1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

1800 sq foot home- need help deciding on harman vs quadra-fire

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by lucyred, Jan 2, 2008.

Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.
  1. lucyred

    lucyred Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    hudson valley,ny
    Hi- I am looking at purchasing a pellet stove insert to heat my 1800 sq foot two story colonial. It has average insulation, with minimal drafty areas. I have narrowed my decision down to the harman accentra, or the quadra-fire mt. vernon. The harmon says it will cover 1450 sq feet in northeast(which is where I am),but the dealer said it would cover 1800 sq. feet. The mt. vernon says it will cover up to 3800 sq. feet. I am looking for a more traditional style, and these two fit the bill, as well as having good ratings. Please advise. I don't want to do an over kill with the unit, but want it to be powerful enough. The harmon is less expensive, but I want to make sure it will do the job? thanks in advance.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,075
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    In your region I would definitely go for the larger stove. Because the Mt. Vernon AE stove is thermostatically self-regulating, it will not overpower your home. If you choose a Harman, the Harman XXV or P61a would be better sized.
  3. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,330
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    First of all, don't count on a space heater heating the entire house from one location....unless the house is a very open layout.

    Secondly, always remember that it is not the STOVE that heats, but the pellets that you put in it. That might sound obvious, but using the reported max amount of pellets that folks here typically burn, and working backwards.....

    2 bags = 80 lbs, which equals about 600,000 total BTU - divided by 24 hours (1 day) means about 3.2 pounds per hour....
    or about 26,000 BTU input and perhaps 20,000 BTU output.......

    So, based on that, if you get a stove that can burn at even 40,000 BTU (5 lbs per hour), that would be MORE than enough. 5 lbs per hour is 120 pounds - 3 bags in 24 hours!

    Just some math to show you that manufacturers ratings in sq feet mean nothing - the only thing you want to know is the range of the amount of pellets that can be consumed in one hour. The only reason you would want something larger than 40,000 BTU would be if you wanted to use more than 3 bags a day (and no one here ever claims to do that)......

    It does pay to oversize a bit, so if I wanted to burn 3 bags a day I would want something capable of burning 4+. But, as shown above, a 40,000 BTU input stove could burn 5 lbs/hr, but will only need to be burned at 3 lbs/hr or so in most cold weather.
  4. lucyred

    lucyred Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    hudson valley,ny
    hi, and thanks for the responses. Am I correct in assuming that from your answer that the harman accentra would do the trick? I really like the look of the mt. vernon, but when I called one reseller, they told me that they are not selling the unit anymore until quadrafire gets the kinks out of it, as they have had a lot of trouble with their units. In addition, I then called another place, and they said it was the difference between the ae and the regular one that they sell now, and that the current model doesnt have as many problems? Pleasae if someone has some advice, this would be appreciated. Also, the place that does sell it, offers free service for only one year, but the warranty states it is a 2-3 year coverage for various diffferent parts. The harmon seems to have a better warranty, but I don't like the look of it as much. This is such an exprensive investment with installiation etc, that I just want to make the right decision. thanks for any help.
  5. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 26, 2007
    Messages:
    3,724
    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    We have not had any problems with the AE units being manufactured currently. When they originally came out there were various problems that caused everyone headaches. Seems that everything has been fixed. With a pellet stove you don't have to worry about too much stove. You can just burn on it on a lower setting and it will work great. Then if it gets really cold, or you need a good boost of heat you can crank it way up.
  6. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2007
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Central Massachusetts
    With my Mt Vernon, no matter if it is 40 or -10 out, I just leave the damned thing in auto. The only thing to do is dump in pellets and do a 15 minute cleanout every weekend.

    What kind of Quadra-fire dealer are you talking to if they are pushing a model from two years ago? Something ain't right there and you need a dealer that has tons of experience with stoves. My dealer was making most of their $$ from pellet stoves .. so they are on top of their game and Quadrafire was all they sold. No matter what, you need the dealer behind you 100%.
  7. Galroc

    Galroc New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Hubbardston
    Jabberwocky, how large is your house? We live in the same part of the state and I am considering getting the MT. Vernon AE, even after reading about all the problems.

    I have a 2700sq ft house with a somewhat open first floor. I am worried about the heat getting up to the second floor.

