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How did you settle on your choice of stove?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Indiana, Jan 1, 2013.

  1. Indiana

    Indiana Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    271
    Loc:
    South Jersey
    When i used propane, we kept the house at 64 due to the high cost. I really wanted a wood burning stove, but didn't want to have my wife and kids stoking a wood fire while I was gone during the day. I wasn't sure about a pellet stove. I found some really ornate ones that would look great in my living room. The Harmon XXV was the one I settled on. Then came the cost factor and the possibility I wouldn't like the heating process. Doing some more research, I chose a refurbished CPM from Andy at Am/Fm energy. I figured on using the cpm one season. If I liked the pellet process, then I would put the cpm in the basement and switch to the XXV. Well this is my 3rd heating season with pellets and would never think about moving my CPM. I am so happy with the cost, performance, and support that I'm going to purchase another one for the basement. It's 31 degrees outside and 72 inside. I am spending $750 in pellets a year and saving 1200 gallons of propane at $3.64 per gal. Cheers to Englander. Any issues I have had, and they where small, have all been operator error.

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  2. LMPS

    LMPS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2010
    Messages:
    391
    Loc:
    Coastal, Maine
    Like I make every decision.......I asked the wife.....;em
  3. DOLLARBILL

    DOLLARBILL Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2012
    Messages:
    230
    Loc:
    Between Augusta and Lewiston Maine
    A Happy Wife is a Happy Life !
    jtakeman, smoke show and Mike D like this.
  4. Labrat

    Labrat Member

    Joined:
    Feb 6, 2011
    Messages:
    63
    Loc:
    Coastal Maine
    Mine was simple, I had the choice of spending 2-3K a year to heat the house or find a way to do it cheaper. My choice of a Harman PF100 was fairly simple. I wanted/needed a unit that was rock solid and had very few issues. I would say with everything the unit has paid about 1/4 - 1/3 of its cost back to me in savings. That and I really do enjoy working the furnace and talking to the folks on here! :cool:
  5. DneprDave

    DneprDave Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    238
    Loc:
    Western WA
    I got mine because they were real cheap, on Craig's list. What I got was enough parts to assemble two stoves, they work great!

    One is in the garage and the other is on an enclosed porch that I couldn't use in the winter due to the cold. It gives off enough heat that I leave the door to the porch open now so that it augments my oil burner. I burned about half the oil last year, than I used the year before, when I didn't have a pellet stove.

    Dave
  6. mepellet

    mepellet Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2011
    Messages:
    1,880
    Loc:
    Central ME
    I knew I wanted a harman. I compared the heating capacity of their stoves to my needs and voila! Done!
  7. Dinger

    Dinger Member

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2011
    Messages:
    140
    Loc:
    SW CO
    The SantaFe fit the hole I was working in, it fit the budget, it was close (on paper) to my capacity need, and the Wife and I liked the look and simplicity of it. She prefers the "cast" look of the Castille and Mt Vernon, and some Harmans at our local store, but those were almost double the money, when she also liked the SantaFe's look, we were in.

    I also like our local dealer a lot, good guy, and he has a good serviceman.
  8. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Quadrafire was my 1st stove... Still have it. Still love it. Have worked on, cleaned, and owned quite a few stoves now and very few have been more efficient and effective at heating than my Classic Bay. Harman (about the entire line up) and the AE are a few that do a slightly better job. Environs are nice. But the M-55 Cast FS is the only I have truly seen in operation and I would want the M-55 Steel because of looks, bigger hopper, and ash pan.

    Love my pellet stoves, but I am in the process of selling some off, to get a _ - _ _ or a _ - _ _ to replace my Quad in the shoulder seasons. The Fahrenheit gets used in the COLD weather (now). The CPM, PDV, and CB 1200 are goin to the wayside!

