How Does a Ventless Pellet Stove Work?

pellet stove by window

There are several types of pellet stoves out in the world, and most of them will work in the same way, with a vent that goes out of the nearest wall, window, or roof. However, you might visit a friend someday and see a pellet stove that looks almost hidden, with no obvious vents going in or out. These are called ventless pellet stoves, and they work much differently than you imagine, with more trickery than efficiency. 

Ventless pellet stoves still have vents, with the vent firmly placed at the rear of the stove and meant to be routed to the outside with a much smaller vent than you would normally use. Ventless pellet stoves are called that because they do not require the top or large rear vents that would normally be used to help spread heat into a house. Instead, the entire stove works as the heating point, losing almost no heat through the exhaust vent.

Understanding how these work will help you know where to use them and what makes people install something so much smaller than other pellet stoves. There are locations throughout a home that will be perfectly compatible with these stoves and several others that might be too small, as these pellet stoves that are called ventless are usually smaller than the others.  

Why are ventless pellet stoves used?

Ventless pellet stoves are used in smaller spaces where large vents cannot be routed, usually closer to the middle of a building or apartments. Ventless pellet stoves can also be better when someone in the house has a lung disease like asthma or similar. Even when the wrong pellets are used, the internal venting system of a ventless pellet stove will route out all bad air. 

These stoves, while not entirely ventless, require a lot less work to install, allowing people to install them into a room that cannot have large vents running through them. You may find that a ventless pellet stove, which is smaller, will be used in bedrooms or small studio apartments. Doing so allows the stove to work as efficiently as possible, owing to most ventless pellet stoves being smaller than normal pellet stoves. 

It would be best if you remembered that it is not entirely ventless when you plan on using your ventless pellet stove. No pellet stove can ever be ventless. If you cannot use vents at all in a room, installing a gas heater or an electric heater would be better. However, these come with challenges and use a lot more resources over time. 

What makes a ventless pellet stove different?

A ventless pellet stove has one small round vent, usually on the bottom right at the back of the stove that needs to be connected to the outside. The pellet stove’s internal venting system pushes all the bad air that the stove produces through that vent location. This hidden vent system often gives the illusion that the pellet stove is ventless when in actuality, the vents are just hidden away a lot better than normal pellet stoves.

A normal pellet stove will have one large vent coming out of the top, the back, or sometimes the side that leads directly to the outside. Many times these vents need to rise vertically quite sharp before going horizontally and pushing the air out. As the vent works, it also becomes hotter and hotter, using the hot air from the stove to push out any bad air and soot. 

However, this action causes the vent to heat up, losing a lot of the hot air produced by the stove to the vent and out of the hole in your wall. This is why you will see many normal pellet stoves with slightly larger vents than even a wood stove. The vent acts as a heating point and greatly helps to increase the heat pushed into a room.

How does a ventless pellet stove vent exhaust air?

Ventless pellet stoves have internal fans that create some air pressure that pulls the dirty air from inside through the bottom vents installed in the pellet stove. This structure means that the smoke that is produced, or just the dirty air, is pulled from the stove and pushed out of the back through the smaller vent that it has. 

This is not like a normal vented pellet stove that will still have some fans in them but will rely entirely on the heat produced to vent all unwanted air. The fan in normal pellet stoves provides enough oxygen for the pellets to burn hot enough. The heat from the pellets burning that causes such a low level of waste in the air produced. 

By having the air vented through the fans’ air pressure, the heat produced by a ventless pellet stove is entirely pushed into the stove and then the room. As the air is vented through normal pellet stoves, around 25% of the heat is lost to the vent, causing a lot of heat to be lost as the vents to heat up or simply allow the heat to escape. 

Where are ventless pellets stoves used?

Unlike normal pellet stoves, ventless pellet stoves have specific locations that they are used and should preferably be used. The smaller size and controlled vents mean that using these stoves in normal large locations will only cause the stove to burn hotter to have the same effect. Ventless stoves are meant to be used in smaller rooms with no clear way for a vent to be installed. 

Normal pellet stoves are great at heating large open spaces, but they will be too hot when used in confined spaces, causing the room to be uncontrollably warm. Further, with the smaller vents that ventless pellet stoves have, their vents can be routed through walls or under floors without causing a problem. Knowing where to use ventless pellet stoves will help you choose the best one for your home or just the space that you need to use it in.

  • Reading corner: The most popular location for ventless pellet stoves to be used are small libraries or reading corners in the middle of the house. These rooms are usually smaller, and having a small, ventless pellet stove in them helps to make the cozy location so much cozier. 
  • Quiet Areas: Smaller rooms that are used as hobby areas, just sitting areas, or quiet spaces throughout a house that won’t benefit from large electric heating systems or gas systems. Smaller pellet stoves are perfect for these as they can be left burning at all times, ensuring that even the quiet locations in the house are comfortably warm and safe. 
  • Low traffic areas: Hallways, kitchens, cleaning rooms, or just unused spaces in a house can be locations that require a lot more work to be heated. Ventless pellet stoves can be run even when someone is not currently in a room, which allows you to heat the whole house without having to stress about cold spots. 
  • Offices: Office spaces are not always the most open locations in the house, and many offices are smaller, requiring more than just a pellet stove that heats areas twice the size of the office. Ventless pellet stoves with their nondescript venting and controlled heating are perfect for offices, allowing each office space to be heated by their stove, allowing for a more specific control. 
  • Bedrooms: Often, the entire house will be heated by the central and largest pellet stove, while the bedrooms are too far away to be heated at all. With ventless pellets stoves, you can easily and comfortably have the stove running in a bedroom throughout the night and set it to a colder setting to burn throughout the day.


Ventless pellet stoves are not truly ventless, as even when burning at the top efficiency, the dirty air that is produced needs to go somewhere. However, ventless pellet stoves are perfect for smaller areas where a normal pellet stove would either be too much or require too much work to be installed. One of the defining factors of a ventless pellet stove is that it needs to be used in a smaller area that allows the stove to be efficient. 

Wherever you are using the pellet stove, you must have it somewhere it can be effective. Pellet stoves come in all shapes and sizes, so having the best location for your stove is vital!

Recent Posts