Pellet Stove Pros
Pellet stoves put out five times more BTUs (British Thermal Units) than standard wood-burning stoves and 75 percent to 90 percent of the pellets are converted to heat. Particulate emissions from pellet stoves are 50 times lower than non-EPA- certified wood-burning stoves and up to 5 times lower than EPA-certified wood-burning stoves.
Pellet Stove Cons
Many pellet stoves require electricity, so if the power is out the stove will not work, though some have a battery backup. Pellets for pellet stoves are becoming more common, but they are not readily available in all areas.
Wood Stove Pros
Wood stoves do not need electricity, and wood is easier to find in most places than pellets. EPA-certified stoves have fewer emissions than fireplaces and non-EPA-certified stoves.
Wood Burning Stove Cons
Wood-burning stoves are much less efficient than pellet stoves. Wood stoves also use much more fuel per season than pellet stoves.
The cost of a pellet-burning stove is higher than a wood stove, but the cost of pellets is about $500 per season. The cost of wood varies greatly. If cut from your own property or with a permit in the forest, it is cheap or essentially free. Otherwise it may cost about $175 per cord of wood, depending on local rates. A cord is about 15 trees that have a 10-inch diameter at breast height (or DBH--a common method for measuring tree size), according to the Tree Hugger website. Those who use wood stoves consistently throughout the chilly months may use up to three cords of wood per year.