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Mt Vernon settings

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

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  1. fishpole

    fishpole New Member

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    Apr 26, 2008
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    Central Ma
    Hi Everyone,

    I'm a beginner to pellet stove heating and owner of the Quadrafire Mt Vernon insert and 7 tons of New England Hardwood Pellets. Lately I have been playing around with the different settings to get a feel on how the stove works (flame height/feed rate, comfort setting, heat output, and manual or auto) and was just wondering what some of you set your stove at to heat your homes, especially in the dead of winter. My home is approx. 1700sq ft. The stove is in the living room with a 20 ft cathedral ceiling that opens up to 3 bedrooms. There is a ceiling fan in the room also to move the heat around. If you don't mind sharing your settings and also just an estimate on the amount of pellets you roughly burn on an average winter day so that I could get an idea of what I have to look forward to.

    Thanks
    Chris

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  2. Drew1024

    Drew1024 New Member

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    Central NJ
    I set mine on -2 for flame height and 4 for heat output. It seems to work pretty well for me. My dealer set these for me when the install was done. To tell you the truth, though, is that I played around with the flame height from -5 to +5 and didn't even really notice much of a difference in flame height.
  3. eric_s

    eric_s Member

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    87
    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    I'm new to pellet stoves as well and have the MT Vernon. Mostly been running on heat=3 and flame heaight=-1, but have been playing around with all the settings. The one thing I notice that I am not sure of is how much variability their is in flame height. The higher the heat output the more consitent, but even on high it grows and falls significantly. I'm getting what seems to be a lot of heat, very little ash and not much build up on the window which leads me to believe it is running good. I have only burned Energex Hardwood so far.
  4. pelletguy

    pelletguy New Member

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    I also recently purchased a Mount Vernon AE. I have been running on flame setting 3 and heat setting 4. However, I have been experiencing quite a bit of smoke on startup. it lasts for a good 15-20 min. I cannot see it but it is quite strong. I had the installer come out and he added some caulk to the exhaust pipe. the smell is nearly gone from there, now it seems to be smoking from the front. he said some smoke smell is normal on startup? I dont know, i am not very happy with this from a stove this expensive. have you folks experienced the same thing? should i call back again? I was under the impression that some people experienced a "whiff" of smoke. this seems to be more. also my first time with a pellet stove so i really dont know what to expect.
  5. jackovalltrades

    jackovalltrades New Member

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    Maryland
    I have the insert piped up about 5 feet into my masonry fireplace. This is my second season with the AE. I have a large home thereby requiring me to run it on max pretty much 24x7. I have never smelled any smoke, weather on startup or not using 3 different brands of pellets as well as corn. From my perspective that is not normal.
  6. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

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    Flame height at +1 and the rest is on automatic, I let the software figure itself out.
  7. eric_s

    eric_s Member

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    Loc:
    Rhode Island
    I have a hint of wood smell in the room I have the stove. It does increase slightly on start-up, mostly just until the combustion blower kicks in. When it was first installed, I turned all the lights out in the room and used a flash light to search for smoke leaks. Was able to find a minor leak that way in the exhaust, since then no issues.
  8. fishpole

    fishpole New Member

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    Central Ma
    This question is probably more for the veteren pellet users but please feel free to chime in if you have some input.

    Pellet usage per bag. I have read somewhere that the Mt Vernon is a pellet hog. Does anyone have any input on this? On a high setting what should I expect to use up? Dealer said approx 1.5 to 2 bags a day on the highest setting. Does that sound right?

    Thanks for all of your inputs so far.
  9. jackovalltrades

    jackovalltrades New Member

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    Maryland
    Running high on softwood setting I used up a 40lb bag of pellets in about 7 to 7.5 hrs time last winter. That set me up with using just under 3 bags in a 24 hr period. On average though according to my spreadsheet for last year, with the unit turning off on warmer parts of the day I used up 2.03 bags/day.

    The Mt Vernon is a pellet hog I agree but boy does it put out some heat!
  10. Kenpobldr

    Kenpobldr Member

    Joined:
    May 25, 2008
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    Loc:
    South Eastern Ma.
    I keep my Mt. Vernon AE set on manual with a plus 1 flame height adjustment. I also keep my thermostat set on 70 degrees with a 2 degree differential setting. The thermostat is located about 26 feet away from the stove. I have very little smoke when the unit starts up and it quickly dissipates, but I also ran a 3" stainless steel liner all the way up the flue about 18 feet long.

    This is also our first year with the stove and I have been impressed with the heat output so far. We have a 26x36 two story colonial home with a 8x14 breezeway and a 16x18 cathedral family room off the side of our home. The stove is located in the family room that has a 13' opening to our kitchen area. The thermostat is located in the kitchen area but far enough away from the oven and cooking area so it doesn't interfere with the operation of the stove. We do run our ceiling fan on low and in reverse to aid in the movement of air.

