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How many Tons Do I Need to Heat My House

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by teddy1971, Aug 18, 2008.

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  1. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    I know there are alot of formulas out they tell you via BTU how many tons I need. But I would like to get some input from you guys who are experinced with the use of pellet stoves. I am having my MT Vernon AE installed at the beginning of september. I have 4 tons of pellets (2 here + 2 being delivered with installation). I was originally going to get 3 tons but went with 4 just to be safe. I am going to heat 2500 sqft with the stove. I'm hoping to keep the temp @ 72 degrees in the room the stove is in and 68 degrees upstairs. I will drop the tempurature on the stove 10 hours a day to 60 degrees. Do you think I have enough? Thanks in advance for all your help.

    Sorry I should have been alittle more thorough with the backgroud of my house. It is approximately 5 years old. I usually use 800 gallons to heat 3 zones of heat (3300 sqft including 800sqft finished basement). I will only be heating 2500 sqft with the pellet stove and using space heaters anytime anyone is down stairs (hopefully the solar panels I’m having installed will pay for the electric use). The house is pretty tight and is not draftly at all.

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  2. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

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    Four should be good but never hurts to have a few bags left over for the next year. A lot easier than trying to find 1/2 ton in March.

    Eric
  3. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    You could certain heat the house on only 4 tons, but I think you'll find you will have some cold areas if you're not using any other heat source. I can tell you that if the LR (where the stove is located) is at 72, your master BR is going to be a lot cooler than 68.

    You're probably going to need to add some air circulation to assist the heat distribution. You might want to even consider blocking off the doorway (with a door) going from the kitchen into the DR and install a shrouded fan blowing back towards the stove. This way the warm air will be forced around the house and keep the front side of the house a little warmer than the back, which will keep your BR warmer. I did something similar with a 16" (or 18") shrouded fan I mounted into the bottom of a door (I bought a cheap door for doing this). This circular air flow seems to work very well pulling the air around the house, plus I can keep the side we use most a little warmer by changing the direction of the fan.
  4. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    [quote author="Teddy1971" date="1219094804"]I know there are alot of formulas out they tell you via BTU how many tons I need. But I would like to get some input from you guys who are experinced with the use of pellet stoves. I am having my MT Vernon AE installed at the beginning of september. I have 4 tons of pellets (2 here + 2 being delivered with installation). I was originally going to get 3 tons but went with 4 just to be safe. I am going to heat 2500 sqft with the stove. I'm hoping to keep the temp @ 72 degrees in the room the stove is in and 68 degrees upstairs. I will drop the tempurature on the stove 10 hours a day to 60 degrees. Do you think I have enough?
  5. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

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    how many gallons of oil have you averaged in years past?
  6. BadDad320

    BadDad320 Feeling the Heat

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    You can never have enough. I would go with 5 or 6 tons just to be on the safe side. If you have too much you can burn them next year and you'll have a little head start. If you don't have enough you will have to go find some during heat season.
  7. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    I burn just under 800 gallons of oil a year.
  8. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    There is no door between the dining room and the formal living room. Do you think the ceiling fan in the living room and the family room will suffice. Or, should I put a fan in the door way between the living room and the dining room to help move the hot air into the bedrooms upstairs.
  9. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    800 gal of oil is equal to over 6 tons of pellets. As I mentioned above, you could get buy on 4, but you'll be cold. I'd want 6 on hand for my first year of burning if I were you.
  10. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    Would 6 tons allow me to go without using a drop of oil (besides hot water) and keep the temp the way I explained above (73 in stove room and 68 for the rest of the house)?
  11. BadDad320

    BadDad320 Feeling the Heat

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    4 should be good but it depends on several variables like insulation, air circulation and bunch of other stuff. You seem to be in the same boat as the majority in here, myself included, you've never done this before. Next year this board is going to be a lot more knowledgeable.
  12. SteveT

    SteveT Feeling the Heat

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    I think Rayttt is asking the right question.... how much fuel did you previously use?

    Figure every ton of pellets you burn will replace approximately 110 or 120 gallons.

