We are getting a pellet burning stove and I want to stock up before winter, so I would like to know the average amount of time that a ton of pellets would last me for. Also, any advice in buying a pellet stove would be greatly useful. Example, what to watch out for, maybe even where to get a good one at a good price. Thank you in advance. )
The amount of pellets burned will depend on many factors actually.
First of all your stove brand and efficiency-some are on thermostats and some are not and will just go and go and go, eating two to three bags of pellets a day (or more) if they never turn off.
Square footage of the area being heated makes a huge difference in consumption.
Is your home well insulated? Do your windows and doors leak or are they air tight?
What temperature do you wish to heat the house to?
Where do you live? If you are in Maine you will use a lot more than if you are in Virginia for instance.
I live in CT. We burn about 3-4 tons of pellets a year. Our house is NOT insulated well (very old-attic is insulated but walls are not), is 1200 square feet and has some leakage in the doors and windows. While most of the windows are newer there are several that are not. We also have an older sliding door that has some issues. I use heavy insulated drapes and this helps tremendously.
We also keep our heat at 70 to 72. Yeah, I like it warm!
In the coldest days of winter we burn about 1.5 bags of pellets per day. In the early months only 1/4 to 1/2. I run the stove from October to May. We even had it light off a couple times in June this year on chilly nights. Thermostat called for heat and the pellets were there so it lit up. You can always unplug it if you want to be sure it does not come on or turn the thermostat way down if you have one.
We use a Castile stove by QuadraFire with the thermostat and love it. It is easy to clean, looks beautiful (we have it in our dining area) and has fans to push the heat out into the house. It also shuts off when the living room (where the thermostat is) reaches temperature, thus, saving us a lot of money on pellets. Wood Stoves and some Pellet Stoves will just run and run and run.
You can check out the one we use here:
While there are many less expensive models my opinion is just don’t do it. You might save a few bucks up front but most of the less expensive models have no thermostat, are a pain in the arse to clean and just do not have the great features or looks that the Castile does. Some have no fan to push the heat out into the room. This will make a huge difference in performance.
The Castile also does not get hot on the outside the way many of the other stoves do. You can touch it with your hand and not get burned. If you have kids or pets this is a huge bonus with this stove.
By the way we spent 2500 on our stove and it paid for itself in the first two years of use. It was worth every cent we paid for it!