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Pellet Stove Installation Cost

The average cost of installing a pellet stove is $3,400.

In this guide

Locations
Top vs bottom feed stoves
Freestanding vs insert
Heat
Fuel
Energy efficiency
Installation
Labor
Maintenance
Wood stoves vs pellet stoves
Enhancement and improvement costs
Additional considerations and costs
FAQ

How much does it cost to install a pellet stove?

Pellet stoves 1 are an efficient, economical, and aesthetic way to heat your home. They come in many sizes and styles and can be installed in many areas throughout your home. Costs vary depending on size and installation style, but most homeowners spend around $3,400 on a pellet stove 1 installed with a new vent pipe.

Locations

Pellet stoves are fairly versatile in where they can be installed, but they have some restrictions. They should ideally be placed along a wall for easy venting, approximately 6 inches from the wall, on a fireproof pad flooring material.

Some models can be vented back into the room. If you opt for the traditionally vented types, this limits you more because you must determine the best place to run a chimney. These stoves must be set 36 inches from furniture or drapes and be kept out of the path of foot traffic.

Also, consider the area you are heating. If you have an open floor plan, your pellet stove can more efficiently heat a larger area. But if you have smaller, sectioned rooms, then the stove needs vents and fans to reach larger areas, or you will only heat a single room.

If you have several locations where you can install the stove, keep in mind things like how far you will have to carry the pellets and where the pellets will be stored. You also need a 120-volt outlet near the stove’s final location.

Top vs bottom feed stoves

Pellet stoves are fueled by compressed, biobased pellets made from a mixture of wood, sawdust, food scraps, and other items. Those pellets are fed into the stove’s hopper, where they are conveyed to the combustion chamber. 

Pellet stoves have two different methods for conveying the pellets. The first is the top feed, where the pellets are placed in the top of the stove and fed down into the combustion chamber. This method has a lower chance of accidental fires but can lead to ash buildup, which can lower the efficiency of the stove. For this reason, if you use a top feed stove, you will likely need to use low-ash pellets.

Bottom feed stoves move the pellets from the bottom directly back into the combustion chamber. The flames may sometimes reach the hopper, but the ash itself drops harmlessly downward. Using this type of stove requires you to empty the ash collection about once a week.

Freestanding vs insert

Most pellet stoves are freestanding, meaning they resemble an old-fashioned wood stove in appearance, and can be installed nearly anywhere you have an outside wall. This provides greater flexibility in terms of installation and allows you to install a stove even if you do not have a fireplace.

Freestanding units need a fireproof pad installed below them or to be placed on a non-combustible floor like tile. You also need to install a chimney or vent for the stove. They have a broader range of styles and can be traditional or contemporary in appearance.

Inserts are designed to convert your existing fireplace into a pellet stove. They can use your existing chimney, but you may require a new liner, depending on age and condition. You may also need to have electricity run to the fireplace to run the insert, which can increase the project cost. However, you will not need a fireproof pad because the hearth is already in place.

Generally, in terms of price, inserts cost more on average than freestanding units, including installation. So while a freestanding unit with a new vent pipe and pad costs around $3,400, expect an insert installation to cost more than $4,000.

Heat

The job of a pellet stove is to produce heat. Stoves are rated by how much heat they can produce in BTUs. You want to size your stove directly to the size of the room or area that you are heating. Larger rooms and spaces require more BTUs and a larger stove.

The heat produced by the stove is dry and comfortable. The stove may allow the heat to radiate out naturally, or use fans to blow and direct the heat out into the room. To ensure even and consistent heating, keep the hopper section of the stove filled with pellets.

Fuel

Pellet stoves are fueled by a compressed biofuel made up of a variety of substances. Most contain a blend of wood scraps, sawdust, and food waste. They may be formulated differently to be more efficient, produce less ash, or provide a different aesthetic, such as resembling coal.

Most pieces of fuel, however, are made to look like compressed animal food pellets. They are lightweight and easy to feed into the stove. They cost roughly $5 for a 40-pound bag, and most places sell palettes of 50 bags for $250 so that you do not have to worry about running out of fuel.

Energy efficiency

Pellet stoves are considered energy-efficient because they convert between 60% and 80% of the pellets into heat. Some stoves and pellets provide higher efficiency. Partially due to this efficiency and the way that pellets are made, they are often considered an environmentally friendly way of heating your home. Some pellet types contain more post-consumer waste than others, making them even more environmentally friendly.

Installation

Pellet stoves are relatively simple to install. The stove type influences its installation to some degree but most install similarly. First, put a fireproof pad on the ground, and then set the stove on top. If you do not have an existing chimney and are venting outdoors, you need to cut into the wall and attach the chimney to the stove and exterior of the house. The opening will be caulked or sealed to prevent air leaks.

An air intake is used at the rear of the stove and may also connect to outside. Fire-resistant insulation is used to seal this section and the vent. After this, the stove is plugged in and filled.

When using an insert, only some of these steps are necessary because a hearth and chimney already exist. In most cases, the chimney needs to be relined, and an outlet installed nearby.

Labor

Labor costs vary for pellet stove installations, depending on the stove type and installation location. On average, expect to spend around $600 to $900 on labor for a freestanding stove and between $1,000 to $2,000 for a fireplace insert.

This makes the total for a freestanding stove around $3,400 on average, including the fireproof pad and chimney vent, while an insert costs around $4,000.

