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Advice...........

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Stihl029, Jan 1, 2008.

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  1. Stihl029

    Stihl029 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Ok, I've been trying to figure out what type of heating to get for my house. Currently I heat with electric, live in upstate NY and as you can imagine I pay allot for heating. This is what I was thinking of doing, and maybe you guys can suggest a stove for me. I was thinking it best to put a freestanding stove in the lower level of the house. We have a stairway to the upper level with a light hanging down. I was thinking of replacing the light with a ceiling fan that would bring air in either direction. I was also thinking of getting a couple of vent fans and cutting a couple holes in the floor to get the heat to the upper level. http://www.atrendyhome.com/durebofan.html The house is a total of about 1800 square feet of living space. The house was built in the mid 80's and is well insolated. The dealers in my area sell the following that I was contemplating. Lopi Yankee, Harman P61A Pellet Stove, Avalon Astoria Pellet Stove, Englander 25 pvd. The more I read these threads the more I see that the square footage that they claim to heat is not always the way it is. My questions are these. Do you think this configuration in the home would work? I want to home to be warm, not just low or mid 60's. Am I asking to much of a pellet stove to heat this home? Should I consider another fuel? Would I be better of putting the stove in the upper level where we spend most of our time and heating the level as we do now? Any input would be appreciated.

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  2. debbiels1979

    debbiels1979 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
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    Loc:
    Eastern Shore, MD
    We heat using a Quadra Mt Vernon for half the house and a propane wall unit for the back half of the house. As you stated, I like to be warm not fooling myself with 60's! We keep quite warm and have a 4500 sq. foot home. You are right when when they say a stove will heat so many square feet that may not always be so! Under perfect conditions it would do what they say it will but who has a perfect home?! If you are looking to be nice and warm, definately don't go soley by what they say they will heat. Also, what we learned the hard way was to make sure that you have plenty of dealers that sell pellets, when we first got ours in 2005, we had to drive an hour to get pellets. Also, you should check to see how hard it would be to get service/repair for your stove. Last year I had a problem and they told me they would be out in 2 weeks and it was 17 degrees out. Luckily, I fixed the problem myself. I had a problem this past weekend and they sent someone out the same day I called. It's according to how busy they are. In my area, pellet stoves are still fairly uncommon but are catching on. I haven't answered all your questions but just a few things to keep in mind when shopping around.

    Good luck!
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    46,712
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It should work with a good sized pellet stove like a Mt. Vernon or the Harman P61a. The stove is an area heater. Some houses heat ok with a stove due to an open floor plan and good convection air passage. Other homes like a sprawling ranch are often better served by a central furnace or boiler. You'll have to check on the supply of pellets in your area (try to find at least 3 distributors) and the local price. Run the numbers through a fuel calculator to see if it makes economic sense. Figure on going through 1-2 bags of pellets per day in the peak of winter.
  4. Stihl029

    Stihl029 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Thank you for the advice...I'll be calling around in the morning for suppliers. I do know there are allot of people in the area with pellet stoves and there does seem to be a large supply. I do have another question. Being as the price of heating oil and everything else is going up so high in price, do you all feel that its inevitable that the supply of pellets will become diminished? Seems everyones looking at buying a pellet stove to use to heat their home these days. Are there enough companies out there that make them? Do you guys see a shortage in the future and the prices skyrocket?
  5. debbiels1979

    debbiels1979 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Loc:
    Eastern Shore, MD
    The first winter we got our stove (three winters ago), there was a very bad shortage and they were rationing them around here at 10 bags per customer for every so many days. However, the past couple of winters we have had no problems getting them. The best thing to do is stock up on them in the summer. I usually try to buy however many tons that we will need by the end of September and the price per ton is usually dramatically less during the summer too. Luckily, where we buy pellets, they have a large warehouse and they store the pellets free of charge and I go and get however many I want whenever I want. The availability of pellets seems to rely on how popular pellet stoves are where you live. When we got our pellet stove, they were fairly uncommon and that made them hard to find. However, they are much more common now and the pellets are very easy to find. Heck, even local Wal*Marts sell pellets now! I don't know how good they are but I have seen them in there.

    Also during that first year shortage, the pellets were running $300 a ton which is really high. The problem was that there was only two dealers that sold the stoves and the pellets and they were taking advantage of their customers. Now that there is much more competition, prices have been pretty steady. During the summer I was paying $200 per ton and I believe anyone purchasing them right now during winter is paying around $225 - $250. So even procrastinators are fairing pretty well. Pellets seem steady and should stay that way.

    Good luck!
  6. jed12674

    jed12674 Member

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    Loc:
    rochester, ny
    where abouts in upstate ny are you? I am 25 miles east of rochester and so far this year pellets have been plentiful. I think that the year before last they ran short. but production is definetly more now than before and I think it should maintain. I am also new to the pellet stoves but so far I have had pretty good results given my situation. My house is about 1800 square foot, most of which is on the first level. Second level is under construction with no insulation, old windows on the lower level. My pellet stove is rated for 40,000 btu and seems to heat pretty good for having alot of heat loss in the house. When the outside temp gets in the teens with the stove running on high we still maintain 78 in the room with the stove and 65 to 70 in the far rooms. Your home being better insulated than mine would probably heat better under the same conditions.
  7. Stihl029

    Stihl029 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    Thank you debb, and Jeb. What a great place this posting is for information. I live just north of Syracuse Jeb, so I'm thinking I'll be in the same "boat" as you as far as availability. Thank you for the responses!
  8. debbiels1979

    debbiels1979 New Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Eastern Shore, MD
    No problem and let us know what you decide to do!
  9. jed12674

    jed12674 Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    rochester, ny
    Just north of syracuse? That means you get all the snow from the snow machine(Lake Ontario). Any questions you have about these things, this is the place to ask them. Alot of smart people here, and some Techs from what I see too. I take it you own some Stihl equipment? We have an 036 chain saw. That thing is an animal, we love it. Good luck and yes let us know what you decide on.
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