How Much Does a Wood Pellet Stove Cost?

Last Updated on February 4, 2024
Written by CPA Alec Pow | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popinker

Wood pellet stoves have grown in popularity as an efficient and eco-friendly way to heat homes. But like any major appliance purchase, it’s important to understand the costs involved before making an investment.

This guide breaks down the key expenses to expect when buying and operating a pellet stove so you can determine if it’s the right affordable heating option for your home.

A wood pellet stove allows you to heat your home using compressed wood pellets as fuel. The stoves burn very clean and release far less emissions than traditional wood-burning stoves. Pellet stoves are energy-efficient and use a renewable fuel source. They also don’t require venting like a gas or oil furnace.

But while pellet stoves offer environmental benefits and can lower your heating bills, the initial purchase price and installation costs are more than a traditional furnace.

It’s very important to understand these upfront expenses, as well as the ongoing costs of pellet fuel and maintenance. This allows you to accurately calculate the long-term savings and decide if a pellet stove is truly budget friendly for your household.

How Much Does a Wood Pellet Stove Cost?

The stove itself will be your biggest upfront investment. Entry-level pellet stove prices typically range from $1,500 to $3,000. More advanced models with larger heating capacities, extra features, and prominent brand names can cost between $3,000 to $5,000. Built-in versions designed as fireplace inserts start around $3,000.

Beyond the stove itself, plan for several hundred dollars in installation costs. This includes labor for placing and connecting the stove, as well as venting and permits. Some dealers include free basic installation with purchase. Overall, you can expect to spend $2,500 to $5,000 for a complete pellet stove installation.

According to, the cost of a pellet stove can range between $1,500 – $5,000, with prices varying based on the complexity of the unit. Additionally, the price of a 40-pound bag of wood pellet fuel ranges between $4 to $9, and the cost for one ton of pellet stoves is approximately $250 to $380. sells wood pellet stoves and the prices are listed as follows:

  • Osburn 2500 Pellet Stove: Special Price $3,999.00, Regular Price $4,599.00
    PelPro EPA Certified Pellet Stove with 150 lb. Hopper (PP150): Special Price $1,799.00, Regular Price $2,159.00
    PelPro EPA Certified Pellet Stove with 70 lb. Hopper (PP70): Special Price $1,699.00, Regular Price $2,039.00
    PelPro EPA Certified Pellet Stove with 60 lb. Hopper (PP60-B): Special Price $1,529.00, Regular Price $1,835.00. writes that the average cost of a pellet stove is around $2,000 for the unit alone, excluding the labor cost to have it installed. The average cost to install a pellet stove is around $2,280, with most homeowners paying between $1,013 and $3,570 for the installation.

Factors that affect the total initial cost include:

  • Stove size and heating capacity – Larger and more powerful stoves cost more. Prices vary greatly based on the home square footage the stove can effectively heat.
  • Efficiency rating – More efficient units save more on fuel but have a higher purchase price. Look for stoves with a rating of at least 78% efficiency.
  • Features – Options like programmable thermostats and automatic pellet feeding add convenience but increase costs.
  • Brand – Major brands like Enviro, Harmon and QuadraFire are priced higher than lesser-known Pellet brands.
  • Venting requirements – Home layout and stove type determine what venting is needed, from $500 to $2,000+ in additional expenses.
  • Installation – Type of install (freestanding or fireplace insert) and technician fees of $80-$150/hour.

While wood pellet stoves have high upfront costs, they pay off in the long run through significant energy savings and lower heating bills. The initial investment of $3,000 to $6,000 can lead to over 50% in annual savings compared to electric or oil heat.

And with current government incentives, purchasing a pellet stove is more affordable than ever.

What Are Wood Pellet Stoves?

To understand the costs of pellet stoves, it helps to first know what they are and how they function. Pellet stoves burn compressed wood pellets made from sawdust and wood residues. The pellets are fed into a burn pot using an electric auger system. As the pellets burn, a blower circulates heated air into the room.

Some advantages of pellet stoves include:

  • Energy efficiency – They provide more heat with less fuel due to complete combustion and heat exchangers that re-circulate warmth.
  • Eco-friendly – Wood pellets are a renewable fuel source and emit far less pollution than other heating options.
  • Convenient – Many models have hoppers that hold enough pellets to last 24-72 hours, and automatic feeding systems.
  • Thermostats – Most stoves allow you to set a desired temperature and will adjust fuel feeding accordingly.
  • Zone heating – Freestanding stoves effectively heat single rooms or zones, allowing you to lower thermostats elsewhere.

Pellet stoves require an exhaust vent and many models require electricity to power the auger and blowers. Proper installation is key for efficiency and safety.

Annual Operating Costs of Pellet Stove Heating

The major ongoing cost of a pellet stove is purchasing wood pellets, which can vary in price based on your region. Expect to pay anywhere from $200 to $300 per ton of pellets.

With bulk delivery, the per-pound cost is often lower. A reputable pellet brand certified for low ash content is recommended.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a chimney cap, furnace ignitor, or fire extinguisher ball.

To determine your potential annual pellet costs, consider that a typical pellet stove will burn through 2 to 3 tons of pellets per year for an average-sized home.

At $250/ton, this equates to approximately $500 to $750 in yearly fuel costs. Those heating larger homes or in colder climates may use 4-5 tons annually.

Compare this to the average household spending $1200 to $2200 per year to heat with oil, gas, or electric. Heating with pellets can save the average homeowner over $1000 in annual fuel costs. And pellet prices remain far more stable than volatile propane or heating oil.

