Pellet inserts - which one, where?
Okay, we passed our inspection tonight on the 1978 ranch we have a contract to buy. It is a whopping 1675 sq ft and it is a nice increase for us. DH will not have his music/computer room above the garage, but on the main floor, in the living room. I'll have a craft/sewing room with afternoon sun, and DH's Dad will have a larger room than he has now. Our BR will go from 10 x 11 to 13 x 16 - no more stepping through dog beds to get to ours.
One item I was not too keen on is the fireplace in the family room. It is just a normal wood-burning fireplace, one of the kind that lets all the furnace heat go up the chimney. It does get used by the current owner. I would never use it because wood smoke really irritates my lungs, so why would I burn wood in my house if it meant that I could not breathe outside? Having browsed these fora, I had heard of pellet stoves and so I started looking at the inserts online. I will have time tomorrow to call the shops around here, but so far, I have only found one place that sells them. And they don't HAVE any! All of their Quadrafire inserts are for plain wood. I also have to locate a pellet seller. I stopped by Home Depot tonight and expected I'd find them near the fireplaces and artificial logs, but no go. I will call the TSC store near my second job tomorrow and see if they have them for sale.
So, here is my question: would you buy something like this sight unseen? Would you buy one from someone who CAN sell them, but never has? Would you buy one off the internet sight unseen?
I found the Dell Point site and learned that their pellet stoves burn cleaner than a regular furnace burns natural gas! Now, that sounds great. Their site says they are working on an insert, but I don't know if they have one available yet. They have not answered my email.
Does anybody have a pellet stove? What made you chose one over the other? I would think that hopper size would be a consideration, the bigger, the more convenient. For me, the lowest particulate emissions is important, but is .5 a significant improvement over .9?
Since I haven't geen able to see the stove yet, I can only guess what the flame is like. The guy at the fireplace shop said most folks wanting a fireplace insert want licking flames that jump and that the pellet is more like a little flickering glow and the ceramic logs are in front or behind just hang out ooking like logs and do not get involved with the flame itself. Is it worth getting logs?
If the flickering glow is somehow inferior to the lapping flames of more traditional fires, is it worth it to get the bay-window style front, or is the smaller window in the other style okay?
Lastly, does anyone know about bringing a Canadian stove into the US? The Dell-Point may not be sold here. I also hear there are more models to choose from north of the border.