Wood and Pellet Stoves

Wood and Pellet Stoves

Pellets and wood are a popular fuel choice in Maine because they are a locally-produced fuel supply. Wood and pellet fuels are a renewable and cost-effective way to heat your home or business.

Pellet&WoodStovesA wood or pellet stove burns wood or pellets to heat a single room, but when centrally located, these systems can offset demand on the primary heating system. Modern stove design has increased output efficiency and convenience, meaning that the heat from these secondary systems can meet a significant part of a home’s heating demand.

Most modern pellet stoves and many wood stoves include a direct connection or duct for combustion make-up air from outside. Ducting increases the overall efficiency of heating with wood or pellets by reducing the amount of cold outdoor air that is drawn into living spaces throughout the house. Ducting also increases the distribution of heat from the stove by eliminating the directional draft from the home’s extremities toward the stove. Ducting of make-up air is a requirement for receiving a rebate from Efficiency Maine. High-efficiency wood and pellet heating systems are eligible for Home Energy Savings Program (HESP) Incentives and Efficiency Maine Energy Loans.

Wood Stoves
Wood Stove – A wood stove is usually made of cast iron, steel, or stone. Wood stoves can be used as a primary or secondary source of heat. The U.S. EPA has a number of resources on how to pick wood stoves. Click here for more information.


Pellet Stoves
Pellet Stove – Pellet stoves look similar to wood stoves and burn compressed pellets, a renewable fuel made of ground, dried wood, and other biomass waste. Pellets are poured into a hopper which feeds the stove automatically. Unlike wood stoves or fireplaces, pellet stoves require electricity to operate. Click here for more information.


Fireplace – Wood-burning fireplaces are often chosen for aesthetics and ambiance, but lose more heat than they generate. Large amounts of the heat generated by the central heating system can be lost when the fireplace is lit because they pull cold air in through any leakage points in the house. Most wood fireplaces are best used when the central heating system is not needed. The U.S. EPA has a number of resources on how to pick fireplaces. Click here for more information.

Pellet and wood stoves are typically fireplace inserts or free-standing models. Many different types are available. Click here for Efficiency Maine’s list of approved wood and pellet stoves. Click here to find out where you can buy pellets. If you’re interested in understanding how wood and pellet fuels compare to other fuel types, click here for Efficiency Maine’s Compare Heating Costs Calculator.

Tips for safe and efficient wood stove, pellet stove or fireplace operation

  • Have a certified chimney sweep inspect the system every year
  • Clean out the inside with a wire brush periodically
  • Inspect fans and motors regularly
  • Clean the flue vent on a regular basis
  • Close fireplace and wood stove dampers when not in use

To be eligible for a rebate, qualifying wood and pellet stoves must be installed by a Registered Pellet/Wood Stove Vendor and with an outdoor air intake ducted to or near the stove.

For more information on pellet and wood heating options, please visit the Maine Pellet Fuels Association’s website.