new pass through dilemma

suz1023October 14, 2012

the wall between the kitchen and eating area will have the pass through so people can sit there instead of congregating in the kitchen aisle, which in turn will preserve my mental health.

the pass through starts at 52" off the exterior wall.

we've realised that the best place to add the pellet stove we've been talking about is in that corner in the eating area.

btw, it's extra seating, the dining room is a few steps away.

the kitchen is small with the aisle between the mud room and great room always clogged with people, which is why the pass through was going to be so good.

carp, now i have to think of a way to maintain my counter seating and have the pellet stove there.

the pellet stove looks like a little woodstove and is 27" across and will be installed diagonally in the corner.

therefore i'll only have 2' of clearance there.

bah, back to the drawing board. again.


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Pellet stoves can sometimes be uncomfortable to sit close to - not because of extremely high heat like in a woodstove, but because they are instead a form of high volume forced air heating. You can feel like you are sitting in the path of a giant hairdryer.

While this is wonderful when one first comes in from being outside, after 10-15 minutes it's annoying.

The multiple fans and motors are also noisy. Ours (Harmon Accentra) has the pellet feed motor and the combustion air fan (air for the fire), the circulation fan (heated air blown into room) and the exhaust fan (the fan that drives the direct exhaust stream). At least two or more of these are going all the time when the stove is running. I do like the little rattle the pellets make as they drop down the feed chute. One of the fans has a very high-pitched, almost inaudible sound that gets into my brain like an ear worm. It's such a relief to finally turn the thing off in the spring!

OTOH, a pellet stove is the nuts for transitional periods like now when you want fairly fast heat that you simply shut back off when you leave a room. And our cats adore it as they sleep on top of the pellet stove when it's cooking along.

Have you considered a gas-fired wood-stove look alike? I hesitate to suggest burning more fossil fuel, but gas is very inexpensive right now. And while pellets (renewably-sourced brands at least) seem more carbon neutral they require considerable amounts of natural gas in their manufacture and transport. The pellet stove is on my lower-my-carbon-footprint target list, but at the moment I have no idea what to replace it with. I don't want to add another woodstove to tend, as I've more than enough of that already.

And of course pellet stoves don't burn w/o electricity and also need a good battery-backed up system for unexpected power cuts that occur when it is already running. While no more feed occurs during a power outage, you still need to run the stove's exhaust fan motor as the stove burns the already-ignited fuel off. Otherwise there's a risk of smoke entering your house, depending on the quality of your draft.



    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 1:09PM
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L has talked me into moving the wood stove out of the kitchen and into the den. While I love the 'idea' of a cozy stove in the corner of the kitchen, I think it will be more practical in the den...and still close enough to the kitchen to fill in, when we lose power and need an alternate heat/cooking source.

Fallingwaters- Do you have a plan for your kitchen? You've probably posted it before, but I can't remember the details.

    Bookmark   October 15, 2012 at 3:34PM
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