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New house - Harman help!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by William Best, Nov 24, 2012.

  1. William Best

    William Best New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2012
    Messages:
    1
    Hi. I've been reading this forum for a while, and figured it'd be a good idea to get an expert view of our situation.

    We are in PA, just purchased a 3400 sq ft house. Oil heat, it burned 1040 gallons on one zone in a year last year. The 1040 gallons heated about 2600 sq ft. Baseboard water heat. Other zone is electric heat pump (about 800 sq ft).

    There is a large fireplace in the living room. When I had the chimney repaired, I said 'what about a liner'. The guy said 'is it gas?' I said no. He said, well you don't need a liner. The living room is about 300 sq ft. On one side is the den, the other side is the hallway and dining room.

    So I think it might be a good idea to get a Harman Accentra for the fireplace, assuming the dimensions are right.

    My 7 year old has bad seasonal allergies. Allergic to dust mites. Have no idea if he's allergic to burnt pellets.

    Question 1
    Assuming my kid isn't allergic to the burnt pellets, how do I educate myself to set up the thermostats so that I have even heating between the stove and the oil burner? The thermostat for the downstairs where there is oil heat is in the den. Upstairs appears to have its own thermostat, although that might just be for air conditioning, not sure yet. Is this just a trial and error thing? Is there a way to set up the system so that when the stove is on a solenoid keeps certain baseboards from receiving heat?

    Question 2
    Also, any advice about a chimney liner?

    Am going to get an HVAC guy into the house, but I think the people here are probably more expert, and wanted to check here first.

    Thanks very much in advance.

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  2. MSmith66

    MSmith66 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2008
    Messages:
    360
    Loc:
    Central NY
    I would go with the liner, make SURE you need the 3" OR 4" liner depending on the height of the chimney. Check the manual and not with the contractor.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  3. boosted3g

    boosted3g Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    268
    Loc:
    Central PA
    I dont know where your located in PA but this is about as good as a deal as your gonna get. If i had a fireplace it would be at my house right now. My buddy heats his 1800 square foot place here in PA with an Accentra but its run at its max setting all the time. If this is your plan with that much square footage i hope your home is well insulated or wide open floor plan.

    http://allentown.craigslist.org/for/3417440734.html
  4. stoaf88

    stoaf88 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 19, 2009
    Messages:
    235
    Loc:
    RI
    For a house your size you should just get a harman p68 and go through the wall.

    It will work a lot better and be cheaper to install.
  5. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2010
    Messages:
    1,425
    Loc:
    Eastern Mass & Lakes Region of Maine
    I agree. I think you will be disappointed in the Accentra performance given the space you are trying to heat. Your friends experience should tell you something. You can vent a pellet stove through just about any wall which will give you more flexibility given your floor plan.
  6. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2006
    Messages:
    333
    Loc:
    Epping, NH
    There is some pellet dust that will go into the air when you fill your stove so you may want to see if your kid is allergic to it before taking the plunge.
  7. Melissa220

    Melissa220 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2012
    Messages:
    349
    Loc:
    central ME
    Or..... construct one of the gizmos that several members have made that sifts the pellets and vacuums out the fines before the pellets go in the stove. The sifting could be done in a dry garage away from your child
  8. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 29, 2007
    Messages:
    3,356
    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    where in PA, it is a large state?

    Eric
  9. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    474
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    My wife is allergic to everything - wood stoves, anything burning. We even had a propane monitor in our old house and she was occasionally affected.

    That being said, we spent some time at a friend's house with a pellet stove and she didn't have a reaction.

    So we had a Harman Accentra insert installed with a chimney liner.

    We've had it over a year, and heat about 2400+ sq ft with it (so it's running all the time) and my wife has not been affected at all.

    I keep the pellets in the garage, I dump them in the hopper and I do the cleaning. Occasionally, if she's in the same room when I'm cleaning the stove she might get mildly affected due to the soot & ash smell, but nothing major. She just avoids that room while I clean the stove.

    So definitely go with a liner.

    Secondly, some people on here swear by thermostats. Others of us don't. For me, and a lot of other Harman owners, we run our stoves on "stove temp". Because I heat the majority of my home with the stove, I run my Harman on "stove temp". With a thermostat, the stove has to ramp up and down based on the thermostat feedback. I've found that my back bedrooms weren't as warm when operating the stove this way ( I have a tri-level, with the stove in the lowest level) and the temperature fluctuated much more. Running it on "stove temp", the stove maintains an even heat throughout the house. My boiler never kicks on, except to heat the water. See the link to the heat diagram at the bottom of my post.

    For us, it was one of the best investments in our home - we save a ton of money in heating costs per year. I should mention that we also had a new boiler put in when we moved in, and we didn't see any major cost savings - but the pellet stove has saved us quite a bit. I'll have to sit down and calculate it someday.
  10. TheMightyMoe

    TheMightyMoe Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    552
    Loc:
    Fairbanks, Alaska.
    Question 1
    Assuming my kid isn't allergic to the burnt pellets, how do I educate myself to set up the thermostats so that I have even heating between the stove and the oil burner? The thermostat for the downstairs where there is oil heat is in the den. Upstairs appears to have its own thermostat, although that might just be for air conditioning, not sure yet. Is this just a trial and error thing? Is there a way to set up the system so that when the stove is on a solenoid keeps certain baseboards from receiving heat?

    Turn all the thermostats down so they are OFF. Wait 10 minutes. Turn ONE thermostat all the way up. Wait 5 minutes. Touch all your baseboards, hot ones are controlled by that thermostat.

    Do the same with each thermostat, then you will know which one controls what.

    Basically if the stove heat reaches a thermostat, that thermostat will never call for heat. So any rooms that thermostat heats, will not get warmth EXCEPT by the stove. This can be a problem for rooms that do not get much heat from the stove, but the thermostat does. For me, this means keeping bedroom doors open to let warmth flow in.

    Question 2 Chimney liner?

    I believe for pellet stoves this is the recommended install when using a chimney, and most people here highly recommend them.

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