Many tiny homeowners are going back to the basics, choosing to use wood fire for supplementing their tiny home’s heat source and reduce overall heating costs.
Pellet stoves are a popular choice for keeping a home warm. A pellet stove is a sustainable alternative to burning firewood because the pellets are made from a mix of bark, sawdust, and other biodegradable materials -- which burn more efficiently and cleanly.
So what are the best small pellet stoves for your tiny house? After narrowing down the options, the Castle Serenity 12327 Wood Pellet Stove and US GW1949 Wiseway Non-Electric Pellet Stove are ideal choices for your tiny home, but for different reasons which we explain below.
How to Find the Best Small Pellet Stove For Your Tiny House
When you are shopping around for a small pellet stove suitable for a tiny house, there are a lot of considerations to think about. Some major criteria you should consider are the size, cost, energy source, heat output, and maintenance.
|Hopper size||The physical size of a pellet stove depends on its hopper size and heat generating capabilities. Pellet fuel appliances have a fuel hopper for storing pellets before they are burned. On average, a hopper can hold between 35 - 130 pounds of pellets for fuel so a larger pellet stove would most likely have a larger pellet capacity. Smaller pellets stoves can keep a large room warm but don’t expect the heat to last long because of its hopper size.|
|Heat output||A good small pellet stove will have an energy-efficiency rating of 65% - 75%. It’s best to find an EPA tested, approved, and certified stoves to ensure the pellet stove is at least 70% - 83% energy-efficient. If you’re looking for a pellet stove for a tiny house, you need to find one that’s just the right size for the space you have. |
As a rule of thumb, a small pellet stove rated at 42,000 BTUs can heat an area of 1300 sq. ft., which is a bit too large for a tiny house. There are small pellet stoves with a heating capacity of around 8000 to 12000 BTUs per hour which would be more appropriate for your tiny home.
|Cost||The average cost of a pellet stove usually lies between $1700 and $3000. Buying a pellet stove is often thought to be cheaper compared to a conventional wood-burning heater because pellet stoves are easy to install. A pellet stove system can be directly vented to a room and would not need a chimney nor a flue -- perfect for tiny houses. Once you have installed your stove, you will also need to buy the pellets to keep it burning. During the cold season, homeowners use up to 2 - 3 tons of pellet fuel a year as pellet appliances require refueling once a day. One ton of pellets can cost you between $180 and $250 depending on where you live so you may also need to pay up to $750 for pellet fuel annually.|
|Energy source||Most pellet stoves require electricity to operate, although some models have designed their stoves to run without. Modern pellet stoves may also come with a built-in computer system for automatic pellet distribution so it’s important to find a pellet stove that suits your tiny home’s energy requirements. |
If you find a pellet stove that is too powerful for your tiny home, you might force it to work at its lowest setting all the time and this causes clogging, which will require regular maintenance.
|Maintenance||Pellet stoves are efficient heat sources but many people tend to overlook the effort it takes to maintain them. The burn pot would need to be vacuumed daily while the entire stove has to be cleared out quarterly. |
Before the cold season begins, you will also need to have your pellet stove serviced and checked by a professional each year. Aside from these factors, the motor parts may require additional maintenance.
When choosing a pellet stove, try to see how easy it is to clean and maintain. You may also want to pick one with a warranty or customer service guarantee.
Tiny House Bloom’s Top 4 Pellet Stove Picks
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There are plenty of excellent, small pellet stoves suitable for a tiny house. In terms of quality, they’re all on around similar levels. Ultimately, you will have to make your decision depending on the functionality you’re looking for as a user. Out of all the options we reviewed, we narrowed our selection down to our top four pellet stove picks:
Who Should Buy It: Tiny home dwellers who are looking for a pellet stove with powerful functionalities.
|Product||Comfortbilt HP22-SS Pellet Stove|
|Dimensions||24 x 26 x 40 inches|
|Plug In||110 volt plug in|
|Average Amazon Score||5|
Comfortbilt has a good brand reputation for its high-quality pellet stoves and the HP22-SS model is no different. Aside from EPA certification, it has the highest possible energy efficiency for a pellet stove at 84% and can heat a space of 1700 sq. ft. comfortably. Its 50,000 BTU heating output works with a 55-pound hopper size and a powerful fan, so your winter nights are sure to be toasty.
The Comfortbilt HP22-SS has a programmable thermostat and an auto-ignition function which means you won’t have much trouble running it. And even if you do have a problem, the HP22-SS pellet stove comes with a 1-year warranty on parts and technical assistance. Enjoy watching the Comfortbilt’s flames through the large viewing area of the stove as you keep warm inside your tiny home.
Who Should Buy It: Tiny homeowners who want a safe, electricity-free pellet stove with a unique design.
|Product||US GW1949 Wiseway Non-Electric Pellet Stove|
|Dimensions||15 x 52 x 24 inches|
|Average Amazon Score||4|
US Stove’s GW1949 Wiseway pellet stove is a small and efficient EPA certified model with a pretty impressive heating range. At a BTU of 40,000, it can heat an area of 2000 sq. ft. in one go. While it’s ideal for larger spaces, it can be adjusted to heat a smaller area comfortably as well so it’s definitely tiny house applicable.
The GW1949 Wiseway small pellet stove is unique for its natural gravity feed mechanism that eliminates the need for electricity, plus the mechanical parts that are prone to breaking down. Once you heat up the burn chamber and flue with a propane torch, the pellets will flow and a natural draft will ramp the stove up to temperature. At 60 lbs, the hopper capacity provides a substantial burn time of 30 hours without needing frequent refills.
