Utility costs are skyrocketing - salaries are plunging. Is a pellet stove the answer to your high utility costs and a way to make the most of your money? That depends. Learn the pros and cons of these popular stoves and see if they work for you.
Pros of pellet stoves
Watching a flickering flame makes you feel warm and cozy. Just having a pellet stove in your home may make you feel warmer for this reason alone, but there's another reason. Most pellet stoves heat anywhere from 1,500 to 2,200 square feet and many pellet stove owners say they've cut their utility bill in half by using their stove as their primary heat source and lowering their thermostat.
Pellet stoves come in many attractive models and burn pellets made from compressed sawdust from home building jobsites and lumber mills. Many pellet stoves are convenient to use with their programmable and remote control thermostats. They also hold a fire for long periods of time so load the stove in the morning and it still burns when you get home from work.
Summary of pros
-- Lower utility costs under certain conditions
-- Nice appearance
-- Use alternative fuel sources
-- Good for the environment because they burn compressed sawdust - a waste product
-- Pellet stoves don't contribute to global warming
Cons of pellet stoves
While pellet stoves heat a large area of your home, you need to take into consideration your home's layout. If you have a home with an open floor plan, you benefit from a pellet stove. However, if you have an older home with hallways and smaller individual rooms, a pellet stove won't be as effective for you.
If you don't have an open floor plan, only the room your stove is in is heated - maybe too much. The other rooms in your home won't receive any heat unless your run your central heating unit. This won't help you cut your utility bill and may in fact, increase it as you'll be paying for your heating costs plus the expense of the pellet stove and the fuel to operate the pellet stove.
There are also other drawbacks when it comes to pellet stoves -- namely, pellet stove prices. When considering an alternative heating source like one of these stoves figure in the cost of the actual stove, the cost of installation, the cost of the chimney pipe, maintenance, and cost of fuel.
Summary of cons
-- Availability of pellets rises and falls with the housing market
-- Older pellet stoves are inefficient
-- Smoke from pellets emit lung-damaging particles and pollutants
-- Heating efficiency depends on the floor plan of your home
-- Initial costs
-- Cost of maintenance
Check the price of pellet stoves and use the fuel value calculator to see if owning a pellet stove helps you save money.
Making the decision to purchase a pellet stove is personal and something only you can decide. Before you buy, weigh the pros and cons of owning one of these stoves. Sit down and crunch some numbers.