Top 3 Pellet Heater Battery Backup

Without power pellet heaters will stop heating and won’t start. This can be a huge problem if the power goes out. However, you can run a pellet heater during a blackout or even off-grid. Below you’ll find what I think are the top 3 pellet heater battery backup options. They’ll keep your heater running during a blackout and keep your house warm. The best options are a UPS, a UPS inverter and a generator. How much electricity do pellet heaters use? It’s less than 100 watts and all the pellet heater battery backup power options below will keep your heater running for hours so you can stay warm even during a blackout.

Here’s a quick breakdown of battery backup options for a pellet heater:

  • UPS – Easy to install and cheap but can only power a pellet heater for short time.
  • UPS Inverter – Use your own batteries for extra run time but expensive and suits DIYers.
  • Generator – Power for as long as you have petrol/diesel but noisy and expensive.

UPS – Cheapest and Easiest

pellet heater battery backup
UPS is the simplest way to run your pellet heater during a blackout
$200 – $300

The easiest way to keep your pellet heater running during a blackout is to use an Uninterruptible Power Supply (UPS). A UPS is basically a small box with batteries inside. They are very easy to setup. You plug the UPS into a power socket and then you plug your pellet heater into the UPS. What happens is if the pellet heater is running and the power goes out, the UPS detects this and it switches the supply of power to the batteries inside the UPS. Your pellet heater will keep running as the power it draws is now coming from the batteries.

A UPS is a very quick and easy way to protect your pellet heater from blackouts. The downside is you’ll probably be able to run your heater for about 2 hours at most before the batteries in the UPS go flat. Because of this a UPS is good for times when there are brownouts or blackouts that don’t last very long. If the power typically goes out for many hours to days then the best thing to do is to shutdown the pellet heater. Check this Ebay link to see what UPS are currently selling for.

What to look for when buying a UPS:

  • Pure sine wave – Pellet heaters need “clean” power. Any UPS you buy must be labelled as pure sine wave and NOT modified sine wave.
  • 1000VA to 1500VA or higher – Pellet heaters need about 300 to 400 watts to get started and about 50 to 60 watts once running. A 1000VA UPS can put out about 600 watts in power, so that’s just enough to start a pellet heater. Ideally, I’d get a 1500VA which is about 900 watts as this will keep your pellet heater running longer also.

UPS Inverter – Best Value for DIYers

3000w ups inverter
UPS inverters are a good DIY backup power option for pellet heaters
$400 – $600

If you enjoy doing things yourself and want to run your heater for many hours to even days during a blackout, then consider getting a UPS inverter and buying bigger capacity batteries. A UPS inverter is basically a UPS without batteries. You’ll need to buy your own batteries and connect them to the UPS inverter. Your pellet heater is connected the same way to a UPS inverter as you would UPS. Connect your 12v batteries to the UPS inverter, plug the UPS inverter into the wall and then plug your pellet heater into the UPS inverter.

With a UPS inverter you can use any sized 12v batteries. This means the more and bigger capacity batteries you have, the longer you’ll be able to run your pellet heater. The downside is batteries aren’t cheap and buying second hand batteries is a gamble. However, if you are a DIYer and live in an area where the power goes out for hours to days at a time, this is a much better backup power option for your heater than a standard UPS.

What to look for when buying a UPS inverter:

  • Pure sine wave – Like a UPS above, make sure you buy a pure sine wave UPS inverter. This provides the clean power pellet heaters need for their fans.
  • Battery charging – Some UPS inverters don’t charge the 12v battery connected to it. This isn’t a bad thing but it means you’ll have to keep an eye on the 12v battery every few months or make sure you charge it up after being used. You’ll pay a bit more for a UPS inverter that charges any battery connected to it but w it is a handy feature to have in case you forget.

Generator – Most Versatile

honda generator
Generators are the best option for rural areas where blackouts last days
$300 – $2000+

Finally, if you live in an area where blackouts last for days to weeks then a generator is probably going to be another backup power option to consider. The benefit of a generator is they aren’t super expensive and if you buy a big enough one you’ll be able to power other household appliances, such as a fridge and TV. The downside is you’ll obviously have to keep some petrol or diesel around to run one and they will require a little maintenance. However, if you live rural and blackouts occur frequently and last many days, a generator makes sense as you’ll be able to run other appliances in your house.

What to look for when buying a generator:

  • Pure sine wave – Yes, as above make sure your generator puts out pure sine wave power.

Standard Inverter Off-grid

If you are off-grid then you can definitely use a standard inverter with batteries. I left this until last because this setup is for off-grid only and not if you only want to run your pellet heater when the power goes out. If off-grid, then as above you want as many batteries as possible. You’d also want solar because even though pellet heaters draw very little power it will still eventually run a battery flat. Inverters will batteries will work fine but if you are on-grid then you will want a UPS or UPS inverter most likely.

Do You Need Backup Power?

No, you don’t have to have backup power with a pellet heater but it’s handy to have. If the power goes out, even for a second, the heater will switch off and then back on. If you are home, this isn’t a problem. You can quickly start the pellet heater so the fire in the burn pot keeps going or you can switch it on and then put it in shutdown mode the fire burns out properly and doesn’t smolder. Sadly, some people buy a pellet heater without understanding why it needs power and what happens, and honestly they shouldn’t buy a pellet heater, you don’t need a UPS but it’s strongly recommended.

If you are on a budget, of all the pellet heater battery backup options listed here, I’d recommend a second hand UPS. This way if the power goes out for a second your heater will keep running or if it goes out for hours you will have time to shut it down properly. Also, second hand UPS can be found cheap on Facebook marketplace and Gumtree, so its a cheap way to make sure you have a good heating experience with your pellet heater without breaking the bank.

How long will my pellet stove run on a battery backup?