Pellet stoves are one of the best space heaters available: they are efficient, cheap to run and they provide that comforting radiant heat. But they do have one downside: when the power goes out your pellet stove stops operating. For this reason, you will want to seriously consider installing battery backup for your pellet stove.
Not only does an electricity failure mean you will have no heating source, but it can also result in your house filling with smoke! This is due to the fact that everything in the pellet stove runs on electricity, from the pellet feeding system to the venting fan.
So what can you do about this?
Luckily there are a few different methods you can use to provide backup power for your pellet stove. Some of the options are quite cheap, while other methods are more costly – but also provide backup power for a much longer period of time.
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Battery Backup For Pellet Stoves
Power Inverter and Batteries
The first option for battery backup for your pellet stove is the cheapest (although not the simplest): using a power inverter and batteries.
How does this work?
A power inverter is an electronic device that converts low voltage (12 volts DC) to a higher mains voltage (120V AC in the USA).
So in even simpler terms, this is pulling 12 volts from batteries and converting it into mains voltage for your pellet stove to run on. See the image below for a visual guide.
Now there are a few important points to note before rushing out to buy an inverter and batteries:
- The inverter must be a “pure sine wave” inverter and not a “modified sine wave” inverter. See this article for the differences and the reason why.
- Choose an inverter that is at least 1000w
- The batteries must be “deep cycle” batteries.
So keep this in mind when shopping for your parts.
Example Pellet Stove Battery Back Up System
See the image below for a sample setup you can try.
This setup uses the following parts:
And you will also likely need a deep cycle battery charger, which can be obtained fairly cheaply here.
How does this pellet stove battery backup work?
When the power goes out:
- Get out your power inverter and charged battery
- Connect the battery output to the input on the inverter (make sure you have the correct polarity)
- Plug the pellet stove into the power output of the inverter
- Your pellet stove should operate as normal for up to 6 hours on the lower heat settings
Of course, the main downside to this system is that the inverter backup system is not always connected and you need to have your batteries kept charged just in case of a power outage.
Longer Battery Life
So the set up mentioned above lasts for up to 6 hours.
There are two ways you can extend the amount of time your batteries keep your pellet heater running for:
- Connect more batteries
- Use batteries with a larger AH rating
You can extend this by hooking up multiple batteries in parallel (not in series).
You can see an example of series and parallel connections at this site.
Of course the more batteries you use, the more you have to keep charged!
Pellet Stove Battery Back Up Calculator
Uninterruptable Power Supply (UPS)
The simplest method to provide backup power to your pellet stove is to use an uninterruptable power supply (herein referred to as a UPS).
How does this work?
A UPS is an all-in-one device that contains batteries, a charger and the electronics required to convert low voltage to mains voltage.
To use a UPS with your pellet stove you plug your pellet stove in directly to the UPS, which is in turn connected to mains power.
Because UPS’ are generally made to be small and compact, they usually won’t keep your pellet stove going for more than an hour. So it is recommended that they are used only to safely shutdown your pellet stove or while you start up the generator.
Here are our reccomendations of UPS’ that work well with pellet stoves:
- No products found.
- CyberPower R1500LCDRTXL2U 1500VA UPS – this is a larger UPS so will last for longer periods without power
And now for the most obvious way to provide backup power to your pellet stove during a power outage – a generator.
Buying a generator really is a case of choosing one to suit your specific needs. Which generator you need depends on numerous factors such as how many items you want to keep powered, what type of items they are and for how long you need to power them.
Amazon does have a good range of portable generators, but I really suggest you do your research before purchasing one.
Learn More: How to generate your own electricity.