Do Pellet Stoves Affect Asthma?

Girl Reaching for her inhaler

Not everyone on earth has the best lungs, and working around things that can irritate normal lungs can be deadly to people with asthma. Getting a heating solution that does not make an asthmatic life worse is vital, as a big challenge can be created from too much dust, too humid air, too much dry air, or low concentrations of oxygen. A common question asked by people new to pellet stoves is, does a pellet stove that is burning constantly pose a danger to asthmatic people?

A pellet stove that has been installed properly does not pose any risk to an asthmatic and can help improve the overall quality of life for most that have lung problems. Pellet stoves work by heating a room through ambient heat, meaning that there is no recycled air, dust in the system, or dried-out air being circulated in a room, allowing those with asthma to enjoy a home without having an asthma attack.

There are many things about pellet stoves that make them the perfect alternative to normal heating systems, with even pellet stoves and gas heating systems not being able to compare. You need to know what these advantages are and how you can make them work for you and your asthma problems before continuing to install a pellet stove in your home. 

Why is it a good alternative?

Because Pellet stoves have no waste air that is being released inside a home, combined with the passive way they heat the air, they are perfect for those with a sensitivity to air changes. A large majority of asthmatics’ challenges are that traditional ways of heating a home dry out the air or moves a lot of dust around, causing their lungs to become irritated. This is why they can get asthma attacks when a home is being heated using HVAC systems or gas heating systems. 

Pellet stoves work by heating the ambient air in a room, which means that there is no air being dried out by an open flame, while the lack of movement of the air means there is no extra dust. While pellet stoves do have flames in them, the flame is not what directly heats the homes, and the flame heats the pellet stove. The stove then heats the room, similar to the way old-style ovens heated a room when they were used.

 Several pellet stoves are specifically created to heat ambient heat as much as possible by having internal fans that do suck in some air and push out hot air through smaller filtered vents. These pellet stoves are usually meant for larger areas than even normal pellet stoves, while ventless pellet stoves usually have fans in them specifically to move as much dirty air through the vents they do have. 

Are pellet stoves bad for your health in other ways?

Unless you are regularly required to clean the entirety of a pellet stove with nothing but an older rag and no face mask, most pellet stoves will have no ill effects on your health at all. This is one of the biggest plus sides of using a pellet stove as the stove poses no ill effects if used properly. Unlike other types of stoves that would use the same principle, pellet stoves use up around 95% of the pellets’ materials.

This means that most of the heat from each pellet is burned up and pushed into the stove itself, while the waste is cleanly vented through the vents to the outside. In total, this causes the pellet stove to heat a room without using any excessive oxygen and without producing more CO2 or other gases. Something like a wood stove does not nearly have the same level of efficiency while also pushing in a lot of smoke and other gases into the room.

Further, to clean a pellet stove, all you need to do is empty the ashtray, which can be done quickly and safely. While most regular stoves require a bit more work, with a significantly larger amount of ash produced from each night’s wood-burning. This is usually why you won’t be able to burn a wood stove throughout the night, as the waste materials produced are simply too much to handle. 

What can be done to make sure pellet stoves do not cause a problem?

The simple answer will be to ensure that there is no leakage from the stove into the home, with all dirty air that is produced being exhausted to the outside. When a pellet stove does have a leak or vent that does not work properly, a lot of CO2 can be produced, with significant traces of soot being pushed into your home. 

This has made testing for leaks and other problems of having a pellet stove in your home vital as many people forget that even a small leak can cause a problem. Many of the pellet stoves worldwide come with dedicated vents that are already perfectly sealed and only need to be assembled. Usually, this is to prevent any leaks from forming if you would create your custom venting solution. 

To test if your pellet stove has any leaks, you will need a bright flashlight and a dark room, with special tapes needed to seal most of the stubborn leaks that can form. Many people around the world test for leaks before the winter starts to ensure all they have to do once things get cold is turn the pellet stove on and leave it to do its thing. 

What can you do to ensure the stove never becomes a problem?

All you need to do to ensure the pellet stove never produces smoke gets leaks, or burns inefficiently are to keep it clean, use good pellets, and damage it. While this does seem, simple there are cases where you grab a bag of pellets, and too late, you realize that pellets are moist or that stove has a small hole somewhere.

This is why weekly maintenance of a pellet stove always includes checking on the vents and checking on the pellets themselves. A considerable number of people forget that pellets need to be completely dry to be used in a pellet stove. This means that they cannot be stored outside at all. 

Many pellet stove owners have made the mistake of placing the first few tons of pellets that they buy somewhere where the wind and rain can reach them. Causing moisture to increase in the pellets, which naturally produces more smoke when they do burn. When produced, Smoke can naturally escape a pellet stove and cause people with asthma and other allergies to be affected, which is the last thing a pellet stove should ever do. 


Pellet stoves that are working properly should not cause problems to those with weaker lungs or with asthma. Further, having a pellet stove in the home is a good way to keep everyone warm and safe without causing any allergic problems or even bother those with lungs that can be unhappy.

Just be sure that the pellets you are using are perfect, and then no one will ever notice that your pellet stove is even running!

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