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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. mjbrown

    mjbrown Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2008
    Messages:
    402
    Loc:
    Hartland,Me.
    i heat my home..1100 sq ft. solely with the P38. my home is originally a 1960's 12 x 60 mobile home, and i put a 16x 40 addition on. for the past two winters, i have used the pellet stove as primary heat with the furnace set to 65*. when the temps dip way down, the furnace kicks on to help out and keep the pipes from freezing, and a half barrel of oil has gone me 2 winters. i burn approx 4.5-5 ton of pellets, and the house rarely sees temps below 70*. we keep the bedroom doors closed during the day when we are gone, and open them about an hour before bed to warm them up...doing this, i get by with 1.5-2 bags of pellets per day depending on how frigid it is. with outside temps being 35-40, i can get by with 1 bag a day(24 hrs).

    mike

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  2. hossthehermit

    hossthehermit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 17, 2008
    Messages:
    2,370
    Loc:
    Maine, ayuh, by gorry
    Last time the oil furnace kicked on was mid October
  3. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
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    12,539
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    I vote insulation and sealing.

    It is always a matter of being able to overpower the heat loss.

    You never did tell us the rating for your 'saur BBQ. That should help give you an idea of what is needed for BTUs from a pellet stove or a feel for how much insulation and sealing is needed.
  4. wetpellet

    wetpellet New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2009
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    Minn.
    I heat 1600 sq' with my Ecoteck Ilaria 34,000 btu unit. The room it is in stays at about 74 and the other rooms are about 70. The house is a 1930's house with half the house being reinsulated and the other half I assume is still from when it was built. Probably none!
    The stove runs on #1 during the day and #2 during the night all winter. The stove burns about a bag aday average and a little more in the really cold days. Runs mainly off thermostat.
  5. THE ROOSTER

    THE ROOSTER Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2009
    Messages:
    339
    Loc:
    Home of Wild Turkey 101 & Lake Cumberland
    Well what is the heat output temps of the stove??? My advice would be to insulate the walls...
  6. yknotcarpentry

    yknotcarpentry New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2009
    Messages:
    142
    Loc:
    s.maine
    well I must admit I hae burned 200 G of oil, but it has been pellets running 24/7 mostly on setting 2 . downstairs stays 70's + and upstairs is 60 + . Shut down the big E on the front porch all of Jan as no one was using the room, but I imagine I would have saved on oil if it was on.
  7. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,297
    Loc:
    Northern Ct
    Insulate the wall's?, dead air space is the best insulator, insulate your attic, insulating walls only way i figure is to drill holes and blow in or rip walls down and install new sheetrock.......not a good idea
    Heat a 1952 cape with my whitfield, burned maybe 1/8 of oil since oct....hate forced air, the noise and the dryness!!
  8. tsmith

    tsmith Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    762
    Loc:
    Kutztown, PA
    Heating my 1500 sq. ft. bi-level home with a Quadra Fire Mt. Vernon AE as only source. The stove is downstairs and the upstairs far bedrooms are 70 degrees, burning one bushel of corn per day.
  9. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
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    12,539
    Loc:
    Standish, ME
    Dead air space is very poor insulation, you do not need to rip down walls to insulate them although it is easier to get uniform coverage if they are removed. Holes are frequently used to insulate wall cavities and can be done several ways.

    Spend a bit of time with a heat loss calculator and you quickly discover that walls can be one of the biggest heat losses in a building, usually more so than the cap.

    However the worst possible heat loss is frequently air infiltration and above grade basement walls.
  10. Wi Thundercat

    Wi Thundercat Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2009
    Messages:
    287
    Loc:
    NW Wisconsin
    I am new to burning pellets as i just installed a week ago. Heating around 1500sft. single story ranch home with open floor plan at one end that is pretty well insulated with a st.croix prescott EXP running in smart-stat mode and set on heat range #3. Have a wireless t-stat mounted in the hallway next to the gas t-stat and have it set at 74 °F. Open end stays at 74 and the rest of the house is 70 to 72. It really helps having a small 10" fan mounted near the ceiling at the begining of the hallway to move a small amount of heated air to rest of house. The fan on low was too much so i built a variable speed fan control to plug it into and can now dial it so low one can hardly here it running and it doesn't cool the air its moving. Gas monster hasn't ran since i fired up the pellet stove a week ago with it being below zero at night ( -9 last night) and twenties during the day the house remains a constant temp all the time. ;-) Have burnt a little under 5 bags of pellets in seven days!
  11. Phatty

    Phatty Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2010
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    north east Mass.
    let me put it to you this way the gas company sent me a leter wanting to change my gas meter .
  12. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,502
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    I honestly heat my 2k sqft. house with pellets and only pellets. Wood stove has gone to a back up for power outages only. Raised ranch style. And a total no no with the stove in the basement. I stress insulation as a must. Every year I have added more. Double layer in the attic ect ect. I have my usage down to 3 to 4 tons total per year. My 60,000 BTU Omega is just purring on the 3 medium setting. I use high/low in the extreme and Auto/Off in the shoulders. Love the pellet heat, We are much warmer than using the electric. House is more consistent that when we used the wood stove.

