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DaveF

Pellet stoves

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Nothing to do about fishing Lake Ontario, but I didn't know where to put this, so I just stuck it here. Thinking about buying a pellet stove. Love a wood stove, but too much like work for me. There are so many choices and out there. Would like to hear from anyone that has one...what type, top or bottom feed, price..etc...to please give me your opinion on it. Thanks....Dave

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Check BTU output for your house size and make sure the pellets you buy are %100 hardwood. Mine needs a good clean out about every week and you are limited to the size hopper for time away from home. Mine gets about 14 hours out of 30lbs of pellets.

If you get blended pellets they don't put out near the heat but may be just what you need for early in the fall or late spring.

As for brand I don't have an opinion.

Sent from my C771 using Lake Ontario United mobile app

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We just gave ours away yesterday.  It was an older unit that came with the house and we really didn't like it.  Top feed.  Other than the noise of the blower dealing with the pellets is still a pain in the butt.  Slightly less work than burning wood but you still have to load it once or twice daily and you're left with all the plastic bags.

 

One year we tried keeping the pallets outside but they got wet (and mice) despite two tarps.  You have to carry all the bags into the house and they take up a lot of basement or garage space.  I personally wouldn't recommend it for a main source of heat.  Maybe for a backup or additional heat.  I'm sure there are much nicer units available now but after using one we won't be getting another for any reason.  Just my $0.02.

 

Edit: we weren't using it for main heat either, only at night.  Didn't like it even then.

Edited by hermit

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My buddy uses pellet and wishes he went coal. It is about the same price wise but a lot more heat per a lb.  I have no personal experience so this is word of mouth.  Usually the guy knows what he is talking about so I don't have a reason to doubt but others might have a little more insight.  One thing about coal stoves is that they are hot and if you plan on putting this in a room your going to frequent it might be too hot to sit around. They do heat very well though.

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I love my pellet stove. I also have a wood stove I use to heat the entire house. Pellets are way easier hands down. Very little ash and it's a lot less labor intensive to stack a few tons of pellets than it is to cut wood. Figure out what you plan to use it for. Will you use it just to throw a bit more heat in one room or to use as a supplement for the entire house? I use my pellet stove just in my basement. Wanted to go with another wood stove but had no way to vent it. I ended up buying a cheap pellet stove at Lowes. It's actually pretty decent for how little I paid for it. I installed a Harman in my parents house and that's superior in every way to mine. The lowes version got terrible reviews, but mines been trouble free for 6 years. My brother bought an equally cheap one as I did from TSC and his hasn't worked right since day one. I'm going to replace his with a harman this winter and put his old one out in my shop. If you plan to use it hard, get a good quality stove like a Harman or Napolean and make sure it's sized correctly.  Spend the extra $20 or $30 bucks per ton for premium pellets, you'll be glad you did. Don't buy pellets from the big box stores, you neverknow what you're getting. I buy only Hammers or O'Malleys. Another word of advice is to run your electric through a surge protector. The control boards in those are pretty sensitive for whatever reason. Clean the chimney pipe after every half ton of pellets. They throw a lot of heat but not as much as a true wood stove. I'd def recommend one over wood for convenience.

 

I think I read somewhere that in Jan 2016, the EPA is requiring new emission standards on all wood/coal/corn/pellet stoves. This means they'll all probably have a cat converter on them and the price will increase. So hurry up and purchase one before the end of the year even if you don't install it yet.

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I have (2) Harmon  stoves  for about 8 years now  and love them  I burn a total  od about 4-5 ton per heating season  for a 2,600sf  home, they are my main source of heat  and   one of the stoves  only runs when its really cold to  push heat to the second floor.  I   paid more   for the Harmons   but  have  had no issues at all    just clean them  about  every 2-3 weeks during the season  I pay  about 220.00  per ton   and  keep  my heating dollars local.

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If you want even less work look at a propane stove, just turn on the switch and no ashes to clean.

With propane down to $1.69/gal it's not too expensive either.

