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Pellet stoves...?

pt0872's picture

Home heating oil is killing us here....$400+ every couple of months.


I've been considering getting a pellet stove for the house.


Small ranch 1300sf single floor.


Who's had experience with these and how do you like them?


I'd like to put this in our basement and run the pipes out the back of the house...would that generate enough heat to warm the whole house? Or must I put this in the dinning room? They just seem so big I dont want it upstairs.


Can the pipes run up the wall, 90* turn to the outside then another 90* straight up to the top of the roof?

(post #70355, reply #1 of 24)

Greetings pt,


This post, in response to your question, will bump the thread through the 'recent discussion' listing again.


Perhaps it will catch someones attention that can help you with advice.


Cheers


 


 

 


'Nemo me impune lacesset'
No one will provoke me with impunity

 

 
   

'Nemo me impune lacesset'
No one will provoke me with impunity

(post #70355, reply #2 of 24)

Bump again.

My BIL has one in his winterized cottage. It seem to do the job. His has a blower in the system so the exhaust is pressurized, so no problems
with the chimney, within reason. I'll inquire into how well it works in the Georgian Bay winters.

An ex-boat builder treading water!
An ex-boat builder treading water!

(post #70355, reply #3 of 24)

Sorry, I didnt see this when originally posted.


 


I have an Enviro Pellet stove, It works great, I can heat 2000 sf when at full blast on the coldest of days, and only use a bag and a half a day, which is around $6/day. Most days I can get by on 1 bag, or $4/day.


I am on my original tank of oil for the season, and only halfway through my second pallet of pellets. I love the stove, But do not really like the cleaning of it.


Since heat rises, you will get some value in installing in your basement, But since heating is a function of cubic footage and proper circulation, It will not work as well as if it was on your living level.


I think you might want to wait since the season is nearly over, and see if you can find a good deal in the summer.


I installed the unit my self. Make sure you pull a permit, and have the fire department inspect the finished product even if you have the place you bought it from install it. Also contact your Insurance Co.

______________________________

Kevin

www.SouthShoreRemodeling.com

(post #70355, reply #4 of 24)

Thanks so much for the bump/info....


Was just talking about this tonight. Thinking we'll buy one this summer, especially since I had to call today for our 3rd oil call.


Hopefully, this summer I'll be able to find stoves at 50% off.


Anyone else having problems finding pellets?

(post #70355, reply #5 of 24)

I only have a 1300ish sf home, 1 level ranch. The dinning room is located right in the center of the house and it's the largest room.


Directly off that room are 2 bedrooms directly in front of the dinning room, to the left of the dinning room are a living room and an office. Off the dinning room is the kitchen and bathroom.


If I put a pellet stove in one corner of the dinning room would it heat the house, using minimal oil heat?


Anyone know of a BTU size I should be looking at to heat the house?


Very Crude of what my house looks like....but would like to know if a stove where the X is would distribute heat thru the house.


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(post #70355, reply #6 of 24)

Hi PT,

Having used central heating devices like these, I would say that the pellet stove will work. I have used small low amp fans in doorways to distribute heat to furthest rooms.

Ceiling fans are also effective in bringing heat down from the ceiling.

One caveat regarding pellet stoves: I believe all of them rely on electricity to feed the pellets into the firebox. Usually an auger-like device. This means if you have a power outage, you won't have heat.

Alan.

Oh, just remembered, you have oil. My bad. But still important for those that would rely on pellets.

(post #70355, reply #9 of 24)

I bought a small home with a pellet stove installed and been using it for three seasons now. I think the stove is 8 years old and probably wasn't the latest and greatest when it was new.

Plus: Cheap. Nothing like seeing the flicker of real fire on a cold night. Understandable/fixable level of technology. Gratifying to heat with waste.

Minus: Minimal automation (as in thermostat control). Takes up lots of floor space. Fans are noisy. Combustion air drawn from room and expelled (thus equal amount of cold exterior air forced to infiltrate house = cold feet.) Daily cleaning and annual chimney sweep. Worthless in power outage.

