Design Inspo

The Pros & Cons of Pellet Stove Fireplace Inserts

Pellet stove fireplace inserts are an eco-friendly and efficient way to heat your home. Let’s discuss!

designed with spoak - watermark

Back before the wonders of electricity graced our homes, fires were the number one way to heat a space, and the safest way to make use of those flames was with a fireplace.

Now that we’ve got the option to use electric and natural gas heating systems, fireplaces aren’t the necessity they used to be. But they’re still a fantastic way to heat your home, not to mention that they’re aesthetically pleasing for all those cozy cabin vibes.

We put together this guide to explain some of the basics of pellet stove fireplace inserts and focus on the pros and cons of these electric fireplaces. Whether you live in chilly Montana or you want to enjoy an open fire in the cozy winter months, you might find that a pellet stove fireplace is just what you need.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

The Perks of a Home Fireplace

A home fireplace has so many perks, we don’t know where to start. Okay, that’s a lie — we know exactly where to start, and we’re super excited!

First off, fireplaces are fantastic for heating your home, as we mentioned. They can save you costs on your electric bill, especially in those chilly winter months — AKA more room in the budget for that luxury bathroom redesign. 

Fireplaces are a traditional method for keeping your home warm, and we especially recommend one if you live somewhere that often sees snow over the winter.

Fireplaces are also just such a mood. Fire is an essential element in interior design, going as far back as being crucial to ancient Chinese feng shui decoration. If you love decorative candles, you’ll really love the fireplace — it’s like having one giant centerpiece candle. 

The flickering of the firelight makes us want to curl up with some warm tea and a good book. Ending your day with a fire burning in the hearth is one of the most relaxing feelings in the world (we don’t make the rules!!), and it’s a great excuse to gather the family together and wind down in a living space. Science even says that the soothing feeling of sitting fireside has been researched to decrease blood pressure and feelings of anxiety. 

That being said, you might not want to have to gather some logs and manually start a fire for your traditional wood-burning fireplace. After all, the goal is to relax and enjoy the evening. That’s when a pellet stove fireplace insert becomes the perfect solution for you.

What Is a Pellet Stove Fireplace Insert?

A pellet stove fireplace insert is a device that can turn your traditional wood-burning fireplace into an efficient and eco-friendly fireplace that requires much less maintenance. Plus, it proves to be more efficient in heating homes than traditional wood-burning fireplaces. 

A pellet stove insert is essentially a metal device that allows you to burn pellets rather than traditional wood or logs. There is a variety of pellet fireplace inserts that vary in size, cost, and efficiency. Typically, the burn rate is controlled by a convection fan or blower. Higher-end models have automatic cleaning features that clean the burn pot regularly, like a superhero Roomba. 

What Are the Pellets?

Pellets are a type of renewable biomass fuel made from materials like wood and sawdust, making them a high-efficiency type of fuel. Compared to gas stoves and wood-burning stoves, they’re an eco-friendly option. The pellets are stored in the stove's hopper until they're needed. When needed, the auger will deliver the wood pellets to the firebox to warm the room up.

Pellets can typically be bought in 40 lb bags, with one bag lasting for up to 55 hours of continuous burning, depending on the hopper capacity. Heat output is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units). About 5,000 BTUs will heat 200 square feet. 

One thing to be aware of when purchasing pellets is to purchase pellets made from 100% hardwood. Many big box stores will sell pellets that are a mixture of hard and softwood, which isn’t ideal.

Hardwood, due to its dense mass, burns slower and emits less smoke. While the softwood pellets may be cheaper, they aren’t as cost-effective in the long run, and they also are not as environmentally friendly. We always recommend opting for 100% hardwood pellets.

What’s the Difference Between Insert and Free-Standing Pellet Stoves?

Insert pellet stoves are designed to fit into existing fireplaces, melding seamlessly with your hearth. On the other hand, free-standing pellet stoves are independent units that can be placed anywhere, offering flexibility in installation and a standalone aesthetic. Both offer efficient, eco-friendly heating for your home.