Maintenance

Pellet stoves are fairly low-maintenance. Beyond keeping them filled, you need to periodically either empty the ash tray for bottom-loading feeds or clean out the auger 2 in top-loading feeds. You may want to service the stove yearly or every other year to ensure that the circuit board and moving parts are in good condition. The original installer of the stove typically provides this service.

Wood stoves vs pellet stoves

An alternative to a pellet stove is a wood stove. Wood stoves look similar to the pellet stove from the outside. But a pellet stove uses a variety of circuits, moving parts, and electricity to function, while a wood stove is a simpler design. It consists of an opening you feed the wood into. This is the same opening the wood will burn in. So when you feed an already lit stove, you put the new wood directly into the fire. For a pellet stove, you put the pellets into the hopper away from the flames. 

Wood stoves also need to be vented but do not utilize fans or electricity to circulate the heat. Both methods of heating need a fireproof pad and chimney to be effective, and each can be fireplace inserts.

Wood is more expensive than pellets as well as less-efficient, with only 30% to 60% of the wood converting to heat. A cord of wood costs around $250 and does not last as long as a palette of pellets, and it also takes up more room. 

However, wood stoves can operate without electricity, while pellet stoves do not work during a power outage. Both have similar costs in set up, purchase, and installation.

Enhancement and improvement costs

Carbon monoxide detector

Pellet stoves do not produce as much carbon dioxide as wood stoves or other flame-based heaters, but they do produce some. Therefore, you need to install a carbon monoxide detector. They cost around $20 on average.

Back-up power Sspply

Pellet stoves cannot run without electricity. If you want to ensure continuous use, consider installing a generator for between $4,000 and $10,000

Metal ash vacuum

An ash vacuum can make cleaning the stove easier. They cost between $80 and $200 on average.

Window-mounted units

A window-mounted or direct-mounted pellet stove attaches directly to a wall or window to vent. They do not require a fireproof mat or chimney, keeping costs low. They start at around $700.

Additional considerations and costs

  • Any fire-based stove or appliance may increase your home insurance rates. Always inform your insurer after installation. Not doing so may void your coverage in the event of a fire.
  • You need to clean the vent occasionally. Brushes can make this easier and cost around $20.
  • You must keep a minimum of 36 inches between your pellet stove and any furnishings, drapes, or floor coverings and a minimum of 6 inches from walls.
  • In the event of a power outage, your stove will automatically shut down safely.
  • Pellet stoves must be fed daily. If you plan on being away for several days, make arrangements to have someone feed your stove to prevent things like freezing pipes.
  • Pellet stoves ignite at the push of a button, so there is no need for kindling or fire starter logs.
  • Pellet stoves use fans to regulate the fire and, therefore, produce a low, mechanical noise.

FAQ

  • How long will a 40-pound bag of wood pellets burn?

A 40-pound bag of pellets can burn for 24 consecutive hours.

  • Is it cheaper to run a pellet stove or natural gas?

Natural gas is cheaper than a pellet stove in the long term. 

  • How many bags of pellets do you burn a day?

If you use the stove 24 hours a day, you will use one bag a day.

  • Can you install a pellet stove in a chimney?

Yes, you can install a pellet stove in an existing fireplace and make use of an existing chimney. ​

  • Can a pellet stove be vented through a wall?

Yes, a pellet stove can be vented through an exterior wall. The unit can be mounted directly to the wall, or you can have a chimney installed. ​

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Remodeling Terms Cheat Sheet

Definitions in laymen's terms, cost considerations, pictures and things you need to know.
See full cheat sheet.
glossary term picture Pellet Stove 1 Pellet stoves: A heating device that burns either wood pellets or pellets made from other biofuels
2 Auger: A thin, pliable tool used to clear difficult clogs in plumbing systems

Cost to install a pellet stove varies greatly by region (and even by zip code). To get free estimates from local contractors, please indicate yours.

picture related to the guide

Labor cost by city and zip code

Compared to national average
Addison, NY
-19%
Albuquerque, NM
-14%
Anaheim, CA
+21%
Andover, MA
+39%
Athens, GA
-9%
Atlanta, GA
+24%
Bakersfield, CA
-6%
Baltimore, MD
+12%
Birmingham, AL
+6%
Boston, MA
+40%
Bronx, NY
+32%
Brooklyn, NY
+16%
Buffalo, NY
-1%
Charlotte, NC
+6%
Claremore, OK
-30%
Colorado Springs, CO
-3%
Columbus, OH
+5%
Dallas, TX
+10%
De Forest, WI
+11%
Denver, CO
+1%
El Paso, TX
-28%
Fayetteville, NC
-20%
Fremont, CA
+35%
Gooding, ID
-41%
Honolulu, HI
+35%
Houston, TX
+24%
Indianapolis, IN
+6%
Jacksonville, FL
-1%
Las Vegas, NV
+7%
Lewiston, NY
-11%
Littleton, CO
+2%
Los Angeles, CA
+11%
Louisville, KY
-7%
Marengo, OH
-28%
Memphis, TN
+11%
Mesa, AZ
-2%
Miami, FL
+1%
Minneapolis, MN
+25%
Montague, NJ
+1%
New York, NY
+77%
Orlando, FL
+2%
Pepperell, MA
+33%
Philadelphia, PA
+40%
Phoenix, AZ
0%
Portland, OR
+11%
Prescott, AZ
-15%
Sacramento, CA
+8%
Saint Louis, MO
+16%
Saint Paul, MN
+20%
Saint Petersburg, FL
-11%
Labor cost in your zip code
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