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Head spinning: pellet or wood?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Wear More Layers, Nov 9, 2013.

  1. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    Is your current heating hot water baseboard or air? If air you can use existing ductwork if you go with a heat pump.
    I have a geothermal heat pump. If you go with a high efficiency air to air heat pump it will probably cost 8-12 thousand maybe more but then it's just set the thermostat and sit down.

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  2. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    Hilarious
  3. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Several different names/mfgs on compressed wood products, generaly on a pound for pound basis cost is about the same as pellets. Pricing varies by area. in some areas the compressed products are less than equivalent amount of cord wood. A ton of pellets/bricks is roughly equal to a cord of decent hard wood.
  4. Michael Golden

    Michael Golden Burning Hunk

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    Really nothing dangerous here! You get a lot of opinions and a lot of knowledge in one place. I learned a lot here and have tried to teach some of my family that burn the rights and wrong. They laugh at me, but hey I don't fight wet wood!
  5. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    I'm pretty sure there is such a thing as a pellet furnace. I know there are add on wood furnaces, which will work with your existing furnace (my aunt and uncle ran such a set up for years, using the wood furnace exclusively unless they went on vacation). Perhaps there is the same in pellet? You'd still have to get the pellets home and into the basement, but you could keep them there-no lugging back up the stairs to feed a stove and it would be even more hidden than a stove sitting in the corner.
  6. BIGDADDY

    BIGDADDY Feeling the Heat

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    Yes you are correct. I did a search on the net after reading your post and found pellet furnaces.
  7. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Exactly. Dangerous to dealers who get by only by duping their customers.
    gyrfalcon, gchunter and newbieinCT like this.
  8. Slow1

    Slow1 Minister of Fire

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    Well, and dangerous to my productivity spending too much time reading when I should be doing something...
    Cynnergy and Sprinter like this.
  9. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Dealers are probably jumpy about internet sources in general. Let's face it, there is a lot of very bad advice out there, and they probably hear it all. This site is unusually diligent about keeping information at a high level, stressing accuracy and safety. Some dealers just don't know the difference.
    gyrfalcon and firefighterjake like this.
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Has anyone mentioned a Pellet add-on furnace or boiler? Seems like it might be an option. Some of them offer over-sized hoppers that can hold a weeks worth of pellets.
  11. Firedancer

    Firedancer New Member

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    My dealer told me he has never heard of anyone monitoring the temp on an insert!! Really? Never? THAT sounds dangerous to me.


    I am all for burning wood. I'm new to the insert thing-we have two open fireplaces in our home-and they really came in handy during hurricane Sandy. We had no power for just over a week. Wood just seems easier to come by...and thanks to Sandy, I have plenty of it.

    I am AMAZED how this insert heats my entire 1600sqft home.
  12. Wear More Layers

    Wear More Layers New Member

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    Once again, thanks for all of your "dangerous" advice. With the workweek now in my way, I haven't had time to do any further exploring. On my to-do list is to find someone who uses a heat pump to see how much power they use in cold weather, and I'd like to find a wood stove that fits inside my sloping firebox.
  13. gandalf

    gandalf Member

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    Maybe the dealer thinks hearth.com is dangerous to his business. After all, educating yourself can help make you less dependent on stove dealers and heating "professionals". The more well-educated you are, the less likely you are to make an expensive or dangerous heating mistake or overpay for a stove or installation/maintenance services. You would also more likely be attuned to the differences between respectable and inferior workmanship. Maybe there is a lot of misinformation out here, but IMO, hearth.com can be an excellent source of information.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  14. gandalf

    gandalf Member

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    I wouldn't be ready to give up just yet. A smaller insert might work for you, or you could look into a larger unit with the option of an extended-onto-hearth install. For example, the Lopi Freedom wood insert has an extended installation option. When installed this way, it requires 13.5 inch depth into fireplace. It's 21.75 inches high. If your fireplace depth at that height is at least 13.5 inches and the other dimensions work with your fireplace / hearth, it might be a solution. With an extended-on-hearth install, the insert extends 7 inches from the fireplace. If you do do something like this, make sure your clearances are sufficient. See the manual for more details. Full disclosure: I've never owned or used a Lopi Freedom or other Lopi insert/stove.
  15. Mainely Saws