    Maybe have an energy audit done. Its pricey, But you will see where you are loosing the battle. Get the big losers and you will notice a difference quickly.
  13. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    643
    Loc:
    Hampton, NH
    I'm heating a 1200 square foot first floor of my two family. I have the regular thermostat set at 60. The stove is in a 20 by 24 foot addition. I'm using a thermostat in this room and keep it set at 70. The rest of the floor is cooler but the oil burner has not kicked on in a while. I had 3/4 of a tank of oil at the beginning of the season and still have 1/2 a tank left. I've used almost a ton and a half of pellets so far. I spent a ton of time and money when I rehabbed the house on insulation and windows. I'm now enjoying the fruits of my labor :)

    Chan
  14. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
    Messages:
    1,435
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    My home came with full electric heat OMG the cost to run that would be outragous

    With the nutshells it costs me Less than $1 a day to keep the shack warm.

    I have friend that has a manufactured home the same make and model and his wife will not allow a "Burning" device in the house.

    They are paying about $1600 a month for electricity. I pay $300 a month and that is including the downstairs living quarters.

    Electric heat is a very inefficient way to heat.

    The shells cost $80 a ton and sometimes less so I use $1 a day as a standard.

    Real cold weather will cost $2 a day running two stoves.

    Snowy
  15. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    New England here, burning a Harman p61, 2000 square feet (2 floors), stove in living room, and has heated my home for the past 8 winters....I still use oil for hot water, but my baseboard heat hasnt come on in 8 years.
  16. arcticcat1

    arcticcat1 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2009
    Messages:
    53
    Loc:
    Eastern Me.
    Oil man darkens my driveway just once a year and that is for hot water purposes only!
  17. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7,154
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello

    This is our 1st season heating our entire house in Southern NH NOT using oil! Our OLD Valliant 155,000 BTU Oil Fired Boiler is only heating hot water now! We purchased a Avalon Astoria made by Travis Industries who also makes the Lopi Leydon. Our 45,000 BTU Astoria is similar to the Lopi Yankee and Leydon.
    We have an 1,100 Square foot Split and a center chimney. I carefully choose a center basement install using this chimney and installing a stainless steel chimney for the old oil boiler.
    Our house was built in 1962 and has R7 insulation in the outside walls and attic. I replaced the attic insulation with R4 reflextix foil under faced r19 (To do this I added 2x2s to the 2x4s to make 2x6s) and then criss crossed it with unfaced R30 for a total of R53 !!. This saves heat and money no matter what but enabled the Wood Pellet stove to run at lower settings.
    The basement install requires an OAK (Outside Air Kit) otherwise it would not heat very well at all! The basement ceiling has NO insulation. I also cut 2 registers in the Kitchen and Living room and ran 6" pipe from them to above the stove and built in a fan into the 6" pipe. Now the doorway to the basement must be open and I installed a doorway fan which also moves air upstairs. Both fans are connected to the cooling contacts on a Honeywell SPDT thermostat so they start running when the air over the stove climbs above 74.5 degrees.

    The following chart shows the heat setting to make the whole house comfortable. Basement 75-80 degrees and upstairs 67-71 Deg
    The chart below shows the Pellet Stove Heat Settings we use with the Air Restrictor on 2, and the Convection Fan on 6 (Highest)

    Outside Wind Speed
    Temp +or-5 MPH
    +or-5 5 10 20
    Degrees

    00 4 5 6
    10 3 4 5
    20 2 3 4
    30 1 2 3
    Astoria Heat Setting (1-6)

    Example1: Early Saturday morning on 01-30-2010, The wind speed was 20 MPH and outside temperature was 4 degrees. the chart says 6 for the heat setting. At that time, we had it set to 5 when we were asleep and 6 when we woke up for more warmth and comfort!!

    Example2:
    02-07-2010 at 2 pm, the temperature was 27 degrees F, and the Wind Speed was 9 MPH. Therefore, the chart above puts the heat setting between 3 and 2 (slightly closer to 2) We have it set to 3 for comfort although 2 would be adequate!!

    Even though it did not go below Zero in this region I used approx 2.5 Tons this year and we had a cold snowy winter!
    Good luck with your stove.
    Don

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  18. glockshooter

    glockshooter Member

    Joined:
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    38
    Loc:
    Wilkes-Barre PA
    28'x30'x2 stories. I can keep the downstairs at 78+ and the upstairs about 5 degrees cooler. I use the gas heat in the morning, just before the stove really warms. Once thats hot, the gas is off for the rest of the day.
  19. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    5,990
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    ran baseboard heat for 1 month in 1993 when i moved in , got bill bought stove next day , havent looked at the baseboard since (and likley never will)
  20. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2010
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    1,435
    Loc:
    NW Oregon
    I hate spending my hard earned $$$$ on electricity no matter what.

