When it comes to buying a pellet heater, are expensive pellet heaters better? With so many brands on the market (mainly Chinese and European), it can be difficult to determine which heater is the best fit for your needs and budget. While the main difference between pellet heaters is price, Chinese heaters being cheaper, cost should not be the only determining factor when making a decision on a pellet heater purchase. There are many other important factors to consider, such as availability of parts, level of service and support, and warranty. Are expensive pellet heaters better? That answer is no, not always because the extra cost in price doesn’t necessarily mean it is more reliable.
Cost vs Design
Chinese heaters typically cost $2500 to $5000, while European heaters are about $5000 to $10000. You might assume a more expensive Piazzetta European pellet heater like a Piazzetta is of better quality or has more features, but this isn’t always the case. Both types of heaters function the same way and are about as efficient as each other. The main difference being the design and aesthetics of the heater. While European heaters may have a more polished or refined look, costing twice as much as a Chinese equivalent does not mean you get twice the reliability or efficiency. The functionality and features will be the same or nearly identical. The extra cost is often for the brand name and look.
Another thing to consider is the extra price of the European pellet heater worth it? If you are happy to pay for the design and brand name, then that’s fine. However, the extra money you save by buying a Chinese or cheaper pellet heater could be spent on buying wood pellets. Even a price difference of $1,000 between a cheaper and more expensive pellet heater could mean a year of winter heating. That’s why you decide what you are looking for in a heater because everyone has different preferences and heating needs.
Service and Support
When looking to buy a pellet heater, it’s important to look beyond price and consider the availability of parts, the level of service, and the warranty. All pellet heaters needs to be serviced. It doesn’t matter if you spend $10,000 or $2,000 on a pellet heater. There are parts inside them, like igniters and burn pots, they will eventually need to be replaced. All brands of pellet heaters will need to be deep cleaned and the flue cleaned out as well. This is why I don’t think you should worry only about how expensive a heater is or how good the brand name is. Don’t forget about parts and servicing.
Can parts be bought locally from the retailer you got the pellet heater from, how much do they cost, what kind of parts does the retailer always keep in stock and on hand and how long does it take to get parts in they don’t stock or run out of? If you aren’t able to service your pellet heater yourself, you’ll need to hire someone to do it. If so, what does that cost and how long after you book your pellet heater in for a services does it take them to do the service?
Again, it’s important to remember that all pellet heaters need to be maintained and serviced no matter where they are made or how expensive they are. These factors are just as important as the cost of the heater or the brand.
Another important point to consider when buying a pellet heater is the warranty offered by the retailer. A pellet heater that costs twice as much as a cheaper brand doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll get a warranty period that is twice as long. Pellet Fires Tasmania sells Chinese made heaters with a 5-year warranty. However, Piazzetta pellet heaters which cost twice as much only come with a 2-year warranty. European heaters cost twice as much but a shorter warranty. There can be a difference of several thousands dollars between European and Chinese heaters, which makes you wonder why some European models only have a 1 year warranty. A higher price tag does not always mean you’ll get a better warranty period.
It’s important to carefully review the warranty offered by the manufacturer, and consider the length and coverage of the warranty against how expensive the pellet heater is. A longer warranty can provide peace of mind and protection against potential defects or malfunctions. Another thing to consider is the cost of parts. If something does need to be replaced outside of warranty, how much will the part cost? You’ll find that most European pellet heater parts are more expensive than their Chinese counterparts. So this is another thing to keep in mind and why I think it’s important to get as long a warranty as you can.
Finally, if you do find two model pellet heaters with the same warranty but huge difference in price, you may consider going for the cheaper one and using the money you save on buying wood pellets.
So, are expensive pellet heaters better? More expensive doesn’t always mean better when it comes to pellet heater. Chinese pellet heaters can be just as good as European heaters, and the key is to focus on retailer service along with part availability and manufacturer price. All pellet heaters, regardless of where they are made, function the same. They all need to be serviced and parts will eventually need to be replaced. Because of this I think it’s always better to have a heater that you can rely on with a good warranty and local service and support. In the end, the most important thing is to find a heater that meets your needs and budget, and that you feel confident in.