    Given all that information our temperature readings with the thermostat for the stove set at 70 degrees is as follows:

    Family room- 72
    Kitchen- 70
    Breezway- 68 (furthest from stove)
    2nd Floor hallway- 71

    I purchased 5 tons of pellets and I am taking a wait and see approach to determine the pellet usage. Given that this unit operates with the use of a thermostat I know that the usage will also depend on the number of degree days and the setting that we keep the stove at. So far we are very impressed by the unit and a far more comfortable than last year when we kept the house a 62 degrees to save on oil.
  11. DiggerJim

    DiggerJim Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Northcentral Connecticut
    No kidding. The stove is rated for 60,000 BTU/hr. That averages out to a bit more than 7 lbs per hour or 4 1/2 bags a day if you ran it full bore 24 hrs/day. My Lennox is rated for 38,000 BTU/hr (about 1/3 less than the Mt Vernon) and can be expected to burn 4 1/2 lbs/hr on max which would be less than 3 bags per day running it on high 24hrs/day.

    It's simple physics. Heat out = heat in = # lbs/hr. It ought not be a surprise that if your stove pumps more heat out that it consumes more pellets.

    Whether you need that 60KBTU/hr is a whole different question. If you don't then you won't be burning 4 bags a day.
  12. teddy1971

    teddy1971 Member

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    Loc:
    Orange County NY
    I've been running my MT Vernon for the past few days. I have it set to automatic (76 during the day and at night and 68 when no one is home). At this setting the stove runs on low and I use less than a bag a day. The stove is heating 2500 sqft (1250 sqft per floor). The temperture is 76 downstairs and 72 upstatirs. My house is 5 years old and very well insulated. Ouside it is about 50 degrees during the day and 30 degrees at night so far. I left the stove at the settings the installers configured (Flame Height - + 0, Temp Diff - .5, Blower Convection - Normal) and everything works great.
  13. globewyre

    globewyre Member

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    Loc:
    North, NJ
    I' ve been burning at night for past 2 weeks. I run on Manual on MH (4). My flame height is 0. With the fan on normal. I am burning pennington pellets. I programmed it to hold 68 at night and to hold 75 from 5:30 am to 8:00 am and hold 70 during the day. I run on manual because the dealer suggested it and QF forum on iburnpellets an iburncorn had threads that suggested you burn less pellets on manual than automatic. I plan to try it both ways once the weather gets a little cooler.
  14. jackovalltrades

    jackovalltrades New Member

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    Loc:
    Maryland
    Although that's true in theory, the unit shuts down automatically for the autoclean. That autoclean cycles every 3 to 4 hours at the highest setting (softwood) or less (hardwood) ensuring you never get through 4 bags in a day.
  15. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    agreed, same here not cold enough yet to fine tune.
  16. Craiger13

    Craiger13 New Member

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    Loc:
    Marlborough, CT
    My Mt Vernon AE insert was installed 10/8 so I'm still experimenting with the settings. I ran most of the first week on manual and eally played with the heat output setting to see how quickly heat was produced and distributed through the house....I paid little attention to pellett consumption. I must say being a new pellet stove owner we were taking baby steps into the process over the past couple of weeks.....i.e. only runnng when we were awake, then only running when we were home. This weekend we turned the settings to automatic with setting very similiar to Teddy1971's, but the blowers have been on quiet most of the time. Seems to burn close to a bag a day at this rate but I'll be watching more closely

    So far I'm extrmeemly please with the performance of the unit.
  17. fishpole

    fishpole New Member

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    Central Ma

    I was not aware that you can program the thermostat and still run in manual mode. Can you???
  18. Craiger13

    Craiger13 New Member

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    Fishpole, I beleive that is correct. Three settings on the thremostat, Auto, Manual and Off. It appears you can program your settings and run in Auto, but overide by changing back to manual. I beleive there is a "resume" selection in auto to go back to programmed settings. I have done this the past couple of nights because there appears to be no way to change the heat output in Auto other than to jack up the comfort level setting. I like the fact that in manual I can heat a romm in no time by cranking the heat output for nearly instant warmth and then go back to auto to maintain.
  19. globewyre

    globewyre Member

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    North, NJ
    I think the difference between manual and auotmatic is the heat output setting. The thermostat still cuts the stove on and off when it reaches desired temp. I 'm not sure if the week program over ride the daily and wht weekend.
  20. gwesleyr

    gwesleyr New Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2008
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Southern NH
    Hello fellow Mount Vernon owners!

    I spent a lot of time here back in the spring getting info on what stove to purchase. Back when oil/diesel was $4.89, looking at 1000+ gallons of oil + diesel for the F-350 @12 mpg, I was in a slight panic. I almost sold my truck! Prices aren't what they were, but it was equally important for me to switch to a carbon neutral, renewable energy source. I settled on the Mount Vernon AE Insert because it seemed to have the most modern features, and also had the highest BTU output I could find. Plus I live in Mont Vernon, so it just seemed like good karma. ;-)

    I have a 3 story 3900 sq foot S.P. Brooks Timber Frame house, wrapped in stress skin panels...it is tight and efficient. So much so that my two sided center chimney fireplace would inevitably smoke into the house...no outside air. The center great room is open 33' to the ridge with 5 doorways opening onto balconies facing the chimney. I have a hydronic system (oil boiler) for domestic hot water and a heat exchanger to FHA, so I can run the fan only to move air around. There is a return duct way up high. I also have a ceiling fan hanging from a rafter which pretty much runs 24x7. I have a full chimney liner and outside air kit to the top. My furnace has programmable thermostats that were set back to 64 at night, 69 in the AM, set back to 66 during the day, back to 69 when the kids get home from school.

