Posted on Heating/Cooling also but not much response but wanted to know who had pellet stoves and wondered how you liked them. Cost?
I don't have one, but there was a demonstration of one of them in front of a Home Depot last year. It was very impressive. I liked the corn furnace even better-- the fuel was much cheaper andeasier to replace (from an ecological point of view)
There are good ones out there, and there is some real junk. Pellets can make a big difference as well; contents and moisture can vary. The good ones run very well, throw lots of heat, and need little cleaning. There are some out there with poor / troublesome controls. Not always true; but buying the cheapest you're likely not gonna get the best.
Corn stoves do not tend to burn nearly as cleanly as pellet ones do, and require more frequent cleaning; and corn can be more variable in it's makeup / moisture. Yes, it sure seems it would be an environmentally better choice; but also pellets are produced from what otherwise would be waste or burned. Not sure that the chemicals used in growing corn are good to be burning; sure the levels will be low but they're still there . . . .
If I were gonna get a stove; it would be a pellet one . . .
I recently bought a corn stove and have been using it for about three weeks now. With these type stoves you get what you pay for. A good one will set you back close to 2800.00 but it is worth it. You set the temp you want and if the day warms up it will shut off then start up in the evening when temp cools off. There are good ones and a lot of bad ones on the market so do your homework by asking people who have them before buying one. Pellet stoves don't have to be cleaned out as often but pellets cost more to buy.
Thanks for the comments. We have added an addition and furnace is not big enough it seems to keep house warm enough. My husband is resistant to stove for various reasons and I am not sure it is the answer either but several people I know have them and can heat entire house. Seems to me it might be the answer. Don't know whether I should put in finished basement (we have ranch) and let heat filter upstairs or put in upstairs F/R. The problem with that is that downstairs would get very cold and we have an in-law apt that needs heating also. From what I hear there is no "cheap" route if we are to purchase a good quality stove so we want to be sure we really want one and it will be the solution to our problem.
What I did was to put it in the basement letting warm air up through stairway and via ceiling floor indirect heat transfer. I had a large woodstove doing the same job previous so knew the idea worked but wasn't sure if the corn stove would put out enough heat. It looke like it will work out real good so far. I like the idea of it having the capability of maintaining the temp you set with out having to babysit it beyond cleaning and adding corn. It's a steady heat with out the high and low side of a woodstove. We also have the ranch-type house. I was considering putting it upstairs also but decided downstairs was better for less work hauling corn around the house.
I have a pellet stove, and love it. Pellets are certainly environmentally friendly; they're made from waste products that otherwise would be landfilled or burned in plants.
Ours, used, was about $1000. I would definitely go with a cast iron model, rather than the cheaper steel ones.
What kind of questions do you have?
I have a pellet stove. I use wood pellets. The price per 40# bag ranges from $3.50 to $5. A bag burns constantly for a day and a half. However, I don't usually need to burn an entire bag at once.
I tend to light fires only when the outside temperature is below 50*. Otherwise, the house gets too hot. Really, I guess my stove is too big for my little house.
Additionally, I have a window unit heater/ac in the upstairs that I use to take the chill out of the bedroom & bathroom if it is not cold enough outside to warrant lighting the stove.
I have found lighting the pellet stove to be more troublesome than a wood stove. I have to monitor the pellets and gel until they reach critical burn, then turn on the hopper & fan to feed the system. If I am not careful, the fire will go out and I have to begin again. Once it is going, it is easier than a wood stove because there is no manual feeding of the fire.
One other difference: the fire must go out to empty the ash. When it is very cold out, this is inconvenient. With a wood stove I can remove ash while the fire is burning. Again, however, manual interaction is infrequent. The ash only needs to be emptied every 50# to 100# of pellets.
Oh, and one other concern: power. Wood stoves do not require electricity to run. My pellet stove has a motor for the pellet feed and a fan to push hot air. I have a 12 volt battery for back up, but this is only a stop-gap measure. If the power were to be cut for more that a day (two at the most), I would have no heat source.
