unit before making your final choice.
There are two types of pellet stoves – inserts and free-standing. The first type is perfect for those who wish to install their stove into an existing fireplace. However, you may need a professional in order to evaluate whether your fireplace and chimney are suitable and safe for a pellet stove insert to be installed. A freestanding stove, on the other hand, does not require a professional during installation though it is still recommended. If you were to hire a professional, the cost would be approximately $500 or higher, not including the cost of venting and any additional parts.
Ease of Use
A lot of wood pellet stoves are fully automatic and feature a smart controller as well as automatic ignition which means reliable startup and intuitive controls. These stoves typically provide you with the option of choosing from a variety of heat settings or a precise temperature. Some wood pellet stoves come with manual controls which means adjusting air intake dampers yourself in order to control temperature.
A lot of pellet stoves require electricity in order to operate which means that you need to consider the placement of the stove and its distance to the nearest power outlet. However, if you plan to use the stove as a backup heater during a power outage, you’ll need to look for a model that uses a natural gravity feeding system. This type of pellet stove does not run on electricity; it lets gravity do the work of feeding the stove to fuel the fire. Aside from not relying on electricity, a distinct advantage of this kind of pellet stove is that it has fewer components and working parts which can break down and require repair and replacement. It also lessens operation costs because you won’t be consuming electricity.
While the above factors are essential to choosing the right pellet, you can’t ignore the importance of cost. Pellet stoves generally cost from $1000 to $3300 while installation is generally priced at $350 to $550. That’s not all. You also need to consider the cost of fuel in your area. There are different types of pellet fuel like wood pellets, corn pellets, etc. For example, in New York, a standard-size bag of pellets can cost you around $4.50 to $8 which has a burn time of 10 hours at the lowest setting. Yes, it is true that wood pellet stoves are more sustainable and cost-effective. But that really depends on location. You may find that an ordinary wood stove would be a more economical choice for you.