Pellet Stoves

Discussion in 'The Pub' started by GrungeMan, Apr 10, 2015.

  1. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    Gotta tell ya!

    We live in a rural area, no natural gas, propane only delivered from spring to fall due to narrow private road, oil is super expensive and the private road again, don't want the dirty wood burning stove (done that) so our new house is electric heat but ...we actually heat with a Pellet Stove.

    Sooo we just purchased our second Pellet Stove, this one is for the garage (or workshop if I build it) or sleep camp for sons, grandchildren (if they ever arrive) and visiting friends. :aok

    Our 1rst pellet stove (65,000 btu) is in the basement heating the three floors of our house. I should mention the much smaller 2nd stove is 35,000 btu.

    We chose bottom feed type stoves, ie., 2-augers feeding the pellets horizontally from the hopper into the burn pot, as the new pellets are fed-in the ash gets pushed out so less maintenance cleaning of the burn pot than that of a top feeder pellet stove.

    We don't care what it costs to heat with pellets, we just don't want to give any more than we have to to Ontario Hydro's; peak hour premiums ... delivery charges ... debt retirement (debt long since retired but still paying, WTF ???) ... exorbitant salaried payouts ... company yacht ... malfunctioning smart meters ... :bkw

    Pardon the :mad: rant!

    Anyone else heat with "Renewable Energy" be it solar, wind, wood, wood pellets?

    Grungy :D
     
    Last edited: Apr 10, 2015
  2. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    How do you provide combustion air? Having a wood stove inside without an external source of combustion air uses interior air you just paid to heat, as combustion air and sends it up the stack. My friend finds that trying to heat his space this way is like trying to make a hole in ocean, ie; the colder it gets, the more air the stove needs pulled in from outside which cools the house he is trying to heat. In the latest winter, trying to heat 1000 sq ft, he could only get 61 deg inside heat at full output.
     
  3. fredgarvin

    fredgarvin Member

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    Wood stove here, but we live in the woods so it's all free.
     
  4. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    The pellet stove is vented to draw in outside air, it doesn't adjust quickly when there is a demand for more heat. You have to monitor the weather changes.
    The pellet stove also doesn't cook you out of the house, window's and doors don't need to be flung open because it's too hot, it's easier to regulate very comfortable.

    Fred I'm sure you have an endless supply of fuel out there in the north west to heat your home.
    Here on Manitoulin Island it's predominately cedar not much btu's, there is hardwood but it's in short supply and expensive $110-115Cdn a chord, yikes!
     
  5. tazzboy

    tazzboy Supporting Member

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    Pellet stove are really good and safe on the environment. Plus it burns clean compare to wood stove. Plus if you don't have deal the EPA burning regulation on Wood Stove.
     
  6. Fred132

    Fred132 Member

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    I've always been intrigued by the idea of a pellet stove.

    This is undoubtedly a dumb question...if for some reason you run out of pellets can you burn wood in a pinch?
     
  7. mango

    mango Member

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    Something is wrong with your buddy's setup or burning approach.
     
  8. ACfixer

    ACfixer Member

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    No. At least not with the ones I am familiar with.
     
  9. jmonk99

    jmonk99 Supporting Member

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    Woodstove insert here. We bought it when you could get the 30% rebate off your taxes. We burn pretty much nonstop all winter long. I bet it covers 80% of our heating need, plus I get the wood for free from neighbors that have trees cut down.

    Woodheat is considered carbon neutral.
     
  10. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    Yes. He has a wood stove setting in front of his fireplace with just a flue pipe and not a direct vent system. He pulls combustion air from inside his house, just like an open fireplace.
     
  11. gitfiddler99

    gitfiddler99 Member

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    Carbon neutral sort of, particulate neutral not.
     
  12. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    No not a good idea.
    Some stoves burn pellets or corn, no wood chips etc., because the auger system will only accept an approximate length and diameter of 1"x1/4" therefore wood pellets or corn. Our main stove has a 125lb hopper(4-bags of pellets)you don't want to start digging that out to un-clog an auger jam.

    We bought two skids of pellets last fall, 75 softwood and 75 hardwood and replenished with another 125bags 25 at a time using our small Colorado pickup truck, total burned thus far 200 bags. What we don't burn will be saved for next fall.