All that said, I do love my stove. I think it was a marvelous investment and a wise choice both financially and environmentally. It heats beautifully.
Well we did end up buying a pellet stove but thanks to all that posted. We bought a Englander25-PDV at Home Depot. Spent $1400 on stove but with all venting, pellets etc we have invested alittle over $2000 on this project. My husband did the installation as he is very handy but I am sure that adds several hundred dollars to cost.
It heats 2400 sq ft. My husbands regret is it does not have a ash pan, don't know if most have one but you have to stop stove, wait to cool, clean and start up. Certainly will be a pain in cold weather. We installed it in new unused basement with theory being that heat will rise to area that we need heated. We really did not want it on main floor (we have large ranch with finished basement-T shaped with the new addition going out the back) as oil heat would never turn on and we need to heat downstairs was well. We thought again about putting in used finished basement but still would not get heat to new family room and bedroom. So, we have used for several days now and I do have to say it obviously takes more work than just flicking on the oil heat but our old furnance is just not big enough for house with new addition so we did not have any choice but to add alternative heat for other end of house. We might have bought too big a stove but again, we just didn't know how this would work or size needed. It heats the unused basement (tools, storage area) filters to upstairs area which is 21 x 26 and kitchen 12 x 20. So this stoves purpose is to heat new addition only. Oil heat still has to be used just not as much. I wish we had a magic place we could have put stove to heat our 3900 sq ft of living space but there was none. I am only rambling all this info as someone might be reading this and my experience might offer helpful insights.
I guess I've never had an easier time cleaning our pellet stove. But then again, it's not on all the time. So, when it's cool, I just stick the nozzle of my shopvac in and suck everything out. No muss, no fuss. Takes less than a minute to clean out 10 bags worth of ash.
The corn stoves that I know about start the auger turning automatically to feed corn when a reasonable level of heat in the combustion chamber (firebox) has been reached.
Some have a push button that allows an operator to send power to the auger for a few moments even before the automatic switch turns it on.
Here around the Great Lakes a number of operators say that, using a 60,000 BTU unit, they can heat around 2,000 sq. ft. home (with good circulation and insulation) using about 150 - 200 bus. per heating season.
Multiply that by the price of a bushel of corn - and ask yourself if you are able to heat for that price. And the price of grains hasn't increased much in 50 years - thanks to the international cartel (half a dozen or so privately owned companies, so they do little financial reporting) that controls world grain prices.
Some have had good results with a stove in the basement, especially if the stairway is open-concept. Many find that their furnace only comes on occasionally: they are real pleased when contemplating the oil bill.
With the ones that I'm familiar, one needs to turn a regulator by hand to adjust the fire to burn higher or lower, so occasional adjustment is needed depending on the weather.
One of the attractive things about a grain-fired heater is that it burns continuously, so you don't have variations in temperature or a blast of cold air when the furnace circulation fan starts.
Good wishes for all of the hot air that you need - developed economically and in an environmentally friendly way.
I have been heating about 2000 sq ft with a p61 Harman pellet stove only using propane for hot water and I love it. The stove's automatic ignition turns itself on and off allowing me to set the thermostat and other than filling the hopper once a day,I can forget about it.
In the cold winter months I burn about 1/2 ton a month and with pellets at Home Depot selling for $3 a bag thats only $75 as compared to $300 if I used the propane boiler. Most people would probably use less since I live in the mountains ( zone 4 ).
It burns really clean, I only have to dump the ash pan after about a ton of pellets and uses a product that otherwise would be wasted.
Do they offer duel source stoves? Corn and Pellet? Seems like it would be the best of both worlds?
Quadra-fire makes pellet stoves that you can burn 50/50 mix of corn and pellets with no problems
Here is a link that might be useful: quadra-fire
If this thread is still alive you might want to look in the fire places forum, lots of discussion on pellet stove, corn stoves, etc.
I'm try to decide if the home we're buying would be better served with a pellet stove or a swamp cooler. It's hot here longer than it's cold.
