Hi forum, I've been researching and reading about pellet stoves for a few years and am finally ready (I think) to bite the bullet. I live in upstate NY and own a 2-story 1800sf home currently heated by an oil furnace. The home is from the 1800's but it's been "gone over" pretty thoroughly in recent years so it's probably tighter than you'd guess for the age. Last year was a pretty warm winter, we probably went through 2/3 the oil we have in a typical winter (been in the home for 10 years). This winter is promising to be nice and cold, so I'd like to switch to a pellet stove for most of the heating demand. I have a tentative plan in my head and I'd like feedback. Please feel free to shoot my plan full of holes if it's garbage as I'd rather find out now than after. As a note, I'm a fairly handy person and will do the install and maintenance myself. The first floor plan consists of a large open kitchen/dining/living room, plus a small bath and two bedrooms off a central hall. The first story is pretty much divided down the middle of the footprint, main room on one side and beds and bath on the other side. Second story is a master bedroom with bath. Stairway to the second story is from the central hall. The second story was new construction about 3 years ago, we took the time to insulate well at that point. Whole house got new siding and windows 2 years ago (brother and I did all that work so I'm comfortabl that it was done right.). I'm planning on putting the stove in the middle of the main room on the first floor, pointed at the hall that leads to the 1st story bedrooms and second story. I'm OK with the bedrooms and second story being cooler, we generally spend most of our waking hours in the main room and like it cooler at night anyways (so in fact a heating method that lets us keep the main room hotter than the bedrooms is preferrable). So that's the general plan, now on to the details. I'm a penny pincher so I'm trying to find a solid stove at a reasonable price. The remanufactured timber ridge stoves sold by amfmenergy seem like the best deal on the market among budget stoves, based on google searches and reviews I could find. Specifically I am looking at the 55-TRPAH model, at $1050 it seems like a bargain. If I budget $300 for the vent, make a hearth out of leftover tiles I already have, I figure I can spend maybe $2500-$3000 on the stove, install materials, and enough pellets (4 tons) to do "most" of the heating this winter. It's looking like I'd spend that much on oil so I should hopefully have the system paid for in it's first year (to me, that is an incredibly short ROI for such a major project). Anyone have comments on this particular model of stove? The install location turned out to be a little more tricky than I had hoped, based on meeting the minimum requirements for the termination of the vent outside the house. There are 4 big windows and a sliding door along this main room, and there is only one contiguous segment of wall long enough to put the stove on (about 12', between the sliding door and the first window). However, there's a little stub wall inside the house at this point, dividing the kitchen from the rest of the main room. I'd like to put the stove on the living room side of this stub wall, but then it's only 3.5 feet from the first window. To alleviate this, I had planned on putting the vent through the wall, to a 90 facing away from the window, over a foot, then to the cleanout T and up 3' vertical to the cap. Is that a reasonable plan? I am hoping that extra 90 and horizontal section of pipe won't create issues. Any thoughts? My final question resides around the pellets themselves. Is there any central resource or single forum thread to help a newbie figure out which brands to steer clear of? I see lots of comments about how people hate this brand or love that one, but it's a lot to keep track of without some sort of central reference. Also, how would you go about evaluating a brand you've never used? Just buy a bag and see what happens? I ask because right in my town there's an entrepreneur-type who, a few years ago, started a business selling pellets, and it appears that it's his own brand (not sure if he's actually making them, or getting some major brand to re-label their product). If it's a brand name that none on the forum are familiar with, would I just try a bag out or would it be safer to stick with known brands? Any other thoughts, tips, stories, or newbie advice would be much appreciated. Sorry for the long-winded post, just wanted to lay out my whole plan and see what you all thought!