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New here... Need help choosing a pellet insert please!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Fx4pitrone, Sep 30, 2013.

  1. Fx4pitrone

    Fx4pitrone New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Hi, I've been lurking around a little bit and need some help and advice from those of you with experiences w these pellet inserts... I'm looking to HOPEFULLY heat all/ most of my house mainly off this insert.

    Our house:
    1700 sq. ft. Cape built in 1991
    Central/eastern CT
    2 upstairs beds
    Insert will be located on 1st floor in living room, vented out the chimney

    I have been looking at:
    Harman p35i ( i think it may be too small for our whole house?)
    Quadrafire classic bay 1200i (worried about the reliability, although I now heard they are owned by Harman?)
    Enviro meridian (don't know much either way)
    Wish I could get the Harman accentra (but $5100 is out of our league)

    I'd like to be at or under $4000 (installed w/ everything) if possible, but want a reliable stove that I don't have to run on the ragged edge 24/7 to heat our upstairs....

    Also, Are napoleons a good solid stove? Mainly the npi45...don't know much about them.... But they are about the same price as the p35i Harman and 10k more btu's....

    Thank you in advance for any help you can provide me with... We are looking to do this soon!
    Last edited: Sep 30, 2013

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  2. sante fe

    sante fe Member

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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie ny
    Take a look at the 52i or m55
  3. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    1,433
    Loc:
    Eastern Mass & Lakes Region of Maine
    Harman 52i......brand new this season and its a HARMAN.
  4. Fx4pitrone

    Fx4pitrone New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
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    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Thanks... I know... I LOVE the 52i and it has 2 blowers now in the updated version, but its about $1100 more than I want/can afford to spend...
  5. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Northwestern CT.
    35i is most likely too small. NPS45 and meridian may also be on the small size. Look for something closer to 50K or a bit more to ensure you can be near oil free. Try to size the stove by its medium heat range so it is not over worked and some extra BTU's if there is a cold snap. The stoves ratings are gross BTU output. So the BTU show is actually 78 to 85% of that number. The sqft rating is also often over rated.

    Quadrafire classic bay 1200i @47,300 BTUs would be a good choice. If you could swing a little more $$? Look at the Enviro M55 or Regency GCi60. Both are 55K BTU's. And less $$ than the 52i.
    Defiant likes this.
  6. Fx4pitrone

    Fx4pitrone New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
    13
    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Thanks for the replies.... I looked at the M55... very nice looking like the 52i... but I think it was also right at or near $5K like the 52i....

    My salesguy was trying to sell me on the Quadrafire 1200i.... I like the price and BTU's.... but worried about a lot of the reliability reviews I read.... but another salesman also said they were solid, and made by same company that owns Harman.... maybe they have gotten better? Can anyone else chime in on the 1200i??

    THanks for the replies guys... please keep them coming!
  7. Cleetussnow

    Cleetussnow Member

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    Oct 3, 2012
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    148
    Loc:
    Westchester, ny
    Try the gci60. Same as the envrio internally ,and usually a few bucks cheaper
  8. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    477
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    personally, I don't like the Napoleon series. I would go for a Harman, but I realize that you're feeling that's out of your price range. I would call up your local stove shops and see if they have any floor models for sale (they often have used or floor models for sale).
  9. subsailor

    subsailor Minister of Fire

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    Do a lot of research. Don't make a choice strictly for $$$ that you're going to regret later. Maybe look at used? Or like movemaine said floor models. I replaced my first stove within 18 months because I was dissatisfied.
    Defiant and Lousyweather like this.
  10. RCCARPS

    RCCARPS New Member

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    Loc:
    South Eastern PA
    Where are you located FX4Pitrone? My local dealer, Peak Distribution was looking to sell a floor model Accentra from last year. My brother almost went for it before pulling the trigger on the 52i.
  11. Fx4pitrone

    Fx4pitrone New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Thanks man... but I'm near Hartford CT... I see you're in PA....:eek:
  12. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    Quad is owned by HHT, as is Harman, but that's where the similarities end....they are very different units....both good, but different. My kneejerk here is that the Quad is quieter, maybe cheaper, but not as reliable as the Harman. That being said, the 52i is NEW, but the components are tied and true....curcuitboard, blowers, comb fan......just much easier to clean than the old Accentra Insert
  13. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    South of Boston MA
    I'm willing to bet with proper pellets the P35i will do the job. My concern would be for the air flow pattern in a Cape. Without creating a proper flow I think you may just overheat your living room and the other rooms will starve. My P35i easily heats my 2 upper levels BUT the coldest room is the one next to where the stove is, and I have opened the wall so it is pretty much an open floor plan on that level. A fan blowing air INTO the room with the stove helps somewhat but not completely. Is there anyone out here that had success with a Cape?
  14. peirhead

    peirhead Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    PEI Canada
    I'm not sure where these concerns over the reliability of the Quads is coming from....you other quad burners chime in, but my Castile has been rock solid since I put it in in Jan 2009.....maybe 3 jammed augers with iffy pellets and a couple of no-starts because of fines getting back into the vacuum switch (my bad cleaning technique which I have changed) Keep it clean and you should have no worries with the Quad.
  15. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    Eastern Mass & Lakes Region of Maine
    I hear you.....but it's truly a you get what you pay for decision.
    Lousyweather likes this.
  16. Fx4pitrone

    Fx4pitrone New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2013
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Eastern CT
    Thanks for the replies... Yea I'm not sure about the layout and how the stove will work either.. This is our first experience w/ it....

