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New to this pellet thing

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by rabidhunter66, Jan 11, 2008.

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  1. rabidhunter66

    rabidhunter66 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Maine
    Hi everyone I am new here but have been looking at this Harmin p68 and other stoves for the last few months. My house is 1800sqft +/- and I use Oil heat forced hot air and have a propane heater in the living room. I am waiting till spring for several reasons...1. we had ALOT of work done to the house this past summer roof, siding, blown in insulation, windows http://home-and-garden.webshots.com/album/560519256zcpPQU and I want to compare what we did to the year previous to see the diffrence in fuel usage....2. In the spring there will probably be sales on the stoves.

    A couple basis questions.

    Are they as efficient as they say?
    Is it true that I will probably only go through 3-4 tons per year? This one is a plus or minus question!!!

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,252
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    The amount of Pellets you will go through is directly related to the number of BTU's that you will need to generate. During cold weather a figure of 2 to 2.5 bags a day in a Harman in maine would be a good starting figure. So using 100 days of pretty cold weather, that would be 200 bags (4 tons)...if it was 2 bags a day. That does not include the shoulder season(s). In the end your use will depend on how much you use it - 24/7 from the first cold wave in Oct. to early May will probably use 4 tons or more.

    Please check the fuel cost calculator and various links in my signature.
  3. Xena

    Xena Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2005
    Messages:
    2,512
    Loc:
    South Shore MA
    Who is "they" and what did they say?


    Pellet consumption depends on a lot of factors such as outside temps,
    how well the home holds heat, how warm you like to keep the house,
    If you plan on using the stove as main source of heat, etc, etc.
    In other words, lots of things that dictate just how much you will burn.


    Your house made an awesome transformation. Looks great!
    Welcome to the forum btw. :)
  4. au2183

    au2183 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2007
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    southern Maine
    What part of Maine are you in? I have 2 stoves and live in Standish. You are welcome to come by and I'll give you all the comparison info you want. I think you will save money. I'm saving at least 50% IMO. PM me if you're interested.
    Terry
  5. MoeB

    MoeB New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 4, 2006
    Messages:
    82
    Loc:
    Bangor, Maine
    I'm in Bangor, Maine, and I have two Harman Accentras -- one in the house and one in the office. I have saved the cost of both stoves in the past three years without a doubt. The second stove was installed last summer. There's nothing I can think of that I've ever purchased that I continue to be grateful for and pleased with each and every day to compare to these two stoves. My house and office are an 1833 center chimney cape. Some parts are very well insulated. Other parts have no insulation.

    Warm wishes!

    Maureen
  6. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
    Messages:
    304
    Loc:
    Eastern ON
    Hi and welcome to the forum.

    As Craig said, check out the fuel calculators. They will point out to you the differences in fuel costs. You can then make an informed decision.

    If you are looking to replace the propane heater, I suspect that you will do well with the pellet stove. And oil (at todays price) will also bow to pellets, although that may change in the next few years.

    Also, keep in mind that a stove is a space heater (outer rooms will be cooler than the room the stove is in).

    We enjoy our P61A, and I am partial to the Harman underfeed system.


    Cheers


    Kenny
  7. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    And ye shall remember: Pellets don't spoil so buy off season and or buy too many when they are cheap or ye shall suffer regret. Don't feel daunted by the lateness of the year. There is still plenty of cold to go around and if you run short you can have some of ours. Installing one of these is more akin to putting in a gas dryer or stove than setting up a wood stove in that there aren't many placement, heat safety issues to sweat. In short its pretty easy and quick just follow the specs and you are golden. Another thing is they are available right now unlike the last few years when you had to wait and wait. There is even adequate fuel supply unlike the last few years so you can buy pellets with confidence ( all the while waiting for that big discount score when it comes along). I have 1400 sf ranch near Lake CHamplain and average between 3 and 6 tons a year depending on what nature throws our way of course. Big thing is don't get all hung up with the slide rule and calculator trying to figure out all the purest details of how much you are saving and how many btus per bag of what particular flavor. Focus on the placement and how it will distribute heat to other areas you need heated. Welcome to our little world here. You won't get it all at once but you don't have to. Just dive in and learn like the rest of us. Its fun!
  8. gw2kpro

