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How much $$$ will you save using a pellet stove?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Mainiac, Sep 24, 2008.

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  1. daveb

    daveb New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 2, 2008
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    1
    Loc:
    north of baltimore
    2 level house, 1800sqft(1000LL, 800UL), Prior average oil heating bill $300-$400month, $10-$12/day. Harmon fireplace insert in a room with a 18ft cathedral ceiling. average 58bags/year. this is our 4th season with the stove. It has helped reduce our oil consumption and improve comfort in the main living space. In those 3 years we updated the windows which decreased oil consumption and improved overall comfort. I just installed a ceiling fan in the room with the pellet stove which has the 18ft cathedral ceiling. this has made a significant difference in the lower level temp and comfort. the temp on the termostat 2 rooms a way has gone up 9 degrees and the pellet burn rate is much lower(3*/75degrees room temp. the room is much warmer. We have used the pellet stove and a and occasional space heater upstairs so far without turning on the central heat. prior to this year, the stove was mostly zone heating, with the fan we look to save considerably on oil.

    these are the rough numbers:
    prior oil heating: $300-$400month
    after stove and windows; $150-$225month.
    this year with the addition of the ceiling fan: we haven't turned on central oil heat yet. burning 1bag every 2-3 days. average temperatures so far 46nt/ 55day. lower 1000sq/ft increased temp 60-69degrees.

    bottom line: Try to maximize the heat of the stove for improved comfort and decreased oil consumption.

    Dave

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  2. mtalea

    mtalea Feeling the Heat

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    Dec 14, 2005
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    Loc:
    Bristol, Connecticut
  3. mailmanmark

    mailmanmark New Member

    Joined:
    May 14, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Upstate New York
    Just got oil @ 2.69 but still can't get pellets even @ $300 a ton. Thank god I still have the wood stove.
  4. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 31, 2008
    Messages:
    690
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    This will be how I look at it.
    Next May I will know how we made out.
  5. Tom Pencil

    Tom Pencil New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2008
    Messages:
    159
    Loc:
    Tipp City, Ohio
    The previous owner of my house went through 1,250 gallons of oil/year.
    The first year we lived there I bought a programable thermostat.....950 gallons
    Second year we used............. 880 gallons
    Third year Installed new water boiler(Buderus)................820 gallons
    Fourth year installed Harman insert.... 4 tons pellets and 400 gallons
    Fifth year....................4 1/2 Tons and 380 gallons
    Sixth year...................5 tons and 390 gallons
    Seventh year..............5 1/2 tons and 360 gallons

    I always buy my fuel oil at summer pricing and with taxes payed $3.98 gallon for 250 gallons
    it is now around $2.50 gallon so I timed it wrong but it is way better of buying only 250 gallons than filling up at 820 or more.

    I did time buying my pellets right as I payed only $179/ton and have 5 1/2 ready for the winter.
    I was in the store the other day and they were selling them for $279 if they had them.
  6. natnyer

    natnyer Member

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
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    Loc:
    southeast ny
    I don't think there is any reason to keep a house above 65 degrees in the winter. Wear a sweatshirt sweat pants or a coat if you have to save money and make a middle east shiek wonder whos paying for his next ferrari. Buy pellets .
  7. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2008
    Messages:
    497
    Loc:
    Northcentral Connecticut
    That's why I bought a pellet stove - so I don't have to keep it at 65 degrees. That's just too cold for me and I don't want to wander around dressed like a mukluk. If I'm sitting watching tv or reading my feet get cold when it's 65 and when my feet are cold the rest of me feels cold too. The pellet stove & 70 degrees are nice - and I always stop in front of it and enjoy the warm air blowing on me when I'm walking thru the room.
  8. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2008
    Messages:
    123
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I agree entirely. My CB1200i comes on at 69 and shuts down at 74 all winter long. And we arent using a huge amount of pellets. Good isulation pays.

    Here in northern lower michigan you just want to stay nice and warm.
  9. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,509
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    Skrew that. Maybe 65 is good for you but not for me. I'm comfy at 72F.
    I can afford to buy enough pellets to keep my home at that temp
    throughout the winter so why be cold when I don't have to.

    Staying OT. I don't know how much I'll save using pellets this season.
    Will let ya know in the Spring when all is said and done.
  10. trogers

    trogers New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 25, 2008
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    183
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    I love this post! Don't you get it? The very fact that you are saying that there is no reason to keep the thermostat above 65, or that we should be wearing a coat in our homes is exactly the type of talk that gives the shieks comfort. I'll buy my North American fuel (my pellets are Canadian this year) and keep my temp at what I think is comfortable...and, not have my comfort dicatetd by the shiek!