We have a pellet/corn burning stove that we heat our entire house with in Wisconsin. We were told it can burn anything you can fit through a two inch auger. We can burn corn, pellets, dried cherry pits, stoker coal or whatever. The salesman told us there is a man with this same stove that burned chicken and *gulp* dog manure in his.
looking for info about pellet stoves any brands better than any other. i know they work. where is best website to buy them. where is the best priced place. any help will be much appreciated.
I have a corn stove. It works great. I heard soybeans burn even hotter than corn. Anyone try soybeans?
My friend who designed and built an innovative stove licensed for wheat and rye as well as corn had poor results burning soybeans, I think.
The guys at the website that I mentioned in a post a couple of levels higher on this thread could give you better incormation.
Well..I got a "Glow Boy" stove..it worked for two days..just stopped...So far after talking to the tech boys in Alberta .I've replaced the auger motor..didn't work..the control panel..worked for five minutes..then went SNAP!! and stopped working..any ideas?
I bought a pellet stove fireplace insert this summer and I am disappointed in it, I should have bought a wood insert. I bought it for a supplemental heat source, I have propane forced hot air furnace. As compared to last year, so far I used 128 gallons less propane but I used 1 ton of pellets. The cost of porpane is $1.88/gal and I paid $200 for a ton. So I didn't save much. I thought I would have used much less propane. I guess I didn't figure it right.
Did you ask the salesman who told you that you could burn a wide variety of materials precisely what the stove was licensed to burn?
Including a little bullsh*t, maybe?
If you burn stuff for which your stove is not licensed and have a fire, what do you think that your insurance co. might say about that?
Most insurance cos. who've become familiar with corn/grain-fired heaters love them, because they are extremely safe - no creosote, for a major issue.
Hope you're successful at finding all of the hot air that you need - at reasonable prices.
I am planning to buy a pellet (wood) stove this summer what are the top three quality brands, and why? Also, any tips on question to ask the dealer?
Does anyone use wood pellet stoves for commercial applications in Wisconsin?
bixby corn stoves are the best. they burn corn and wood pellets. self cleaning and auto controls. they are coming out with a "black box" model this fall that will be a little cheaper than the maxfire model. it will be about 30% more efficient than the regular model but not be as pretty.
We bought a quadre fire and love it.
Old Cowboy; unfortunately Pellets this year at Tractor Supply in Fredericksburg, Va are going for $240 a ton.($4.80 a bag) I doubt if propane is going to be that cheap this year last time I checked it was 2.90 a unit (DELIVERED)
Hope we get another mild winter. :>)
jd81 What model Quadra-Fire did you purchase? How is it on pellet usage? What do you burn...only wood pellets or a mix of corn and wood pellets? What size home or area are you heating with the unit? Is it quiet or do the fans and auger make noise (I want to install in our living/family room where the TV is located)? How about cleaning/maintenance and repairs (if any)? Do you like it as well today as you did when you first posted?
I need your help please. I have a pellet stone I purchused in WV. I now live in AL and would like to use it again due to the cost of traditional fuel, plus I miss the heat it gives off. Since I am in the south I cannot buy pellets. I do know Home Depot sells them in the north but to get any sent to the local store here I need some Home Depot Store locations and store numbers which sell them. I would appreciate any help.
Thank you in advance
I have a 25x8 foot sun porch addition on my double widemobile home in New Hampshire. We plan on heating tha area all the time during the cold months. I am tossed between a pellet stove and a freestanding gas stove. I am looking over the pros and cons, seems like gas as analternate heating system , run all the time, will cost more than pellets. Can anyone give me some input on this?
Harman pretty much builds the top of the line stoves. I have an older CountryFlame pellet stove which works fine but next one I buy will be a Harman.
My suggestion is buy a stove that burns both wood pellets or Corn. Pellets are handy since they come in 40LB bags and no mice worries. Corn is trickier with moisture content and attraction of mice.
A must with a stove is an Ash Vacuum, makes clean up a snap and a leaf blower with vacuum option to suck out the ashes from the chimney pipe.
