How To Buy A Used Pellet Stove
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 Service Master or Need a Contractor.
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 pellets.
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 coldest weather.
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 page.
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
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 cleaning.
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
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 fuel.
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