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?Cost to Run Pellet Stove?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Mr A, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. Mr A

    Mr A Minister of Fire

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    I know how much a ton of pellets cost, but how many pounds/tons/$$ are needed to keep the hopper going 24/7 when it is very cold outside?.

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  2. RWB1

    RWB1 Member

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    Depends on what brand stove u have and what setting u run it on......Some stoves will burn 2+ lbs an hr on high....I burn my stove in the basement on low and use about 25-30 lbs in 24 hrs. Stove runs 24/7 from about Late October -April.
    Main floor stove runs wide open ...on a thermostat. When its really cold out , it will come on 2x an hr at most...I only turn it on when I'm home and it burns about 3 bags a week.
    In total I burn approx. 4 ton per year @ a cost of $725-750 annually. I use oil for my main heating and hot water...without the stoves ot would cost me 4 tanks per year @ $1100 each....with the stoves I use 1 tank per year and actually that never get below 1/4 before its time to fill it again.
  3. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    It could be anywhere from 2 to 5+ tons a heating season with all the variables involved.
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Way to many variables.

    How many Sq ft are you heating? How many lbs per hr are you burning now?

    What temps do you keep the house?

    The correct answer is.... As many as it takes to keep the Gas/LP/Oil man away :)

    Seriously though, that's a vague question and varies with every house and stove.

    Average burner will need between 3.5-4.5 ton using pellets only.
    mralias likes this.
  5. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    http://www.buildinggreen.com/calc/fuel_cost.cfm
    You can use this cost comparison program to kind of back into your answer. Put down your present fuel and what you pay for it. You'll see so many BTU'S per unit. Then look at your past winter bills to see how many units you used per month. That gives you total BTU's. Then plug in pellets and their cost in your area and see how many dollars per million BTU'S. Multiply the dollar figure by how many million BTU'S you used per month. That's what it's going to cost you............ ASSuming that your stove will heat the whole house, which is NOT always a good assumption since these are SPACE heaters.
  6. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    You also have to factor in relative efficiency. My Mt. Vernon and my oil burner both run about 82% efficent, I don't think my PDVC does as well as those two. So I would have to burn more pellets in that to get as much heat from it.
  7. thedude110

    thedude110 Feeling the Heat

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    I can heat the first floor of my colonial with 3-4 tons per year. House is well insulated, but stove isn't optimally placed.

    Tell us more about your situation and heating needs.
  8. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

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    See attached .PDF file of my running tab.
    I have a PF100 and we use appx 2bags/day. Fill it up every morning and shake the heat exchanger chains as well, check plenum bypass humidifier, filter, etc weekly. Filter cost $20 every two months. Weekly cleaning of ash pan and unit tyakes up 35 minutes of my time. Dump ashes into steel barrel, let sit outside and dispose of the following week.
    The pdf I attached comes from an excel spreadsheet I made - Its a first draft and pretty rough, lots of tunnig up to do, but you get the point. It helps my wife and I track our usage to prepare next seasons supply. We currently have 4 more tons in the basement for this season.
    We're extremely happy with our savings thus far - we spent 10k/year in heating oil in our home. Costs will be offset by next season. Very happy with Harman and the hearth forum responses and input.
    Spare parts to have on hand - none for me. I have a local dealer fully stocked if necessary. Spare parts are pretty inexpensive. I still get my Buderus boiler cleaned twice a year...DHW still runs off that system. Cleaning is usually $120 for the oil boiler.
    Good luck on your install if you choose to do so. We're all here to help you along

    Attached Files:

  9. Alain S. Prevost

    Alain S. Prevost Member

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    PM me if you want the excel spread sheet emailed to you -- to toss in your own numbers, it automatically calculates the costs and savings, BTUs, etc...Its a .xlsx file
  10. jgrz0610

    jgrz0610 Burning Hunk

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    10K/yr!? That's like 2500 gallons of oil or more depending on price. Is Maine really that much nicer that it's worth living in an icebox for 8 months out of the year? Your spreadsheet is awesome btw. I would never actually track it (I feel too busy at is), but it's awesome that somebody does and it's a noticeable difference.
  11. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Anybody factor in cost of electricity to run the stove?
  12. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

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    Great looking spreadsheet. I like seeing data like this. I tracked some of my own data from last year (I know bad year to start that because of the mild winter) and found that I burned 1.03# per HDD. However, we do not keep our house as warm as you do by the looks of it and if I remember correctly you have a HUGE place that you are heating so your numbers do not look all that bad.


    I have one question though that is not related to the spreadsheet. How come you get the oil boiler cleaned twice a year? Especially when it is only used for DHW?
  13. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

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    I don't. It's a miniscule amount.
  14. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    My stove with the boiler loop pump running through a UPS is around 200 watts. 4.8 KW X 12 cent per KWH=57.6 cents per day if run 24-7, fan on high. I have not had to use any supplemental heaters this year with my Harman/crosslink that I installed in October.
  15. jvanase

    jvanase Member

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    I have found my electric bill up by about $30. I have to run my forced air circulator fan to move the heat from the pellet stove around the house though, so it's the fan + the pellet stove making up that difference.
  16. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    My power bill goes up about 20 in the winter months compared to fall/spring, but don't forget that also includes more light use due to it being dark out for more hours of the day. and, that's also powering a humidifier now too.
    So, probably, the stove uses about $8-10 a month in power at my .089 kw/h generation rate.

