If you don’t mind getting your hands dirty and doing a little DIY work, then buying a used pellet heater can be a great way to save money. You could literally save thousands of dollars on a pellet heater if you are willing to spend some time hunting around Facebook marketplace or Gumtree looking for good second hand heaters. However, while you may find a bargain (some people even give away old pellet heaters they don’t want) there are a few things you need to keep in mind when looking at buying a used pellet heater. Not doing so could end up costing you more than the price of a new pellet heater.
Here’s a quick breakdown of what to consider when looking at a used pellet heater. If after reading the below you’ve decided it’s best to buy a new pellet heater, I’ve got some good recommendations on the top 5 pellet heaters in Tasmania or best Australian pellet heaters if you live outside of Tasmania. Read on below for more info on what to look for when buying a used pellet heater:
- What brand is the pellet heater?
- How old is the pellet heater?
- How often was the pellet heater serviced?
Pellet Heater Brand
Why does it matter what brand of used pellet heater you buy? Brand is important because some second hand pellet heaters are no longer supported in Australia. These heaters can’t be bought new and this means you may have difficulty buying parts or finding someone who knows how to service it. At some point you’ll need to replace parts and the only way you’ll be able to get them is to import them from overseas (very expensive) or pulling them from other used heaters. This is exactly what happened to the Enviro pellet heater brand, which you still see people selling on FaceBook and Gumtree, but this brand of heater stopped being sold and supported years ago.
If you are looking to buy a pellet heater that is no longer available locally, be careful. The heater might be cheap but you could spend hundreds if not thousands on of dollars on parts because they aren’t available locally. Buying a pellet heater brand that is still supported locally means not only can easily you get parts for them and usually at a much lower price, but it also means you could get it serviced by a retailer if you are unable to do it yourself. However, if are a hardcore DIYer and enjoy tinkering with used pellet heaters, then you may be happy to salvage parts from other heaters or try and fix them yourself.
Pellet Heater Age
The older a used pellet heater the more likely something will need to be replaced. This doesn’t mean a 10 year old pellet heater is bad and should be avoided. What it does mean, however, is whenever looking at secondhand heaters keep in mind something may need to be replaced. Before handing over your money do a quick test on the heater. Will they let you power it up and get a fire going? Does the auger spin and drop pellets? Do the exhaust and room fans work? Check the burn pot to see if there’s any major damage. If a fire starts in the heater then at least you know the igniter works.
Doing the quick checks listed above will give you some idea of what works, what doesn’t work and what may need to be replaced, such a noisy but working exhaust fan. I wouldn’t be paying top dollar for an old pellet heater. There’s no point spending a lot of money on a used pellet heater only to have to spend several hundred more dollars in parts on it. You may be better off buying a brand new heater that will be trouble free for many years. New pellet heaters come with a warranty and you wouldn’t be constantly worrying about which part is going to need to be replaced next.
Pellet Heater Servicing
Finally, find out how often the used pellet heater was serviced and who serviced it. A two year old heater that was never serviced (yes, it really does happen and often for more than 2 years) could be in much worse condition than a 5 year old heater that was properly serviced every year. Likewise, a pellet heater that was serviced by someone who didn’t know what they were doing could be problematic because it wasn’t properly cleaned or was damaged during cleaning. Improperly servicing a pellet heater often leaves ash build up from wood pellets in the heater which can affect performance or worse parts.
How often should you clean a pellet heater? Ideally once a week and once a month with a yearly deep clean. Pellet heaters have moving parts, those parts need to be cleaned and have a limited life span. That life span is drastically shortened if the heater is not looked after and serviced properly. I’ve seen pellet heaters that were serviced by owners with stripped screws, missing bolts and a range of other problems that will drastically short the lifespan of the pellet heater. A poorly maintained pellet heater might need several parts replacing, so you don’t want to pay too much for it.
The Best Used Pellet Heater to Buy
I think the absolute best used pellet heater to buy are ones that are still being sold by retailers. In Tasmania this would be Pellet Fires Tasmania, Bass Pellet Heaters or any of the Piazzetta pellet heater outlets. The reason for this is you can easily get parts for pellet heaters that still being sold, obviously. It also means that even if you don’t want to DIY service and fix a used pellet heater, you’ll have no trouble getting it serviced by the retailer who still sells them. This is important because usually you’ll find that pellet heater retailers won’t service pellet heaters they don’t sell.
In Tasmania you’ll find Bass and Pellet Fires Tasmania pellet heaters for sale on Facebook marketplace and Gumtree. If you are outside of Tasmania then I’d recommend looking for a Piazzetta, Palazzetti pellet heater or a Haas+Sohn, again on Gumtree and Facebook. These are the most popular European brands sold on the mainland in Australia. Again, buying one of those means you’ll be able to get parts and won’t have as much trouble as you may get if you buy an old Enviro EF2 or EF3 pellet heater that were sold in Australia in the past but are since long gone.
Should You Buy a Used Pellet Heater?
Now you know what questions to ask and what to look out for to avoid getting a lemon but is it worth your time and energy hunting for a second hand pellet heater? If it is your first pellet heater then I would say no. Instead, buy a new heater because you’ll get a warranty and peace of mind knowing if there are any problems you’ll have no trouble getting them sorted. Check out the Australian pellet heater retailer list to see where you can buy a pellet heater locally or if you are in Tasmania there’s a Tasmanian pellet heater retailer list.
However, if you are happy to get your hands dirty and it isn’t your first pellet heater, then go for it. You can pick up some used pellet heaters on the cheap if you are patient. I’ve seen Piazzetta pellet heaters on Gumtree for $1000, which normally cost $5,500 or more new. You can also find some old Enviro heaters for $200 or less and sometimes even free. I enjoy buying, fixing and playing with cheap second hand pellet heaters, so I totally understand why people want to buy used pellet heaters. If it’s something you feel comfortable with then definitely do it. It’s very rewarding buying an old heater, fixing it up and watching it run like new.