I bought a Harman XXV Pellet Stove recently, to replace a wood stove I had for many years. I stopped burning wood as it was troublesome, and very time consuming. Anyway, I live in Canada's Far North, and have a typical 1200 sq. ft. bungalow on a full basement, in addition to a 500sq. ft. family room added on the west side of the house with no basement under it. The Pellet stove is on the east wall in the basement, basically opposite the family room. When temperatures drop to -20C to -40C, the family room has a significant chill where you have to run the fireplace in it to keep the chill out. The rest of the house would be heated with a propane furnace. Since installing the Pellet Stove, it has completely heated my home, keeping it at a comfortable 22C any time of day. When it's colder outside, below -25C, I go through 2-40lb bags per day. It also has eliminated the chill in the family room, and keeps that room at 21C all the time! One thing I didn't mention is, I have the air being circulated from the room in the basement where the pellet stove is, through the home with the furnace summer fan. If you are looking for a Pellet Stove, go Harman, and go with the XXV, it's a cast iron stove, easy to use, easy to clean, all automatic, and heats even the hardest to heat homes in the coldest of climates! This unit will pay for itself in roughly 5 years, if not sooner. Not only that, but no more cold floors, no more chill in the air, only warm, comfortable living! Oh, by the way, I have yet to run it at full capacity heat efficiency...it runs at about 75%, but am sure once the temperature outside drops to -40, I will have the real test of this unit to see if it can keep up in those extreme cold temps.
How much are bags of pellets where you live? what brand?
easy to clean, all automatic, and heats even the hardest to heat homes in the coldest of climates! ... no more cold floors, no more chill in the air, only warm, comfortable living!
Uh, North'a, you wouldn't happen to be a Harman dealer, would you? Let's see, registered just today ... writes copy just like an advertising agency ... lots of exclamation points ...
Smells a little like Spam to me. :-\
bags are about $4.50 each, and to answer davidr's question, I am not a Harman dealer, rather a very satisfied Harman customer (they do have those you know), and yes, I used to be in broadcasting which included the writing and production of commercials.
At what point do wood pellets become too expensive to be feasible over gas?
I think pellet bag prices are near the breaking point to show enough savings to invest in a wood pellet stove.
We had a quadra-fire model Castile installed this fall. Salesmen said we could burn 50/50 pellets and corn but the installers recommended against corn as it would destroy the exhaust and replacing it would offset the cost savings of the corn. Also the hopper does not feed well. I have to continually reach in and push the pellets that remain up against the sides toward the auger pit. Other than that I am enjoying it. Anyone else have these expreiences?
Unless the stove has a stirator which is mainly sold on corn stoves then 50% corn is way too much. Try 25%. Also make sure corn you are burning is dry enough.
When I do burn corn mixture with my wood pellets, I do notice more heat but also more black gunk on glass and inside stove from the corn. Best thing I ever did was a buy a leaf blower with vacuum and I suck soot and dust out of chimney with it. I do it once a month or so and it works great. 409 works great at cleaning the glass but make sure glass is cooled off. When stove is running I open door and use a rag to swipe glass which removes much of the gunk.
As far as pellets/corn not feeding into auger, I have an older stove and have same problem. When I eventually get a new stove,I will make sure problem has been corrected. Key thing is buying a stove with a lot of hopper capacity.
Overall I like the stove and the heat sure is cozy.
The problem of the pellets not sliding down to the auger pit is quite common in a lot of pellet stoves. One brand recommends adding a graphite type dust to the pellets to make them slide down the sides better. Personally I don't like the idea of adding more dust to the pellets. I guess the easiest thing to do is just keep an eye on things and top it up daily.
We have a Harman stove and love it! We opted not to get the model that burns corn however.
I'm looking to purchase a pellet stove, nothing fancy, but vertical size/capacity is more important.
I want to put it in the basement of my bungalow, where grade is 50 inches off the floor, and the joist is 79 inches off the floor.
Will there be venting issues?
I would be interested in where to go for battery back up as well. Electric has been run to the location, so that is not an issue.
I'm just south of Chicago, and my efforts to find a quality product has been quite slim. Pellets are easy to get, good stoves/advice stoves are not.
