How To Buy A Used Pellet Stove
Many sellers of used pellet stoves also include the venting pipe, hearth pad,
log set, and any left over pellet fuel in the purchase price. These extras can add
up to hundreds of dollars in additional savings.
Whether you buy a new or used stove, the preparation is similar. The following
suggestions should help you avoid getting "blindsided" by the unexpected.
Visit Your Local Building Department
Installing a wood or pellet stove usually requires a building permit. While you're
picking up your permit application, tell them the type of heating appliance you
plan to install and ask what kind of additional documentation, if any, is required.
This is especially important if you own a mobile or modular home.
When I talked to my local building department, they said a product brochure
with clearance and venting information would also be helpful. You can get all
this information by visiting the stove manufacturer's website, downloading the
owner's manual and printing it out.
Most pellet stoves are vented through an outside wall making installation
reasonably simple and inexpensive ($500 or so). Many cities and towns require
the installer to be licensed and bonded.
Try to interview potential installers before you buy the stove. This will give you
time to check references. If you have trouble finding an installer you could try a
nationwide contractor referral service like Angie's list.
Choose Your Fuel and Stove Size
If you live in the Corn Belt, the choice of fuel is obvious. If you live in the
Northeast, the fuel of choice is wood pellets. Since fuel corn is "imported" to
the Northeast, the cost of burning fuel corn is no longer competitive with wood
You don't need a big stove to save big. Most of the used corn and wood pellet
stoves I've seen produce 35,000–45,000 btus - enough to heat a typical 1,200
square foot ranch or the main living areas of a two story home.
If you can get a good deal on a larger, 50-60,000 btu stove, one of these will
work great too since these high output models come equipped with 5 heat
settings ranging from a low of 8,000 btus for chilly days, to max power for the
Where to Find a Used Pellet Stove
Start with craigslist. Since most used pellet stove sellers offer pick up only,
craigslist enables you to refine your search by City or State. This is a big time
saver. A recent check in the Boston area turned up 12 used stoves within a 50
mile radius of my home.
ebay has plenty of listings too, you just won't find as many local sellers as you
will on craigslist. When I narrowed the ebay search results to a 50 mile radius
of my zip code using the Search Option function, it returned only 1 seller.
However, ebay will conveniently notify you by email whenever a new listing pops
up and it's possible to delay payment for 3 months by using their credit card.
Search tip: A search on either craigslist or ebay will turn up MORE used pellet
stoves if you use the term "pellet stove" rather than the narrower "used pellet
stove." Also try "pellet" or "wood pellet."
How Much Can I Expect to Save?
Generally speaking, the higher the original retail price, the more you will save
percentage wise. Stoves that sold for $3,000 new can often be purchased used
at savings of 50-70%. Stoves priced new under $2,000 seem to depreciate less.
If it's your responsibility to pay for delivery, call a shipper like Yellow Truck or a
courier service to make arrangements. If you buy from an ebay seller willing to
ship the stove, a freight shipping calculator is usually provided on the sales
No matter who ships your stove, make sure you specify a truck equipped with a
lift gate so you can get your 300 pound stove off the truck. A moving dolly
might also be helpful.
Contact the Seller
Don't hesitate to contact the seller with any questions you might have. He or
she can be especially helpful in determining whether the used pellet stove for
sale is still under warranty.
Look for These Features and Extras:
Just because you're buying a used pellet stove doesn't mean you should return
to the dark ages of pellet stove heating with gel starters. Frankly, I wouldn't
buy a stove without electronic ignition.
Large hopper capacity
A standard size hopper holds 40 pounds of pellet fuel. This is enough fuel to
heat your home for 20-30 hours. A larger capacity hopper, although not
necessary, adds convenience by requiring less frequent fillings.
Heat output controls
During the months that transition in and out of the heating season, you won't
need the full heating capacity of your pellet stove. A heat output control will
ensure maximum comfort from minimal fuel. Heat output controls can take the
form of a thermostat, hi/lo blower, or variable speed auger that controls the
rate pellets are fed into the burn pot.
Air washing system
Believe it or not, the #1 complaint people have with pellet stoves is dirty
viewing glass. An air washing system, now standard on many new pellet
stoves, removes the fly ash from the viewing window and eliminates frequent
Can I interest you in a used
Harman pellet stove for $1,500?
How about a barely used
$3,200 Envirotec grain stove
that sold for $1,075 on ebay?
If you can buy a slightly used
$3,000 stove for $1,500 - or
less, you'll save enough money
to pay for almost two years
worth of corn or wood pellet