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How many people use their pellet stove to heat their entire house....honestly?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Turbo-Quad, Feb 24, 2010.

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  1. Turbo-Quad

    Turbo-Quad New Member

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    Loc:
    Illinois
    I'm curious if anyone actually heats their whole house with a 60.000 btu pellet stove. The guy I bought this Quad Mt Vernon (non AE) from told me it would be too much stove for my 1200 sq ft house. I have half the house shut off and have to run this stove wide open to keep it at 70. I did the cleaning...yes tore it apart and cleaned. I admit the house it a block greystone house that is only insulated in the ceiling so I'm sure that has alot to do with it. From they way the seller talke I thought I would be able to run this on low and burn less pellets to heat my little house. Turns out I'm blazing on high the whole time I'm home. So are you really heating the entire house or do you shut off parts of your house and cozy up to the pellet stove running wide open to stay comfy? I'm having a hard time wrapping my head arouns a 2500 squre foot home being heated entirely by one of these stoves. Maybe I just have a lemon. The stove seems to be functioning fine although a bit noisy.

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  2. rickwa

    rickwa New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2009
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    Loc:
    ohio
    I am heating a 1600 sf basement with a 40k pellet stove and it only uses about a bag a day to keep it at 70. And a 40k corn stove to heat upstairs 1600sf it will run you out of the house if you dont keep it under control. keeps the upstairs at 74 easy with 50# corn a day.
  3. Fsappo

    Fsappo Minister of Fire

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    Central NY
    I heated our poorly insulated house with a wood stove (1500 sf or ) that I know for a fact would be outperformed by a decent pellet stove. A decent 40-50K btu pellet stove can be the sole source of heat for a 1500 sf area provided you can get the air moving.
    PoolGuyinCT likes this.
  4. richkorn

    richkorn Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    609
    Loc:
    SE CT
    Heat 1650 sf 2-story cape cod style entirely with Lopi Leyden. Have it on a Skytech Tstat and maintain it 68-70 downstairs. Upstairs usually 2 deg lower. Stove usually runs on medium/high medium (3/4). Only run on high (5/6) when need to heat house up more quickly when it was shut down while we are away all day.

    Only downside is that basement gets real cold since boiler only kicks in to heat hot water.
  5. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2006
    Messages:
    2,019
    Loc:
    Oakhurst, California, USA, Earth
    20 seasons using many different pellet stove as only heat. have only use my furnace a few time to make sure it works.
    1900sq feet Ranch style.
    Current stove Enviro Omega running with ON and OFF stat Mode running on Mid feed rate.
    Located at One end of 75 feet long house.
  6. Trickyrick

    Trickyrick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    282
    Loc:
    Western MA/ Eastern NY
    I have the data to proove the heating of an 1880 sq ft colonial with a 40,000 BTU pellet insert.

    The room the insert is in is warm (77*) but the rest of the house stays over 70* as long as the outside is above 0 and the wind below 10MPH. I see no problems. As the temp goes below 0 and the wind picks up the upstairs bedrooms have dropped to 68* but the stove has held it there. I'm sure I could normalize the temps better is I put in some vents from the upstairs to the livingroom but so far so good.

    I will say this your stove feeds X pounds of pellets I have gotten some bad pellets that just do not yeild the heat for whatever reason.

    I would try a differnt pellet (Okies are good, green team too) and another cleaning.

    Do you know how many BTUs it takes to heat your house without the stove? How many therms, gallons, KWh etc. then convert this to BTUs. If you need 70,000 then a stove that burns 60,000 and is 75% efficient isn't going to get you close enough.
  7. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    No insulation in the walls??
    Stoves are meant to be space heaters, but IMO amount of insulation and type of floorplan have ALOT to do
    with if the stove can heat the whole house or not.

    My XXV is rated at 50K BTU and is the primary heat for my home. Heats approx 2800sqft - 2 floors.
    Open floorplan and very well insulated.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Well let's see now your house is basically a hollowed out rock which means heat loss like in an uninsulated basement only worse.

    Tell us, what is the firing rating on your 'saur burner in the basement?

    I heat slightly more than 1800 square feet with my stove. I have a finished insulated basement with the stove sitting in the 500+ square foot room and 1344 square feet on the main level.

    The house is well sealed and insulated. I have only run my stove for a full day on setting 3 of 5 once. The heat loss of the house is 21,000 BTUs/hr at 0°F, My oil fired dragon has a firing rate of 75,000BTUs/hr my stove's maximum firing rate is approximately 40,000 BTUs/hr.
    Eatonpcat and save$ like this.
  9. newf lover

    newf lover Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Heat my 1400 sq. foot ranch with great room and 14 foot ceilings, skylights, and obnoxious dog that wants to go out every 5 minutes no problem.
    Eatonpcat likes this.
  10. Sawduster

    Sawduster New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2008
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    125
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I heat my entire 1500 sq.ft., poorly, impossible to properly insulate, VT farm house, with a stone basement, with my P61a honestly. I keep most of the house at an average temperature of 72-75 even in the coldest weather. It may take me 3 bags a day to do it when it is below zero, but I can do it!!
    Augmister likes this.
  11. Arnold

    Arnold Member

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Ohio
    We heat our 2000 sq ft cape cod (1 1/2 story) with our pellet insert. The insert handles it quite well as long as you don't have to start from a really cold (50* or so ) house to start with.
    If it gets real cold ( 0* outside), or exceptionally windy outside, we have had to turn on our other fireplace (Gas) to keep the house at 70*. But once we run the other fireplace for an hour or so to make up for the temps outside, it gets like a sauna with both running. The secret is not to let the house get too cool initially, as the pellet stove can't quickly recover the houses temp like a whole house furnace with over double the BTU.