    Without knowing the specifics of your house (insulation, amount of solar heat, window treatment, draftiness etc.) I don't think a valid estimate is possible. But your experience in the house tells how much heat you need... then it is "just" a question of getting the same amount of heat into the house using pellets. With several fans the heat distribution should work out.
  13. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    Sorry I should have been alittle more thorough with the backgroud of my house. It is approximately 5 years old. I usually use 800 gallons to heat 3 zones of heat (3300 sqft including 800sqft finished basement). I will only be heating 2500 sqft with the pellet stove and using space heaters anytime anyone is down stairs (hopefully the solar panels I'm having installed will pay for the electric use). The house is pretty tight and is not draftly at all.
  14. dsnedegar3

    dsnedegar3 Member

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    Just curious -- I have a 3500 sq. foot home, with 2x6 insulation, two zones (up and down) and double pain windows. I don' heat my basement other than my office which I probably will get a space heater. I used approx. 900 gallons last year and ordered 3 tons using the AE insert I ordered to heat the downstairs where we spend much of our time (I'm going to use oil to heat upstairs since it is typically at 62 degrees at night). ... so it sounds like our homes are very similar. My question is, are youplanning on using the Outside Air Kit??

    I'm presently waiting for my AE insert to come in at the end of the month.
  15. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    The installer will be connecting a straight vent from the stove through the side of my house.
  16. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    It should be pretty close regarding the quantity of pellets you need. Space heaters tend to be a little more efficient, but the problem you're going to have to distributing the heat around the house. Without a good way of moving the heat throughout the house, a 5*F delta might be a little optimistic. You're going to need to do something (as I suggested above) to move that heat around, otherwise you're going to have a hot LR and several cold rooms at the other end and upstairs. If you can spread the heat produced by six tons of pellets, you'll be fine. You might find you still need to set the central heating thermostat to kick on in the cold areas if you can't move the heat around.
  17. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    One ton of pellets = 100 to 120 gallons of heating oil.
  18. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    You don't think the ceiling fans in the rooms down stairs will help push the heat upstairs?
  19. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    Ceiling fans will help (any fans will help). I would focus on moving the heat completely around the first floor and I think you'll find a decent amount of heat will make its way upstairs. The best way to move the air around on the first floor (that I know of w/o going crazy) would be to install a door between the kitchen / DR and install a shrouded fan into the door with the fan blowing toward the LR. This will force the air in a continuous loop around the first floor. If you don't use a shrouded fan (no door), you won't have nearly as much success pulling the air all the way around the house since you can't create a pressure differential. But, as I mentioned, just having lots of fans a everywhere will move the warm air around... but it will feel and sound like a tornado in there plus cost you a lot in electricity. The key is to move the air as quietly, and efficiently as possible.
  20. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    Thanks for the input. I will test different methods includeing installing a make shift shroud fan (maybe a temporary plastic barrier between the dining room and kitchen with a shroud fan insert).
  21. eriksp

    eriksp New Member

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    When you guys talk of a shrouded a fan, do you mean a typical fan like a box or pedestal fan?
  22. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    No, a fan with a built in shroud that can seal off the air... like a window fan. This is the one I mounted in the bottom of my "spare" door: http://www.laskoproducts.com/fans/model_2155a.html

    Being able to create a pressure differential from one side to the other (if you have the ability to make a circular air path) makes a huge difference compared to just placing a box fan in a doorway.
  23. houset

    houset Member

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    I find this hard to believe. Last year with Oil, i had purchase roughly 1000 gallons. This is my first year of pellets stove heating, but i can't imagine it will take me 8 ton of pellets to perform the same as oil. I bought 4, and i think that will be enough.
  24. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

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    1000 gal of oil is about 139,000,000 btu. Four tons of pellets will only produce about 67,000,000 btu... You do the math.

    Some people get by with using fewer btu with a space heater. This is typically because people tend to centralize around the space heater and other areas of the house tend to be cooler than they would otherwise be with central heating. Space heaters can also be a little more efficient when compared to central heating, but we aren't talking 2x as much!
  25. twiddler

    twiddler New Member

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    I have a simular setup in my house. I was thinking of getting one of those corner fans that go in the upper left corner of the doorway to circulate heat. I plan on using oil and pellets to heat my home, I purchased 2 tons but plan on buying a few bags a week at lowes and homedepot. I ran my pipes indoors about 5 feet up then vented outside. I noticed my pipes get hot, hopefully not too hot because I only have sheet rock walls behind the pipes. My house has an HRV unit, so I'm hoping it will help distribute the warm air throughout my house.
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