    Jan and Feb were brutally cold -20 to -30c temps, house was cozy and warm though.
     
  13. stratjim

    stratjim Member

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    i've had my pellet stove (insert) for 6 years now and i love it!
    only drawbacks i see are the weekly cleanings and, because the stove relies on electricity for the auger, fans, igniter, etc., no pellet stove when the power goes out. and here in the northeast that's a few times a year.
     
  14. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    Power outtages were frequent happenings here because of the old antiquated hydro lines, (regarding power outs no hydro but still get charged delivery part of my Ontario Hydro gripe!)

    We have two generators on standby, 7500w and 2500w and this winter there were no outtage's even with yesterday's 82km winds, Manitoulin Island is on the north side of Lake Huron, no shortage of wind infact the plan is to add another 200 windmills to the existing twenty-five. We always keep 10 gallons of stabilized gas on hand just in case.

    I'm retired other than building our house I have plenty of time to maintain a pellet stove and maintain you must.
    Cleaning them is not as dirty of a job as a wood stove because there is a small burn pot and an ash can which you remove and dump, the burn pot needs to be scraped though so combustion air can pass thru it's tiny holes. An ash vacuum is used to clean inside the burn chamber and air exchangers.
     
  15. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Living in New England, oil furnaces are the norm. We have an oil furnace but connected a pellet stove to heat our 3800 square foot home. It has saved us plenty of money especially in a winter like what we just went thru ( we still have snow on our lawn). This year, we went thru 9 pallets of pellets and could have used anothe pallet since we ran out at the beginning of March. A normal winter, we go thru 7 pallets, but this was an exceptional winter. The savings is substantial in comparison to oil, even though oil cost was very cheap this year.

    Unfortunately, the pellet stove doesn't do well in adverse cold temperatures that we had this year, as we couldn't get the house temperature above 64 degrees when the temperature is below a certain temp for several days/weeks. If we run out of pellets, the oil furnace does kick in to heat the home. With the two systems hooked up together, the oil furnace does run all year long though as we have a tankless hot water system that is integrated within the oil furnace. If we run out of oil, the problem is that it will shut down the entire system and wouldn't allow us to even use the pellet stove due to the way it is tied together.

    Oil furnaces though can run on kerosene or diesel fuel if you run out of oil.
     
  16. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    As I stated our 65,000btu stove heated our 3-floor open concept house in down to -30c temperatures, the house is new with 6" of insulation in the walls 9" in the cathedral ceilings. I'll be adding energy shield foam to the outside this spring for more R value and to help seal it more.

    We ran the stove at 2/3 capacity, so 42,000btu Jan and Feb. We have sun exposure throughout the day and lots of windows which gives us plenty of solar heat, neighbour's say our house glows, in the afternoon we turn down the heat or turn it off completely. No doubt this summer windows will be open to take advantage of the constant breeze/wind.

    3800 sq' wow that's massive! Is your house a recent build, bungalow or many levels, 2"x6" wall construction, E-windows? Definitely a big house to heat with one(?) pellet stove.
     
    Last edited: Apr 11, 2015
  17. Aaron Mayo

    Aaron Mayo Member

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    It's not ideal but it's way better than an open fireplace. The intake is many times smaller (than the wide open fireplace flue).

    Also, I think a wood stove requires a chimney and there is no safe way to direct vent it (but I could be wrong).
     
  18. hellbender

    hellbender Member

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    I think it can only convert to BTU's what it can burn and that is dependent on how much air it can get. The fact that it sits somewhat in the room that it is trying to conduct/convect heat into, is its biggest grace. Just swallows a lot of that heated air for combustion, which has to infiltrate from outside. I am trying to get him to convert to gas, just for the convenience and appearance. His setup is kind of cobby.
     
  19. GrungeMan

    GrungeMan Supporting Member

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    There plenty of air tight wood stoves on the market with fresh air venting, blowers...
     
  20. jnepo1

    jnepo1 Silver Supporting Member

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    Yes. It's a house I designed and is the standard 2x6 construction and high efficient windows and doors. The pellet stove is the biggest we could get, it's a beast and can hold 6 bags of pellets in the hopper. I designed as walk thru basement so we can wheel in the pallets of pellets right in and place them next to the pellet stove.
     

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