    I had googled quadrifire classic bay and fund a lot of horrible reviews... Which got me nervous. But if I'm hearing from guys on here that have good experiences, that makes me feel better about them... Also the fact that same company owns them and Harman helps put me at ease a little too...

    I think at this point I'm torn between the 35i and the quad classic bay 47.... I'm leaning towards the 47 to make sure it's got enough juice for our whole house? The more I read and research, the more I change my mind...lol
    Again, keep the great info coming please!
    Thanks
  17. stayfitz

    stayfitz Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Reno, NV
    The CB1200i is a great value! The BTU figures are "accurate" (lbs per hour), heat exchanger is excellent, and has a proven history. That being said, if you can afford more, get the Regency GCI60 (Enviro M55)! The 35i will not have enough output for your home. As mentioned before (with other broken record forum posts), the 52i only has a 5 lbs per hour max burn... Fuel potential is approximately 42,500BTU, without deduction in transfer efficiency, etc, etc. Maybe it's a Harman typo...? But at the moment, the 52i does not make sense to me, sorry.
  18. notch

    notch Member

    Joined:
    May 2, 2012
    Messages:
    47
    Loc:
    7 miles north of Boston
    As others have said, take a look at the used stove market on Craigslist. Many folks get jazzed up about pellets, have a beautiful new stove installed, then tire (quickly) of the pellet hauling and the stove cleaning, and never use them again. Five years later they are moving and have to unload the stove quick. If you are patient and persistent in watching for new listings good deals can be had. I got my Accentra Insert for 1500, barely used. Of course, they are heavy and you'll need to uninstall it and move it, but a couple of guys, some basic tools, a couple ratchet straps and a hand cart and you are good to go. If you are just a little handy, you can install it yourself. Trickiest parts of the install are getting the liner down the chimney, and installing the block-off plate. Both easy enough though. Or have a pro do it with the $$ you save. I love my Accentra insert, it's a fine piece of engineering. Good luck!
    stayfitz likes this.
  19. badabing

    badabing Member

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  20. badabing

    badabing Member

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    I have the Harman P35i and heat a larger house than you have. Great insert and the price is right compared to the other Harman inserts.
  21. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    SE CT
    Hi FX4- Welcome. Don't know about Quadrafire reliability issues?? The MV AE had some woes years ago, but has been fine the past couple of years. There are many fine pellet stoves being manufactured, including Harmans. I personally prefer the Quad CB1200, one of my favorite stoves and its a workhorse. I'd put its reliability on a par with any stove. The Meridian from Enviro is a digital version of Enviro's EF3, another solid performer. The CB1200 and EF3 are designed around the most popular pellet stove ever made, the Whitfield Advantage 2T. For your house, I think you are looking at the right size stoves, 40-50K btus. There are many that will give years of good heat. Don't skimp on pellet quality, that's prob more important than the stove brand you purchase. Okanagan, Spruce Pointe, Hamer's, Clear choice Pacific are just a few good pellets to consider. If you live near Hartford, BT enterprises over in Bristol is a great place to buy pellets... Good luck.
    stayfitz likes this.
  22. Augmister

    Augmister Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Socialist Republic of RI
    Two Castilles..twins! The one in the house went into service in Dec 2005. I just had the igniter and the combustion fan replaced. That's it, besides a paint job to the firebox.
    Only thing that has gone in here were pellets, 3+ tons a year. Here's to another 8 or 9 years. Love the stoves. Harmon and Quad? Think Chevy and Ford.
  23. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    central ct
    As an insert owner, I wish I didn't get an insert.

    It sounded good at the time, and wouldn't take up any other space.


    and then the power went out for 5 days and I no longer had a fireplace to burn wood.




    Consider a free-standing unit. They are easier to clean, usually cheaper, and you don't lose access to your fireplace if you have to.
    Lousyweather likes this.
  24. earl764

    earl764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    121
    Loc:
    CT
    I've had good luck with the Avalon Astoria.

    I use a wireless tstat with it and keep it on auto. I heat the whole house. 1664 square feet.
  25. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    My Harman Accentra insert is great. Heats most of my house, is reliable, and a "set it and forget it" stove.

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