    Will the Mt. Vernon AE have a chance to heat my house? Oh, I use about 180 gallons of oil/month in winter at the most.

    I am buying through Enchanted Fyreside in Worcester.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,075
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    No, I did not recommend the Accentra because I was concerned it would be too small.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,075
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Expecting a single pellet stove to -evenly- heat the entire 2700 sq ft house may be stretching things unless it's exceptionally well insulated with first rate windows. (located in Georgia would help too :)) However, if you are ok with it being about 5 deg cooler upstairs, it might work.
  10. BIGISLANDHIKERS

    BIGISLANDHIKERS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    314
    We have the Mt Vernon Ae in our 1550 sq foot basement. It is finished off except for the ceiling. Heats the basement well. No matter what its hard getting heat upstairs, it's usually about 6 degree less. Have had some minor issues with the stove but overall like it.
  11. lucyred

    lucyred Member

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    hudson valley,ny
    - sorry for the confusion. I should have been more specific. Your response was clear to me, but I was not sure if Webmaster's response was saying that 42000 btu's was enough(in addition to the oil heat as he felt the pellet stove could not do the job by itself anyway), or not. Thanks again for all of the responses.
  12. Galroc

    Galroc New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    37
    Loc:
    Hubbardston
    I don't even heat my house evenly with oil! :)

    I have two zones, one for the first floor and one for the second floor. So, I could always use oil for my second floor if the Quadra Fire Mt Vernon isn't up to the task.


    I put the order in for the Mt. Vernon AE today.
  13. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    332
    Loc:
    Epping, NH
    I heat my first floor (open concept) exclusivly with the pellet stove.

    Heat rising up the stairs takes care of the second floor until the temp gets down into the 15-20* range, at which point the oil burner will come on once in a while. I don't mind because the pipes for the second floor are in outside walls and that zone coming on once in a while will prevent a freeze up.
  14. Cowboy

    Cowboy New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    central ma
    Quadra fire Mt Vernon stoves are terribble.. Ours has had nothing but problems since day one... at this time it is not working.. we are in our second season with it... Save yourself from a lot of headaches... purchase something other than a Quadra fire..

    We are hoping quadra fire will replace this one because this one is a lemmon..

    I will keep you posted..
  15. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2007
    Messages:
    873
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I have the Quadra Fire Castille....love it! Plenty of heat and not a prob at all(knock on pellets)....but you have more sq. footage so you would need the bigger. My neighbor has more sq. footage than me...he has the Mt. Vernon....loves it. Cost him 400 dollars for an entire season to heat his almost 2000 sq. ft. split level home.
  16. caseyclan

    caseyclan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2007
    Messages:
    66
    Loc:
    Missouri
    Do your research before purchasing the Mt. Vernon. I have had 2 installed in my home since 12/22/07. The last one was manufactured the first week in Jan 2008 - fresh from the assembly line. Nothing but errors and problems. We finally gave up and got the 1200i. It is definitely not as pleasing to the eye as the MV, but it sure does put out the heat.
  17. shawnjhawn

    shawnjhawn New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 3, 2008
    Messages:
    6
    Loc:
    western pa
    I have quad castile. overall satisified with its performance. The disadvantage is emptying the pot one to two times per day depending on type of fuel used. This is usually on high setting. Otherwise, i get a grumbling noise from pot (too much ash). I think the mt vernon with its auto clean may cause problems if clinkers form. on the castile i have to manually empty the pot which requires breaking clinkers with a poker. the clinkers can make the bottom trap door difficult to open if not chipped away. i would ask the dealer alot of questions about how frequently it auto cleans because if it does it frequently, it may work ok because clinkers haven't had time to form. in terms of btu, bigger stoves simply feed more fuel per unit of time. I looked at the mt vernon,castille, and harman xxv. I liked the idea of quads being able to burn all corn or other fuel esp. when they are able to run constantly. the dealer uses an xxv, and i liked the look of its fire better. the bottom line is i thought the mt vern and xxv were too big, and the extra $1000 price difference for the harman didn't justify its purchase. However, one would probably have less maintenance with the harman pot, just open the door and scrape.
Thread Status:
Not open for further replies.

Share This Page