Some of my neighbors use kerosene stoves, and it seems they're spending about what I am on heating. The kerosene stoves are small, clean and quiet, have separate heating/combustion air flows, and have full thermostat automation. Biggest downside may be the exterior fuel tank & associated plumbing. OTOH the flues can be very simple.

Around here pellets went from $200/t to $375/t, last season to this.

(post #70355, reply #11 of 24)

These units are designed to be plumbed to outside air. with all make up air being supplied from an outside source you will eliminate the problem of infiltration.


In the event of a power outage, you can run off a generator. The unit uses most of the electricity when it first starts up because it has to heat up the pellets to a point of combustion, after that it uses very little electricity

______________________________

Kevin

www.SouthShoreRemodeling.com

(post #70355, reply #24 of 24)

<These units are designed to be plumbed to outside air>

Not mine, but after I moved in I learned that the previous owner was so cheap that he'd burn newspapers in the thing. So I guess even ten years ago when it was new my stove wasn't state-of-the-art. The place was so drafty before I started insulating/housewrapping/replacing windows etc. that the flue arrangement probably didn't matter much anyway.

Especially since pellet prices in my area are tracking kerosene, I think I'll go with a system that will offer a season's worth of BTUs with one fill-up, smaller in-house footprint, lower maintenance, quiet operation, programmable thermostat, etc. Maybe put a small wood-burner in the pellet-stove's current spot.

I saw a newspaper story maybe a month or so ago (LAT?) that said pellet stove sales are through the roof this season on the west coast.

(post #70355, reply #12 of 24)

"Anyone else having problems finding pellets?"

don't own a pellet stove

saw a piece on TV, there is a pellet manufacturer in Mass.

 


bobl          Volo, non valeo


Baloney detecter

 

bobl          Volo, non valeo

Baloney detecter    WFR

"But when you're a kibbutzer and have no responsibility to decide the facts and apply the law, you can reach any conclusion you want because it doesn't matter." SHG

(post #70355, reply #13 of 24)

One of the largest pellet manufacturers is just over the boarder in NH. Checked their site, can't buy direct from them but they do list their distributors.


I'm going to start shopping for these stoves pretty soon...most likely purchase one this spring/summer when the prices come down.

(post #70355, reply #14 of 24)

"most likely purchase one this spring/summer when the prices come down."

I'd start looking now.

they may already be clearing stock, since this near the "end of the season".

 


bobl          Volo, non valeo


Baloney detecter

 

bobl          Volo, non valeo

Baloney detecter    WFR

"But when you're a kibbutzer and have no responsibility to decide the facts and apply the law, you can reach any conclusion you want because it doesn't matter." SHG

(post #70355, reply #7 of 24)

I also have an enviro pellet stove and it works great. I have been on the same bag for the last week. I have 1300 square feet of living space and it works great. 80 degrees in the fron room and 73 at the farthest back master bedroom. I think it cost us 1400.00 2 years ago and is stainless steel, I didnt want the look of an old woodburning stove. I dont use any other forms of heat at all. The flue goes out my wall and up 21 feet and no problems at all ever. I would do it again.

(post #70355, reply #8 of 24)

I installed an Englander Stove here a few 4 ago and have been very pleased with it.  I was able to buy it at 1/2 price from a Lowes in my area.  You might want to check the local store, I know that I was looking at them just the other day and once again they were 1/2 off.  The best advice that I can give to you concerning the purchasing of pellets is to buy early(pre-order in the summer time if you can) and buy more than you think that you will need.  There was a severe shortage of pellets this winter and the shortage will continue through to the near future.  The manufacturers should be producing next years stockpile right now but instead they are producing to keep up with current demand.  If you have cheap access to dry shelled corn I would look into a corn burning stove.  Go to your local elevator and talk to the manager about buying corn in bulk corn prices are the cheapest in the fall when the farmers are picking it.  The corn stoves are more expensive but you will never have a shortage of corn to burn.

