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Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Grocho, Jan 22, 2013.

  1. Grocho

    Grocho New Member

    Jan 22, 2013
    Hi all, I've recently purchased a 2600 sq ft ranch with a pellet stove in the basement. Realtor claimed PO claimed it would keep the whole house warm all winter. I'm trying to figure out how, and am hoping you can help.. especially since it's -6°F here at the moment.

    As I mentioned it's a 2600 sq ft ranch, with a USSC model 6039 (good for 2400 sq ft) in the finished basement. The central heating system is a propane boiler with floor board radiant heat. There are 3 thermostats/zones; 1 for the main floor minus 2 bedrooms, 1 for 2 bedrooms, and 1 for the finished basement. The house also has Central (forced air) air conditioning.

    The pellet stove points toward the stairs, which are in the middle of the house. At the top of the stairs is the cold air return.

    My thought is that I can run the pellet stove with the central air fan on so it pulls the hot air at the top of the stairs down the cold air return and redistributes throughout the house. Does this logic make sense?

    Secondly, I'm thinking that I should just turn the t-stat's way down to prevent the boiler from kicking on at all, and just crank the pellet stove up as necessary or use space heaters to keep the house comfortable? Other idea is to leave the t-stat's at some minimal level so that the boiler can kick on and prevent rooms from getting too cold... but then what's the point of running both the boiler and the stove?

    Also, slightly different topic, but does it make sense that I seem to burn through a certain brand of pellets a lot faster than the other brands i've tried, even on the same auger setting?

    Finally - so far pellets are way cheaper than corn here...does corn have more btu's per pound? haven't checked soybeans, anybody try those?

    Lot's of questions, so I'll break the other two off if they get to be too involved (or I can probably just search the forum)... first question is the most important at this point.

    Thanks everybody for your help

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  2. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Jul 12, 2012
    Southern Maine
    Youll have to run it to see, every house is vastly different.
  3. brack86svo

    brack86svo Member

    Jan 18, 2013
    Central PA
    If the heat is rising up the steps, running the air handler fan would certainly help distrubite heat through the house. I have a snorkle on the front of my stove to pull the heat into the air handler and blow it through the house. Most people will advise against doing this, as it can present a hazard in the case of an external fire.

    When we first bought the house, the stove just ran in the basement, with a fan to blow heat up the stairs. The basement would be very hot, and the upstairs around 65. I plumbed duct work off the the stove to help distribute the heat into each room before ultimately installing the central air system. I would try running your central air fan and see how well it works for the overall comfort in each room.

    Corn does burn hotter. Corn is hard to come by around me, which results in more money per btu. You would have to be sure your stove can handle burning 100% corn.
  4. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Jan 18, 2009
    central ct
    The piping must also be rated for corn burning.
  5. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

    Nov 10, 2008
    Standish, ME
    It just might be able to keep the whole house warm, but everybody's idea of warm is different.

    The usual problem with heating a house from a room in the basement is lack of proper air distribution, insufficient insulation, and air sealing.

    There are others but those will cover the bulk of it.
  6. Bioburner

    Bioburner Moderator Staff Member

    Aug 4, 2012
    West central Mn
    Corn is denser fuel per volume. Corn market is well over $7 per bushel. 56lbs per standard bushel. The 6039 can burn straight corn but needs to start with pellets and needs a little chicken scratch-oyster shells to keep from ugly clinkers sticking to stirrer and fouling the pot. Pellets are easier in almost all aspects of burning. No furry friends to invite in or bugs to entertain the pets.

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