Other factors that determine the yearly costs of pellet stove heating include:

  • Home insulation – Well-insulated houses will use less fuel.
  • Pellet stove efficiency rating – Units rated over 80% efficiency save more on fuel.
  • Electricity to run auger/blowers – Around 100-300 kWh per ton of pellets.
  • Thermostat setting and room usage – Setting the pellet stove lower when away saves pellets.

Maintenance Costs and Additional Expenses

Proper maintenance is required to keep your pellet stove running efficiently and safely. Plan on a professional yearly cleaning costing $100 to $200. This involves a thorough cleaning of the burn pot, heat exchangers, venting, and internal components.

You should also clean the glass window and empty the ash bin weekly during peak heating season. About 1-2 gallons of pellets leaves around 2-4 cups of ash waste each week. Disposal costs are minimal but factor in some time for weekly cleaning.

Some additional potential expenses to factor in when budgeting for a pellet stove include:

  • Venting installation – Most stoves need vertical or horizontal venting at $500+ in parts and labor.
  • Home insulation upgrades – Investing in added insulation improves the stove’s efficiency.
  • Electrician fees – If wiring upgrades are needed during installation for thermostat connections.
  • Hopper clean-out – Annual cleanout of pellet debris – $100-150 service call.
  • Gaskets/seals – Replace worn or broken door gaskets every few years – $50-75 in parts.
  • Igniter replacements – Hot igniter rods will eventually need replacement at $150-300.

Proper maintenance and smart operation will minimize any additional costs and keep your pellet stove heating for years. While not maintenance-free, pellet stoves entail less annual service than a ducted furnace or boiler.

Government Incentives and Long-Term Savings

Normal Pellet StoveSeveral government incentives are available to lower the upfront costs of buying a pellet stove:

  • Federal tax credits – 26% of the purchase and install costs, up to $300.
  • Utility rebates – Check with your local utility for rebates of $300-$1000.
  • State/local incentives – Grants or discounted pellet fuel in some states like MA, NY, and OR.
  • Low-interest financing – 0% financing deals from some retailers and manufacturers.

These incentives combined with the high efficiency and lower heating bills make wood pellet stoves a great long-term investment. While the upfront cost is higher, most homeowners see a positive return on investment after just a few years of oil or electric heat savings.

Pellet stoves also provide independence from fluctuating energy prices. And as a renewable energy source, they have a smaller carbon footprint than fossil fuel heating. The US Department of Energy estimates correctly sized pellet stoves can have a payback period of just 2-4 years.

Final Words

If you’ve budgeted for a wood pellet stove and want to maximize savings, here are some tips for choosing the right model:

  • Take time to calculate your home’s heating requirements based on climate, layout and insulation. This determines the ideal BTU output and stove size. Oversized stoves waste fuel while undersized models won’t heat sufficiently.
  • Look for the highest tested efficiency and low emissions ratings. Models certified over 80% efficiency save the most on pellet usage.
  • Consider a programmable thermostat model for the greatest convenience and fuel savings. This allows heating schedules customized for when you are home or away.
  • Compare warranty coverage between brands. Longer warranties (5-10 years) provide more peace of mind and can help justify a higher purchase price.
  • Research pellet availability and prices in your region. Knowing what high quality pellets will cost long-term is key for budgeting.
  • Prioritize safety certifications and features like automatic shutdown if the flame goes out. Your family’s safety is most important.
  • Calculate total cost of ownership over 10-15 years rather than just focusing on the lowest initial price. Efficient and durable stoves save more over time.
  • Consider any extra installation needs unique to your home layout and factor these into the overall budget.

Taking the time to learn about the costs of pellet stoves will pay off in long run savings and effective home heating. Focus on quality and the right size stove for your needs. With a small initial investment, you can reduce your heating bills and environmental impact for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long will a 40 lb bag of wood pellets burn?

A standard 40 lb bag of wood pellets will provide between 10 and 20 hours of burn time in an average pellet stove. The actual amount of heat and burn time per bag depends on the stove’s BTU output and efficiency rating.

For a powerful stove with heat output of 60,000 BTUs or more, a 40 lb bag may provide just 10-15 hours of use. Smaller stoves under 40,000 BTU may get up to 20 hours per bag.

It also depends how frequently the stove cycles on and off during use. In general, expect around 1-2 days of heat from a 40 lb bag in a well-insulated home.

Is it expensive to run a pellet stove?

The cost to run a pellet stove is very manageable compared to electric, propane, or fuel oil heating. The bulk cost of wood pellets is $200-$300 per ton, and they are very energy efficient. With an average use of 2-3 tons per year, most homeowners spend $500-$750 annually on pellets for a freestanding pellet stove sized properly for their space.

This provides over 50% savings compared to the $1200 to $2200 that many families spend per year on other heating fuels. Pellet stove heating costs are on par with natural gas but offer more flexibility on placement and zone heating.

The key is buying in bulk and finding quality pellets at low prices. With smart operation during the heating season, a pellet stove is one of the most cost-effective ways to heat a home.

Is it cheaper to burn wood or pellets?

For most homes, burning wood pellets is more affordable overall than a wood stove burning cordwood. Wood pellets have more concentrated energy by weight since all the moisture has been removed during production.

Pellet stoves also burn fuel more efficiently through auto-feeding and complete combustion, wasting less heat up the chimney. Cordwood requires more storage space and produces more ash that needs removal.

Pellets are typically measured and priced by the ton, averaging $250 per ton. Cordwood averages $200 per cord, but you may need 2-3 cords to equal the heat output of 1 ton of dense pellets.

The convenience of pellets for auto-feeding stoves also factors in for many homeowners. For maximum heating at minimum cost, wood pellets come out ahead of cordwood.

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