View Full Version : Pellet stoves

Ed Burnett
07-23-2009, 04:16 AM
Does anyone have any experience of pellet stoves?

Specifically, I am looking at one of these jobs: http://www.enviro.com/fireplace-products/pellet/freestanding-fireplace.html#mini

I have heard that pellet stoves in general can be noisy (fans, feed augers etc.) and I am also wondering if they can be tempremental in operation.

If anyone is able to share some experience I would be grateful.



bob winter
07-23-2009, 05:28 AM
My BIL had one. It worked but I always thought that a regular wood stove would have been just as good and a damn sight cheaper. For one thing, they won't work if the power goes out. Also, they need regular maintenance and thorough cleaning.

The advantage, of course, is that the pellets are cleaner to handle than wood.

Ed Burnett
07-23-2009, 05:43 AM
Thank you Bob,

I have a wood stove at present, albeit not a particularly good one. Certainly an upgrade of this this would be the cheaper option, but as things stand I have to buy in firewood and the convenience and automation of the pellet option is attractive.

I know the pellet stoves require power, but this is no different to a gas or oil fired boiler and either of these are less attractive as fuels for various reasons.

Anyway, thanks for the input. Any more from others would be welcome.


07-23-2009, 06:34 AM
My neighbor is happy with his. Some pellets are better than others. The cheaper ones produce more ash and don't burn as well.


07-23-2009, 07:16 AM
They are just appearing here, but we've got an abundance of wood so I went for a firebox style heater instead. If they don't take and the pellet supply dries up I'd be stuck with a lemon. But having seen a few in operation they seemed to work OK.

07-23-2009, 08:03 AM
Older models had problems with the supply augers binding as well as burn backs into the supply hopper creating a potential fire hazard.I believe the newer models have addressed these problems.That being said if you burn them daily the unit will require weekly cleaning and maintenance. What Steven said about the pellets is true.Most stoves are sensitive to pellet size and moisture content which affects how well the pellets stay in one piece.Here in Nova Scotia where we have one large producer of pellets the price has risen from $5.00 to $7.00 a bag over the past year and last winter supplies were limited.Here you would be competing with other uses for the bio mass source,(ie.wood chips), so the price will inevitably rise. Check with your insurance company as some didn't favour pellet stoves and placed a high premium on their policies.Best of luck.


07-23-2009, 11:32 AM
Check out the $/therm for pellets vs. other fuels. Last time I looked, pellet fuel was way up there.

07-23-2009, 01:33 PM
We have a pellet stove in the basement which we fire up a few times each winter to dry things out to prevent mildew. Aside from that I think they're overrated. Fine for the workshop but wouldn't want one in the living room.

07-23-2009, 03:09 PM
I was astonished to see one on display at an agricultural fair, inside an exhibition room .. no chimney... totally fume less.. or rather totally smoke less...all you could see was the wavy heat air vapour stuff. coming out the top.( sorry to be so technical) and it certainly whacked out the heat...I really thought it was a wind-up.... I was all over it, sure it was gas fired or something...of course they don't sell them to be used without chimnies, but impressive all the same .....total combustion, but expensive as using gas or oil fired CH so whats the point....

Ed Burnett
07-24-2009, 02:58 AM
Thank you all for your comments.

The price of the pellets themselves isn't too bad in this part of the world, and I can see myself heating the whole house pretty well for the same amount of money that I spent on firewood last year to heat downstairs. We get no mains gas (and bottled gas really is expensive), and I would prefer not to install a new oil system.

So, given these and various other practical considerations the pellets look to be a pretty good way to go. My concern really is the stoves themselves and whether or not they live up to the billing. Finding the right one for this installation isn't going to be easy, but there seem to be a couple of possibilities.

Thanks again.


Peter Kalshoven
07-24-2009, 07:58 AM
Ed, I work for a stove manufacturer who makes pellet stoves. Having said that, I will give you the answer that I give retailers when asked if they should sell what is to them a new product category.
Understand that these are a product that requires maintenence and occasional service. Qualify the customer, they are not for everybody. For the right customer, they work fine. My qualifying question is, "Do you now or have you ever changed your own oil on your car?" If they don't, then they might not do the regular maintenence that the stoves need to work well. And they do work well.