If you are considering buying a pellet stove, no doubt you may hear negative things from people you know or even from Hearth product retailers.
Pellet technology has been around for a long time. They are typically the most efficient, cleanest burning solid fuel appliances available. My experience tells me that almost every person with negative things to say has never owned or operated a pellet stove. They are simply repeating what they themselves have heard. Buyers should know that if they burn their pellet stoves continuously during the heating season they will need to have it completely cleaned by a competent professional at least 2 times per year. The homeowner can learn how to do this servicing if they want to. This is also the recommendation for a regular wood stove. The second and third hand stories usually relate to poor operation due to maintenance not being performed.
The other thing that I hear about is part failure. I bought a brand new Ford Ranger in 2008. I love my truck. It has taken everything thrown at it and still purrs. When I had it for three months I was out on a call and the electrical system failed. I was just able to limp back to town and into the dealership. The alternator had failed. I do not blame the truck. Almost all components for every device or appliance produced today are of this type. That would be disposable. The manufacturers term is 'consumable'. In other words- mass produced. Another aspect to these components that I have become aware of is that they are in themselves designed and fuse protected to fail under certain conditions. The condition that usually occurs would be the situation when the unit is not maintained. For example: If the burn pot of a pellet stove is never cleaned and there is a crusty build up. It puts pressure on the auger and thus the gear box and then the motor- eventually effecting the unit computer.
I personally would consider it lucky to have to replace a fuse or even an auger motor before having a major short that would burn out the computer. Biofuel is the way of the future. Let's not be so grumpy about it. Read the manual. Get yourself a good service technician. Then enjoy the consistent, clean burn heat and great savings that only a pellet stove can deliver." - Ian Myers
Note: here's a great article on "Benefits of Wood Pellets" - Everything you will ever need to know about them.