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Buying a Pellet Stove - any recommendations?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by digdeep0169, Mar 1, 2006.

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  1. digdeep0169

    digdeep0169 New Member

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    I live up in northern NM - (Taos) - so I'm turning towards an alternate heating source (pellet vs natural gas)
    Been looking here there, several names have come up including Lennox, Lopi, Quadra-Fire, etc.
    my house is 1800 sq ft - but I'd be happy with something that can heat 1500 sq ft (30,000 btu)

    Does anyone have good/bad experiences with any of these?

    thanks,

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    QuadraFire and Harmons have very good reputations. The Quad is a bit more automated. Are you talking free-standing or insert?
  3. digdeep0169

    digdeep0169 New Member

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    preferably free standing... so you say "Quad" has has some good reviews... nice. Thanks for tip!
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Our Quad insert is on season 5 and we're happy with it. Easy to use and low maintenance. It also might be good to check that there are a few good local sources for pellets and the price is reasonable.

    more ratings here - Select Quadrafire, Harmon, from the popup menu:
    http://hearth.com/ratings/search.php
  5. richg

    richg Minister of Fire

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    I had a Quad 1200, hated it, and am now very happy with a Harman P61A. Having owned both, I can say that the Harman so far outclasses the Quad it is silly. The Harman is fully automatic and requires less maintanence than the Quad....no daily shutdown to chop out a baseball-sized clinker.
  6. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    You will find many opinions on here about pellet stoves. You need to find a local dealer that you can trust and buy what they have to offer. they place you buy it from will be responsible for warrenty and help you through initial maintence process. Quads arent junk, Harmons arent junk, its way more important to buy from a good dealer then the type of high end pellet stove you buy.
  7. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Don't get a pellet burner when you can get a multifuel or corn stove. Pellets are $200+ and thats if you can get them. Corn burns hotter , stores as good or better and where you live should cost -$100 at the worst case. I have a Countryside, now called Magnum due to buyout last year by AES and I like it. No bells and whistles like auto starter but they aren't really necessary anyways. I have burned both pellets and corn, Lots of corn in the last 2 years and much prefer the corn but like the versatility if it goes sky high. They make a lot of stoves in your state and region so you ought to be able to get a good deal. Lowes sells an Englander cornstove that is way cheaper than the opposition. Its new this year and is supposedly based on their earlier models of pellet stove which hold up well. I heard they are just under $2K or so and as importantly available. From what I see and hear they are about as good as the higher end models in most ways. Hell most of the internal components in all stoves come from the same vendors and cross reference to Graingers if you look. Whatever you do make sure you can get a stove before you hand over any cash. Lots of issues there all winter though it is getting better I hear. Check out the yahoo groups for more info and iburncorn.com forum ( closed for a few days but the best around for corn and pellets)
  8. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    If you want to clean your fuel before you burn it, clean your stove everyday and then some, buy a corn stove. What works for some people doesnt work for others. Most people want the auto features that pellet stoves have to offer. Also pellet fuel is more consistant, i.e. BTUS/lb, low ash content, low moister. Corn varies alot and moister content is inconsistant. You will hear on here that there is a lot more maintenace with burning corn. I agree.
  9. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    I think if you're going to burn corn just do the 50/50 mix. Everyone (consumers included) will tell you that their brand of pellet stove is the best thing since sliced bread. The best non biased advice I can give a person about pellet stoves is make sure the company is well established both the dealer and the manufacturer.
  10. digdeep0169

    digdeep0169 New Member

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    this is ALL really great stuff! Thanks to everyone for their .02...

    I would have to agree that I'm going to have to go with local dealer... thus far it's Lipo, Lennox and Quad.

    They pretty much offer the same warranties... I guess it's a matter of which one suits me best, performance, features and looks wise...

    cheers,
  11. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

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    Had my Quad 1200 insert installed about 2 weeks ago. It has been running everyday since then with minimal daily maintenance. (pull a few rods, clean the glass doors, scoop out some ash once, dump in a bag or so a day of pellets) No baseball sized clinkers, I would hazard a guess that that is a pellet grade issue as opposed to a stove issue. Stove is doing what I need it to do: heat the house cheap! It also has a thermostat like the traditional furnaces. I set it 2 weeks ago and never looked back. Doesn't get any easier then that.
  12. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    unless lennox has solved there photo eye issues, that would be one that i would avoid. Any dealer's out there that sell lennox? Have they fixed there line?
  14. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Lens still get clogged with sawdust.
  15. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    you would think that a good HVAC company like that would figure that out. Go figure. Optical technology in a pelletstove doesnt make sense. To keep the playing field even, some issues i have had with quad this year. Control boards being loose from the factory, and to long of pellets will bridge the "shoot" thats in the auger tube.When the pellets bridge that hole they will ride up the auger tube and jam the top mounted auger. Make shure your pellets are shorter then 1.5 inches. I do love the top mounted auger though, i have never had to sell a replacement.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    [quote ]Don’t get a pellet burner when you can get a multifuel or corn stove. Pellets are $200+ and thats if you can get them. Corn burns hotter , stores as good or better and where you live should cost -$100 at the worst case.[/quote]

    How much corn is available in Taos and how much is it going for? As noted earlier, find what the sources of pellets are locally, how much they cost by the ton, and how well they've kept them stocked this past heating season. Pellet prices and supply varied greatly this winter due to unanticipated demand, especially on the east coast. West coast was pretty stabile.
  17. digdeep0169

    digdeep0169 New Member

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    wow- some of the suggestions and comments in here are amazing. Things I had no idea what to consider, think about, like size of pellet, augers, jams, etc. On another thread, I read something about
    pellets getting shot out onto the carpet from one of the tubes that channels from the blower and thus burning the carpet, house, etc.

    Thanks to everyone - thus far, from a local dealership standpoint, it's narrowing down to LOPI (free standing) or Lennox - but apparently they're on a 9 month back order... so it's funny that I've heard
    both good and bad. Quadra has a running in the game, but I'd have to go all the way down to albuquerque to get one.

    Today is upwards of 60 degrees, nice weather is upon us, so during off season, I'd like to make this upgrade transition and be ready to see LOW natural gas monthly bills next year!

    : )
  18. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="Driz" date="1141274564"]Corn burns hotterquote]

    Everything credible I've read puts corn on average around 6700btu/lb and pellets at 8200/lb.
  19. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    Should be able to get a Lopi sooner than that. Between the two that's where I'd put my money. I have a Lopi and I like it alot.
  20. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    Per pound, pellets and corn may have different BTU's, but Corn burns hotter. Temperature and BTU's are related, but not the same.

    Let the Flaming begin.

    Joshua
  21. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    BTU- the amount of energy required to raise or lower the temperature of 1 cubic ft. of air 1 degree. So I guess if corn releases it's energy faster then maybe it does burn hotter. It does have a higher ignition temperature, but I always assumed that was due to the higher moisture content. Point being though is that corn on average contains less heat than pellets something people should keep in mind.
  22. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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    I think you're missing a vital point. 50 lbs of corn occupies less space than 50 lbs of pellets. Mass vs. Volume.
  23. joshuaviktor

    joshuaviktor New Member

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  24. HarryBack

    HarryBack New Member

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    1. fact: corn = rodents, rats dont eat pellets
    2. fact: corn stoves require more diligent maintenance
    3. fact: corn doesnt do well in humid weather, cant really be stored for great amounts of time

    lol- yea, you got it right, Im a pellet burner!
  25. moog5

    moog5 Member

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    I had a first year model issue with the Harman XXV, which eventually got resolved. I still say your best bet is going with a Harman.
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