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For The Love Of Pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by CT Pellet, Dec 11, 2012.

  1. Mike D

    Mike D Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    277
    Loc:
    North Haven, CT
    1. Save money by being in control of my heating expenses
    2. Love the heat, nothing like it
    3. A big boy toy to play with.
    4. There's just nothing manly about getting screwed by the oil dealers each year.

    BTW - I have heard lots of comments about wanting to use USA produced energy... well, if we would only get the tree huggers out of the way we would have plenty of oil produced right hear in the USA. Just sayin...
    SteveB likes this.

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  2. Salty

    Salty Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2009
    Messages:
    572
    Loc:
    Central Ma
    Today is Tuesday the Black Hills delivery was sposed to be there.

    Lookit all the calories I just saved you ::-)

  3. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    526
    Loc:
    Northern MA
    Ok, get ready to draw and quarter me. But, like many of you I got the pellet stove because the price of propane was killing me, and my forced hot air system sucked. If it wasn't blowing, it wasn't warm. In other words, as soon as the furnace blower stopped, the room felt immediately cooler. Was the pellet stove a huge step up as far as comfort level? Hell yes. Does it save me money over the heating season, yes. But, there are a lot of drawbacks, too. I am not a fan of cleaning it. I've got better things to do on a Saturday or a Sunday. I am not a fan of having to figure out which brand of pellet is having a vintage year, and which ones that used to be good are now crappy. Plus I hate the sound of the stove, blowing 24/7 along with the other fans helping circulate the heat. On the days I shut off all the fans and the stove, it is like a whole new house. I can turn the TV down, I can hear so much better without the constant drone. Plus I am not a fan of the fact that If I go away for a weekend, I come home to an icebox, since the stove is my only heat source and needs to be constantly fed. And let's be honest, the radiant heat from a woodstove is much nicer than the blown heat from a pellet stove. But again, you need to constantly feed one of those beasts too.

    If I had nice baseboard heat or radiant flooring that was as economical as pellet burning, I'd be all over it. Set it and forget it. No hauling a ton of pellets in my truck every 4-6 weeks, no wasting a big chunk of my basement space, no hauling pellets upstairs to the stove, No cleaning the darn thing and no noise.

    There I said it. Lower the ban-hammer.
    jjs777_fzr, will711 and mrjohneel like this.
  4. Eatonpcat

    Eatonpcat Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    2,070
    Loc:
    Eaton Township, Ohio
    Should have bought an Enviro instead of that noisy Harmoon!!;)
  5. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    526
    Loc:
    Northern MA
    I've listened to plenty of different stoves. None are silent. And the older they get, the louder they get.
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  6. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,197
    Loc:
    Pocono mts.
    You spoke from your gut man tell it like it is ,no worries
  7. whlago

    whlago Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2011
    Messages:
    294
    Loc:
    NW Connecticut
    SXlPro did you disconnect your forced hot air propane system and now you have no backup? Not sure I would want the pellet stove as my only source of heat without a backup. Agree on the idea of radiant heat but on the plus side the pellet stove is much more controllable than the wood stove. 40-50 degree days with the pellet stove on low is a good thing. I can imagine the wood stove would be too much on those days.
  8. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    526
    Loc:
    Northern MA
    I disconnected it 13 years ago. It's in a basement with a dirt floor (believe it or not) and the basement can get a bit moist at times, as I live on a lake and the water table is very high. So after 13 years with no use, it is just a bucket of rust. I am actually looking into finding a used replacement on Craigslist just so I can have something to flip on for heat when we go away(or if the pellet stove croaks), since I still have a propane tank because that is what I cook with.
  9. boosted3g

    boosted3g Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    268
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I just like the heat that i can get out of the pellets. I honestly dont think its much cheaper if any than my heat pump but its much better to look at and i have the ability to take the temperature as high as i want it. The heat pump will satisfy the thermostat but it just dont feel as warm. I have a split level and theHarman is installed in the lower level which is our family room. There is nothing like saturdays movie night with the fire going and all of us watching the latest rebox flick. Its sort of a family tradition we have at my house.
    will711 and Eatonpcat like this.
  10. jjs777_fzr

    jjs777_fzr Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 9, 2007
    Messages:
    304
    Loc:
    NorthShore, MA USA
    Never seen it referred to as a vintage year - luv it.
  11. SXIPro

    SXIPro Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    526
    Loc:
    Northern MA
    Actually I just slap on my Bose Quiet Comfort headphones...badda bing...all better.
  12. VTrider

    VTrider Member

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2007
    Messages:
    218
    Loc:
    Northern New England Burlington Vermont
    (I saw this post this morning at 3 replies and new it was gonna draw attention!)

    First off, what a great post! Been hanging out here for years and somebody finally calls us on what drives the passion? Kudos to you CT Pellet! I think what really differentiates this post from the others is the fact that it was pointed out that nobody really 'shops' around for oil, let alone hangs out on 'oil' forums, so what gives? Enjoying all the responses, here's my .02c.