    I use about a bag per day & heat quite comfortably with that amount. Where we live (Ohio) I figure about 3 1/2 tons per season (approx 175 days of heat ). buying pellets in the off season at $200 per ton (just missed them at $175 a ton (somersets @ Menards)...makes about $700 per year to heat our house & it feels much warmer than our gas forced air furnace heat ever did.

    Tom in Oh
  12. nanama72

    nanama72 Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Western MA
    I heat most of my 2500 sq foot home with a pellet insert exclusively. I say most of because I close off one of the downstairs rooms and 2 of the upstairs rooms. I have an open floor plan with a cathedral ceiling and the downstairs is in low to mid 60's and the upstairs low 70's with no fans on in the house. We go through about 2.5 bags/day.

    I am thinking about insulating my basement and possibly putting in a wood stove down there to see if that would warm up the house any.
  13. slclem

    slclem Member

    Joined:
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    36
    Loc:
    Eads, TN (West Tennessee)
    I close off two rooms upstairs making the total sq. ft. at approx. 1,700 (1200 down, 500 up). I run room temp mode with feed rate 4, fan speed medium and temp set at 66ish. The hallway (25 ft. away) stays at 66-67. Upstairs stays at 66. I am convinced the stove would basically match any temp setting. 68-70 deg. would be too warm for us. My wife drops the stove setting to 64-65ish at bedtime. The downstairs stays 64-65. Upstairs stays at 65. I use 1.6 bags a day in relatively cold temp (20s at night). In 40 deg weather, stove cruises in low most of the day. So far I am very happy with this stove.
  14. pastera

    pastera Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    SE Mass
    My stove is in a 700 sft room above an unheated garage with a lot of glass (including an 8' all glass french door on the north side).

    On low it will do an approximate 10-20% duty cycle to keep the room at 70-72 with windy single digits outside.

    On high it will send the room well over 80 if I let my 9 year old set the thermostat (So far 84 is the highest it has gone before I discovered it - may have gone much higher when I wasn't around)


    Aaron
  15. preacherbiggin

    preacherbiggin Member

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    Loc:
    Virginia

    I heat our 1200 sq ft house with a USSC 6041 no prob at all. in fact if its above 30 outside the stove stays at the lowest setting ( Cr-1) when it gets into the 20s out side it will go to Cr-2. we've only had to bump it up into 3 when we were getting a blizzard here a couple weeks ago. its 28 outside right now and im running on the lowest setting my house is a cozy 79 degrees. i wonder how much heat youre loosing in your walls ( rock soak up heat) and i wonder how much draft you are using on your stove? you might be sucking a lot of heat out the exhaust.
  16. nailhead

    nailhead Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Saylorsburg, PA
    We are heating our entire 2500 sq ft house with a Mt Vernon AE insert. The heat pump has been off for a month. The house is a 2 story colonial, about 9 years old, and no trees around to block the wind, as we are on a mountain ridge in the Poconos.
  17. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    We have a triple wide manufactured home set permanently on a full daylight basement.

    2300 Sq ft upstairs and a fully self contained 1000 Sq ft apartment in the basement.

    The aprtment has a 1000 series Quadrafire to heat it. Thats the only heat source.

    Upstairs we currently have a 1000 series Quad, a Whitfield Prodigy II and were using a WP50 Earth Stove.

    The WP50 was sold a week ago Sunday and I am replacing it with a Whitfield Advantage II T

    We use only the Pellet stoves to heat with.

    We use combinations of the 3 different stoves depending on the heating requirement and the outside temperature.

    The Quad takes the helm when we need to be gone for longer than just the day because of its automatic operation. Also if during more moderate weather with the little stove on low the house gets a tad too cold at night the quad will come on and warm things a bit.

    Keep the Quad set at 64F and it stays off most of the time.

    The Prodigy is great for warmer weather when a constant large fire will simply run us out.

    During very cold weather at time all three may be used. (Temps in the teens or below)


    Yup pellet stoves are a way of life around our house and not just a novelty.

