Help me decide Pellet vs Wood stove in my basement

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New Member
Mar 4, 2022
Atlantic Canada

I have spent some time browsing the forum here and it's been informative!

I live in a split entry home thats about 2000 square feet total living space. Large open foyer and main floor is open concept and we have 2 ductless mini split heat pumps (one up and one down) and for the most part they heat our entire home (baseboard electric heat in kids rooms at night when the doors closed). We've been dealing with a number of power outages lately and I would like to install a wood or pellet stove in the basement when the power goes out and it would be used for secondary heat (holidays, weekends, etc) and when there's a power outage. I know a pellet stove needs power so I would be able to use a generator, but I have a few things that I'm wondering about and would like users experience.

Things that ran through my mind:
  • noise of pellet stove we watch tv in the room
  • needing a generator if power is out to run pellet stove
  • external chimney needed for woodstove (backdraft issues?)
  • storing pellets? (I have lots of outdoor space to stack wood but nothing great for a lot of pellets to stay dry.. maybe space for 10 bags indoors at a time)
  • wood stove is dirtier
  • would either provide much heat for the rest of the house? Would be located about 15 feet from the stairs
I would prefer a wood stove but the external chimney is something I didn't know much about until recently and the clearance for the pellet stove is much less and installing the heat vent seems less complicated. Anyways.. what do you all think? How much am I over thinking this
You're not over thinking either, as there's more to think about. If you're first thought is noise, then yes those fans and squirrel cages would drive me nuts too, oh and they're ugly AF. As for wood, you need to think about getting, storing, drying, etc., but it doesn't require electricity. My vote, go with wood stove and don't look back!
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I'd visit a few different hearth stores that have both running. The flames are different and you might not find both pleasing.

How long are your power outages? If theyre frequent or long you may be storing a lot of generator fuel.
Wood is a lot more work. Pellet stove on a thermostat is great. A quardrafire has been running for over 20 years in our family. I have wood. Pellets are mostly a miss down here. TSC just leaves the pallets outside. Only place to get them. Gotta call the manager and see when the next delivery is and get them right off the truck. Burning wet wood sucks. Basements can be difficult for wood stoves. Most of the time the pellet stove is on low and not that loud. If you have to turn it to max heat output it would be too loud to watch tv. On low it’s fine.

This is the model we have. Looks good heats well. Would much rather vent this than a wood stove. Can’t believe it’s HHV isn’t over 75%. I’d pass on it. Today.
Do you have a walkout basement or an easy way to get the wood in the basement?