You Don’t Need a Fireplace To Install a Pellet Stove

If you don’t already have a traditional chimney in your house, that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the luxuries of a pellet stove fireplace insert. However, there will be some structural changes you’ll need to consider and implement if you want one of these heating systems.

The two best ways to install a pellet stove into your home without a chimney are either by placing your pellet stove against an external wall and using a flue to connect the stove to the outside or, if using an internal wall, with a flue that passes up the wall and through the roof. 

This kind of installation can be an endeavor and is definitely something you want to be familiar with before you decide to move forward with this project. We highly recommend consulting professional services. You put a lot of thought and time into perfecting your home, and an installation error, in this case, doesn’t give you that sought-after “distressed wood floors” look. 

Another pro for pellet stove inserts is that they don’t have to be a permanent fixture. For example, if you want to switch your fireplace back out to the traditional wood-burning fireplace, you can! All you have to do is uninstall the pellet stove insert.

Reasons To Love a Pellet Stove Fireplace Insert

Excellent and Affordable Heating Method

We probably sound like a broken record by now, but we can’t emphasize how ideal a pellet stove insert is for heating a home, especially those in cold climates that experience snow in the winter. In the United States, heat costs are constantly on the rise, and a pellet stove fireplace insert can prevent that moment when you see your gas bill and sigh in indignation. 

Pellet stoves are an investment — like luxury shoes or solar panels. They can last for years, essentially paying for themselves after a couple of winters of use. Then you have the budget space for the kitchen makeover you’ve been obsessing over.

High-quality pellet stove inserts do end up being on the pricier side of home appliances. Most quality retailers sell pellet stove fireplace inserts for somewhere between $2500 and $5500. The price varies based on additional features, like warranties, installation, and remote options.

One sought-after perk of a pellet stove fireplace insert is how easy it is to get a toasty fire going. Unlike wood-burning models, where you must use a starter to build a fire, pellet stove inserts can be controlled with thermostats and remote controls. 

Eco-Friendly Method for Heating a Home

We love an eco-friendly solution to anything regarding interior design and everyday home use, so that’s a major pro in favor of pellet stove fireplace inserts. The emissions from a pellet stove insert are much less than those from gas or traditional wood stoves. 

Not to mention the pellet fuel is made from waste wood that would otherwise be discarded. We recommend specifically looking for pellet stove inserts that are EPA certified.

Make Cold Winters More Pleasant

If you’re living in areas that don’t get snow or much winter at all, you might find the investment into a pellet stove insert isn’t worth the cost for you, and we totally get it. That’s why it’s something we wanted to mention when it comes to the pros and cons of a fireplace insert. 

If you live in the heart of Texas or on the coasts of Florida, you probably don’t need a fireplace to save you money on heating in the winter. That doesn’t mean you necessarily shouldn’t consider one. Even if you live in warmer climates, you can enjoy the aesthetics of a fireplace in the winter without the environmental impact of a wood or gas fireplace. Cozy has no limits!

Making a Pellet Stove Fireplace Work In Your Home

We're here to chat about how to make your pellet stove the stylish heart of your home, but first, let’s talk about rustic home design.

Rustic home decor? Think of it as a bear hug from Mother Nature herself. It's like if your favorite log cabin ran away with a cozy country cottage — there's lots of raw, rough-around-the-edges goodness, a DIY essence, and a soft charm. 

You'll find reclaimed wood tables, your grandmother's chunky knit throws, and stones that would make a geologist swoon. Rustic decor doesn't just invite you in; it throws open the door and yells, "Get comfy!" It's authenticity with a dash of back-to-nature fun.

How To Style Your Home Around a Fireplace

You know that feeling when you stumble upon a thrift store gem or score the last cronut at your favorite brunch spot? That's how you'll feel about decorating your home around a pellet stove. It's like finding the perfect pair of vintage earrings or discovering an artisanal chocolate shop you never knew existed.

Pellet stoves, those cozy heaters that have a charm you just can't ignore, can be a stylish and energy-efficient focal point in your home. But, you may be scratching your head, wondering how on earth you make a pellet stove look ... well, cool.