    Snowy
  18. Turbo-Quad

    Turbo-Quad New Member

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    Illinois
    Sounds like I need to find out what is wrong with the Quad or insulate my house....lol.
  19. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    1,906
    Loc:
    Chelsea Maine
    Heat my split ranch with 1300 upstairs and 1000 ft on the lower level. 70+ upstairs and 74-80 on the lower level. House is well insulated right down to the cement floor on the lower level. (and that is mostly carpeted) Furnace kicks on for a few moments when the temp goes below 15 degrees F. More so if it is real windy. But still have a little under a half tank of oil from my fill up last April. Heat my hot water from this same oil tank that feeds the furnace. There will always be those who will tell you a pellet stove is a space heater. The reality is that any source of heat is a space heater unless it has some form or way for distribution of the heat. Air flow and insulation are essential for optimal heating performace.
  20. ruegway

    ruegway New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Southern Indiana
    I have a 2000 sqare foot ranch in Southern Indiana, and heat my entire house with my Accentra insert. The furnace has not been on all season, other than to see if it is working.
    It stays around 73 degrees in my family room where the insert is located, and 67-69 degrees in the back bedrooms. I have no basement, but a very well insulated sprayed foam crawlspace (temperature 53-55 degrees this winter), and a very well insulated attic (12-15 inches). The house was built in 1959, so it's not exactly an energy efficient marvel, but does have new windows and doors.
    Up until this season, we had used the gas furnace (got the Accentra installed this past summer), and set the thermostat on the gas furnace to 65 degrees to keep from breaking the bank. Man o man 65 degrees is cold!! You had to wear a sweatshirt, and flannel pants to stay warm. Now, I can wear shorts, and a light long sleeve shirt, and I and the wife are nice and cozy.
    Vectren, our energy supplier, estimated our bill for about 2 months (Nov-Dec), not realizing we weren't using the gas furnace (only gas water heater). Well, in January, they read the meter, and we had a surplus of $112 for our Feb bill (Feb was very cold in S Indiana). Our March bill was $89 (electricity and gas for the water heater), counting the excess $112 in the account.
    Best move I ever made, and you can get pellets here for less than $200 ton. No more cold temperatures in my own house for me!!
  21. Souzafone

    Souzafone Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 12, 2007
    Messages:
    305
    Loc:
    Freetown, Massachusetts
    Same size house, 1200 sq. ft., built in 1964, but insulated. We heat the whole house with our pellet stove, on the coldest nights I fire up the furnace so the pipes don't freeze in the basement. A single tank of oil will last at least 5 years. I honestly think we could get the heat in the tropical range if we liked, but we keep it at 70-72.
  22. Tailrace

    Tailrace New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2007
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    123
    Loc:
    Bullville NY
    I heat my one story 1400 square foot house completely with my Englander 25PDVC. The stove is in the dining room at one end of the house and our bedrooms, which are on the other end, are toasty warm. Usually when the dining room is at 70 degrees the bedrooms are at 68 degrees :cheese:
  23. Trickyrick

    Trickyrick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    282
    Loc:
    Western MA/ Eastern NY
    Insulation is always the best payback until you get above an R-40ish range.

    What is your existing heat source? Do you know what the estimate of your monthly usage is on this heat source? If you have some rough numbers I can give you a fairly rough estimate of what your current usage condition is.
  24. Brokemofo

    Brokemofo New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2010
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    Loc:
    Central PA.
    I heat an 1800sq.ft. two story home with mine. I can usually keep it 70 downstairs. My pellet stove is in my living room. If I had my walls insulated I could chase you out of the downstairs. Once and a while I use a little bump from my forced air oil pig. I used a little less than a 1/4 of a tank of oil and 3 tons of pellets so far this year. Between the tax rebate and the money saved on oil my pellet stove has paid for itself already. My house is warmer with the pellet stove than it was when I ran on only oil heat.
  25. breklaw

    breklaw Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2008
    Messages:
    91
    Loc:
    Central MA
    I heat my 1800 ft/2 2 level house with open 1st floor plan, 3 bedroom and a huge master bath up. My living room in always 70ish, with no problem at all. The heat warms the floor of the second story, and goes up the stairs as well. Mt basement is brutally cold, as the dino comes on only to heat the big zone, an 80 gallon superstore DHW heater. I never worry about pipes freezing anymore. Hasn't happened when it has been below zero. I do open up cabinets in bathroom upstairs then, they are on outside walls. Part of my basement is crawlspace, and it is also the farthest from my full height basement. I have a temp probe stuck down where the laundry pipes come up in my mudroom, and when it is REALLY cold, I check the digital readout in the mudroom. The crawlspace is totally unheated, far away from the basement, uninsulated, and never gets below 34 degrees. You don't freeze pipes until somewhere lower than 30, my guess. ( I know, water freezes at 32, but not under pressure, but is it higher or lower, I can't remember?). Other comments about the pstove not being able to heat the house rapidly from a cold temp are true. If I wake and the stove is out because I fell asleep (DUH!) and forgot to feed it, when it is really cold, I'll fire the dino for 15 minutes to take off the chill. My oil burner is rated at 115,000 BTU, my pstove is 38,000. New double insulated windows and doors everywhere, and at least R14 in all walls, none in the floor. Makes the place feel cold because of the cold floors- need to fix that! Burn around 3 3.5 ton/year. Currently loving Energex, some Cubex for the really cold nights, but pellets here are not cheap.
    My kingdom for a 3 ton, autofeed hopper!
    All the best!
    Bill
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