Comparing Wood Stoves and Pellet Stoves: Which is Best for Heating Your Home?

A pellet stove burning wood pellets

Nothing says “autumn” like the crunch of leaves, the crispness in the air, the smell of homemade baked goods, and for homeowners, switching on the heating. Whether you use a furnace, wood stoves, pellet stoves, radiators, forced air, or any other variation of heating, you may not be using the most efficient type for your home.

As the days get shorter and the nights get colder, you’re going to want to heat your home as easily (and cheaply) as possible. LanChester Grill & Hearth has the best selection of gas, pellet, and wood stoves in the Lancaster and West Chester, Pa. areas. With a large selection of name brands, we want to take the time to go over some of the benefits of our favorite heating option—wood stoves and pellet stoves!

Wood Stoves

There’s not much that can beat the sound of a cozy, crackling fireplace in the winter. For some homeowners, being able to burn your own wood to heat a room or two in your house brings a certain sense of satisfaction and comfort that you just can’t get from other types of heating. But dealing with the mess and potential hazards from a fireplace can cause room for concern—which is where wood stoves come to the rescue!

Pros

Wood stoves are an excellent option for heating your home if you don’t have or want to use a fireplace. Even if it’s not your primary heat source, you can feel safe knowing you’ll still be able to keep your home warm if the power goes out during a snowstorm. Not only that, but you can save money by using your own wood, making it a very affordable and accessible option during the colder months. Plus, you can place the stove virtually anywhere in your home!

Cons

If you’re thinking about purchasing a wood burning stove, it’s essential that you understand any possible downsides you may face along the way. While modern wood burning stoves are more efficient than those of the past, they still produce smoke and release toxins into the outside environment. They also can be slightly more costly to install, depending on your home’s current setup.

Pellet Stoves

When you want the aesthetics of having a fireplace in your home, but are looking to save a little money and a bit of the environment, then pellet stoves are the way to go. Pellet stoves will give you all of the looks and amenities of a wood burning stove or fireplace, but with added safety and control features.

How Does a Pellet Stove Work?

So how exactly does a pellet stove work? In simple terms—wood pellets go in the top, and then pellets are delivered into the burn chamber where a small, hot fire is produced. Smoke is then exhausted outside through a vent, while hot air gets blown into your home. It’s as simple as that!

On a more in-depth look at pellet stoves, there are actually sensors within the stove that monitor how much fuel is going in at any given time. This ensures that there’s always a small fire burning and that fuel is being used as efficiently as possible.

Pros

Speaking of efficiency, pellet stoves are extremely environmentally friendly and produce less than 1 gram of smoke per hour. The pellets are also mostly recycled “wood waste” made of sawdust and other particles that produce a very low amount of CO2 when burned.

While pellet stoves help keep the environment safer, their sensors are also very efficient at keeping your home safe. Pellet stoves can be shut down automatically via temperature monitors within the stove, plus they have pressure switches that will shut off the stove if something isn’t working correctly.

Cons

Like we mentioned before, it’s important to understand that any type of heating system will have its drawbacks. For pellet stoves, the biggest drawback is that they run on electricity. So if you use it as a primary source of heat, you could lose that heat source during a winter storm when it’s needed most.

It’s also important to consider that wood pellets may not be readily available to you. If you run out, you can’t use wood from outside to heat your home and will have to purchase more pellets.

Can You Convert a Wood Stove to a Pellet Stove?

The simple answer to this question is no—you cannot convert a wood stove into a pellet stove. While there are baskets that can be inserted into wood stoves to contain pellets, it’s not an efficient use of the pellets. In addition, adding a basket will not give you the luxury of the automatic pellet feeder that comes with pellet stoves.

On the other hand, if you currently have a wood burning stove and want to purchase a pellet stove, you may already have the exhaust setup you need for a pellet stove. If you don’t, it will still likely be an easier installation that may only require a liner for your current chimney. Your best bet is to talk to the professionals at LanChester Grill & Hearth!

Brands We Carry

Now that you’ve decided on purchasing a wood stove or pellet stove, the next step is figuring out what brand will best suit your needs. At LanChester, we carry two of our favorite wood, pellet, and gas stove brands from Supreme Stoves  and Lopi Stoves. We invite you to come down to our showroom and check out these stoves for yourself!

No matter what brand you go with, the professionals at LanChester will work with you to help you determine what will best fit all of your needs. Contact us today with any questions about our stoves!

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