When I’m asked are pellet heaters noisy, I always say “no” because they aren’t. I think the biggest reason people are worried about noise from a pellet heater is because they are switching from a wood heater, which usually make no noise, and aren’t used to fans running on a heater. Some people worry the noise from these fans will be loud or distracting. There’s obviously some sound but you’ll find pellet heaters are about as “noisy” as a heat pump or common pedestal fan. I think you’ll find any sound from a pellet heater quickly becomes white background noise and no longer notice it. Below are all the things in a pellet heater that make sound.
Pellet heaters or pellet fires as some people in Tassie call them, aren’t noisy. You’ll be able to watch TV, have a conversation or just relax with a pellet heater running in the same room. However, they have moving parts so they make some noise. Here’s a quick list of everything in a pellet heater that makes some sound. Read on below to learn more about each and why pellet heaters aren’t noisy:
- Exhaust fan
- Room fan
- Auger turning
- Bouncing pellets
Exhaust fans are an essential component of a pellet heater, as they keep the the fire in the burn pot burning efficiently and safely. They do this by circulating air through the burn pot, making sure that the fire stays lit and that the emissions from the fire are properly ventilated out the flue. When you turn your pellet heater on, the fan will typically run on high for the first 10 to 30 minutes as the heater starts up. This is to help get the fire going and get the room heated up quickly. During this time, you might hear the fan making a bit more noise, similar to a pedestal fan or heat pump on high.
Once the room has reached your desired temperature, the exhaust fan will drop down into a much slower mode and run much more quietly. The sound it makes will be similar to a common pedestal fan and shouldn’t be a distraction. It’s important to note that the exhaust fan will continue to run even after the fire in the burn pot is lit, burning and the room has reached your desired temperature. This is to keep the fire burning efficiently and to make sure that the emissions are being properly ventilated. The exhaust fan will only switch off once the heater has shut down.
The room fan in a pellet heater is an integral part of the heating system, helping to circulate hot air from the pellet heater into the room it is in. The amount of noise it produces will depend on the heat output of the heater, but once the desired room temperature has been reached, the fan will switch to low and run quietly in the background. If you’ve ever used a heat pump or air con, then you should be familiar with the kind of background noise it makes, with a bit more noise when it first starts up as it’s running in high mode to quickly heat up the room.
However, some people, especially those who have only ever used a wood heater, may not like the idea of having a fan running all the time, which is one of the potential drawbacks of using a pellet heater and it’s one of the three reasons you shouldn’t buy a pellet heater. I genuinely don’t think pellet heaters are noisy. However, I understand not everyone is like me, so if the idea of running fans in a heater worries you, then please visit a retailer and see a pellet heater in person to get a better idea of the noise they make.
The auger is another crucial component in a pellet heater that keeps the fire burning and producing heat. Its continuously feeds pellets from the hopper into the burn pot, which keeps the fire burning in a controlled manner. Unlike a traditional wood heater, where you have to manually add firewood every few hours, the auger automatically does this as it drops pellets into the burn pot from the hopper, meaning you can sit back and enjoy the lovely warmth. Augers do make some noise but it is not loud nor does it make the sound non-stop.
The auger only turns every 10 to 20 seconds for a brief moment as it drops pellets into the burn pot, and when it does turn it produces a low pitched humming sound. More expensive pellet heaters, like Piazzetta pellet heaters or Palazzetti pellet heaters, reduce this noise further via extra sound insulation. Regardless, augers make so quiet that no matter if you’re watching TV, reading a book, or just relaxing, it shouldn’t be a distraction.
Pellets Falling into the Burn Pot
The sound of wood pellets falling into the burn pot is unique to pellet heaters and is an experience you won’t get from any other type of heater, not even a wood heater. The sound of pellets falling into the burn pot isn’t loud and you can barely hear it. It’s difficult to describe but is a soft and gentle tinkling sound that you might hear when you drop a handful of small pebbles into a glass cup. This sound is created as the pellets drop from the auger into the burn pot and bounce around inside it.
Many people love the sound of the pellets falling into the burn pot as it gives them a sense of comfort, much like the sound of a crackling fire in a wood heater. When the pellet heater is just starting up and the fans aren’t yet running, you may be able to hear the sound of the pellets falling into the burn pot more distinctly. However, once the fire in the pellet heater becomes established and the heater switches into heating mode, the sound of the exhaust fan and room fan along with the auger means you’ll probably no even hear the pellets falling into the burn pot anymore.
So are pellet heaters noisy? For me personally, no they aren’t. If it really worries you then be sure to ask a pellet heater retailer when you visit to see one of their heaters running. Before you buy a pellet heater also get the retailer to start the heater up and run it in all heating modes: high, medium and low. This way you’ll know what to expect in terms of noise. The sound they make for me is white noise and the video below might help if you are wondering what a pellet heater sounds like when it is running. Pellet heaters aren’t noisy, it’s like using most other types of heaters, because even wood heaters can have fans.
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