Pellet Stove vs Wood Stove – How to Choose?

Nothing matches the feeling you get when you come to a well-heated home after a long cold day outside. The winter season calls for a cozy day at home. However, the extreme cold makes it difficult to enjoy one.

This is where a stove can come to your rescue. Both pellet stoves and wood stoves can give you the warmth you want. They’re a blessing in disguise as the warmth radiated out of these units will take you in an embrace.

If you are torn between buying a wood stove and a pellet stove, it is vital that you know the features of both of these to make an informed choice. So, Pellet Stove Vs Wood Stove, let’s see which one is better. 

Pellet Stove Vs Wood Stove

1. The Price of the Stove

Naturally, the first concern while buying a new stove will be its price. 

A wood stove is expensive and comes with a bane of high installation costs. A wood stove generally costs around $1000 to $4500. However, the installation costs of this stove can be around $1200 as it requires a whole ventilation system to come in place. It demands a fully insulated chimney that is taller than your roof. 

However, if you already have a fireplace and chimney, installation charges may be a little less. 

On the other hand, a pellet stove costs around $1000- $3000, depending upon the size and style. In addition, installation costs may go as high as $1000. This makes it cheaper than a wood stove as a pellet stove does not demand an extensive ventilation system; a small hole in the wall can suffice.  

These prices vary depending upon the style of the unit you’re looking for. A traditional stove may cost less than a modern one equipped with intelligent features. There isn’t a lot of difference in the cost price of the two stoves. 

2. Cost of Fuel

What makes a wood stove different from a pellet stove is the type of fuel the two use. A wood stove burns wood, whereas a pellet stove consumes pellets made of sawdust and other materials.

A wood stove generally consumes 6.5 tons of wood per season. Procurement of firewood is comparatively easy as it is sold inexpensively and can also be grown at your own homes. In addition, you can use the wood that you harvest in your garden or yard. This practically means that you can get logs of wood for free!

Pellet stoves, on the other hand, use 7.5 tons of wood pellets. Unfortunately, these sawdust pellets are not as easy to procure. You can not grow these in your yards, and it isn’t easy to find sellers who sell these around you. So if you do manage to find pellet sellers, the shipping cost is somewhat high. 

It is important to note that pellets are usually sold in 40lbs bags and may be difficult to store. 

This clearly means that wood is more accessible compared to pellets. But what we usually forget is that pellets burn longer than wood, making them durable. Pellet stoves do not burn any other material and may get damaged when you try to do so. 

3. Lifespan

Wood stoves tend to last much longer as they do not have many components. These have existed since time immemorial and served people in countless winter seasons. You can increase the life of wood stoves by regularly checking the chimney to ensure that the soot escapes efficiently. 

But pellet stoves have so many components that need to be cleaned regularly and require high maintenance. These stoves can last for up to 20 years if you take good care of them. Ensure that you remove the unburned pellets from the burning port so that it does not rust. 

4. Electricity

Wood stoves do not run on electricity; all they need is wood and a match. It means you can use this stove even when there is a power outage in your area. 

Pellet stoves run on electricity. The hopper of these stoves requires electricity to push pellets into the burn pot where they are burned. You will be left to freeze without a generator or other backup power source in case of a power loss.

The pellet stoves consume about 100 kilowatt-hours per month, adding close to $9 to your electricity bill. Apart from the cost of procuring pellets, you also have to incur electricity charges to run your pellet stove. 

5. Environmentally Friendly

If you’re keen on buying environmentally friendly products, you may want to know how much smoke these stoves emit. You may not want to compromise on your love for nature.

Most of the wood stoves are EPA certified, which means they do not emit a lot of smoke. Traditional wood stoves would emit close to 40 grams per hour, which has now reduced to 2 to 7 grams per hour. 

At the same time, pellet stoves release less than one gram of smoke per hour and have low carbon emission of 0.035 pounds every kilowatt-hour. This means that the pellet stove has a smaller carbon footprint as compared to a wood stove. 

Also, pellets are made of scrap wood. In a way, these stoves facilitate recycling and do not release too much CO2. 

6. Style

Both wood stoves and pellet stoves are available as freestanding stoves and inserts. The insert stoves are handy when you have a pre-existing fireplace. 

Therefore, appearance-wise they’re both attractive and come in different sizes to meet your heating requirements. Some are aesthetically appealing to fit in your beloved home decor and make the place look even better. 

7. Safety Concerns

Pellet stoves are safer as they equip an automatic shutoff feature, where the stoves detect unusual temperature shut down automatically. Most pellet stoves also have a pressure switch which causes it to turn off when the ash door is kept open. These features keep the risk of a fire hazard to a minimum. 

Even for reasons related to health, using wet wood can cause harmful residues to come out that may cause rashes, coughs, and irritation in the skin and eyes.  

8. Ease of Use

You will need some experience to get accustomed to both units, which will only come with time. However, a pellet stove consists of a thermostat which makes it easier to control. 

It would be best if you stocked firewood outside in a dry area. As we have noted earlier, wet wood can damage the stove and lead to harmful particles. Since pellets are usually sold as 40lbs bags, it is impractical to carry around that bag every time you need to refill. 

Not all hoppers have 40lbs capacity, so it is wise to store the pellets closer to the stove in a dry and covered place. 

9. Energy Efficiency

This term describes how much fuel is required to produce a certain amount of heat. Studies have shown that pellet stoves have an energy rating of a whopping 80% as opposed to wood stoves with 60%

This basically means that a wood stove requires more fuel, wood in this case, to produce the same amount of heat as a pellet stove, which will consume less energy or pellet. Since pellet stoves have greater efficiency, they also have a lower rate of emissions.

10. Flame

A wood stove gives out an authentic glowing flame which is breathtaking to look at. They instantly light up the place with their sparkling fire with a crackling sound. 

Pellet stoves, on the other hand, operate more quietly. The sound it emits is the fan that keeps the airflow in check and the motor that pushes the pellets from the hopper to the burn pot. Of course, a pellet stove gives out a dazzling fire, but it is not as vibrant as the one that wood stoves emit. 


This brings us to the big question, wood stove or pellet stove, which one is better? 

Each of these stoves has its own set of merits and demerits. A wood stove may cost more than a pellet stove, but running the latter requires electricity as well as pellets. A wood stove may give an authentic flame, but a pellet stone is much more energy-efficient with low emissions. It is easy to procure and store wood as compared to pellets. But a pellet stove is safer and environmentally friendly.

This isn’t a competition about which one is better; it is about which one is better for you. Read through the features and benefits of both these stoves and choose which one satisfies your needs the most. 

There is no one answer to which stove is the best. How well you use it, clean and maintain it, decides its performance. How much you use it decides if it gives you the value of money. YOU have the power to choose the stove you like the most.

We hope this article on Pellet Stove Vs Wood Stove helped you. We’ve done our research to present this article; however, you are the master of your own decisions!