Here’s how:

Go Rustic

First, don't shy away from the stove's inherent rustic appeal. Play with that! Think cozy log cabin, but make it chic. Add a chunky knit throw or a faux fur rug nearby. If it makes a statement, why not go for it?

Add a Reading Nook

Next, consider creating a little reading nook. A stylish, modern armchair with a sleek side table, maybe? Or how about a mid-century bookcase filled with your favorite novels, design magazines, or succulents? It's like the mini-vacay spot in your own living room. Just imagine sipping on a hot cocoa there on a cold winter's night with your favorite novel in hand.

Design a Focal Wall Behind the Stove

Let's not forget about the accent wall potential behind the stove. This is a chance to get creative. Try some beautiful tiles with a reflective quality to bounce the warm light around the room or a curated collection of vintage prints that tell a story. It's like your own little art exhibit at home, only cozier.

Remember, we're going for real, authentic, and approachable: It's okay to try things out and make a few design detours along the way. If it doesn't feel right, switch it up (like that velvet couch that seemed like a good idea until summer rolled around). We’ve all been there! Interior design is a process, after all.

Visualize Your Pellet Stove Insert Before Purchasing

Pellet stoves are heavy, with average-sized models weighing around 400 pounds. You only want to move something that heavy once (or as few times as possible). 

If you already have a fireplace, it’s a clear answer as to where your pellet stove insert will be going. However, pellet stove inserts all look different design-wise, and some extend from the fireplace itself. You want to get a feel for how your plans would look if actually implemented. 

Spoak’s room visualization software lets you upload your dream fireplace in a rendering of your space to make sure it fits the room and your vision before it comes to your door. If the fireplace is already there, you can upload pictures of your current furnishing in scale to see what they look like in new positions. 

How To Install a Pellet Stove Fireplace Insert

Here’s a quick rundown of how a pellet stove fireplace insert is installed.

1. Make Sure There’s a Plug Nearby for the Pellet Stove

Many pellet stove fireplace inserts need electricity to be powered, so you want to make sure you either have a plug nearby or have a plan for setting up an extension cord for your stove.

2. Insert the Liner Into the Chimney and Stove

The liner for a pellet stove insert is the tub that connects the stove's body to the top of the chimney to ensure no smoke escapes your home. Ensuring you properly connect the liner with the stove is vital.

3. Fit Your Pellet Stove Insert Into the Fireplace

Fitting your pellet stove insert into your fireplace might require some additional maintenance, like adjustments underneath or on top of the stove depending on its size ratio to your fireplace. Consult with your pellet stove makers about when you’re in the process of purchasing one.

Pellet Stove Inserts: Will You Try Them Out?

Pellet stove fireplace inserts offer efficient and eco-friendly heating solutions, ideal for cold climates or simply enhancing the ambiance. These devices utilize waste wood pellets, providing long-lasting heat, minimal smoke, and potential energy bill savings. Visualizing the new setup with design tools can help ensure seamless integration into your space, whether self-installed or professionally fitted.

A pellet stove fireplace insert is an efficient, eco-friendly, and aesthetic way to heat your home. Whether you live in a super chilly area or you just want to enjoy cozy evenings by the fireside, it’s worth looking into pellet stove inserts.

Photo Credit: (Left) Charnwood


Feng Shui | National Geographic

The Evolutionary Reason Why We Love Sitting By A Crackling Fire | HuffPost Impact

U.S. home heating bills expected to surge this winter -EIA | Reuters

Why You Should Use a Pellet Stove | Popular Mechanics

Wood Heat vs. Pellet Stove Comparison Guide | Spruce

Rely on Spoak’s design tools to bring your wildest design ideas to life — from fireplaces to rustic home designs and more. 

Date Posted
August 9, 2023



No items found.

Try it out

Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽ Spoaken word ✽
Join Spoak

Take your love of interior design to the next level with Spoak.

We are an online interior design studio for enthusiasts and professionals. Get a real-world design education, easy-to-use tools, job opportunities, and a tight-knit community. All levels welcome.

Join now