Since the GW1949 Wiseway pellet stove mechanism has no need for a fan, this pellet stove model barely produces any noise. The downside of the Wiseway is that it requires cleaning after using for two days to clear out the fly ash from the main burning tunnel. However, this will only take a couple of minutes and you can start it again immediately after.
Who Should Buy It: Tiny house dwellers who want an effective, hi-tech pellet stove with various controls and settings.
|Product||Castle Serenity 12327 Wood Pellet Stove|
|Dimensions||23.75 x 18.5 x 34 inches|
|Plug In||120 volt plug in|
|Average Amazon Score||3.9|
Castle’s Serenity 12327 small wood pellet stove is an EPA certified model that creates a significant amount of heat, operating at a BTU of 31,000 for 1500 sq. ft. of space. It’s a great pellet stove for tiny houses because of its space-saving and compact design which allows it to fit into tight spaces easily. This direct-vent model has almost 70% thermal efficiency and does not require a chimney.
The Serenity 12327 is really convenient to maintain because there are no corrugations, tubes, or hidden chambers you will need to clean out after use. The large spaces can be vacuumed quickly and the ash pan is removable so you can clear it out with no problems. It has a smart controller that allows you to choose between manual, thermostat, or weekly operational modes so you can heat up your tiny home according to schedule.
The only slight downside with the Serenity 1232 mini pellet stove is its low capacity of 40 lbs for wood pellets. Compared to other models, you will have to refill wood pellets regularly and at a high-setting, the mini pellet stove will only burn for 12 hours. The built-in fan can also be quite noisy but it’s generally bearable.
Who Should Buy It: Tiny house owners who are looking for an old-school type of pellet stove with a charming design.
|Product||US Stove 5500M King Pellet Burner|
|Dimensions||25 x 34 x 26 inches|
|Plug In||120 volt plug in|
|Average Amazon Score||3.4|
The US Stove 5500M King Pellet Burner is one of the oldest pellet stoves available. It has a digital control board which allows you to adjust between the five heat settings and a LED display that keeps everything easy to operate. Running at 48,000 BTUs per hour with a 25-pound hopper, it’s suitable for warming up a tiny home.
The 5500M King Pellet Burner comes with a 120 CFM blower that spreads heat evenly (if a little loudly). The one major problem with purchasing the 5500M King Pellet Burner is that its installation materials would need to be bought separately. However, even if its technology is lagging slightly behind modern models, it is considerably eco-friendly and comes in a great design.
How Does a Tiny House Pellet Stove Work?
Pellet stoves burn small, densely packed cylindrical pellets made out of compressed wood or biomass. The pellets are stored in the stove’s container, called a hopper, which can hold around 35 - 130 pounds of pellets. When the pellet stove is turned on, the pellets fall from the hopper and into the firebox, where they are burned. The hopper slowly but continuously feeds the wood fuel pellets into the firebox to create a constant flame.
Small pellet stoves are unique because they can operate autonomously for up to 12 hours without the need to be refueled as they have a built-in thermostat. When the thermostat is set, the hopper releases pellets until there is enough to raise the temperature; it automatically monitors the thermostat to ensure operation at a maximum efficiency.
Inside small pellet stoves are also two fans. One fan blows air across the fire to maintain its temperature; the other fan blows heat into exchangers that warm up the interior of the stove and the room itself. Exhaust gases can either be vented outdoors through a chimney or through a duct.
Safety Tips For Using a Small Pellet Stove In a Tiny Home
In general, pellet stoves are a very safe choice for tiny homes. They are equipped with numerous safety features such as vacuum switches, temperature sensors, and other built-in functionalities to ensure the mini pellet stove will work as well as it should. Of course, the safety of a pellet stove also relies on how the users maintain their model and how soundly it was installed. Here are some tips to keep your tiny house safe when using a small pellet stove:
|Who should install the small pellet stove for my tiny house?||Installing a small pellet stove should only be performed by a licensed professional installer because improper installation can lead to smoke damage, fire, or carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. A certified installer must have a permit to ensure the job is done properly and meet the standards set in building codes. Additionally, installing a CO detector will also be helpful to alert you in case of potentially dangerous carbon monoxide levels.|
|Where should I place the pellet stove inside my tiny home?||Be especially careful where you place your pellet stove, as the glass on the front may cause burns. Take extra precautions to protect children and pets from accidents as well. Keep your pellet stove away from combustibles such as furniture or wall draperies.|
|How do I maintain and clean up after my small pellet stove?||Maintaining your tiny house’s pellet stove is an ongoing task if you want to ensure its safety and keep it functioning for at least 10 years. Be diligent with regular cleaning as instructed in the maintenance manual, empty out the ash pans and filters, and check for any ash or creosote buildup to reduce the risk of fire. Dispose of the ashes in a metal container with a lid, located far away from your tiny home.|
|What should I do if I haven’t used my small pellet stove in a year?||Inspect the fans and monitors of your pellet stoves regularly. Have your wood-burning system inspected by a certified professional before heating season begins to ensure everything is functioning properly. Remove any unused pellets from the hopper and feeding system at the end of the heating season to prevent damaging the appliance with rust.|
Hey, there! We're Ivan and Manuela from Croatia, and we're crazy about tiny houses. We don't own one (yet).
This website is a result of our passion to share all the knowledge, photos, tips and tricks that we were able to learn while studying everything possible about the tiny house movement.