I put in 2 pellet stoves and have one in my basement of a 1911 house. I vented out one of the windows and closed it off so I only have 2 windows operational. I have nice warm floors and because my house is a balloon style the heat goes up the outside walls. The second stove is in my dining room and heats the first and second interior areas. Cool spots are bathroom and a bedroom due to the layout of the house. First year I paid 800 to heat for the winter, the previous year i'd heated with oil and paid 3,000! Get a small generater instead of the battery pack, then you can keep your fridge going too and it cost about the same to purchase.
I live in the suburban Boston area and am looking to purchase a pellet insert. Just trying to see it it is worth the investment. And will an insert heat a 1700 sq ft Dutch colonial?
Use a high quality pellet! In the Annapolis MD area you can get bags from $4.98 at WalMart (dubious quality-the brand they sell doesn't even list the ash content or anything else!) to $6.50 for ultra premium pellets.
Be aware that if you use cheap pellets they will create more ash and dust and you WILL use more bags than if you used a premium pellet.
So before you jump for joy that you found a cheap bag check the ash, moisture and fines content. If they aren't listed leave the bag.
A word about a backup battery. Nylasmom is so correct. I priced one with a marine battery and the cost was close to $600+-! You can buy a small generator and that can power more than just your stove.
If you have venting questions you really need to talk to a person that installs them. There are codes that have to be followed. Besides, why take a chance by having "Uncle Buck" do it and creating a dangerous situation for you and your family?
I love my Accentra pellet stove. I estimate that I'll spend about $650 for pellets this season in lieu of $800 or MORE in oil costs. And the pellet stoves heats better. Sure there is the mess in cleaning it but I think it's worth the cost.
Do your research! Do your research! Don't buy the first one that you see.
One thing I recommend when buying a pellet stove is checking how the pellets arrive at the burn pot. A drop feed auger is better than one that just pushes the pellets to the pot. I have the latter, my parents have the former. BIG difference in maintenance!! The drop feeder needs cleaned maybe once a week. The push feed needs cleaned daily. If I would have known that earlier, I would not have bought this stove.
I purchased it at Lowes. It was around $1200 after I purchased all the other kits ( chimney, fresh air intake kit, etc.), I also installed it myself. Unless you are installing this into an existing chimney, I recommend having it installed. You really need to have experience in room remodeling because it is a lot of work making the hole(s) in the wall.
Home Depot and Lowes purchase low end stoves, so I do not recommend them. I have had issues with mine every year since I purchased it. It is and Englander Stove model 25-PDVC. I have replaced several parts on it already due to frequent shut down errors. So far I have replaced three vaccuum/ shut down switches, an auger, an auger motor and several heat gaskets. I'm not impressed. If you are not mechanically inclined, the task of repair could seem overwhelming.
On a positive note, their customer service is very good. They can walk you through the steps to fix things, but it is very time consuming and the parts are not cheap.
My advice is find a local dealer that installs and services their stoves. That way you know you have backup. Plus most of these stores will buy quality products because they can't afford to be making a lot of house calls for stove repair! :)
Plan on spending close to $2000 minimum. That is the price of a small mid range stove. I have seen them go as high as $5000. With the price of oil and nat. gas on the increase, I think you will get a good return on your investment quickly.
If you have some storage space, purchase pellets in the spring. You can sometimes get them for 1/2 price because they need to get rid of them. I saved $100 on a ton last spring at Home Depot. That sent the price per bag down to $2.72! Hard to beat that! Keep them dry and you're in business!
Our son has a Quadrafire fireplace insert & it is on a thermostat ... no problem to start up. Unlike our old cast iron wood-burning cookstove w/warming oven, resevoir, etc. though, it doesn't hold the heat like ours does & no place to keep a teakettle hot for tea on it either! Our cookstove has live coals ready to start up again in it two days after we let it burn out & stove still quite warm to the touch. Still, we are considering changing to a pellet stove only because it is cleaner & we are tired of chopping wood! Would a cast iron pellet stove get hot enough to really heat the cast iron?
