This paper focuses on the investigation of typical residential heating systems installed in family houses that utilize biomass fuel (pellets of A2 quality class). The investigation was directed towards two main pathways. In the first part of the research, three typical and market available pellet fuels were examined in laboratory conditions in order to detect the general quality of the pellet fuels and their specific emissions (heating content was about 17 MJ/kg for all pellet fuels with the moisture content ranging from 3.4% to 8.2% and with emissions within the typical values, except the CO emissions). In the second part of the research, a typical small scale residential central heating system with a pellet stove was examined during operation (with pellet stove combustion efficiency ranged from 66% to 79%). The specific combustion emissions were analyzed together with the combustion efficiency of the examined system. The investigation of general user satisfaction and experience showed that users are generally satisfied with pellet based heating systems, where the main benefit is related to the economic aspect. However, users experienced certain issues related to pellet stove regulation in circumstances when the pellet brand was changed. Thus, pellet fuel quality was an issue which is closely intertwined with the quality and flexibility of the pellet stove, with direct effect on user satisfaction. (C) 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.