A Pellet Stove or Insert: An Option to Consider

Are you familiar with pellet stoves and inserts? Pellet stoves provide a cost-effective heating solution for homeowners especially within cold climates, where more than one-third of the annual cost for utilities goes toward heating. These appliances are the result of smart innovation. They provide the look of a wood stove but perform much more like a modern furnace. Let's learn a little bit more about this unknown appliance.

What is a Pellet Stove or Insert?

Pellet stoves and pellet inserts burn wood but in the form of small, highly compact pellets, made of milled wood byproducts, that burn with a great efficiency. Pellets are mechanically fed from a hopper into a burn pot area, keeping a constant flame going that requires almost no manual adjustments. The efficiency factor of a pellet stove can be as high as 85%, which is far superior to the efficiency of wood fireplaces, wood inserts, and EPA wood stoves.

Environmentally Friendly

For any homeowner who is interested in choosing heating methods that are environmentally friendly, there are no better appliances than pellet stoves and pellet inserts. The fuel is made from material that would otherwise be thrown out with the trash, if not used to make wood pellets. Wood pellets are 2 cm to 3 cm long and are made with sawdust as well as wood and bark chips. Very little ash is produced in a pellet stove. The pellets are a bit less efficient when too much bark is used in the making of the pellets, and you can recognize the presence of excess bark by higher production of ash from the flames.

The efficiency with which the pellets are burned is remarkable. A big part of the reason the pellets burn so completely is the overall design of pellet stoves and pellet inserts. These appliances are widely accepted because of the small amount of smoke they produce.


Your utility costs will be cut considerably when using a pellet stove or insert to heat your home in the winter. How? What sets pellet stoves apart from traditional wood stoves and fireplaces is its heat convection feature. Air passes through heat exchangers tubes located on top of the combustion chamber and warms up rapidly before going into the room. The ventilation system then spreads the warm air into the room. This mechanism creates a more even heat which turns into lower heating needs.


Unlike traditional wood requiring several steps in preparation including some inconveniences such as bugs, wood pellets are available in 40-pound bags which can be neatly stacked. They must be kept dry. Other than that, heating your home with a pellet stove is about as simple as pouring pellets into the hopper. Whereas fireplaces and wood stoves should be closely monitored, for safety reasons, pellet stoves require much less oversight and produces heat over long hours as long as you have pellets inside your hopper. Remember to order this fuel as early as April to avoid supply shortage.

Additional convenient features of pellet stoves:

  • Pellet stoves don’t take up as much space as traditional wood stoves.
  • Pellet stoves are easy to install, when compared to wood stoves.

For installation, a standard 3” diameter pellet chimney pipe works or, if your chimney has to go up over 12 feet, 4”diameter pipe is recommended.


There are many beautiful styles of pellet stoves to choose from. Pellet inserts are made to fit into an existing wood-burning fireplace, and inserts also have aesthetic appeal. The only sacrifice, as far as appearance, with a pellet stove is that the flames are intense and nowhere near the lazy, relaxing crackling wood fire.

For more information, please contact your local WE LOVE FIRE dealer. Our FAQS section also contains several relevant information on the subject.

Below is a list of fireplace and grill stores that service Virginia (VA)

Manassas, VA

Winston's Chimney Service
11301 Industrial Road
Manassas, VA 20109

Winston's Chimney Service LogoVisit Store Page

Mechanicsville, VA

Hearth & Home Shoppe
8151 Mechanicsville Tpk
Mechanicsville, VA 23111

Hearth & Home Shoppe LogoVisit Store Page

Roanoke, VA

Dixie Building Products Inc.
3342 Melrose Ave NW
Roanoke, VA 24017

Warrenton, VA

Costello's Warrenton Fireplace & Hot Tub
251 West Lee Hwy
Warrenton, VA 20186

For more information, contact your local fireplace and grill store..

7 Responses

  1. John gardiner
    I’m interested in a wood burning insert for a built in fireplace in a mobile home.I would like a cat.sent to John Gardiner,3901 Lewis Rd.trlr 15 Ballston Spa New York 12020 thank you.
    • We Love Fireplaces and Grills
      Good morning John Thanks for reaching out to us. We love woodburning too! We have two wood fireplaces at home and we use one of them 24/7 for the whole winter. I am sure you will enjoy its benefits as much as we do. The best way to proceed in order to buy one is to locate the nearest of our dealer to your home. Use the following link: https://welovefireplacesandgrills.com/dealer-locator/ Let us know how it goes, All the best!
  2. Derek Dewitt
    My wife and I recently moved into a cabin in the woods, so a pellet stove sounds like a great way to stay warm. I like that you mention how pellet stoves have a heat convection feature that makes them more efficient. This sounds like a great way to cut back on costs and keep our whole house warm. Thanks for sharing.
    • We Love Fireplaces and Grills
      Thanks Derek for your kind words. Hope you enjoy your cabin!
  3. Jorgen
    Hi Dominique, Interesting, I have not heard about these pellet inserts here in the UK and wonder if you would be kind enough to send me a couple of picture examples so I can see what they look like. Also is it a thing that you can weld up yourself, in case no supplier kan be found here? Kind Regards Jorgen
    • Dominique Page
      Hello Jorgen Thanks for your message. Pellet inserts are quite a bit more involved than a conventional wood insert. They have an auger motor, an exhaust fan and a glow plug to ignite the fire. If you look at brands like Harman and Napoleon, they offer pellet inserts. Not sure sure if they have distribution in the UK. Still you may contact them directly so they can guide you in the right direction. All the best!
  4. Which fireplace is best for the environment? - We Love Fire
    […] pellet stove is an excellent choice for heating your home. It is an innovative and eco-friendly alternative to […]
  5. Pellet Stoves
    Great article, all the information I needed about pellet stoves, thanks

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