Cost of Operation of a Pellet Stove vs. Gas

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Pellet and gas stoves have many differences. A pellet stove can be free-standing, connected only by a flue to an outer wall, while gas stoves must be more grounded into a gas line. A pellet stove needs a constantly supply of fuel that must be inserted by hand, while a gas stove is connected to a long-lasting gas tank refilled professionally, or to a gas line with unlimited gas. A pellet stove produces a warm, fiery glow, while the flames of a gas stove are small and tend to be bluish or more difficult to see. When it comes to cost, the two differ depending on location.

Pellet and Gas Stoves

  • Pellet stoves use small bundles of compacted wood chips placed in the stove in a hamper and burned to supply heat. Gas stoves use a connected to a gas source to supply a stream of gas into the fireplace, which is ignited to produce heat. The operation costs of both these stoves can be similar, but depend in large part on location. In some places, natural gas might be more expensive to transport, while pellets are manufactured nearby and cost little. In other places the opposite may be true. Usage is also important for both stoves--a gas stove used occasionally will be much less expensive to run than a gas stove used constantly.

Pellet Cost

  • Pellets come in 40-lb. bags that cost between $3 and $4 as of 2010, which brings the cost to between $120 and $200 per ton. Homeowners who use pellet stoves as a main source of heat tend to use between two and three tons per year, which brings the price between $400 and $500. Costs may be less in areas where pellets are produced.

Gas Cost

  • Gas costs depend on the size of the building being heated, which directly affects how long the stove must be run. Generally, a stove used for 12 hours a month will cost around $4 per month to use as of 2010. Stoves used for sources of primary heat will probably be run much more often, leading to prices around $33 per month, also around $400 per year. This leads to costs comparable with pellet stoves, but location also makes a difference for natural gas.

Installation Costs

  • Pellet stoves tend to cost between $1,700 and $3,000 to install as of 2010, depending on size and placement. Gas stoves also are in that range, depending especially on exterior appearance, but tend to cost slightly less, falling between $1,000 and $3,500 for installation as of 2010.

Extra Costs

  • Extra costs are associated with both stoves, but especially pellet stoves. The user must take time and spend money on transportation to replenish pellets throughout the year. Gas stoves may require extra installation costs in a gas line that is not already installed for a fireplace.

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References

  • Photo Credit Old Stove and Antique Chair image by bawinner from Fotolia.com
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