    gw2kpro New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2008
    Messages:
    188
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Hey Maureen, I just moved to Eddington and installed a Breckwell P2700 2 days ago and it is running great. Where do you get your pellets and how do they burn? I got fireside ultra from Home Depot and they're working well but I don't have a good point of reference.
  9. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    282
    We are new to this too. Purcheased the Harman P61, and so far things are going ok. Live in NE Pa. and havent burned only about 1 and a half tons so far, but it has been very mild so far.
    Hope by this time by next year I will be able to provide more of an opinion on the stove. Like others have said, Ive heared the pellets are cheaper if you get them early on in the year. Question for others here. Has anyone noticed a dramtic increase in the electric bill using the pellet stoves?
  10. Trying To Keep Warm

    Trying To Keep Warm New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2006
    Messages:
    40
    Electric bill -- no big increase here in Mssachusetts. Oil burner usage is way down so there is a savings.

    Burning Harman Accenta freestanding fulltime and Quadrefire Castille insert part time.
  11. mgambuzza

    mgambuzza Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    204
    Loc:
    Syracuse, NY
    I haven't noticed increase in electric bill - but a SIGNIFICANT drop in the Gas bill as shown in the old(left chart) and new(right chart).

    Attached Files:

  12. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2007
    Messages:
    1,640
    Loc:
    South Coast MA
    No increase in my electric bill and my last gas bill was the minimum charge
    which NEVER happens in the winter around here. My gas company actually
    sent me a notice last month requesting an appointment for maintenance
    because they think something may be wrong with my furnace.
    Nothing is wrong it at all, it just is not being used that much...LOL
  13. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    948
    Loc:
    Chazy, NY 12921
    Someone put a Kill o Watt meter on the Countryside like I have . Without the grinder running it burned 265 watts with grinder about 1/3 more ( I forget the exact #). Don't forget for the price of leaving a TV on you are not using the huge startup loads like the oil burners burn. If it dims the lights a tad sometimes you can bet its a hog. Our bill went way down.
  14. freebird77

    freebird77 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Messages:
    282
  15. rabidhunter66

    rabidhunter66 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Maine
    WOW so many replies this is awsome!!! Zeta "they" would be the Stove companies. I saw one that said their stove burned 99% I cant remember which Co. it was but if I see it again I will post it.

    au2183 I am in Stockton Springs and if I am going to be down that way I would like to see your setup.

    I also went up to my "local" (1hr away) Harmen dealer today and looked at a PF100 I believe it was. It was a used one but I just wanted to take a look at it and talk to the guy again they didnt have one last time I was up there. Have any of you had any experience with these. I am picturing setting this up in my basement unhooking the pipes (duct work) and electric from my oil furnace and basicly plugging the pellet furnace in. Is it that simple? Or setting it up side by side and using both. Again any experience with this?

    I donno so many variables my head is spinning!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  16. allenfrme

    allenfrme New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 19, 2007
    Messages:
    21
    They had a used pf100 ? Hmmm, better make up your mind before I head North ! I've been very happy with the P68, but have been looking into putting a PF100 in the basement.

    I'm in Waterboro, Maine, and occassionally burn two bags a day in a 1800 sq ft house. But that's rarely and on the -20 nights. This year I've only had a couple of one and a half days. Most have been one a day. Insulation is fair on most of the house. I have a Monitor heater running in the cellar to take the chill off. It's set at 60. That alone will probably cost me $850 this year!
  17. rabidhunter66

    rabidhunter66 New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    4
    Loc:
    Maine
    Go get the used one...they want $3000. $800 less then a new one. I looked at it and it looked ok to me (not saying much). I need to do more research though, I havnt got my self convinced yet and I seldom spend a hasty buck!!!! Ya ok alright the wife isnt convinced and she has the money...how does that sound?. But I am getting there.
  18. kdp7462

    kdp7462 Member

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2007
    Messages:
    60
    Hey Rabid

    My parents own a harman accentra and they live in Swan lake. Just as a point of reference, they use approx 2.5 tons a year, not heating exclusively with it. I own an englander running exclusively in the auburn area and use approx 3.5 tons a year. I think based on your proximety to swan lake you can figure about 4 tons if you run it full time, no furnace. Are you going through home and hearth(I think) in bangor for your dealer? If so, they have treated my parents quite well, except I do not think they offer pre-pay on pellets anymore, which was a disapointment to my father.
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