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Do you duct the heat from your stove through your house?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by davehaze, Feb 5, 2008.

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  1. davehaze

    davehaze New Member

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    Loc:
    Texas
    Hi, I'm new to pellet stoves and was wondering if ya'll duct the heat from your stove through your house using your existing ductwork or do you just use it as a big space heater? The reason I ask is because I am going to build a new home in a few months .......it's going to be in Colorado so it will be plenty cold during the winter.....and want to use a pellet stove as the primary heat source. It is going to be a small home....800 sq. ft. and if I don't need to install ductwork then I won't. I would like some advice and recommendations on which pellet stove to buy. Harman seems to be a popular although expensive brand, any others? Thanks!

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  2. packerfan

    packerfan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    frozen tundra
    For me it's a space heater, but it does heat my whole house. (about 1600 sq. ft.) I have only added a small fan to help move the heat down the hallway towards the bedrooms.
  3. Philip

    Philip New Member

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    Nov 17, 2007
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    Loc:
    Huntsville, AL
    If you are going to build a new 800 sq' house in Texas you'll want to get a small pellet stove. We chose the Empress because of it looks not size, so most of the time we have to run it on the lowest heat setting to keep our 1800 sq' downstairs below 80 degrees (the 2 bedrooms and a bath upstairs are closed off). When the outside temps get into the 20s I can crank it up a heat setting or two. We have ducts throughout the house which we use for air conditioning, but we don't use it with the pellet stove. When the outside temps get into the 50s we use the heat pump to heat because it is less expensive currently than pellets at $5.40 a bag. We only have one source for pellets (Tractor Supply) so we pay what we have to for pellets. If you're not going to have a heat pump with duct work for air conditioning, you don't need to put ducts in just for the pellet stove.
  4. Jcoog

    Jcoog New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
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    Loc:
    Ohio
    Hey Dave,
    I have been on this site for some time now(lurker) but have not had much input, but your post is something I am currently working on in my house. I think that my setup might be different due to our different locations. I am guessing that your new build is a ranch with no basement. I live in Ohio and have a basement. I put the pellet stove in the basement next to my exsisting furnace(propane). I cut a vent in the air return and cut down on the air return vents thru the house to force more air from the basement thru the duct work. There are devices you can buy to attach to your thermostat to get the extra RPM out of the fan by fooling it into thinking the air conditioning is being requested but I did not like the way it would run my compressor. The work around was to turn the breaker off but I still didn't like the interaction with the air conditioning so I just run my furnace fan. It has worked out decent but I think I get more heat transfer from gravity(leaving the basement door open)
    I have a P68 and am heating about a 2000 sq. foot house. The furnace does not run often but when air/wind temp outside gets in single digits I do need to goose it with the propane a few times a day.

    Hope this helps,
    Jay
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If building new, then it shouldn't be necessary. Ducted, forced air is only one way to heat the house. 800 sq ft is modest and should be easy to heat if the design is good. Keep the floorplan open, insulate well and don't scrimp on the windows. You are in solar country, so that's a good place to start. Orient the house to the sun, using large overhangs or maybe a porch on that side to block the summer sun. If done right, the place will be easy to heat and will only need heat at night, and even then not too much if there is thermal mass to absorb the daytime sun. To satisfy the bank and common sense, you'll probably want/need a backup heating system. Electric baseboards should suffice or a small hot water system could be installed.
  6. davehaze

    davehaze New Member

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    Loc:
    Texas
    Thanks for all the feedback. Is it best to take in air from outside to feed the stove? Any particular make and model of pellet stove would you recomend? Thanks!
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, if the place is new and sealed well, outside air is recommended. There are several good brands. Enviro, Quadrafire and Harman are among them.
  8. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    SE Mass
    My neice and B/F were heating their house with a pellet stove here in Mass.
    They have a two story house the first floor must be about 950 sq. ft.
    They claim they could heat upstairs in all but the coldest of weather if they left all the doors open (all bedrooms upstairs).
    Older stove and they've (last Winter)had a couple hopper fires.
    From what I understand the manufacturer is gone.

    They're ready to buy a new better one, just kinda broke right now. Newborn and a respite.

    He lit it up for me at Thanksgiving. I was impressed. They use it ony when they can watch it.
    (of course it never acts up when they watch it !)
    Too many little kids in the house.
  9. davevassar

    davevassar Member

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    Loc:
    South Central MA
    My users manual has explicit intructions: Do Not use ducts or something like that.
  10. ddanis

    ddanis New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Maine
    Hi, what I will say would apply to any free standing heat source, Wood stove, pellet stove, gas etc. It's convection, convection, convection. You need a natural flow or induced (FANS) flow to create a movement of warmed air. If this is a single story home try to place fans in the walls or above doors. Blowing warmed air into a room helps. However having that air enter and exit at specific points is more efficient. Also ceiling fans are a must, just place a thermometer above a door way to see where the heat goes. There are low watt (low cost to operate) fans easily available. They will run 24/7 so make sure they are good quality. I run 8 feet of dryer vent hose 4" into my bathroom via the ceiling. It starts above a door in a room where the heat source is. This has increased the temp. 4F, enough to make it comfortable. Good construction, 6" insulated walls, thermal windows, heat exchanger etc. you will be able to heat it with very little fuel. I am in Maine, 3 feet of snow on my barn roof and temps. hovering in the 20's at night. It will get into the waybelo's from time to time. Have fun and stay warm Dick
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