1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

New Mt.Vernon AE pellet stove owner - not as toasty as I thought!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by gregt23, Dec 12, 2013.

  1. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Hello All - I am glad I found this forum to get real world advise and answers from real world users.
    We just had a new Mt.Vernon AE pellet stove insert installed. I have had several evenings to "play" with the stove and the thermostat. To this point I am somewhat disappointed in the performance. Several people I talked with (including the company I purchased from and his installers) told us how it would pretty much "run us out" of our living room because of the heat output. As of this point - and having it run all night on high or medium high or leaving the thermostat set at about 75 degrees - I have yet to get the temp of the room over about 68 degrees. Here is some background - 12 year old stick built home, 2x6 exterior walls, good insulation. The living room, kitchen and dining area are one large, open concept room with vaulted ceilings. Total square footage is about 1500 - 1700 sq. ft. We have a ceiling fan running in the main living room area and it is located just out front and above the stove. I have had the fan running in both directions and at various speeds without any difference in temp. I have increased the flame from the 0 setting up to +4 and do not notice any heat output difference.
    I am just curious if this large of an area with vaulted (about 18 feet at its highest point) ceilings may be too large of an area to expect a temp of 70 to 75 degrees. Any suggestions or information would be greatly appreciated.
    I am burning premium hardwood pellets (Easy Heat). The company I purchased the stove from and the pellets (Schlemmer Brothers in Wabash, In - GREAT, GREAT, GREAT group of people and very good to do business with) just started using these pellets and even they say they are probably not the best on the market. I am going to try a different brand when Schlemmer Bros. gets a new shipment to see if this helps.
    Thank you in advance for any help or ideas that can be offered.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. t5eu9eb7

    t5eu9eb7 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2013
    Messages:
    33
    I bought one of those inserts last year and had a similar problem. The short answer is its inexplicably better this year. Last year I only used it a few times a week. It never seemed to put out very hot air and didnt do much to heat the room its in either. I had a service tech out who agreed that it didnt seem to be as hot as it should be. Nothing was solved there. This season I started using it all the time and its working much better. The left over ton of pellets from last year still were not very warm. All the brands I bought this year have been ok. Maybe I just had a bad batch? I cant say it will ever cook me out of anything and it really struggles and loses ground when the temps get into the 20's and below but I am also asking it to do a lot. Its heating a 6 year old 3800 square foot house with higher cealings. Set at 70 the downstairs is 70 and the upstairs about 67. When its in the low 20's and teens it drops to about 67-78 and 64 up stairs. It also never shuts off at that point. 2x4 walls and very poor insulation. How poor you ask? My attached 3 car garage is never below about 50 degrees. Even when its 11 outside. I use no fans to move the air. From my limited experience all I can suggest is keep using it and try some other brands of pellets. Maybe it they have a break in period?
  3. JoeS

    JoeS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    479
    Loc:
    Maryland
    Need more information.

    What are the settings you are running on?

    List them all!
  4. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Thank you for the info. Maybe its like a diesel engine and it just gets better with age and use. I have almost noticed a difference each day. It seems like it gets a little better. I called the company I purchased the unit from and he said he would stop out early next week and bring his laptop. He said he can run diagnostics to see if everything is working properly. They just switched pellets because the company they had purchased them from for years actually caught fire and the factory burnt down. I can only imagine how hot a pellet factory fire would be!!! He also mentioned they have a new pellet shipment coming in tomorrow from out East and he hopes they will be a little better quality then what they have now. He said he would give me a few bags to try out and see if there is any difference.
    Our house is well insulated so I expected to be just about ran out of the living room. I do feel the company I purchased it from will do anything they can to make sure it is running properly and that I am happy with its performance.
    Thanks again for the reply. I hope yours continues to get better and better with usage.
  5. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,045
    Loc:
    Southbury, CT
    Also, how many pounds of pellets per hour is your stove consuming?
  6. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I have tried 3 different settings for 3 nights.
    1st night - Auto mode with the temp set at 70
    2nd night - Manual mode - highest setting
    Last night - Auto mode, but with the temp held at 75
    The hopper holds 47 pounds. I usually fill it up first thing in the morning (8am) and then again when I get home from work (about 7 or 8pm). I will usually top it off before I go to bed.
    So I guess it us using about 1.5 to 2 pounds per hour - this is really a guess, but I am going through about 1 40lb bag per day.
  7. icegatorman