    I'm younger than most of the guys on here, so i don't crank the heat like most :D I still have some insulation on my bones. I keep my place at 62 when i'm not there or sleeping and 66-68 when i am there (thermostat set to 67, swing 1.25 degrees). This keeps my bed rooms up a half-level around 64 which is perfect sleep temp for me with blankets. It gets too hot even sometimes and i find myself waking up sweaty and taking blankets off. I might knock this down a few more degrees to 60 at night.

    Except for those REALLY cold days (0-10F with the wind blowing) I use about a bag a day. 1.5 bags on those relaly cold days. I use about 3.2 tons a year, depending on when i start burning and when i end (early fall? late spring? etc). at about 250/ton, that's 750 in pellets, and call it 800 with power use for the season. I use about 1 tank full of oil as well, as my boiler for hot water is on it, and i have 1 level of my spilt level house below the stove that doesn't get the hot air that i keep around 55. That's about another 800-1000 bucks or so unfortunately. An electric hot water heater is in my future if i stay in this house.... i'm looking to move north.

    That's still half or less of what my friends pay a season to heat their (smaller) homes for the year on just oil. I paid close to 5k my first year in the house--- and the only year with out a stove back in 2007. Since 2008, i've been burning and it's saved me a ton of money to the tune of 2k a year or more. After the price of the stove, the ROI is hit in year 3 or so. And of course, the stove heat is nicer. It's warmer in the house than it was on oil. I can be less stingy with the thermostat. I know others like it 72 or 74, but that is just too hot for me. I chose 67 because that's where I am comfortable-- not because i'm trying to save money.

    I ran my oil around 64 because i was trying to save money. And it still cost me twice as much.


    If you're iffy about it, it's totally worth it for a long-term investment. My g/f loves sitting around the fire with the lights off and watching it like we're camping. The house is warmer, the wallet is fuller. And you can go to bed happy knowing that you're supporting American business, probably a local stove shop and local store for the pellets, using a carbon-neutral product, not supporting terrorists or opec or any petrochemical nonsense or causing oil spills and killing ducks, or whatever hippie peta thing you want to put here.
  17. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    I have bought all my stoves used and have had all but the last setup paid back in savings in one heating season. Yes I live in a cold area. Have sold the used stoves for more than I paid has helped pay for the upgraded stoves. Now I got to see if I can upload a couple pics of the Quad I am trying to sell. My state calculates that the average home of 2000sq ft costs close to $1600 per season. If I use 4 tons max at 180/ton I have a savings of nearly $900 but I am heating an additional 1000 sq/ft.
  18. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    1600 seems VERY low to me.
  19. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    I have no idea what year they did the calculations. The IRS said they could not find my current adress and I have a security clearance, and various federal licenses, Oh I worked for the Census in 2010. So I am just repeating what I just got from them (11/22)about home heating.
  20. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    lol the government is so messed up. Current'y, we're in a game of chicken with the fiscal cliff talks. heh
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The gubmint has been fsck'd up for a very, very long time and the recent bunch of idiots hasn't made it any better, nor will the next bunch.
    SwineFlue and CT Pellet like this.
  22. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

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    Sorry I got everybody off topic. I just want my money back. Taxing the upper 2 percent will help the hole we are in as much as a dollar would fill a five gallon bucket.
  23. Paul Raz

    Paul Raz Feeling the Heat

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    Yeah well move to New York where the last time I got oil it was $4.00 per gallon. I have a 1000 gallon tank and was filling it 3 - 4 times per year. This is my first year with the stove and I don't really know what I am saving just yet, but I do know that Pellets are cheaper than oil. Since my stove was installed the only time it goes off is when I clean it on Saturdays, otherwise its on 24/7 and the oil burner is not.
    I keep my gym in the boiler room in the basement and every night I would be in there working out the boiler was going on and off every 2 - 5 minutes. Granted I have a fairly decent sized house 4500 sq ft + basement addl. 1000 sq ft. With 7 zones, but still that was ridiculous. I didn't realize how often it was cycling until I was in there every night. After I realized it I would cringe every time it went on thinking of $ with wings going out the window. When my stove was installed in November it is amazing how much warmer the house is kept and how little that the boiler actually comes on now. Was in there for an hour the other day and it didn't come on once(and it wasn't during that warm spell either. It was actually cold outside).
    Originally we got the stove to handle just the downstairs and hoped that would work, we planned to use the stove for downstairs and oil burner for upstairs. Luckily the layout of my house is perfect for the air circulation( its like one continuous loop) and not only does it heat the downstairs, but if I leave the bedroom doors open upstairs it will partially heat those too.
    So as I said, not sure yet what I'm saving yet, but I know it's something significant. If I can only use the oil for hot water and heat the upstairs at night I know I'll eliminate at least 1 if not 2 fillups this year. That's $4,000 -$8,000. Not sure about where you are, but my Pellets haven't cost me anywhere near that amount.
  24. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    wait..... you have a 5500 sq ft house and money for heating is an issue? lol sorry, but it must be nice.
    dafattkidd and tjnamtiw like this.
  25. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

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    I would be willing to bet that the electric cost of running a pellet stove is on a par with running a fossil fuel fired boiler or furnace.
    My oil fired boiler has a combustion blower and a circulation pump. I have to measure the actual power draw, but it is probably a couple of hundred Watts.

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