    By the way, was it hard walking uphill both ways to school?
  11. drtnshtr

    drtnshtr New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    204
    Loc:
    Ohio
    I guess I was very lucky when starting my pellet stove journey..I bought my Whitfield last year for $150 from a co-worker who was swicthing to propane because he couldnt get the whitfield working. After hooking up one of the wires on the circuit boards that came loose I had a perfectly good pellet stove for $150 :) Its in the mail living room of my 1400 sq ft cape cod and keeps the 1st floor 75-80 degrees while the 2nd floor is 65-67 degrees....I also have a VC reliance for my finished basement that I just picked up (for $250) this summer from an elderly lady down the road that just moved into a house that already had the stove in it. She couldnt carry the pellet bags...I guess my point is I do not have much $$$ in start up with pellets and I heated last winter with nothing but pellets. I used 3 tons but we like it very warm in the house. I did not use any oil what so ever! Our oil prices were $2.68 here last week and I think I will wait to see if they go a little lower before buying some. I keep the oil ready for back up if we go away and cannot tend the stove. One advantage in buying pellets is you do not have a minimum amount you have to buy like OIL and Propane. You can go in and buy 1 bag or 10 bags depending on what you can afford. If pellet and oil prices skyrocket I have a wood stove and free supply of wood as long as I can cut it. I think even if OIL was cheaper than pellets I would still burn pellets because it reduces our depency on foreign oil and also I feel I can keep my house warmer with the pellets.
  12. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    12,288
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Great post!
    It shows the accuracy of figuring on about 100 gallons per ton....all things being equal.

    For most people that means Fuel is now quite a bit cheaper than pellets (pellets are $320 here, and fuel oil $2.40)......and that is without the cost of the stove, service, labor, etc.

    Against LP or Electric, pellets are still going to save - and many people will burn them in any case because they already have them, etc.

    But, personally, I would not burn pellets at $300 plus except as recreation and a little local warmth. From a economic perspective...and that is what drives most people, it is just not worth it!
  13. mullet

    mullet New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    VA
    Propane now in my area is 3.75 a gallon and my house of 2,500 Sqft would use about 110 to 135 gallons a month depending, sooooooo that's about $412.50 to $506.00 a month. I currently use about 3 tons a year @ $260.00 a ton which = $780.00. Even if I used 4 tons which is $1040.00 its still save a lot with my pellet stove not to mention the house is FINALLY WARM (71 downstairs 74 upstairs) compared to propane.

    So lets just say:

    Propane + 6 months @ low $412.00x6 = $2472.00 / @ high $506.00x6= $3036.00
    Pellets = 6 months @ high = $1040.00

    Savings = $1432.00 to $1996.00 + warmer house = priceless!!!!
  14. Panhandler

    Panhandler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2008
    Messages:
    607
    Loc:
    WV Northern Panhandle
    I now use forced air natural gas as a backup. In the first quarter of this year I was paying $11.897 per MCF (thousand cubic ft.), 2nd quarter @ $12.827 MCF, 3rd quarter @ $14.997 MCF. Now it is going up 32%. I keep the thermostat for furnace on 50 in case of stove failure and have a gas fireplace (thermostaticaly controlled) in case of power failure. I have no plans to go to gas full time, ever. Comfort level with pellet heat is much better than gas and less drafty. The fuel cost calculator uses "cost per therm" for natural gas. How does this convert to MCF?
  15. slheinlein

    slheinlein Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2007
    Messages:
    107
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Assuming I would have used the same amount of propane last year as prior years, I saved $800 last year using pellets vs. propane. At this rate, it will take my 5 years to recoup my investment. however, I now have a warmer house, fire going at all times and can spend time on this forum. What more can I ask for??
  16. in-control

    in-control New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 18, 2008
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    Loc:
    Central Ma
    I think that this is different for each person's situation but like bantam demonstrates. The only real way to do the analysis is to compare your current use against your past. I use about 900 gallons of fuel oil/year. If I can cut that in half - take the 450 gallons and x times my cost/oil $3.46 or $1557. Then subtract my cost of pellets(plus delivery) $880 and increase in electricity usage, say $100/season. I get a cost savings of $557, my ROI will be ~ 9years.
  17. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Northcentral Connecticut
    1 therm = 100,000 BTU. To get MCF from Therms, multiply by 0.0976 or to get Therms from MCF, multiply the MCFs by 10.25

    BTW, to calculate the approximate cost/gal of fuel oil in comparison to MCFs, multiply by 0.1366 so your $14.997 natural gas is equivalent to oil at $2.048 per gallon.
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