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How Much Does a Wood Pellet Stove Cost?

Author: Brian Eckert

Wood Pellet Stove Prices

Wood pellet stoves use compressed pellets that resemble rabbit feed and, when burned, produce only minimal amounts of ash and creosote. Pellet stoves are also easy to light and produce a constant temperature as pellets are automatically fed from the hopper to the combustion chamber. Continue reading to learn more about the different types of pellet burning stoves and how much they cost to install.

Pellet Burning Stove Options

Pellet stoves can be divided into the following broad categories:

Freestanding vs. Insert

If you already have a fireplace, consider installing a pellet stove insert, or a unit that is placed into the existing firebox. Pellet stove inserts typically utilize the existing chimney for ventilation, although there are also vent-free fireplace inserts that require no chimney.

Freestanding pellet stoves can be placed anywhere in the home, but some modifications will need to be made to ensure proper ventilation. Like an insert, a freestanding pellet stove can vent through the existing chimney or be vent-free. Additional ventilation options include natural draft (vent through the roof), and direct-vent (ventilation takes place through a pipe that goes through the wall behind the unit or above the unit through the roof).

Top-Fed vs. Bottom-Fed

In a top-fed pellet stove, the pellets move from a hopper at the top of a stove down into the combustion chamber, whereas in a bottom-fed pellet stove, pellets are directed into the combustion chamber from the bottom. Cleanup of a bottom-fed stove tends to be easier.

Size

While the actual size of a pellet stove—and in particular the size of the pellet hopper—should be considered when calculating your heating needs, a more important figure is the heat load, measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour (Btu/h). According to Consumer Reports, you’ll need a pellet stove that puts out at least 5,000 Btu/h in order to heat a 200 square foot area. Other factors that affect heating capacity include your local climate, the number of windows in a given space, the home’s insulation, and the presence of a heated space above or below the room.

Pellet Types

A typical pellet stove burns pellets made from sawdust or woodchips. While the size of wood pellets is uniform, there are two quality grades: premium (less than 1% ash content) and standard grade (between 1% and 3% ash content).

It is also possible to buy a multi-fuel pellet stove, which can burn not only wood pellets, but also those made from corn, what, cherry and olive pits, waste paper, and grass.

Pellet Stove Average Costs

The actual cost of a pellet stove depends on the size and type of the unit, your location, the complexity of the installation, and other factors.

  • Expect to pay a minimum of $1,000 for a wood pellet stove and as much as $4,000 or more.
  • Multi-fuel stoves cost $1,500 to $3,000.
  • A freestanding pellet stove will require a hearth pad that costs $250 to $500.
  • Pellet stove installation starts at $250 for a basic setup and could be $1,000+ depending on the type of ventilation.
  • A 40-lb bag of pellets cost $5 to $10 depending on the quality, or roughly $150 to $300 per ton. Consumer Reports estimates that it takes around $15 worth of pellets to produce 1 million BTUs.

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