    Mainely Saws Member

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    I don't think that I read in your post why propane isn't an option . There are some very nice propane wood stoves & inserts out there that are very realistic , energy efficient & low maintenance , along with being user friendly ( thermostat) . I would think that either a wood stove install or a pellett stove ,along with buying fuel for them would have a very long pay back time , reqiure a fair amount of on going work/effort & would cost you more money than continuing burning oil .....
  16. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    We used to heat our Old House with two DV stoves. They were natural gas instead of propane, but basically, it's the same (I think propane tends to be more blue, flame wise, at least when I compare the flame on our VF we have now that's LP vs one we used to ahve that was NG).

    Our first stove was (is) a Lopi Hampton Bay DVS. It's not a bad little stove, and some people did think it was a wood burner. To me, the flame was ok, but it looked like a gas stove. Our second stove was newer, a Lopi Berkshire (the first generation, not the current style). Now that stove we nearly moved to the Cottage with us when we turned the Old House into a rental. It's a darn nice stove for a gas model. Good looks and a much nicer flame. And man does it throw the heat.

    If LP is an option and wood/pellets are too much weight/lifting, but you still want the look, an LP insert or stove might be worth looking into.
  17. SteveKG

    SteveKG Minister of Fire

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    Here is something about this forum, if you haven't figured it out already. There are many varied opinions on everthing wood stove: how to burn, how to split, how to store wood, how to build fires, and countless other subjects. However, you can bet that if someone posts a suggestion or idea that is just plain stupid, dangerous, lethal, or even laughable, a bunch of folks will let him or her know in no time. There are many of us who have been operating wood stoves for many decades and will continue to do so. For you [OP], there are a couple considerations many of us don't have, such as your potential problems storing or carrying the fuel supply. These are real considerations. Good luck and stick around the forum.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  18. tsquini

    tsquini Minister of Fire

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    Go with cord wood. When you don't have power you can still heat. Correct me if I'm wrong, With a pellet stove you have to have electricity for it to run.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  19. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    That's true, but a small generator can take care of that and it's good to have one anyway, IMO. Still, it is a consideration.
  20. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    I thought there was at least one pellet stove that operates more like a wood stove (i.e. without the blowers). Though it may still require electric to operate the feed mechanism. Supposedly it's not as noisy, anyway. Whether it's as effective at heating as the ones with blowers is something else again.
  21. Phoenix Hatchling

    Phoenix Hatchling Feeling the Heat

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    Ever consider getting a coal burning insert? Less work like a wood burner, more consistent and steady temps, cost is comparable (@300/ton) , and you could carry smaller quantities from your stash via a coal hod (carry what you can handle).
  22. Lighting Up

    Lighting Up Feeling the Heat

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    Wood stove would be my choice...you can buy season wood cut and split and they will stack it to. Yes at a cost but you will love the heat that a stove gives...IMHO.
  23. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Ok, the post about coal gave me another idea. Do you maybe have a walkout basement with still some room in there? Maybe you could get a wood furnace. Pay the firewood guy some extra to stack the wood outside and in the fall you grab a little 4-wheel hand-cart and transfer the wood from the stacks next to the furnace. Minimal lifting required but you can still burn wood.
  24. Wear More Layers

    Wear More Layers New Member

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    Propane: Is propane as expensive as oil, and does it require a giant tank right next to the house.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  25. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    Depends on where you live but usually not, and not always. You can have a big tank far from the house or a smaller one next to it, you'd have to talk to a propane co about that. We run our hot water (tankless), kitchen range (1950's era, standing pilot for the burners) and a small 10k btu blue flame (when it's in the 20's or below regularly) on two 100lb tanks plumbed in sequence so the appliances draw on both evenly. We'll refill them 2-3x a year at about $50 each per refill. Our VF runs on a separate 100lb tank. Those can be heavy to move though, you might want to look into a bigger tank away from the house.

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