    Electric is nice stuff to have but I use it sparingly.

    A pellet stove that ran off a solar panel in the daytime and batteries at night would be way kewl.

    The equipment is spendy though.


    Snowy
  21. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2010
    Messages:
    413
    Loc:
    W Central MO
    I just installed a Quadrafire Castile in my 1700 or so sqft (ranch style) basement with only the rim joists insulated with 2" xps and foamed in place and a I guess you would call it a knee wall that is about 4' tall that on one span that has r13 with 2" foam screwed to it. I plan to eventually glue 1" foam to the concrete walls and further down the road finish the basement but for right now my 30,000 btu stove is keeping the basement above 70 and the heat pump/ heat strips are seldom running and it is 21 degrees out.
  22. coloradan

    coloradan New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    South Central PA
    I am heating my 1000 sq ft cabin with just my 1997 Tristar 25-5670 (aka Englander 25-PDV), which puts out between 8,000 and 56,000 BTU. My cabin is not insulated and has single pane windows. The ceiling in the main cabin is 15 feet high, and has a ceiling fan to disperse the hot air better and keep the loft cooler. The ceiling in my addition (great room) is about 10 feet high, and also has a ceiling fan. I keep the house around 72-73 degrees when I'm home, and turn it back to around 65 when I go to bed. Naturally, the rooms furthest away from the stove are about 5-10 degrees colder, but that's fine with me. I have electric baseboard heating, but I don't use it (too expensive for my wallet). I go through about 2 bags on the coldest days. I'm nestled in a deep forest on top of the mountain, so temperatures here are atleast 5 degrees colder than in valley a couple of miles away. I am down to about a bag a day now with the warmer temps we currently have. I have even been able to turn the stove off during the afternoon, if the sky is clear enough.
  23. Turbo-Quad

    Turbo-Quad New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2010
    Messages:
    353
    Loc:
    Illinois

    My furnace is a 100, 000 btu forced air propane burner. It’s about 20 years old so not efficient at all. I was spending about 350 to 400 a month to keep the house at 62 degrees. That is why I wanted to try the pellet stove. The Quad will burn 2 bags a day wide open. 74 in the dining room where the stove is and 60 in the living room about 12 feet away, even colder in the kitchen. Half the house is closed down so only heating about 600 sq feet. The bedrooms are shut up so they are about 48 (thank god for electric blankets). I moved my recliner and TV into the dining room last night. I thought I might as well enjoy the temp there. I have a ceiling fan running in the dining room and one in the living room.

    I have taken some temp readings with an infra red thermometer and the pot varies between 380 and 450. The heat exchanger outlet tubes are 270 on the left side and about 210 on the right side. Hopefully someone can tell me if these are good readings. I have no idea.

    I probably just need insulation. I'm looking into spray foam but I have to seal the outside some how. The house was built in 1912 and the greystone blocks have lost their sealant. Water wicks through pretty good so no point insulation until I get that under control. I will probably use elastomeric coating on the outside to seal it. I will probably have to gut it this summer after I get the outside coated. I have 2 foot eaves and I would really like to stud the outside, spray foam it, then vinyl side over the studded foam, but I don't think I could afford all of that.
  24. dbjordan

    dbjordan New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2009
    Messages:
    54
    Loc:
    Chester MD
    I use my pellet stove space heater to heat my entire 1800sqft open ranch. The 3 rooms farthest away from the stove are kept closed (gym and quest bedroom unheated, bathroom electric baseboard, programmable stat). All the "living" space stays at 72F to 65F 24/7. I could probably use a box fan for the convection effect, but we really don't have a need to keep those "other" rooms warmer.
  25. Trickyrick

    Trickyrick Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2009
    Messages:
    282
    Loc:
    Western MA/ Eastern NY
    OK we will take the $400 as the top end (worst month). Do you know what you pay per gallon of propane? I'm seeing prices from $2.89 up to $3.65 per gallon? We need to find out how many gallons per month you are burning. Multiply that by 91,000 BTUs per gallon and then multiply that by an assumed .9 for the assumed efficinency of the appliance. That is the BTU required to heat your home for the month.

    On the low cost of propane you are looking at 138 gallons * 91000 *.9 = 11.3 million BTUs /30 days = 376750 BTUs per day / 24 hours = 16,000 BTUs per hour Assume the Quad is about 50% efficient and your 60,000 BTU burning stove will put 30,000 BTUs into you home. I can tell you my actual efficinecy of mine (BTUs in the house/ BTUs of pellets burned) is 57%.

    With proper air movement and if the monthly Gallons of propane is correct you should be able to do this with that stove.
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