    We just finished a good week long cold snap of overnight lows in the teens highs mid-20s. I've been tinkering with the settings since putting the stove in mid-October, finally settled on this:

    Upstairs furnace zone hasn't been turned on all year. Won't ever be again near as I can tell. I re-programmed the furnace to run for a couple of hours in the AM, mostly to get the house up to temp quicker and circulate warm air to the 1st floor master bath & mudroom. The setback on the furnace is now 68/63, so the MV will kick in first if needed. In the AM I have the MV programmed to kick in 45 minutes before the furnace. I have the MV set to 69/64. I'm running flame height=0, manual/heat output=5, temp differential =.5, blower speed=normal, fuel type=hardwood pellets. Right now I'm burning Blue Seal premium hardwood pellets. I have 2 tons of them, 2 tons Energex Premium, and 1 ton of some unknown I picked up at Tractor Supply. I fiddled a bunch with the temp calibration to try to align it with the furnace. It is a real bear when it jumps 1.5 degrees holding it in your hands...that is the only reason I wished I had a remote. It probably wouldn't be such a big deal if I mounted it, but I wanted to try it in different places. I settled on the wall right next to the furnace thermostat, 12' to the side of the stove.

    I love this stove. My wife & kids don't mind loading, and cleaning is a snap. During the cold snap, which was the better part of a week, I burned 7-8 bags in a week. And I stayed home a few days during the week, so it didn't set back every day. There was a stretch where I burned ~1.5 bags in 24 hours. The oil furnace did run a bit more that I'd like, but mostly because it has a "recovery mode" where it figures out when to fire up to reach the set temp at the set time. So for a few nights it was kicking in before the MV. I think I have that figured out now.

    I have to run the ceiling fan on high to keep the temp stabilized, and I still have a 1.5 difference from the first to 3rd floors. None of that reverse direction stuff either, that didn't work well at all. If I just run the fan on the furnace, it will end up 4-5 degrees warmer up there. The 2nd floor bedrooms are noticeably cooler, yet comfy. We all like sleeping under blankets anyhow. The master bath & BR, on the backside of the stove/FP, is the coolest room in the house...bah dum bum.

    I had bought another ton of pellets to store in the basement, but we had some rain and I couldn't drive through the yard, got tired of driving them around in the truck, so I ended up selling them to my neighbor (who has the same stove). I'll get another ton if/when I need it.

    My only complaint is the fines dust, but not much you can do about it. We keep the bags in the garage, fill a bucket and ferry them in. I try not to dump the fines at the bottom of the bag/bucket in the hopper. Bulk delivery would be a nice improvement at some point to avoid the bag waste. I wonder if they can be recycled?

    Now I just need some sheet rock to button up the back side of the fireplace/stove, and goodbye romantic fire, hello big flat screen TV!
  21. control1

    control1 Member

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    Last year was my 1st year with mt vernon I burnt 3 tons of pellets.I usually set it on 3 at start up and once the house gets warm I shut it down to level 2 I rarely crank it up to full blast.There is no one home during the weekday so it was switched on by the kids after school at 3.30 and would stay lit until I would leave for work around 8.00 next morning. I was probably using 1 and 1/2 bags for this time frame.
  22. dsnedegar3

    dsnedegar3 Member

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    Loc:
    Southern Connecticut
    NHTTimberFrame--

    Do you use an Outside Air Kit since your home is probably very tight? - Please ignore- I saw your comment that you do use an OAK.
  23. timss13

    timss13 Member

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    Loc:
    Peterborough, NH
    I recycle some of my bags by using them as garbage bags. At least they are getting used rather than buying Glad or Hefty.

    So I can run mine in manual but still keep it thermostatically controlled? Have not tried that yet but now I am interested to see if that will improve performance. Overall we are thrilled with our Mt Vernon Insert but do notice that it has struggled to warm the 2000 sq house well enough on the really cold days that we have had.
  24. gwesleyr

    gwesleyr New Member

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    With the setting on manual, that simply means you control the burn rate with the heat output level (1-5) setting. It will still shut off when it reaches the set point, and kick back in when the temp drops "temp differential" degrees below the set point. On auto the heat output varies directly with the difference between room temp and the set point I believe.

    Did I mention I love this stove? It has been getting more attention than the Mrs. lately. ;-)

    We just fired up the free standing Vermont Castings Encore wood stove in the basement for the first time this year. After a few hours that thing will run you outta there!
  25. gwesleyr

    gwesleyr New Member

    Joined:
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    Southern NH
    After firing up the wood stove for the first time, I realized something I neglected to mention about the MV-AE- not a trace of smoke smell, ever.
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