The answer to which is better wood or pellet appliances depends on you. Each type of stove has its own advantages and disadvantages depending on where and how the stove is going to be used. Your budget and dedication to professional maintenance are also important considerations. Tri County Hearth and Patio Center is here to help you evaluate and choose the make and model which is best for you.
Many inexperienced shoppers may think they should purchase the biggest unit they can afford. However, according to the Energy.gov website, ”When choosing a wood or pellet-burning appliance, it’s important to select one that’s properly sized for the space to be heated. When an appliance is too big, residents tend to burn fires at a low smolder to avoid overheating, which wastes fuel and is one of the biggest causes of air pollution. An under-sized unit will not provide sufficient heat. A good rule-of-thumb is that a stove rated at 60,000 British Thermal Units (Btu) can heat a 2,000-square-foot home, while a stove rated at 42,000 Btu can heat a 1,300-square-foot space.”
Pros & Cons of Wood Heating
Wood stoves produce a beauty and warmth that adds ambiance to their functionality. If your power goes out, your wood stove can be a source of heat and light. There are no mechanical parts to a wood stove and the sound emitted is the crackling of the wood. Either you love or hate the smell of wood burning, and with a wood burning appliance, the smell is prominent. Even if you love the smell, certain health conditions may prevent you from being around burning wood and depending on your sensitivity, a pellet stove may be better tolerated. The abundance and relative low cost of obtaining wood has advantages over pellet burning appliances. However, cutting, splitting stacking, storing, and transporting wood must be a consideration. Some homeowners enjoy playing lumberjack, while others do not. You must also have a place to store the wood in a convenient and dry place.
Pros & Cons of Pellet Heating
For the most part, people choosing a pellet burning appliance do so for efficiency and ease of operation. While wood stoves do not need a source of power to operate, unless your pellet stove has a battery backup, it will not run without electricity. When ambiance is a factor, some pellet stoves have the ability to imitate wood burning stoves and fireplaces. Pellet stoves provide a better distribution of heat. Because of their high efficiency and temperature control features, pellet stoves have a more complex design, have more parts to malfunction, and need more maintenance. A running pellet burning appliance can also be noisy from the running fans. The cost and availability of pellets are always a consideration. The pellets used in pellet burning stoves are usually compressed sawdust, cherry pits, seeds, or corn. However, loading a pellet stove with pellets is a much easier operation and procedure and can almost be added at anytime. Pellet stoves offer the convenience of a gas appliance with controls of heat and a real wood fire, without the high costs of gas. The soot produced with a pellet stove is also considerably less than a wood stove. The added noise of the hopper and fan as well as the added maintenance are also points to keep in mind.
- A radiant heat source (wood) warms the furniture, floors, walls and other objects in your room. The blower heat (from a pellet appliance) warms the air.
- For your safety and proper functionality, professional installation should go hand in hand with your purchase without regard to the type of appliance you purchase.
- Professional annual cleaning of both wood and pellet appliances are essential to ensure they run properly.
Pellet and wood stoves typically cost between $800 and $4,000, with more complex pellet stoves usually being a little more expensive than their wood-burning counterparts. For more detailed recommendations and options, stop by our showroom at Tri County Hearth and Patio Center in Waldorf, MD.