October 30, 2022 3:29 am


To keep a house at a comfortable temperature, heating, and cooling systems are essential but which one is better: pellet stove vs heat pump? Central, ductless heating and cooling may seem like the logical solution, but it’s not always a viable alternative.

That’s where some people start comparing heat pumps to pellet stoves. Heat pumps are more efficient but more expensive to set up. For those on a tight budget, pellet stoves can provide adequate heating while still being relatively easy to set up.

pellet stove vs heat pump

Pellet Stove Vs Heat Pump

To heat and cool a home, heat pumps have been used since the 1970s. However, they were not very effective back then. Because of their low efficiency, most households would need a backup heater.

As of right now, though, that is no longer the case. Most of them are what you’d call “all-climate” units, meaning they function fine even when the temperature drops into the negatives. Even in the coldest climes, a single heat pump may provide adequate heating for a whole house. Even in business settings, heat pumps are a common choice for heating.

In contrast, the efficiency of a stove that burns wood or pellets is lower. A pellet-burning stove could warm a small apartment, but anything larger is quite unlikely. To warm the rest of the house, a secondary heating system is required. Forget about using a pellet stove for commercial heating purposes.

Pricing For Acquisition

This is one of the primary distinctions between the two. That’s why some people choose a pellet stove over a heat pump. Heat pumps are more expensive to install than pellet stoves.

A pellet stove can be had for as little as a few hundred dollars. For comparison, the cost of a heat pump can range from a couple of thousand dollars to well over ten thousand, depending on the brand and the number of added features. The initial cost of a pellet stove may be enough to convince some homeowners to make the switch.

Running Expenses

While there is a clear winner in terms of upfront investment, running costs are an important factor to consider. After all, you can’t expect free use of your heating system.

Pellet stoves are often higher than heat pumps, despite being significantly more cost-effective to purchase and install. Depending on the efficiency of the device, running a heat pump for an entire year might cost around $1,350.

Meanwhile, the annual operating costs for a pellet stove average around $2,000. That could drop to around $2,000 if your stove is EPA-approved. The stove requires more maintenance and costs more to operate than a heat pump, which can help to offset the higher purchase price.


A pellet-burning stove‘s higher operating expenses can be attributed, in part, to the stove’s high efficiency. They transfer heat rather than produce it. That implies it uses less power than other common heating methods.

On the contrary, heat pumps can generate energy at a higher rate than they consume it. Stoves that burn pellets are more efficient than ever before, but there is one important catch. It also costs energy to maintain an auxiliary heat source.

If you use a lot of different heating methods, your house could get overly hot. That necessitates compensatory window opening, which is a waste of energy. There’s also the time and money cost of tracking out a dependable supply of pellets to burn.


The good news is that neither solution requires installing ducting. Therefore, either can be easily installed, however it is recommended that a professional do it.

You’ll need a much bigger hole for a pellet stove than you would for a heat pump. Ductless mini-splits have a smaller footprint, so you’ll need a smaller vent opening to release the exhaust.


Another consideration is the optimal location for your heater. The good news is that ductless systems may be installed in practically any place. You can add it to your house or utilize it in a sunroom, shed conversion, or garage apartment with little trouble. Your home can even be heated with ductless technology.

In this case, it’s good news that you aren’t noticing any substantial variations between the units. In terms of aesthetics and functionality, you have a wide variety of options to choose from.

However, you’ll need adequate room to work with if you want to put in a stove. Not only that, but you’ll also need storage for things like pellets and pokers.

If there is a hissing coming from your pellet stove, it needs cleaning.

Sustainable Factors to Think About

Not only does your decision affect the environment in terms of energy use, but also a variety of other ways. Here is where a heat pump and a pellet-burning stove diverge significantly.

If you have a pellet stove, you’ll need to stock up on pellets. You can do that all at once, or you can buy a lot of small bags of pellets and combine them into a big pile. Whether or not pellets are readily available is likely to vary depending on where you live.

The issue of polluted air must also be considered. There are hundreds of chemical components in wood and pellet smoke, many of which damage air quality and may contribute to bad health. Air quality issues may necessitate restrictions in some communities.


When compared to heat pumps, pellet stoves have a longer expected lifespan. Even though modern heat pumps are more energy-efficient than their predecessors, you may anticipate yours to last for no more than 20 years.

Instead, you can get a pellet-burning stove that will last for many years. The main difference is that you risk missing out on potential energy-saving improvements. Therefore, you will be losing money for as long as you use the stove, even if you can put off the expense of a replacement appliance.


If you’re trying to decide between a heat pump and a pellet stove, the difference in convenience may not be as great as you’re imagining. What model of device you choose is crucial.

Some pellet-burning stoves have automated pellet feeders. However, you will be responsible for maintaining the fire on your own. That’s quite inconvenient, and it also means finding somewhere to keep all your pellets until you need them.

With a heat pump, you just have to adjust the temperature once. There is mobile app access to software for most systems now. That means tweaking the system’s preferences is easier than ever before.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Using A Heat Pump

A heat pump has several advantages and disadvantages. One reason is that it’s the more cost-effective option for indoor heating. A heat pump provides excellent energy efficiency, which is increasingly important in modern times.

In addition to improving comfort, heat pumps can enhance indoor air quality. Indoor air quality is often disregarded. People with asthma and other respiratory conditions may feel better when the air quality improves. Additionally, it’s preferable to be able to breathe clean air.

The most significant drawback is the high cost of the initial setup. The cost of a heat pump installation might easily exceed $1,000. The initial outlay may be daunting, but the savings from increased efficiency will more than makeup for it over time.

Long-term upkeep costs for heat pumps are considerably higher. That can increase the time and money needed to complete the task.

The Benefits And Drawbacks Of Using A Pellet Stove

The use of a pellet-burning stove comes with its own set of advantages and disadvantages. Recycled pellets, for one, can be used. It also means committing to a smaller carbon footprint and less pollution than wood. For those worried about the planet’s future, that’s crucial information.

One of the best things about a pellet stove is how simple it is to keep clean. You won’t have to worry about as much upkeep or repair as you would with a heat pump.

The major drawback is that it requires storage space. A heat pump doesn’t require any extra room for storage. The pellets will need a place to be stored.

What’s more, you’ll need to track down a source for those pellets. Some online retailers exist, however it may be more convenient to choose a local source. A heat pump is more convenient, so that is a bigger hassle.

Final Thought

If you’re wondering whether a heat pump or pellet stove is right for you, it’s best to consider the pros and cons of each option. There’s no one-size-fits-all answer, as the decision depends on your specific needs and preferences. Ultimately, both options have their advantages and disadvantages that you’ll need to weigh before making a decision.

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