As living costs continue to rise, you may find yourself searching for realistic ways to cut expenses. One of the best ways to save money on heating expenses – especially in homes with central heat fueled by propane, fuel oil, or electricity – is to install a pellet stove. However, there are a few points to consider when determining what type or size of stove to purchase and what features to opt for. In this post, we’ll tell you everything you need to know about buying a pellet stove – from how to care for it, to how installing an eligible one can earn you a tax credit of up to $2,000.
What is a Pellet Stove?
A pellet stove is an appliance that provides heat to a home by burning renewable pellets made of condensed biomass materials. Similar to renewable energy systems like solar panels, geothermal heat pumps and wind turbines, a pellet stove can provide considerable savings for home heating costs by supplementing the heat in all or part of your home. Harman pellet stoves, in particular, are smart and highly efficient, with features like programmable thermostats that adjust heat output and control room temperature.
What are the Benefits of Buying a Pellet Stove?
Pellet stoves are a low-cost heating alternative that have a smaller impact on the environment than traditional heating sources. According to the Pellet Fuels Institute, burning one ton of pellets instead of oil reduces carbon emissions by nearly 1.5 tons. There are many other benefits of owning a pellet stove, like the fact that they are also easy to use. Harman pellet stoves with EASY Touch Control not only tell you when to perform maintenance, but also gives you the smartest control on the market.
What Types of Pellet Stoves Are There?
Different pellet stove models and sizes are on the market, but they generally fall into two categories: free-standing pellet stoves and pellet inserts. Free standing pellet stoves are typically installed on an exterior wall of the home so venting can be discretely placed out the back of the stove to the outside. A pellet fireplace insert is placed into an existing fireplace, with venting running through an existing chimney. If you’re unsure about what type of pellet stove to consider, start by reading some pellet stove reviews or contact a Harman dealer to talk through your options.
What is Pellet Fuel?
Pellet fuel expels extremely low particulate emissions – making a pellet stove a highly environmentally-friendly option. Pellets are made from organic matter – like sawdust and scrap wood from logging, manufacturing, forest debris and crop waste – that is dried and pressed into pellets. This long-lasting, clean-burning fuel provides 24 hours of steady heat for as little as $5 per day.
Pellets can be purchased in 40 pound bags at stove retailers, nurseries, building supply stores, garden supplies and discount merchandisers. On average, a winter’s supply of pellets is 100 to 150 bags (two to three tons). The amount used depends on climate, room square footage and how much you use your pellet stove.
Considerations When Buying a Pellet Stove
You’re likely considering buying a pellet stove because you’ve heard about its benefits: it’s extremely efficient, environmentally friendly and affordable. When considering a pellet stove, you’ll also want to think through where to place the pellet stove. There are a few considerations to ponder when planning where the pellet stove will go:
- Pellet stoves take up space. When installing a freestanding stove, you'll need to know the size of the floor protection needed (typically around 32" x 32") and where the vent to the outside will go. Also, follow required clearances to combustibles when determining the location of your stove.
- Pellet stoves need electricity to run. The blower and control panel require electricity. We recommend using a battery back up in case of a power outage.
- Pellet stoves need to vent. Pellet stove combustion creates some smoke, which is safely captured and vented outside by venting or pipe.
Pellet stoves will also require some maintenance to run properly and heat efficiently. Regular pellet stove maintenance like cleaning the ash from the burn chamber and ash pan, or scraping the burn pot, should be done regularly. More time-intensive tasks like cleaning the venting system should be done once per year (or after you’ve burned a full ton of pellets). Don’t worry if you’re not able to perform the maintenance yourself, just hire a professional. Always refer to the installation manual for specifications for your particular stove model.
Pellet Stove Installation
Installation cost and requirements will also vary depending on whether you’re installing a free-standing stove or insert.
For a free-standing pellet stove, first install non-combustible floor protection such as a stone or tile hearth pad to protect your floors from high heat and potential loose sparks and embers. You’ll also need to cut a small hole in the wall and install proper venting. On a pellet stove insert, you’ll install the stove in your existing fireplace and run venting through your chimney.
For safe and reliable installation, we recommend hiring a professional installer certified by the National Fireplace Institute®. That person will also be able to obtain necessary permits and arrange required inspections for your stove.
How Much Money can you Save by Installing a Pellet Stove?
The specific amount of money you’ll save depends on the square footage of your home, where you live and what type of stove you have. You’ll likely see the most savings on fuel expenses. For reference, the average cost of pellets today is around $300 per ton. Pellets would have to be over $475 per ton to equal the March 2023 oil costs, so you’re spending a little more than half of what you would on other energy sources. Many people also supplement traditional heating sources – like a furnace – with a pellet stove. They do this by turning the furnace down 10 to 15 degrees and using the pellet stove to make up the difference. To calculate what you could save with a pellet stove, try out our fuel savings calculator.
Are Pellet Stoves Eligible for a Federal Tax Credit?
Thanks to the Inflation Reduction Act, taxpayers who install a qualifying wood or pellet stove between January 1, 2023 and December 31, 2032, have the opportunity to receive a 30% tax credit of up to $2,000 annually (based on the purchase and installation costs). This means that, in addition to your reduced heating costs, you’ll save even more with a tax credit.
To take advantage of the Biomass Tax Credit, make sure to save any paperwork related to the purchase of the stove and the manufacturer’s tax credit certificate. You’ll use these documents to file your tax credit in the year that you install the stove in your home.
Eligible Harman pellet stoves include:
- Absolute63 Pellet Stove
- Absolute43 Pellet Stove
- Accentra52i—TC Pellet Insert
- Allure50 Pellet Stove
- P43 Pellet Stove
- P61 Pellet Stove
- P68 Pellet Stove
Popular Harman Pellet Stoves
Generally, the most popular Harman lines are those in the P-series and Absolute series and there are many different models within the two series.
For free-standing stoves, the P43 and P68 are well-known heating powerhouses that use the PelletPro System and ESP Technology to maintain set room temperatures within one degree. The Absolute43 is another popular model, offering a touch control unit (called EASY Touch Control) along with other exclusive Harman technologies. Its elegant, exclusive design is another draw for consumers.
The best-seller among Harman’s inserts is the Accentra52iC. It also includes the PelletPro system and ESP technology, as well as an EASY Touch Control that syncs with a wireless room sensor to keep the room temperature within one degree of your set temperature. This model also requires 50% less maintenance than any insert on the market today, making it an easy model to operate and maintain.
Ready to Buy a Pellet Stove?
Harman stoves can be purchased at a variety of Harman dealers across the U.S. and Canada. If you ultimately determine you’re interested in a Harman pellet stove, get in touch. You can also browse products online or reach out to a dealer for a quote to expedite the process.