How do Pellet Stoves Work?

January 24, 2018

Pellet stoves are a great heating alternative to wood stoves and traditional fireplaces. Pellet stoves work as a secondary heat source and can help keep your home warm throughout the winter while also lowering your heating bills. But what exactly are pellet stoves, and how do they work? Let’s look at how a pellet stove works, the pros and cons of pellet stoves, and how it can save you money in the long run.

How do Pellet Stoves Work?


Pellet stoves run on, you guessed it, pellets. Unlike wood stoves and traditional fireplaces that run on wood, pellet stoves run on pellets composed of recycled wood materials such as sawdust and shavings. Because these pellets are made of recycled materials, they are relatively low in cost and are environmentally friendly.

Pellets also burn cleaner than traditional wood, as well as more efficiently. While not as cost effective as sourcing and seasoning your own wood, pellets still offer a cost savings in the long term, as they help lower your home heating costs.


Pellet stoves work completely differently than wood stoves. While both are heating alternatives, and both technically burn wood, that is about all they have in common. Wood stove fires must be manually built, stoked, and maintained, while pellet stoves pretty much manage themselves. Pellet stoves work by releasing pellets automatically from a hopper located on the top of the stove into the stove when more pellets are needed to maintain the set temperature.

Pellet stoves have an electrical component that keeps them functioning at the correct temperature. Because of this, they are very low maintenance and do not need to be “babysat” like a wood stove or fireplace does.

Pros and Cons of Pellet Stoves

Pellet stoves are a great option for families who want an alternate heat source without all the maintenance and work of a wood stove. Because pellet stoves use electricity to automatically reload themselves with pellets, they require less care than a wood stove or fireplace, which is a pro, but can also be a con.

Since the pellet stove uses electricity, it is not useful as an alternate heat source in the event of a power outage like a wood stove can be. And while pellet stoves save money on heating bills, pellets do cost more than wood sourced from your yard.

How to Get Your Own Pellet Stove

Pellet stoves are a great option for families who are on the go, but want to save on their heating expenses. If you are considering a pellet stove, or even a wood stove, call us at Fireside Stone and Patio today to discuss all of your options. Our team of Howard County, MD pellet stove experts can help you determine which heating solution is the perfect fit for your particular situation. We are a top Maryland pellet stove supplier and we’d love to work with you!