(post #70355, reply #10 of 24)

A friend at work bought one a couple months ago.  He can't say enough good things about it.  He has become somewhat obcessed with getting the best deal on pellets in the area.  Some of the local dealers won't sell to him because he did not buy his stove from them.  I guess that the shortage of pellets has caused the dealers to save their supplies for their best customers.  He's bought smaller amounts from our classifieds paper, and ebay.  He says that it has cut his other bill in half or better than that.


I bought a fancy wood burning stove used on ebay and rebuilt it.  It's a cast iron high efficiency rated unit and feel that it has been the best home improvent that I've done.  I went with a wood stove, because I like the idea of not being tied to a manufactured item.  Over the last couple of years I have pruned and removed some trees on my property so the wood has cost me nothing except for the labor.  There is some savings in the fact that I have not had to pay for removal of any of the wood.  I already have people at work giving me leads to free wood in their neighborhoods.  My heating bill also is about half.  I feel that the best part really is that my house is very comfortable now, and in the past it was always cold.  The radiant heat is soothing and makes for a nice nap in the livingroom.  I have to dump the ash out every 2 days, and add wood every couple hours.  I don't like dealing with the ash, but the making and maintaining fire is gratifying (I think that it goes back to the caveman instincts).


Whatever you go with you'll probably be happy to not be 100% tied to the oil industry.

(post #70355, reply #15 of 24)

We installed one two winters ago and love it. It is a $40 BTU model.


Here in Oregon, the cost of pellets (highest quality) went from $165 a ton last year to $175 this year - increase was due to fuel costs to transport.


Specifics:



  • Stove cost $1400, flue and thimble parts cost $300

  • Runs to 40K BTU - we run it on about 25K BTU

  • House size is 3600 - we run the heat pump about 1-2 hour per day in addtion.

  • We burn 3 ton per year = $500 pellet cost

I included a PDF of the info.


 


 

(post #70355, reply #16 of 24)

Here is a picture of the stove with the tile walls and pad I laid. I dont have the mantel on in this photo.


 


Edited 2/14/2006 2:16 pm ET by TTF

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(post #70355, reply #17 of 24)

Very nice....looks great.


Does the pipe need to come directly from the stove and go outside like that, or can it bend 90* in the dinning room and run the pipes thru the attic and out the roof?


Otherwise, i have to run the pipes out the front of my house, and i dont want to do that.

(post #70355, reply #19 of 24)

Yes you can take it up 90 deg and through the attic. THe stove installation manual that came with my stove showed that as an acceptable configuration.


 

(post #70355, reply #18 of 24)

Damn,


Went to Lowe's tonight just to see what they had....only 1 left. I guess I missed the 50% off sale they had a month or so ago on the stoves.


They wanted 1300.00 for the stove. Guess I'll have to keep looking.

(post #70355, reply #20 of 24)

I doubt that you will find on that is discounted.  The last thing that I heard her in Minnesota is that sales of the add on furnaces is up 3000% in the last year.   


About a year ago I was interviewing for a lead engineer position with a manufacturing firm that wanted to expand into the corn stove market.  They were not very happy when I suggested that they would have to go thru UL to get approval for each of their stoves.  They thought that since one of their older products had once upon a time been approved, everything would be automatically grandfathered in.


If your stove is not approved your insurance policy may be null and void.


 


 


Edited 2/15/2006 11:46 am ET by Abe

(post #70355, reply #21 of 24)

I posted a topic on corn furnaces about two months ago and am confused as to whether or not a pellet stove can be used to burn corn, and if not, what is the difference?


Dustin

(post #70355, reply #22 of 24)

They make pellet stoves that burn both....but they're pricey.

(post #70355, reply #23 of 24)

Generally a corn stove will burn pellets, but a pellet stove will not burn 100% corn.  When corn burns it leaves clinkers in the burn pot.  On a true corn stove there is an auger of sorts that breaks up these clinkers and promotes a complete burn. 


The auger looks similar to the beaters of a big concrete mixer.  In some cases you can mix pellets and corn but I tried this this and it is more of a pain than just burning 100% pellets.