I am still on the fence between a wood stove and a pellet stove. There was an old Gibraltar wood stove insert installed in our house when we bought it over four years ago. We haven’t used it, but plan on using it this year. It is as an old model, and the newer ones are much more efficient.

I can replace the wood stove insert with a pellet stove insert or a newer wood stove insert. Or I can install a free standing pellet stove that will be cheaper than an insert and provide more BTU’s, but I will end up with possibly a pellet stove and a fireplace in the same room. One possibility getting a free standing pellet stove such as a Harmon P68, and put a facing of some sort over the downstairs fireplace, and have the stove extending out into the room. I called the Harmon dealer and he said it is possible to do that, but I would need to get approval from the fire inspector. He also said I would have to call my insurance guy, and get it added to my home owner’s insurance. I called my insurance guy and he said it would cost an extra $30 a year. I haven’t found a number for a fire inspector guy yet.

Wood stove:
Pros:

Wood is cheap or free (we have lots of trees)
Can always get wood
Will work during a power outage (though without blower)
Potentially will produce more BTUs

Cons:
Have to carry wood up hill from where our trees are located
Will have to load wood into stove often
Leery about leaving stove going while not home
Wood may have insects like carpenter ants
Trips outside in cold and snow to get wood
Wood is dirty

Pellet Stove:
Pros:

Very automated
Fill only once or twice a day
Pellets clean and convenient
Safe to leaving running while not home
More consistant temperature
Can leave running all day even when not home

Cons:
Will not work during power outage (without generator or battery backup)
Shortages of pellets my occur
What if pellets go away as old technology?
Potential BTU’s less than wood stove.
Higher initial cost
More stuff likely to break