Pellet stoves have enjoyed considerable popularity for many years. They offer a lot of convenience factors, and many people choose them over wood burning stoves because they are easier to light, carbon neutral, and often cheaper to use.
However, it’s important to consider a product’s durability as well as its day-to-day use, especially when making an expensive purchase such as a pellet stove or wood burning stove.
In this article we’re going to look at how long pellet stoves usually last, tips to make them last longer, and what kind of pellets you should be using.
How Long Do Pellet Stoves Last?
Pellet stoves have many different parts, which makes it difficult to judge how long they last. After all, if you’ve replaced every part of the pellet stove, is it still the same pellet stove, or is it a new one?
However, you can expect the structure of a pellet stove to last well, though perhaps not as long as a wood burning stove. On average, they last 15-20 years, while a wood burning stove can do 20-25 years. This isn’t a massive difference, but if you’re thinking of the very long term, a wood burning stove represents better durability.
You also need to consider the different parts of the pellet stove which can go wrong. Igniters, fan motors, door gaskets and control boards may all need replacing at some time, though this should be manageable and won’t spell the end of your pellet stove enjoyment.
In short, pellet stoves last well, and represent a great investment for the long-term heating of your home.
On Average, How Long Can I Expect To Keep Using My Pellet Stove?
The average for a pellet stove may be 15-20 years, but remember that some will last much longer, and others won’t even make that. If you use your pellet stove constantly, it’s going to wear out faster than if it only gets occasional use – and pellet stoves are designed to be used very often.
However, a pellet stove is pretty durable, even with lots of use. You should expect it to last over a decade, though you may be rather lucky to get more than two out of it.
Careful maintenance and thorough care should help to increase its life expectancy, which we’ll expand on later.
Which Brand Of Pellet Stove Lasts Longest?
Of course, there are lots of different pellet stove brands, and choosing the best is challenging, especially when it comes to long-lived products.
It’s hard to get recommendations from friends and family, because they might have an old brand that was great when they bought it, but has dramatically dropped in quality since then.
Longevity won’t be the only factor when it comes to choosing your pellet stove, but it is a pretty big one, especially given the cost.
You will have to have a chimney installed as well, so you aren’t looking at a throwaway purchase by any stretch of the imagination; this is a commitment, and you want it to last.
Some brands have managed to make a name for themselves in recent years for being particularly reliable. Make sure you always read up on reviews and consider other factors such as burn power and space requirements before making a purchase.
US Stove Ashley Pellet Stove
At $899, the US Stove Ashley Pellet Stove isn’t the most expensive on the market (though it isn’t cheap, either!) and it has great heat potential, being both powerful and compact. They also have an efficiency rating of 85%, and an output capacity of 48,000 BTU.
So, what about durability? It’s never easy to know how long a product will last because all available products are new to the market – and therefore don’t have lots of people saying “mine lasted me centuries!!”
However, the brand advertises the lifespan as 10 to 12 years, which is probably a conservative estimate, and isn’t bad overall. If you look after your stove, you can probably expect it to do longer than that.
US Stove Wiseway
With an even better life expectancy, this pellet stove does come at a significantly higher cost of around $1599.99. It has a lower output capacity of 40,000, and its efficiency rating is only 75%, so the Ashley Pellet Stove is beating it on both of those factors.
However, the brand advertises their life expectancy as 12 to 15 years, so if durability is a particularly important aspect to you, this is well worth considering as an option. The higher price could represent a cost saving in how soon you’ll need to replace the stove.
Summers Heat 55-SHP22
This stove is the most expensive on the list, at a cost of $1799.99. It has lots of useful features such as one-touch start, but doesn’t come with an efficiency rating, which makes it hard to compare to the other two brands.
Its output capacity can match the Stove Ashley, also at 48,000 BTU, and it also has an advertised lifespan of 10-12 years. It’s a better option if you want a high-end pellet stove with lots of features, but it may not represent significantly better durability.
How Can I Make My Pellet Stove Last Longer?
As with most fires, regularly maintaining and cleaning your pellet stove will help improve its life expectancy. Remove ash and clean off any build-up which has started to gather in the stove.
Clean out the burn pot and the fuel feed components frequently, even as often as every day, to prevent blockages or potential damage. You should inspect them when you add fuel to the stove, and give them a proper deep clean after approximately one ton of fuel has been added to the stove.
Vacuum out the inside of the hopper and wipe down the insides of the stove to remove ash and build-up regularly. If you use your stove a lot, you will need to clean it more frequently. However, don’t clean it while it’s hot; allow the parts to cool before you clean them.
Keep an eye on your burn and the ash it produces to check if the stove is running efficiently. The ash should be white or light gray; if you see dark ash, your burn is probably too low. Equally, dull orange flames as opposed to bright yellow ones indicate that the burn is low. Lots of soot and smoke also indicate a problem.
To get a better burn, adjust the air damper and the feed openings to improve the airflow. Open the air damper gradually while a flame is burning to get the precise position for a good burn. This is best done once the stove has been cleaned, and you should use the manufacturer’s instructions as stoves may vary.
Once you’ve adjusted the damper, keep an eye on the stove’s production and see if you notice an improvement. The glass should stay clean for longer, and the ash you empty out should be white and powdery.
Regularly maintaining your stove and maximizing the efficiency with which it works will improve its expected life span because it will put less stress on the components, and allow you to burn less fuel overall.
You should also look out for any parts which are failing and replace them promptly. Being proactive about repairs prevents a faulty component from putting extra stress on other components, and means your stove is more likely to keep functioning properly.
Always choose a qualified professional to replace parts on your pellet stove.
Does Using A Particular Fuel Make Your Pellet Stove Last Longer?
Of course, what you feed your stove will also affect its lifespan. Your stove manufacturer may recommend a specific kind of fuel for use with the stove, but a good rule of thumb is that small pellets are better.
Small pellets will burn more efficiently and completely, while large pellets can cause blockages and may clog up the feed opening. You may also end up with partially burned pellets, which you might have to remove if they won’t burn properly.
Choosing a small feed reduces the stress on the stove as a whole, allowing it to burn well and thoroughly, and ensuring that fuel is completely burnt. Pay attention to the manufacturer recommendations, but where possible, opt for smaller pellets to keep your stove working well.
No pellet stove will last forever, but it’s worth taking the time to find out how to look after them, and regularly maintaining your pellet stove.
Clean it out and use the best fuel you can find; you will get the optimal results and increase the lifespan of your pellet stove.
Keep an eye on how the stove is burning and the ash it’s producing, and clean it out frequently when it’s in use.
This might feel like a chore, but it will stop you from needing to replace the stove too soon, and given how expensive they are, that’s important!
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All the best
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