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Advice needed for a friend

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lightyear, Jan 13, 2013.

  1. lightyear

    lightyear Member

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2010
    Messages:
    113
    Loc:
    Maryland
    I posted this in pellet forum, but looking for your advice too.

    He bought a small house (1,000 sq. ft) with a vaulted ceiling and a small loft area. He has oil heat, but refused to buy oil this year. He is heating his place (for now) with space heaters (eden pure etc.) His bill this past month (which has been pretty mild) was $200 due to running the heaters. The heaters have only managed to get his house to about 50+ degrees.

    He plans on ditching the oil heat set up and plans to install base board electric heat. I don't know if that is a good idea or not. I suggested that he buy a used wood burning stove and place it in his house or buy a cheap pellet stove. It would heat the house much more thoroughly.

    We also agree that he needs to install a ceiling fan in his living room (where vaulted ceilings are) to help push what little heat he has in the house down. His loft area overlooks the small 200' living area where the vaulted ceiling is. There is no attic and he doesn't think the ceiling in the house is insulated.

    what would you do?

    Info:
    -majority of living space is kitchen, living room (tv), and 2 small bedrooms on other side.
    -loft area overlooking living room
    -crawl space
    -oil heat-not used and empty
    -one wall of living room is all windows and the other wall has his tv and front door. I think he could do a caddycorner stove of some sort.
    -possible no insulation in roof between drywall and roof.

    Thanks. I have suggested craigs list. We are in southern maryland so winters aren't too awful, but we can get blasted with very cold weather and bad snow-but not frequently.

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  2. rkshed

    rkshed Feeling the Heat

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    Good, used woodstove and ceiling fan.
    'nuf said.
    We have a 1000sf house and the only source of heat is our stove. No vaulted ceilings but same idea.
  3. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    50 inside!? I think he needed a better back up plan before pulling the plug on the oil!

    A 2+ cubic foot EPA stove of any make or model will do much better than he's doing now. The big question is what is his budget for this endeavor? The stove is the easy part it's the chimney that can add up, being a vaulted ceiling I assume he won't need as much Class A pipe so that will help a little.

    I assume he doesn't have wood put up yet so that's gonna be another big challenge at this time in the year.
  4. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I have to laugh when people buy the Eden Pure and other reinvented electric heaters! They are no better except for appearance than the old milk house heaters for a fraction of the price.. I have even seen "Amish" created cabinets .. Even though oil is expensive here electric is even worse plus those little 1500W heaters are only good for one room if not too big... He should keep the furnace and augment his heat with a small stove like the Englander 17VL or a pellet stove.

    Ray
    fox9988, Joful and NortheastAl like this.
  5. NortheastAl

    NortheastAl Minister of Fire

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    I have oil as well as the wood stove. Before that I had a pellet stove for 16 years. My house is 1600sq and I can say that wood will be the cheapest in the long run for him. Keep the oil setup for a backup. Electric baseboard will cost a fortune if he ever needs to use it for any extended period. Using space heaters to keep a house at 50° cannot be comfortable at all, and he's paying $200 a month for the privilege of being cold. Makes no sense.

    Pellet stove; because he can vent it out a wall.
    Wood stove; because despite the initial set up of flue/chimney he will save in the long run if he gets his wood for free or cheaply. Also, it runs in a power outage.
    Cross Cut Saw and raybonz like this.
  6. lightyear

    lightyear Member

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    Maryland
    Thanks guys. I will send your comments his way.
  7. Fake coal burner

    Fake coal burner Member

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    How much is pellets going cost to be compaired oil, electric, wood etc if he has to buy wood ? :confused:
  8. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    You can get a brand new wood stove such as an Englander NC13 for under $1000, probably well under $1000 soon when the end of season sales begin. Unless you know enough about stoves to look at a used one and know if it is in good condition, I'd think about the new one.
  9. lightyear

    lightyear Member

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    Great idea. Thanks!
  10. HotCoals

    HotCoals Minister of Fire

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    Spot on!
    Maybe even a smaller cat stove would be good.
    And you're right..electric resistance heat is just that no matter the fancy cabinet around it.

    One other thought would be a gas fireplace..prolly no natural gas but maybe propane?

    Wood would be better if he really thinks he would be into the process.
    raybonz likes this.
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Hope he has curtains over those windows at night. That alone can make a huge difference in keeping what heat he does have in the house
  12. Woodreb

    Woodreb New Member

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    We live in CT in a ~ 1700 sq ft colonial and have electric baseboard heat. Before we put in the woodstove, the electric bill could be as high as 600-700 dollars in the coldest part of the winter. We paid on a budget payment which was close to $400 a month. And we use programmable thermostats, close off bedrooms we're not using and kept the house at 68 or under during the winter.
    I don't think electric baseboard heat is such a great idea and agree that a wood burning stove or a pellet stove would be a better idea.
    raybonz likes this.
  13. Cross Cut Saw

    Cross Cut Saw Feeling the Heat

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    Don't forget the hearth for a wood stove, that can be very pricey too unless you want to build it yourself, and not everyone has the desire to do so.

    I'd go pellet stove.
    • easier to install with through the wall vent.
    • easier to find fuel for that is ready to burn.
    • smaller ie; less expensive hearth pad needed.
  14. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Someone mentioned gas, Don't know where they are, but gas would also be less expensive to install, and wouldn'r require the same hearth protection, if they are somewhere where natural gas is available. Don't know that it gas would cost more than pellets. You wouldn't have the carting and storage issues. Pellets have to be kept dry, carted from the store, carted to the stove...And the thing won't work if they lose power. But a good gas stove may be more expensive than they want to spend.. Would be a lot cheaper to run than electricty just about everyplace.
    raybonz likes this.
  15. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Thinking the OP hates heating any fossil fuels as propane is pricey too.. I agree a small woodstock cat stove would be a perfect fit unless his budget is limited then the VL17 is a good size..

    Ray

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