About pellet stoves. . .
A great posting by Craig D. in Dec. 07. Good info. As for the following post asking about how hot a pellet stove gets, I'd say not so hot. I can boil water on my wood burning insert, but the pellet stove insert only gets very very warm.
IÂve only had our Quadra-fire pellet stove insert for a couple of months.
When working, it produced heat for our family room/kitchen.
IÂm trying to get it working again, and as I check forums for leads, I come across questions in forums that I should have asked and information I should have been more aware of.
I still like the idea of having a pellet stove, but those thinking of buying one should be aware of and discuss a few things with your dealer.
First, a pellet stove needs electricity to run. ItÂs not like a fireplace.
Second, my pellet stove did put out a bit of noise we had to get used to. Unlike the central heat, there was a constant blower noise, kind of like having a window seat on a 747. We eventually got used to it; maybe we shouldnÂt have put the stove in the family room, but thatÂs what we wanted heated.
Third, you will be responsible for picking up and storing the bags of wood pellets. In California they run about $5.50 for a 40 lb. bag. Corn should be cheaper. On really cold days (for CA) weÂve gone through a full bag. This is cheaper if you buy (and store) by the ton.
Finally, you will be responsible for maintenance (and in my case, repair) of your pellet stove. This entails a fair amount of work. Be sure to review before buying all literature/DVDs that go over what you have to do to keep the stove running. Also be sure you have a written and signed document that details what you are responsible for and what your dealer will do for you. Pellet stoves are a big investment.
As long as you go in with your eyes open (and mind well educated) you should be fine.
Last October, we had a Quadra Fire, Santa Fe installed into our 900 sq. foot cottage. It's been fiercely cold, and this system 'helps' take off the chill in northern Michigan. Can't use alone in the area where we live ~ but it helps.
I suppose we will be able to use the system as a stand alone in the spring and the fall.
We use only pellets. . . . and will say it costs around $220 per ton. We average 2-3 bags a day on a very cold day. One bag a day on the cooler days around here.
Yes, they do make noise, but its definitely tolerable. We have an occasional whistle down the chimney as well depending upon the winds.
One observation for us is that we put this into a zero clearance fireplace. . . . and it's made a world of difference as to heat loss this winter. The room is much warmer!
"We use only pellets. . . . and will say it costs around $220 per ton. We average 2-3 bags a day on a very cold day. One bag a day on the cooler days around here. "
how is this cheaper than a good heat pump? why bother with all the mess and fuss if you cant save substantial money?
I purchased a Harman pellet stove this winter and I love it. The money that I have saved this winter by not heating with oil more than makes up for the small amount of cleaning maintenance of the pellet stove. Carrying this a bit further, I am surprised that apparently no one makes specifically, a domestic hot water heater. Yes, there are hot water boilers for heating your home with domestic hot water capability but no stand-alone domestic water heaters. It would seem to me that a water heater of this type used in conjunction with a Boilermate indirect-fired heater tank would be very practical and could be used all year. The aquastat in the Boilermate could be used to turn on/off the auto-ignition of a Pellet water heater therefore only burning pellets when the water temperature drops below the preset temp setting in the Boilermate and shutting off when a preset high temp is reached. I offered this idea to Harman but apparently they are not interested as they never replied to my email. I sure I would buy such a heater if a quality unit was available. Anyone else have any thoughts on this, pro or con.
Pinnacle Stove (Traeger) does make a water heater (boiler). You can check it out at http://www.pinnaclestove.com/products.html#. You will want to look at model PB150.
Here is a link that might be useful: Pinnacle Stove Products
I agree with Radiotech. My husband and I have just purchased and Austroflamm Integra II by Rika and will be having it installed at the end of August to heat our home. We have been looking with no success for a dedicated hot water heater unit until I just read the post by becmars about the Pinnacle Stove. I have to say that it is the first hot water heater for domestic potable water I have seen since I have been on the hunt. I appreciate the information and will be looking into the unit this week. I have a dealer of the Bosca units near me and this is the same company. Thank you again.