    icegatorman New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    indiana
    Try a different brand of pellet. I burned some easy heat pellets and they burned fairly clean and a hopper lasted a long time however I'm heating about the same square footage as you minus the vaulted ceilings and wide open 68 to 70 is all the heat I could get out of them. I'm in auburn so I'm not far from you and its been single digits the last couple nights and my stove on medium setting has kept the house 75. I'm burning pro pellets which around me the brand choices are slim. Rural king sales pro pellets they burn a lot hotter
  8. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,045
    Loc:
    Southbury, CT
    If the pellets are lasting a long time you aren't burning a lot. Your stove can't make heat without consuming pellets. Try increasing the flame height setting.
    oldmountvernon and RockyMtnHigh like this.
  9. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,045
    Loc:
    Southbury, CT
    A pound of pellets is about 8500 BTU. So you are burning about 12750 to 17000 BTU (input). That is far below what the stove is capable of.
    This week my stove has been consuming in excess of two bags a day.
    Last edited: Dec 12, 2013
    stoveguy2esw likes this.
  10. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Thank you a ton for all the info. I am def going to try a diff brand of pellets (it just sucks that I just bought a pallet of these Easy Heats). I do feel this stove is capable of much more heat production.
    I keep seeing "OAK" on several of the postings. What is this? Is it something I should find out about (if mine has it or not)?
    Thanks again.
  11. Powerhorse

    Powerhorse New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2013
    Messages:
    8
    OAK = Outdoor Air Kit.

    The OAK brings in outdoor air for combustion. This way the stove is not pulling air into the house thru cracks and poorly sealed areas.
  12. RockyMtnHigh

    RockyMtnHigh Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2013
    Messages:
    249
    Loc:
    Colorado
    Harvey is spot on... Increase the flame height one degree and go from there. Also, I'd be willing to bet your stove isn't up to date with the fuel tables and the tech should be able to tweak it pretty good with the software. Make sure it is set for the proper fuel type as well, whether it be for softwood or hardwood. I've had no luck with the "utility pellet" setting to date.

    I'm unsure of your altitude but if you're over 4000' you need to change the elevation setting as well.

    Good luck, wish I could loan you my software and my cable :) Fuel tables do a LOT for these stoves in my experience.
  13. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    OK. Thank you again. I have a newer, well insulated home, but I imagine there are still plenty of poorly sealed areas where it can pull air into the house.
  14. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    915
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    It is very likely that your heat is just hanging out near the ceiling. I have a 1700 sqft ranch and I can heat the house to 70 on medium when it's 15 out. I doubt you will see a major difference in another brand of pellets, but it doesnt hurt to try.

    Do you think you might be having issues with air leaks? If you are consuming near 2 bags in 24 hours, you are working pretty close to the top range of the stove. One thing I'd try is adjust the blower speed from quiet to normal. This will increase the speed of the blower fan and push the hot air further from the stove.

    One thing you never mentioned is how cold is it outside? Is the stove on all the time? Pellet stoves have a long recovery.

    In auto, the stove is very conservative in the way it works and will ramp down the heat as it gets near temp. For example, it is about 12 degrees here right now. To keep the house at 70, I need to set the stove to 72/73 on auto. This is because as it gets close to temp, the stove goes from medium-hot, to medium, then to medium low. Once the house is at temp, the stove runs on medium-low generally 75% of the time. Depending on how cold it is, you will likely never reach 75 degrees with the stove set to 75. Compensate your desired temperature by upping the thermostat by 2-3 degrees (at least).
  15. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Even with this unit being only a few days old? Would the fuel tables not be set to the latest software? It is set on hardwood pellets - although I don't think they are as hardwood as what some other brands may be. The flame was set to 0 and I jumped it up to level 4. Some things I have read say that a higher flame does not necessarily mean more heat?? That doesn't make much sense to me - I would just think higher flame = more heat. It sucks being a newby!! lol
  16. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    915
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    the flame heigh is your feed rate. a higher rate means more pellets are dumped per rotation of the augar. more fuel = more heat (ignoring efficiency).
  17. jslinger

    jslinger Member

    Joined:
    Jan 1, 2013
    Messages:
    161
    Loc:
    Vermont
    I agree that you should have no trouble heating a home that size with your stove. I heat a very similar home, with my XXV (50KBTU). Even when the temps get down well below zero, it has no trouble keeping up.
    I am unable to hold my hand in front of the blower for more than a couple of seconds, because the air coming out is so hot. I don't have experience with your stove specifically, but I imagine you should be experiencing the same, if everything is running correctly.
  18. stoveguy13