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Pellet stoves are awesome.  I burned wood for 4 years and have done pellets the last 3.  hands down pellets are better in every category.  We keep 3-4 tons of pellets in our basement so don't have issues like stated above getting wet or having rodent problems.  We bought a Quadrafire Classic Bay 1200 unit.  Thermostat controlled.  Auto-start etc... clean it about once a week when in the prime of winter... can push it to every other week in the beginning of winter or towards the end depending on how much it runs.  Ours runs from Oct to April set on a thermostat of 68-70 degrees.  It's been a great unit.  we burn 3-4 tons a year and heats the main floor of our house (950sq-ft).  Our finished basement (same size) is heated purely with our fuel oil burning furnace hot water baseboard... we now go through under 1 tank of fuel oil using the supplement pellet stove on the main floor.  The new ones are great, so for those complaining about using an older model without all the recent advancements, I'd take consideration in the thoughts.  Cleaning them is easier then a wood stove.  

 

Pellets have gone up in price though... I get them locally in Deposit at new england wood pellet where my hunting buddy works... friends and family discount factory direct.  good deal.

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The price of pellets will probably go way up in the near future. This is because the German government is encouraging renewable energy for power plants. A number of German power plants are now burning pellets imported from the USA. Pellets used to made from saw dust and other leftover products from the wood industry. Now the pellet producers are buying up trees to turn into pellets. This is an energy form that will become more expensive in the near future.

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Coal is twice the btu as pellets and you don't need to worry about getting the coal wet.. I've been using my Keystoker (made in PA) since 1990. Auto feed backload.

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Coal hands down, had a pellet stove in the house on SLR, pain had to fill it twice just to warm the house up, -10 to 70 put a Alaskan coal stove in, fill the hopper (100#) burns all weekend depending on were you live and how easily coal is attained, we haul about a half ton every year, enough for all our ice fishing

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My home is a 1,500 sq. ft. ranch with a full basement. Current heat source is natural gas. Owner before us had a wood stove in the dining room, so a stone hearth is already in place. I live on top of a mountain that is wide open, and the wind blows most of the time. The pellet stove would be a supplement heat source.

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I don't think you can get more cost effective heat than natural gas heat. I use a Harman pellet stove  as a supplement heat. It can keep my 2500 sq. ft. home at 62-65 degrees. I could have bought a larger stove but it would have burned more pellets. I would have to agree that coal is more practical although more dusty. Also coal gives you great ash for using on that ice in your driveway.

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Yeah natural gas is cheap get a VENTED natural gas stove and be done with it.  No need for supplemental heat with nat. gas.  We live in a valley where our lows are almost 8* cooler than anyone around us and normally the same to those on the mountian tops and have a small nat. gas stove. With that hard winter last year our heating bill at its highest last season was $130.

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I burn 3 ton of coal @ $224.00 per ton to heat my 2,100 sqft house. Cost for the winter $675.00

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I burn 3 ton of coal @ $224.00 per ton to heat my 2,100 sqft house. Cost for the winter $675.00

That's pretty good our bills last year for the months of Nov. thru Mar. totaled $517 our average was less than $100/month  We spend $700 on the high end for an entire year (highest over the last 6 years was $689). This is all natural gas and 1800 sq. ft. home.

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If you havnt looked at a coal stove or furnace lately you should . We put a coal furnance in last winter and cant believe i heated with wood so long much less work and way more heat.Keystocker all the way

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That's pretty good our bills last year for the months of Nov. thru Mar. totaled $517 our average was less than $100/month We spend $700 on the high end for an entire year (highest over the last 6 years was $689). This is all natural gas and 1800 sq. ft. home.

How much do you pay for natural gas? My gas bills during the winter can get as high as $600/ month in a 2,200sq ft house with a 90,000 btu furnace that's only 5 years old

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With much thought and consideration, pellet stove has been put on hold for this winter. I believe I have more of an insulation problem than a heating problem. That being said, wife and I decided to put our money into re-insultating the hose for now, then go from there. Going to get a contractor to come over and check it out. And also, I am going to need another vehicle soon. The 'ole Silverado is pushing 200k miles and getting tired. Need a reliable rig for those trips up to Lake Ontario. No truck payment sure was nice while it lasted. Thanks to everyone for their tips and suggestions. I really appreciate it. Who knows, might not need a supplement heat source after the insulation is redone.

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How much do you pay for natural gas? My gas bills during the winter can get as high as $600/ month in a 2,200sq ft house with a 90,000 btu furnace that's only 5 years old

We have hot water base board, we pay next to nothing it's super cheap. We live right I'm the PA border.

Sent from my thinking chair...

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