    I spent about $3,600 a yr on LP.... Spent $400 on pellets last year (3 cord of wood too ;)) I have in turn payed for everything I have bought (stoves, saws, splitters, etc) and still saved money. I love to save money, but I love my toys too. :)
  9. Mike D

    Mike D Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 7, 2008
    Messages:
    288
    Loc:
    North Haven, CT
    I went to a couple of dealers, one who told me a pellet stove wouldn't work for me (glad I didn't listen to him) and the second had a very large showroom with wood, gas and pellet stoves in stock and running in the showroom. I was in a "man's world". I asked a lot of questions (wife wasn't with me yet), gave him my situation (sq. ft., layout of house, stairs etc) and he recommended the Lopi Leyden. When I came back with the boss, I was talking with another sales rep while the one I originally spoke with finished with a customer and asked him questions as well and he gave me the same recommendation without knowing which model the first rep suggested. The brown enamel was to please the boss, although I have to admit it looks great (so she was right again). Best move I made and it paid for itself about 2 years earlier than expected.
  10. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    532
    Loc:
    South of Boston MA
    My first stove was a Whitfield Cascade back around 1997, I didn't know much about stoves but was searching for a space heater for my downstairs 23x21 family room and found mine on clearance for $700 back then. It has worked great through the years only needing a couple of very minor repairs (blower and auger bushings) in 15 years! About 3 or 4 years ago I decided to cut ties with the oil man and bought an Englander insert, it worked great but did require a few repairs the first year (room blower,ignitor, and vac issue). I also discovered it required a little more daily care than I was used to. That coupled with the fact that an insert is more of a pain to pull in and out than I realized pushed me into a Harman P35i. I do wish to make clear that the Englander was a VERY GOOD stove and the company does provide EXCELLENT customer support, the issues were my issues not theirs (other than a few items needing replacing in the first year) and I would highly recommend an Englander. I give my P35i a 10 minute cleaning every 4 or 5 days (quick vac, burnpot and interior scrape and a good glass cleaning) and a more intense pull the vent and ignitor plates, vac the passages and entire stove along with the rest. The stove is pulled and proffesionally cleaned in mid January and in the summer (aprox every ton). In a nutshell it was the easier care of the Harman that pushed me to it.
  11. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,735
    Loc:
    Jaffrey, NH
    Word of mouth on the brand and dealer. Specs on the model choice. Simple. Rustic. Yeah?
  12. Pelleting In NJ

    Pelleting In NJ Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 26, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Loc:
    Central NJ
    I was spending $3500 a year on propane, starting looking for alternatives. I considered a low temp Mitsubishi Hyper heat pump, and a Rheem, but the financial payback period was too long, due to my high 17 cents/kW electric rates. I then looked into pellet stoves, but did not want a traditional looking stove. I considered a Harman PF100 pellet furnace, but the price of the unit, and extensive install, and dealing with 5 to 6 tons of pellets a year, was the deal killer (and the talk of bubbling burn pots kinda turned me off to Harman). I then saw the Quad Edge60 pellet fireplace, but the $5000 plus price was too high to make a reasonable financial break even period. At a 4H fair I saw an Ecoteck, and began to consider a freestanding contemporary stove. Choices were Wittus, Thelin, Enviro Omega/Max, or Enviro Meridian. I really wanted the Ecoteck, but they were too expensive, so the whole idea sort of faded.....until I saw the Northland Distributing (original US dealer for Ecoteck) clearance sale...a $1000 discount, free shipping, made the deal for me. I like the clean looks of the Ecoteck, the quietness, high efficiency, and first-rate build quality and internal components. I also like the multiple thermostat options, and the 7 day two-event programmable timer/thermostat.
  13. boosted3g

    boosted3g Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    270
    Loc:
    Central PA
    My old man has had Harmans for years and not a bit of trouble. I took a look at them for myself and saw how they were built and i was sold. Couldnt afford a new one so i searched for a couple of weeks and found a nice used one. Now i have tropical plants blooming in my house when its 23 degrees outside.
  14. rich2500

    rich2500 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
    Messages:
    135
    Loc:
    S E Pa.
    got my Englander because i'm a do it yourselfer and hate relying on someone else for service
  15. Tim Linden

    Tim Linden New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    I talked to friends who have pellet stoves and a few that work with them. They all said Harman
    so I googled the name and watched all their videos, searched Youtube watched all those videos,
    then went to two different dealers and they all said to go with Harman.

    From there we knew we wanted an insert so that knocked down the models. We have a small
    one story house so that made it easier. Today they are installing a P35i!
  16. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,512
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    It had the specs I wanted at a price I thought was reasonable. Seven years later I def made the right choice to buy this flame thrower.
  17. bbfarm

    bbfarm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 2, 2012
    Messages:
    547
    Loc:
    wisconsin
    We couldn't afford to buy Fuel oil anymore.

    We started out by asking about them at a home show, then started looking in ernest last year when the price of fuel oil went through the roof. we were interested in a pellet furnace.

