What is a Pellet Heater?

If you are wondering what is a pellet heater then I don’t blame you. Most people have never heard of them or if they have know very little about them. Pellet heaters are type of heater that you can use to heat a room and house. Wood pellets are burnt to create heat and pellet heaters share similarities between a wood heater in terms of the type of heat they create and a heat pump in terms of convenience. You can read more detail in the how do pellet heaters work post and learn all the different parts inside them or continue reading below for a quick and simple intro to pellet heaters.

what is a pellet heater
Pellet heaters burn wood pellets and are a great alternative to wood heaters and heat pumps.

Burn Wood Pellets and Save the Environment

Pellet heaters have become increasingly popular in recent years, and for good reason. They operate by burning small, cylindrical wood pellets made from waste wood material, making them an eco-friendly heating alternative. Waste material, such as sawdust, that was previously thrown away, can now be recycled and used for heating. Compare this with wood heaters where old forest growth is cut down and will never grow again. Furthermore, because pellet heaters can burn both softwood, hardwood or a mixture of the two, some pellet mills will plant plantation forests for the specific purpose of making wood pellets.

Hang on, you might say, that’s still cutting down a tree to burn. That’s true, however, plantation timber is grown for the specific purpose of heating. This is very eco friendly because plantation timber is fast growing and is perfect for making wood pellets from because pellet heaters can burn softwood and hardwood perfectly fine. Wood heater owners shy away from plantation timber as it doesn’t burn well and can cause damage to their wood heater due to how hot some softwood species can get.

Effortless Heating with Pellet Heaters

One of the many great things about pellet heaters is their fully automatic operation, which makes them incredibly convenient to use. When you switch on a pellet heater, pellets are automatically fed into a burn pot and within a few minutes a fire starts and the heater begins heating the room it is in. There’s no need to manually light a fire in a pellet heater. And when you’re finished using the pellet heater, with the push of a button it can shutdown and stop heating almost immediately.

Pellet heaters have a “hopper,” which is a container that holds the wood pellets. Pellet heaters are extremely efficient (about 90%) and you’ll only need to refill the hopper once a day at most during the middle of winter, which makes maintaining the heater significantly easier than traditional wood heaters that require constant attention. With a wood heater, you have to manually light a fire and continuously add firewood throughout the day or night. There’s none of this with a pellet heater. Check the hopper once every day or two, tip a bag of pellets in when need, and you are done. The pellet heater does the rest.

Quick and Easy Heat

The heat created by a pellet heater is transferred into the room via a fan, the same way a heat pump heats a room. Pellet heaters are convection heaters, like heat pumps, which means they are very quick at heating a room up. They come in different sizes and can range from small, around 6kw to large, about 13kw, which means pellet heaters are suitable for almost all sized houses. Wood heaters are primarily radiant heaters and can take some time to heat up a room or house.

The advantage of a convection heater is hot air is blown out into the room it is in, meaning within minutes warm air begins circulating the room warming it up. Radiant heaters like a wood heater can take an hour or more before a room has warmed up due to the way heat is transferred from the wood heater to the room and house it is in.

I strongly recommend you check out my comparison of pellet heater vs other types of heating as it will give you a good idea of how pellet heaters work and if it is something you’d be interested in. If you’d just like to know more general info then please check out my pellet heater FAQ page. If you want real heat without the hassle, then a pellet heater might just be what you are looking for.


I think pellet heaters are the best option for anyone wanting real heat with no mess. They’re eco-friendly because pellets are made from waste wood material like sawdust, instead of cutting down trees. Pellet heaters are super easy to use and switch on automatically, no need to fuss with matches or lighters. They’re like a heat pump, which means they heat up a room real fast. Just imagine you’ve just walked into a freezing room, hit the button on your pellet heater, and boom! Within a few minutes, the room is all warm and toasty.

And the best part? You don’t have to keep putting more pellets in all day like you have to with a wood heater. One bag of pellets should last a whole day. So, if you want an easy, eco-friendly way to heat up your home, you should definitely check out pellet heaters. If you are totally new to pellet heaters then I strongly recommend checking out the top 5 pellet heaters in Tasmania article if you live in Tassie or the best pellet heater in Australia. They are basically pellet heater reviews and will help introduce you to the wonderful world of pellet heaters.

Wikipedia on Pellet Heaters