pellet stove in corner of the room
Photo: D. Trozzo/Alamy
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How They Stack up Against Woodstoves

The biggest difference between a pellet stove and its main competitor, a woodstove, is that, inside, the pellet stove is a high-tech device with a circuit board, a thermostat, and fans—all of which work together to heat your space efficiently. Here are the other key differences between the two.

Efficiency
Pellet:
Sixty to 80 percent of fuel is converted to heat for your home.
Wood:
Thirty to 80 percent (high end is for EPA-certified stoves made after 1990).

Maintenance
Pellet:
• High-quality pellets limit ashpan cleaning to once a week or less.
• Scrape the burn pot weekly to remove combustion residue and unburned pellets.
• Clean and inspect vents at the outset of heating season.
Wood:
• Remove ash every one to three days.
• Clean the chimney and inspect the stove and the door gasket at outset of heating season.
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