    We stopped at an earth sense in Lena and the guy was pretty knowledgable about all the stoves he carried. He had demo models for discounted prices and told us what the known operating problems were for each model he carried. the pellet furnaces were way out of our price range so we looked at the freestanding models

    we got to see each one actually working. several of the models I didn't care for because if you just barely touched them you could burn a finger. others just were ugly (yeah, I'm a girl so sue me - lol). i really liked the looks of the afton bay with the large bay window to better see the fire. I liked the shape of the unit. we gathered all the info and prices on this and a couple other models.

    we stopped at another earth sense in green bay and they did not have anything we liked at all. The closest model to the afton bay was $1000 more.

    we tried to get up the money and were unable to afford it.

    We called the 1st store in Lena to ask about payment plans and found out he went out of business 2 weeks after we were there.

    just by chance I found ours on craigslist, just what we wanted and a friend was able to float us a small loan for 2 months until tax returns came back.

    I wasn't sure on the custom color of honey brown at first, but I really like it. it matches our house really nice.
  18. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2011
    Messages:
    341
    Loc:
    West Tennessee
    Got utterly lucky.

    Bought a house with a heat pump. From past expereince I know when outside temp is below 40 a heat pump becomes a big paperweight. I was looking into running natural gas to the existing fireplace (buying an insert). I stopped into the local dealer to price gas inserts. They had a pellet stove running to heat their office. I said "What is that thing?" They did not hard sell but gave me a brochure with the Heatilators. I came here and did a lot of reading. The dealers are a couple of brothers who i had went to school with many moons ago and felt they were on the up and up. I decided to try it out. Cab50/install/ton of pellets/hearth/ was $1976. One small self inflicted hiccup but the thing has ran flawless.
  19. SXIPro

    SXIPro Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    486
    Loc:
    Northern MA
    My choice came down to Whitfield or Harman, and the Harman just seemed so much more well made. The Whitfield seemed like a toy in comparison.
  20. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    410
    Loc:
    Albany (ish)
    Got a 25 Pdvc cuz it was cheap.
  21. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2008
    Messages:
    873
    Loc:
    MA
    Had a Quad insert wood stove for years and loved it. Went with the Quad again and still love it.
  22. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Apr 20, 2009
    Messages:
    285
    Loc:
    Lewis County, New York (upstate)
    I had never owned a pellet stove until I bought my current home in 2001. It came with a Lopi FoxFire model pellet stove installed and was mostly used to heat the living room in which it sat. For the first eleven winters I've lived in my home, the Lopi was used to augment my fuel oil powered water baseboard heat. Basically turning the pellet stove on during the day on the weekends and when I'd get home from work and always shutting it down when I went to bed. Occasionally I'd run it all night on weekends on really cold nights (-10 - -40 degrees).

    A couple of years ago I decided I wanted to upgrade my Lopi stove and make pellet heating my primary heat source and delegate the hot water boiler to back up. So, after a lot of shopping, cruising this website and others, and visiting a number of dealers, I opted to go with a Harman. Now it was down to which dealer to buy it from as there are a number of Harman dealers near me (relatively speaking). In the end I went with my local dealer where I've purchased my pellets for the past decade. He's within about 5 miles of my home, is rated by Harman as a "Gold" level dealer, and provides fairly good customer service. He also allows me to store all my pellets at his location until I'm ready to get them. So every spring I buy 2-3 tons of pellets and pick them up as I need them. That way I only need to store about a ton at any given time in my actual house with his warehouse as my primary storage location. He also buys/sells Empire brand pellets which are made about 45 minutes from my house so he too supports local businesses. All these factors played in my decision to buy Harman and from my local dealer.
  23. SXIPro

    SXIPro Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 28, 2009
    Messages:
    486
    Loc:
    Northern MA
    Now, THAT, is a great set up. So you can buy them at nice Spring prices and he holds the inventory for you. Outstanding. If I could find a deal like that, the dealer would have my business forever. (as long as he carried decent pellets and his prices were not crazy high)
  24. Tim Linden

    Tim Linden New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    51
    I agree with that.. Although it is fun to show people my garage full of pellets now.. I feel like a squirrel all stocked up or something haha
  25. boosted3g

    boosted3g Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    270
    Loc:
    Central PA
    Your not kidding. I have a 2.5 car garage that my wife can barely squeeze her prius into.
    DexterDay likes this.

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