    Like many here, decision to go pellet was a no brainer. I already heated 80% of my house soley w/wood stove for 8, 9 seasons, ran a small pellet stove for the same amount of time just to heat an addition - had the best of both worlds you can say. Next thing ya know, have 3 children and come to the realization that although I love cutting / splitting / stacking wood, I love spending time with my family more. I also love seeing my $$$ stay local / regional from step A to Z. The pellets I burn are produced across the lake, shipped regionally, sold locally - I'm guessing 50 or more people are involved from planting / cutting down the tree, processing the pellet, shipping it to my dealer....by the time it makes it into my stove - and all of them live within a few hundred miles of my house - makes me feel good about where my money is going.
  13. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Very well written.....

    Went from $3,600-$3,800 a year in LP, to burning just over 2 ton last season and 3 cord. (I am dual fuel ;)) Been 3 years since my last fill and have 35% left :) Haven't burned LP in years and don't plan on doing so (cooking only :()

    It's not even a hobby anymore. It's a way of life :) I would rather spend the time cleaning, filling, and tending (wood) than to have that time spent on the couch. My daughter loves fire (19 months) and my 11 yr old son is a great pellet stacker (can do better than most adults) and Loves to split wood.

    This is a very rare corner of the world. People who take pride in heating there homes. Love it
  14. rwthomas1

    rwthomas1 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 20, 2011
    Messages:
    163
    Loc:
    Wakefield, RI
    I essentially inherited a house I would not have bought. All electric heat, no possibility of a real chimney. Electric heat and 60's insulation meant cold winters. Even if we just wrote the check, the house never felt warm. A constant concern was the threat of a winter storm severe enough to cut power for days. We would lose the house, it would freeze solid. I installed a backup propane "blue flame" heater in the basement. That would keep from losing the house but far from comfortable, and then I'm limited to whats in the propane tank. The pellet stove was a no-brainer once I found out about them. Direct vent, easy to install, much cheaper than electric and can run off the generator when the power goes out.

    I just rehab'ed the house, new insulation, new forced air natural gas heat and central air system. Paid to have the house hooked up to the gas line. The older I get the more skeptical I am of the reliability of the utilities. Irene left me without power for a week. Sandy for 4 days. I'm not entirely sure how long the natural gas keeps flowing after a major disaster so I don't want to rely on that. I have the capacity to store 400gallons of unleaded (fuel trailer) That would run my Honda eu2000i for MONTHS. With a couple of tons of pellets, I figure I'm covered for a while. I admit theres a little "survivalist" mentality in there. Should there be a weather event, etc. that interrupts electrical, water, food, etc. With no warning I have at least 7 days minimum supplies. With warning time to prepare, I can easily have a month or better stocked up. As long as the house survives, my family will be safe.

    Truth be told I'd rather heat with wood. I have access to lots of free wood but not with my house. Oh well. I think people who use "alternative" heat of any means are a different breed. We are usually handy, some bordering on or actually are professionals that work with our hands. Sourcing your heat, weather cutting trees or stacking pellets, its the same thing. Self reliance breeds self confidence. If you are willing to deal with a pellet stove or a wood stove chances are you prefer to do a lot of other things for yourself as well.
  15. Dinger

    Dinger Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    SW CO
    I had a townhouse in eastern AZ (7200'), my first house, bought in the mid 90's. It was all electric and I paid out both ends to stay semi cool-cold in the winter. It had a fireplace that was basically visual, unless you sat on the hearthstone. I had some older friends that introduced me to pellet heat, around 98? I took a drawing and photo of my firebox to the local fire store, and the nice lady helped me with some suggestions. They had a promo for some free money, so I ended up with a Whitfield insert, now forgetting the model. With some cutting out of the fireplace surround, the Whit fit nicely and the oversized surround covered the hole. My house did a 180 and was the place to be, which was nice in my mid 20's.

    Fast forward to '04, I find myself in SW Colorado, at the toe of the San Juan mountains, at 7400'. A brand new home with propane central, stuffed in the attic, that would prove later to be a hack, undersized install, that would run continually just to warm the down stairs, while roasting us out upstairs while trying to sleep... For all this, we got to pay $400-600 a month for 5-6 months. It usually took all summer to pay off our winter's LP.

    A wood stove was out. Even though I could get all the free wood I wanted from work, stacking/storage was a problem, as was available square footage with proper clearance in our living area. I had been in the wall where we had an LP fireplace, and I knew there was a space there, so a plan was born. It's like it was built for the Santa Fe. Sidewall clearance was spot on, a hole existed in the exterior wall from the vent, landing perfectly placed for a 3' vertical section for the pellet vent, and it basically heats my entire 1963 square feet. Current budget is $750/year for fuel, and that's probably high. That should justify the stove in less than two winters. From there, as long as maintenance is reasonable, which I will do myself for the most part with some Hearth help, we can actually afford to be warm.

    Friends and neighbors come over just to be warm. I'm surrounded by homes with infloor and nice heating systems, but none can match the warmth of our "little burner that could". Couldn't be happier with the machine or the install.
    DexterDay and Danny Cathcart like this.

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