Gas Stove vs. Pellet Stove: Which is Best?
July 19, 2023
What Is The Difference Between A Gas And Pellet Stove?
The main difference between a pellet stove and a gas stove is the type of fuel that is used and how it is burned. A gas stove is directly connected to the house gas line. This provides an endless supply of fuel without requiring the need to refuel. A pellet stove has a hopper that holds the pellets that slowly dispenses into a burn pot. The average pellet stove can hold up to 50 to 70 hours worth of fuel. Each appliance has its pros and cons, it depends on what you are looking to accomplish with the supplemental heating appliance.
Factors Affecting Your Decision
The location of a gas or a pellet stove can come with some limitations. The location of current gas lines in a home may limit where you are able to place the stove. It may not be advantageous or a large undertaking to route a gas line to the room where you would like to place the stove. A pellet stove does not need access to gas, so it can be placed anywhere that is close to an electrical outlet. Most gas stoves require electricity as well.
Winner: Pellet Stove
Not needing a gas line can allow the stove to be placed anywhere.
Pellet stoves and gas stoves are in a similar price range, it depends on the size of the stove and options selected. The average cost of a pellet stove is around $3500. A gas stove can cost between $2000 and $4000, the more expensive being closer to the heat output of a pellet stove. The smaller gas stoves are not going to throw out a lot of heat like the pellet stoves but if you are just looking for a little supplemental heat a small gas stove will work.
Winner: Gas Stove
Depending on the heat you are looking to get the gas stoves have a broader range in cost which can provide savings.
Ensuring the gas or pellet stove is properly vented is very important. Pellet stoves require a pellet vent pipe or a chimney liner if you are venting the stove in an existing chimney. Pellet stoves are also able to be direct vented. However, there are limitations to the venting configuration. You must look carefully at the pellet stove installation instructions to determine the minimum clearances from windows and other features of a home when directly venting a pellet stove. You can also vent a pellet stove in a masonry chimney by installing a 3" or 4" stainless steel chimney liner. You can use the pellet vent pipe to connect the stove to the chimney liner with a thimble adapter.
Gas stoves are direct vent stoves that have many options and paths the vent pipe can take. Direct vent pipe consists of a 4" inner pipe for the exhaust and 6 5/8" outer pipe that serves as the fresh air intake. There is also a 5" inner and 8" outer direct vent pipe. The exhaust hole will dictate the size pipe you use. Make sure to look at the installation instructions for the minimum clearances and runs for the vent pipe. In most cases the pipe can run straight out of the back of the stove and through the side wall for horizontal venting. Direct vent stoves can also utilize an existing chimney for the vent. You will need to run a 4" or 5" liner down the existing masonry chimney and use a masonry chimney direct vent conversion kit to connect the liner to the direct vent pipe. The top kit of the conversion kit will allow the masonry chimney to act as the fresh air intake for the direct vent pipe.
Winner: Gas Stove
The venting paths of a gas stove can be very short and easier to install.
Fuel and Power Source
The fuel consumption is going to relate to how you are using the stove. A pellet stove is generally going to be used to heat more than a gas stove will be. It is very uncommon to use a gas stove to reduce home heating bills, it would be more advantageous to run the home's furnace or boiler. However, using a gas stove for some supplemental space heat can cost very little. A pellet stove will do a great job of reducing the heating bills. If you are using the pellet stove everyday as a true supplemental heat, the pellets will cost between $35 and $50 a month. You can lower your thermostat on the main heating appliance and save on the propane or fuel oil. The quality of the pellets is very important, you will have to constantly clean the exhaust and convection blowers if you have bad pellets. A good quality pellet is going to burn very clean and efficiently. Pellets are sold by the bag or can be purchased discounted by the ton.
While the cost of running a gas stove is low, a pellet stove can significantly reduce a home's heating cost when propane and fuel oil prices are high. Just make sure you are purchasing quality pellets.
Eco Friendliness. Pellet stoves burn cleaner than a wood stove. However, natural gas burns very clean. Though natural gas is not a renewable resource, over time the amount of people that use natural gas makes it a much greater cause of pollution than the population of people that are burning pellets.
Winner: Pellet Stove
You can’t beat a renewable resource.
Efficiency. Both gas and pellet stoves are very efficient. The average pellet stove will run around 70 to 75 percent efficiency rating. Gas stoves will run at around 68 to 72 percent AFUE rating. Natural gas burns much cleaner and more evenly than pellet stoves. You will never get a bad batch of natural gas which can make the efficiency rating more consistent. Low quality pellets and maintenance will significantly reduce the advertised efficiency rating. Ensuring the stove and vent is clean will make your pellet stove run at maximum efficiency.
Winner: Gas Stove
There are too many variables that can affect the efficiency of a pellet stove.
Safety. When installed correctly, gas and pellet stoves are both very safe. As long as the stove and stove pipe have the proper clearance from combustible materials, the appliances will be safe. A pellet stove is going to get a little hotter than a gas stove, so if you are worried about children touching the stove, a gas stove will be safer for them. A key component with the safety of the gas stove is going to be the proper gas line and gas connection. That is something you will not have to worry about with a pellet stove. Making sure the connection is tight and leak free is very important. Pellet stoves will need regular cleaning to prevent malfunctions.
Winner: Gas Stove
Gas stoves require less maintenance and lower chance for something to go wrong.
Which Stoves Do We Suggest?
All homes and individuals have different needs when looking for a stove appliance. If you are looking to lower your heating bills we would suggest a pellet stove. If you are just looking for some supplemental heat or to have a fire for the aesthetics of it, then a gas stove would be the stove for you.
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