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Posted By Jimmymac,
Jul 26, 2008 at 1:20 AM
[quote ]It's not just about the price. It's about who is in control of your life.
I hear you there friend...central Maine northward is about 50 cents more per galloon...which adds up especially way up north with harder winters...(they had around 200 inches plus of snow up there last winter as I recall)...my house is well insulated and built in 2002...however, I see the pellet stove as an insurance policy against the oil industry, I will hedge my bet long term they won't lower the price to what it was last year....averaged only $2.48 a gallon...now its next impossible to find it here in Central Maine for less than $4.50 galloon....
Anyway, I will have 3 tons stashed away....run the pellet stove on mid level setting and keep the upstairs set at 63F for the winter...even with the power out I got 6500W gen...going to figure out how to convert it to LP or Nat gas multifuel system...
I may have finally figured it out. I was having a beer and contemplating canceling my order, when it hit me. Downstairs I have two zones of heat. One is the Family room where the fireplace insert will be, and the rest includes the kitchen and the breakfast area, which are attached to the family room, and the formal dining and living room. Upstairs are only the bedrooms, which I like cooler anyway. In any event, I realized that the pellets and oil are not on an even space for space exchange. I will be heating space where we actually spend more time , as opposed to space we hardly ever use, The family room where the fireplace insert will be is part of the kitchen and the breakfast area, and the formal dining and living rooms are separated by doorways. If we feel the need to heat the formal living room and dining room we can turn up the oil heat, or use fans. The third zone of heat is upstairs, and the ceilings are uninterrupted between the kitchen and the hallway leading to the stairs. What heat that goes upstairs will offset the needs of the third heating zone. In addition to the fireplace insert I intend to install two ceiling fans, one in the family room, and one at the top of the stairs to pull the warm air up. I am hoping in this way to beat the straight exchange rate of 1 bag of pellets to 2.2 gallons of oil. Additionally I hope to pick up the pellets myself, 1/2 ton at a time. I have a 20 year old son at home who can help me transport. Hopefully this will help me to pay off the cost of the pellet insert over a much shorter period of time.
If you don't count your gas, your labor and many others things the payback will be quicker, that's for sure!
All kidding aside, sometimes I think many people have their mind made up already regarding purchases like this, and they would buy the stove whether it had a 4 year, 10 years or NO payback. They just want one!
No problem there - that happens to be the reasons for many, if not most, purchases.
Some reasons seem more sane than others. The green angle is valid. But "control" seems a bit far-out. Instead of buying oil, which is part of vast market that has functioned for many decades, a person is going to buy pellets...much heavier, larger storage area and from a relatively few vendors with no price control. Quality will vary also.
Then, they will burn those pellets in a stove which needs 100% the "control" of their electric company. When a part fails, they will in most cases be under the control of a single vendor, many which have already come and gone in the market place.
I guess one persons control is another persons chance. I see the appeal of looking at the pile of fuel in the garage, but at the same time two small (250) gallon oil tanks would hold the equiv of 4+ tons of pellets also.
In all the years here, I have yet to see many people say "yeah, I just plain WANT one".........and who cares about all the other stuff.
Anyway, point is that you can find people who claim to heat their house on 2 tons of pellets a year - if you want to believe them. You can find others that use 6 tons or more, if you choose to believe them. I try to deal as much as possible in the reality of the situation - physical realities! For instance, you want more than the 2.2 gallons - BUT, a fireplace insert (if on an exterior wall) can end up giving vastly less efficiency than a stove in the middle of the room. So you may be starting out with a negative.
Anyway, there is probably enough good information in this thread if one wants to read it. I try to dispense with all the "hurt the arabs" part because much of our oil comes from the US anyway, and you and I have no idea whether pellet plants are (or will be) owned by investment groups with Saudi $$$.
I like the ideal of all renewables...solar PV, wind, biomass, etc. - It is just that the payback on many is just the feeling that you are doing something to help. My neighbor want to put solar PV in - $30K or so - he KNOWS and ADMITS it will likely never pay for itself. I guess that proves he's pretty smart and deserves all the money he made!
Craig, most of the oil we use is imported, almost 70 %, according to T Boone Pickens, the life time oil man .
Yes, if you include canada and mexico as being imported...
More accurately, less than 15% of our oil comes from the middle east!
We get oil from Norway, England, Russia and LOTS of other countries around the world. Point is, you are not putting a hurting on the Sauds by using a little less.
You left out Venezuela, I believe we import more from them than anyone else. The reason, low transportation costs, Middle East is a long way off.