Can You Burn Wood in A Pellet Stove?

Updated on October 11, 2022
Can You Burn Wood in A Pellet Stove?

Can you burn any kind of wood in a pellet stove?

Wood used for kindling or logs cannot be used in a pellet stove. Pellet stoves can only burn pellets of a specific size, depending on the stove model. The wood use in pellet burners must have specific consistency in terms of energy used and how it is fed to a fire.

Video – Pellet stoves pros and cons


How long do wood pellets last in a fire pit?

Most wood pellet bags will specify a burn rate, and the combustion rate is altered by variables that the listed rates don’t always account for.

Keep the following considerations in mind:

Type of fire pit

Pellet pits with insulated covers use lesser wood pellets since the heat is trapped within.


Your fire pit will need to burn pellets for extended periods to provide enough heat in winter weather.

However, in hotter climates, your fire pit will need to generate less heat; thus, it will not consume as many pellets for as long.

Density of Wood

Pellets with a lot of lumber inside them burn longer and last longer than pellets with little wood. The wood density in wood pellets is determined by the brand’s priority: durability or added taste.

Wood Pellet Oils

Less expensive wood pellets contain oils to compensate for the absence of wood and to improve flavor. These oils help the pellets burn faster, allowing your fire pit to maintain consistency.

Wood Pellets in Bulk

A typical wood pellets bag weighs around 40 pounds. Many fire pits need about 75 pounds of pellets at once to heat meals as efficiently as possible.

Wood pellets weighing forty pounds typically last 24 hours, whereas seventy-five pounds last for around forty hours.

Try and get your pellets from a biomass source.

What wood should you not burn?


Softwood should not be burned in a fireplace due to its high resin content. Softwoods contain more resin than hardwoods.

Consequently, burning softwood produces dark, dense smoke that causes pollution in your home and jams your chimney.

Wet Wood

Wet Wood

Don’t try to burn wet wood in pellet stoves – keep wood dry

Avoid using wet wood. A damp piece of wood will not burn efficiently. Because the wood’s burning process is inhibited by high moisture levels, very little wood becomes pure heat. It may provide some warmth, but its efficiency is unlike using dry wood.

Rotten Wood

Many people use weathered firewood for their fireplaces, although seasoned wood is essentially the same as rotten wood. If a plank of wood is rotten, it should not be burned in the fireplace.

The density of decaying wood is lower than that of solid, undamaged wood. It also won’t produce a lot of heat when burned because of its lesser density.

If you come across rotten wood, either throw it away or leave it outside to disintegrate. In any case, please don’t put it in the fireplace.

Moldy Wood

When making a fire, wood with mold should be avoided. Mold fungus can be found almost anywhere, including both outdoor and indoor settings.

Mold can be avoided by using dry hardwood, although mold can still grow on other firewood types.

While a little patch of the mold with a yellow or green coating may appear safe, burning it releases airborne pollutants into your home. As a result, you should avoid using your fireplace with moldy wood.

Pressure-Treated Wood

Pressure-treated refers to a wood preservation process where preservative chemicals are applied to the wood using high pressure.

Rather than simply putting chemicals on the wood’s surface, it’s intended to infuse them into the wood. While pressure-treated lumber is exceptionally effective against insects, mold, and rotting, it is often harmful to people.

Do wood pellets go bad?

Rough handling and moisture are the two reasons that can make wood pellets get spoilt.


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Moisture is the enemy of the wood pellet.

Because of their highly pressurized state and low water content, wood pellets are naturally looking for moisture to soak up. That’s why wood pellets are such an excellent animal bedding option.

If wood pellets are not kept dry, they soak up moisture and expand. They’re no longer wood pellets but sawdust and can’t be used in grills, boilers, or stoves once they’ve been expanded.

It’s worth noting that liquid water isn’t the primary source of moisture for a wood pellet. Pellets commonly go bad due to moisture in the atmosphere (humidity).

Rough Handling

Wood pellets are a long-lasting material. However, if they are handled too roughly, they will disintegrate and produce excessive dust and fines. Some pellet cookers, grills, and boilers may become clogged as a result of this dust.

How long will 1 ton of wood pellets last?

Apart from factors such as your boiler’s efficiency and the wood pellets’ quality, how much fuel you use in a year will be determined by how warm you like your house to be.

To experience tropical temperatures even when it is freezing and cold outside, you’ll wind up consuming many pellets over winter.

Wood pellets are very affordable, and you will end up using less money to heat your household than you will with electricity or gas.

A ton of pellets generates approximately 4,700 kWh of heat. In other words, it will take 2 – 3 tons of wood pellets to heat a standard home for the entire year adequately.

However, if your home is large or not well insulated, you may find that you need a couple of extra pellet bags to keep things warm and comfortable.

With wood pellets, you can save money on your heating bills while also helping the environment. Wood pellets are a cost-effective and energy-efficient way to warm your home.

How do you light wood pellets in a fire pit?

To use in a fire pit, you may need to buy unique logs that are loaded with wood pellets. Follow the instructions listed below.

Step 1: Get the Fire Logs Ready

To unpack the logs, separate them from the others. Load every log with pellets after removing the strands.

Step 2: Decide on a location.

Choose a fire pit location and clear the area of any flammable materials. Make sure you find a surface that is flat, stony, or sandy.

Step 3: Setting the Fire Logs for Lighting the Fire

Fill the Fire Logs with pellets and arrange them on the supports in a manner that enables air to circulate around them.

To start the fire, use a knotted cluster of newspapers or use a fire starter. Allow the fire to burn for a while. The wood pellets will be lit, and they will begin to burn.

