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Help for New Stove Owner in Southeastern PA: can I find softwoods around here?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Bryan Sacks, Oct 22, 2013.

  1. Bryan Sacks

    Bryan Sacks New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    philsdelphia
    Hi everyone,

    Thanks in advance for any assistance.

    I had a Hampton GC60 installed this summer to wean us off of oil heat (actually, trying to make a clean break). We have a 4BR twin home about 2,000 sq. ft, with stacked floors around a central staircase. It's supposed to get colder this week (thought not really cold), so I want to get a bit ahead of things.

    After disliking the big box pellets I tried first, I sought out Hamer's which I like much better, and bought my first ton. But reading reviews, I'm extremely curious to try softwoods - Spruce Pointe, Vermont, Okanagan, any of the top varieties really.

    But I can't find them anywhere around here. In fact I can't find any softwoods at all. I've heard rumors of an Energex softwood, but so far no can find.

    what's he Southern-most point I can find a softwood? Is it just too costly to have a couple of tons of ultra grade softwoods shipped from NY? Will anyone do it?

    Any tips for best operation or things to look out for about my stove greatly appreciated as well.

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  2. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,646
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Down here in Georgia, there are pines every where. Most are being either turned into MDF building boards in local factories or pellets for export to Europe. My Greenways are oak.
  3. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    912
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    None around here. There was a random place in jersey selling Okies for 309 a ton but with access to good quality hardwoods in my area it is hardly worth the time or money. It would not pay you to ship softwoods from upstate NY area. But anything could be had for a price...
  4. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,646
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    Of course, as most here probably know, when I see someone from SE Pa, I scold them that they haven't done their homework on the new breed of coal stoves. ;em

    http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/
    http://www.keystoker.com/
    http://www.readingstove.com/heating-stoves/coal-stoves/
    http://www.alaskastove.com/

    Almost twice the btu/ton that pellets have. Same or better efficiency. Not any dirtier, despite the old wives tales from days gone by, if handled properly. Can store coal outside with no worries. (wetter is better). Same price per ton as pellets or even cheaper if you go to the breaker to get it.
    AND most models are capable of putting out twice the btu's of pellet stoves of same size.

    BUT if you're a tree hugger and want to save the planet instead of your family's budget, that's another story.

    (just in fun and also for the 'next guy' who's researching alternate fuels)
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2013
  5. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    372
    Loc:
    poconos pa
  6. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,646
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    IMHO the high cost is a reflection of the decline of the value of the dollar on world markets. As I said, down here Europe is buying all the softwood pellets with 'useless' dollars so why should the manufacturers charge us a lower price than they can get from Europe. Thank Uncle Ben for that one! And of course those who continue to back him.
  7. Bryan Sacks

    Bryan Sacks New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2013
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    philsdelphia
    Thanks everyone for the replies. That Cleanfire premium softwood from woodpellets.com is sold out, though a lesser variety is available. Might just give it some time until my Hamer's run low. Really like them.

    @TJ: very interesting to learn about coal stoves. Don't know if it would have been an option for me since a woodstove wasn't; we live in an old house and have a chimney path that's too narrow for a woodstove liner. Imagine it's similar for coal?

    and yeah, I am a bit of a treehugger (ironic term for someone burning wood pellets!), but not to the point that I'm averse to individual families burning coal in their homes.
  8. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,646
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    10-4. The new coal stoves can use a horizontal path straight through the wall using a power vent, which creates a negative pressure on the burn chamber just like a flue would do.
    From Keystoker > 'All Keystoker Automatic Stoves, Koker Furnace, and K2, K-6 Boilers can be direct vented, using our own made venter. All electrical components are located inside the home, safe from exposure to outside elements.'

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