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First time buyer thinking Big-E vs. Enviro Maxx vs. Enviro Omega? oh and some other things...

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by sandstorm, Jun 26, 2008.

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  1. sandstorm

    sandstorm New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Eastern, Ma.
    Great forum you folks have here, read alot of the reviews and have seen alot of good information in the posts I've perused. For that - thanks! :)

    This might be a weird way to start, but I'll just tell ya what I've got because otherwise I'll forget and think you're all psychic:
    I'm currently heating with forced hot air / oil in a 26x46 'modified ranch' built in 2003.
    It has a daylight basement that isn't finished (well the daylight part that is wood framed is fiberglassed but effectively 1/2 of the basement is unfinished concrete, no drywall anywhere.
    The 'modified' part is that the living room/kitchen is an open concept with 14' cathedral ceiling. The basement stairwell is dead center of the house and has a half wall going into this 'great room'. The rest of the house is a couple baths and 3 bedrooms.
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    Im giving all this detail because I am hoping to toss a pellet stove in my basement about 4' in front and to the left of that stairwell opening and be able to heat the house with it. I've read other threads on here with folks that seem to have good and back luck warming their concrete basements up. It's about 65 degrees down there year round ,but heats up fast so Im hopeful.
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    That crap out of the way I'll try to be more efficient with the questions......what is a good rule of thumb for calculating BTU required for the sort of weird variables above?
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    When getting into this heat range, am I better off getting two 40k capable units and placing them in different locations - or going with one big unit?
    It seems that they all have close efficiency ratings so I'm assuming just going with something big and ugly to get the job done.
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    On to the big and ugly choice...I don't have any dealers in the area (that I have spoken with) that have any of these units in stock. I like the heat numbers of the MAXX but have read a few strange details on this forum about the unit that I don't really like. Have the issues with the Maxx stoves been worked out? are they a solid unit? If money were no object would you buy one over a Big E?
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    The Omega is really in the equation because it seems that it's a maybe a slightly better put together unit, or has a few nicer features than the MAXX. Not sure, I guess I just seem to like it.
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    So there are my questions, and I apologize for this ultimately being one of those "ok tell me what to buy" threads , but it's really a case of not being able to be hands on with any of these so I'm hoping that those that have, and own them, and love'hate them could chime in. I'll probably be buying in the next day or two fwiw.
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    Thanks very much!

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  2. sandstorm

    sandstorm New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Eastern, Ma.
    Sorry for the longish post...I should have had these spread out into about 6 posts over the past week but been too busy lurking ;)
  3. sandstorm

    sandstorm New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Eastern, Ma.
    Ok, at least flame me?
  4. buildingmaint

    buildingmaint Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    459
    Loc:
    Oil City PA
    Ok here is what I like about my BIG E over other stoves I personally seen. My stove holds 120 lbs most other hold 40 -60. My control board has lot of options as far as feed rate , heat level, stat/no stat mode . Easy to clean , but I have not cleaned any other. Lots of heat output . Looks easy to install replacement parts as far as u can hook up to the blower motors go . It is big and not real attractive , and noisy . If money was not a problem I would heat with natural gas . Pellet stoves are a lot of work, . And if natural gas was not an option I would heat with wood . Pellets are subject to market high/lows . You can always find someone who will give you free wood. If money is no issue I would go with a pellet boiler you can hook to your central heat system, if I were intent on pellets for heat. I 'm sure there are a lot better , nicer prettier , stoves out there . And in a perfect world you could take this from that stove , and that from this stove to make a perfect stove . My BIG E can hold a lot of pellets [ 120-210 LBS] and that makes it real nice so you don't have to feed the stove 2 to 3 times a day.
  5. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,491
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    I can't comment on the Big E or the other two big stoves you mention,
    but I will say that if it were me I'd get two smaller stoves one for the
    basement and one for the main living area of the house.
    Just my 2c.
  6. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2007
    Messages:
    1,244
    Loc:
    Connecticut

    This is what i'm doing this year.
  7. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 1, 2008
    Messages:
    2,220
    Loc:
    western Ma , close to NY state border
    One big stove sized to heat all that area is almost always going to be way to hot and probably blow you out of the area it`s placed in unless you have an exceptionally good way to distribute all that heated air rather quickly and evenly.
    I`d seriously consider two properly sized stoves, one for each level.
    John
  8. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,354
    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    Go with the Big E. If you have questions, call me.

    Eric
    330-876-0200
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