    stoveguy13 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2006
    Messages:
    984
    Loc:
    CT
    where is the thermostat located and how close is it to the stove?
  19. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,045
    Loc:
    Southbury, CT
    Without an OAK your stove is competing for air with everything else drawing air from the house. Most houses run at a negative pressure. If the pressure is low the stove will not be able to pull as much air as is needed for efficient combustion.
    The company that installed my MVAE didn't want to install an OAK, but I insisted on it. I'm glad that I did. It makes a lot of sense not to pull combustion air from the house.
    If the stove uses 100cfm that is a volume that is 10 ft by 10 ft by 60 ft every hour. All of that volume being pulled primarily in through window seals, electrical outlets and door seals.
    slvrblkk likes this.
  20. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    I had our ceiling fan reversed because most of what I have read says to do that in the winter to help spread the heat more evenly (this is mainly with normal heating systems). Yesterday I set the ceiling fan to normal rotation and that has helped to push the heat down. I have ran the stove on every setting - Auto, Manual and Auto with the temp set to hold on 75. I reset the temp variance to 2.0. and have the blower speed to normal.
    It has been very cold the last few days. Last night got down below 0 with the wind chill. I ran it all night with the temp held on 75 degrees but could not get the house over about 68.
    I really don't think the house has any air leaks, but I believe the area behind the stove needs to be better insulated but I'm not sure how much this effects the temp output of the stove.
    I have noticed the Auto mode allows the unit the ramp up and down more often so I have tried to keep it on manual and on the highest setting to try and get the temp up as high as possible. I'm really hoping to be able to heat my entire house with the help of my regular heating systems fan.
    It may sound a little crazy, but it does seem to produce more heat every day. Maybe better pellets will be just enough to kick it into overdrive.
    Thank you for all your help and information.
  21. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Thanks a bunch. That makes a lot of sense now. I am going to find out if they installed an OAK or not. It was installed in a previous wood burning fireplace insert and I remember seeing an air inlet that should be very easy to connect to this system.
  22. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    The thermostat is beside the stove around a corner where the fireplace protrudes slightly. It is beside and slightly behind the direction of where the heat blows.
  23. Harvey Schneider

    Harvey Schneider Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2012
    Messages:
    1,045
    Loc:
    Southbury, CT
    It should be about 15 feet from the stove. If it is too close it will shut down too soon.
  24. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,938
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    coming in late but i'll try to balance this up with some bullet points;

    1. 1700 sq. ft. vaulted ceilings, so we're heating a much larger equivalent when you look "cubic feet" which is the actual area, when sq. ft. expectations are figured, its factoring based on 8 ft ceilings
    2. 1.8 lbs/hr. this is a 40 lb. bag in 24 hours. this is what is usually consumed by an average pellet stove running at its lowest or nearly its lowest setting. even if the unit gave 100% thermal efficiency (it don't, no pellet stove does or the exhaust temps would be the same as intake temps)
    that's not enough to heat that space.
    heating with pellets is just like anything else which uses fuel to perform work, think of driving, if you put the car in gear and let off the brake it should move forward, but if you never step on the gas you don't go very fast simply put, you should be burning 2.5-3.0 lbs/hr. to heat the space you describe unless you have the house literally mummified in insulation. And this will vary based on outdoor temps and the actual amount of heat that leaks out of the structure

    remember , a stove is a "space heater" its ability to heat is strictly dependent on the potential its given to convert to heat. I lb. of pellets will have roughly 8500 BTU of stored potential, now if 100% of this energy is released you will get the largest percentage of this as usable heat, the rest leaves with the exhaust.

    it aint magic, its physics. its a physical fact that heat energy cannot be destroyed once released, it can only be dissipated, just as with any form of energy. now thermal energy is dissipated by the natural movement from "warm" energized particles to "cooler" less energized particles,
    now the air in the house makes up these particles so heated air travels away from the stove brushing against less warm air in each case these particles come in close proximity the less energized (cooler) particles rob energy from the warmer ones. so the farther these particles have to travel the more cooler ones they encounter and the more thermal energy is shared making each particle closer to similar in their energy possession. this makes the air cooler farther from the heat source. in order to carry more heat farther 2 things must happen,first, the energized air must be contained and not exposed to cold air from outside which would rob more energy at a faster rate. secondly, there has to be enough thermal energy transferred to the air to "share" with cooler air to raise the overall temps to the level which is desired. this means more energy has to be released to do that we need to burn more fuel.

    I know im getting "in the weeds" but I like to break it down this way as its actually to me easier to grasp. hope this helps ya
    oldmountvernon likes this.
  25. gregt23

    gregt23 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    Messages:
    12
    Loc:
    Indiana
    Thanks to everyone for all the help and information. I will be sure to update after trying a few of the things I have learned. Thanks again. I appreciate all the input.

Share This Page