Step 4: Relax and enjoy the fire

Allow the fire to burn naturally while you enjoy it. The wood pellets in the fire logs enable them to burn completely, leaving no coals and little ash, which can pose a fire hazard if left unattended.

After the logs have cooled, shake off any remaining ash before reusing them or stacking them for storage.

Should you soak wood pellets?

It’s best not to soak your pellets. Pellets are created from pressurized sawdust, which means that dousing them will end up causing the sawdust to swell and disintegrate.

In addition to ruining your smoke, soaking pellets may cause damage to your pellet grill.

As a result, soaking pellets is not recommended when using them. However, if you are still not satisfied, understanding what wood pellets are may clarify why water and pellets do not get along.

Wood pellet types.

What can I do with old wood pellets?

Cooking with wood pellets

Cooking with wood pellets

Fire up a pizza oven with old wood pellets for intense heat

Wood pellets are ideal for cooking if you’re a foodie and own a pizza oven in your outdoor patio area. Due to their manufacturing process and the materials utilized, wood pellets constitute a good energy source for cooking.

Wood pellet ash for compost

Wood pellets are beneficial not just around the house, but the waste ash produced by your biomass boiler may be utilized as potash for your garden.

Wood pellet waste is a good source of potassium, lime, and several other elements that can benefit your soil. They are, however, basic, and you must be mindful of the pH of your soil to achieve the proper balance for whatever you want to cultivate.

Other ideas for old wood pellet use.

Do wood pellets draw moisture?

Because of the high density and the low moisture content of pellets, they have hydrophilic qualities. This means that pellets are extremely absorbent and are actively seeking moisture to hydrate themselves.

Similar results can be obtained with various biomass energy pellets, including hemp pellets and grass pellets.

Because of the hydrophilic qualities of the pellets, they can be used for a variety of different applications than fuel. Nevertheless, not all pellets are capable of absorbing moisture.

What happens if pellets get wet?

Humidity is the main issue with wood pellets in general. Many individuals keep their 40-pound bags of pellets in their basements or in a shed to keep them dry.

Even though these places are sheltered from the rain, they are typically humid and damp. If the bag of pellets is left open or if there are holes in the bag, the pellets will draw moisture from the surrounding air.

Eventually, the pellets will decompose and return to their original state as sawdust. Even though it won’t happen in 4 minutes like with liquid water, the pellets will gradually expand and disintegrate over time.

Related Questions:

How long will a 40 lb bag of wood pellets burn?

The organization Pellet Fuels Institute advises that a 40lb bag of wood pellets can burn for a solid 24 hours, but this sometimes doesn’t hold up in practical situations. It depends on how much heat you need and hence the stove setting.

If it’s very cold you could burn about 5lbs of pellets per hour, which would use up a 40lb bag in about 8 hours.

On a low to medium setting, a stove might use a 40lb bag up in 12 to 15 hours. Stoves often have a 5 level range of setting from 0 to 5. The zero setting is almost damped down with little heat and 5 is maxium heat output.

Can you burn pellets in a fireplace?

Yes, wood pellets can be burned in an open fireplace, but they are not easy to light.

A good way is to cover a small heap of wood pellets with gel lighter fuel and set fire to it. Once they catch, they will burn pretty well, as long as you make sure there’s enough pellets to maintain a nice heat.

You’ll be surprised to find that wood pellets actually burn hotter than wood because they are denser. If wood pellets are in the least big damp, they will be very hard to light in an open direplace or fire pit.

Can wood pellets go bad?

Yes, wood pellets can go bad if not stored properly. If the container is not sealed moisture can get in the the pellets will start to deteriorate, eventually disintegrating.

When damp, they’ll be very difficult to light, even in a pellet stove. If not dried out, pellets will gradually turn into sawdust under the effect of too much moisture.

How long does a pellet stove last?

Manufacturers have different warranties – see Harmann Stoves warranty information.

The written guarantees are not straight-forward because different parts wear out at different rates. For example, the ceramics will naturally wear out in 10 to 12 years, if not abuse and broken. The fire-box may only have a 3 year warranty.

Most users agree that a good 10 years use is normal, while others maintain that by replacing worn parts a pellet stove can last for about 25 years.

How many tons of wood pellets to heat home?

The average US home has an area of about 2000 square feet. It will take between 3 to 6 tons of wood pellets to heat this home for a year, depending on how energy efficient the house it and which state you live in.

3 to 6 tons of wood pellets is equivalent to between 150 and 300 bags weighing 40lbs each.

Burning mouldy wood?

There is a health risk associated with burning mouldy (moldy) wood.

It generally isn’t a problem if the wood is brought in from outdoors and put straight into a closed wood stove. In an open fireplace or fire-pit, the smoke could contain tiny fungus spores which can be breathed in.

Mouldy / moldy wood should never be stored indoors. Wet or dry fungus shed spores when disturbed. If these are breathed in the lungs can become infected.

Do wood pellets contain chemicals?

Wood pellets contain chemical binding agents which are necessary for the pellets to keep in their manufactured form.

Normally, if the pellets are kept dry and stored correctly, the binding agents stay locked up in the pellet dense structure. Of course, when burning, the chemicals are released into the atmosphere.

If wood pellets are allowed to deteriorate and take on moisture, they may give off toxic gases that may be injurious to health if breathed in.

Resources related to burning wood in pellet stoves:

Can You Burn Wood In A Pellet Stove? – Fireplace Universe

Wood Heat vs Pellet Stove Comparison Guide – The Spruce

Wood and Pellet Heating | Department of Energy

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