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Pellet insert Vs. freestanding pellet stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by gangsplatt, May 12, 2008.

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  1. gangsplatt

    gangsplatt New Member

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    Considering a pellet stove for this upcoming winter. Are there any major benefits to purchasing a freestanding pellet stove over a pellet insert? Benefits I'm referring to would be heat output, stove prices, maintenance, etc. Another question are the pellet stoves hot to to the touch? I've got a baby that is crawling and climbing all over the place have to think about safety issues as well.

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  2. kilarney

    kilarney New Member

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    Inserts are generally more expensive. The Harman Accentra, for example, is several hundred dollars more for the insert. They are somewhat trickier to do a major cleaning on. I intend to have the dealer do it since they have rails that they use to slide the insert out.

    Heat output is what it is. Look at the BTU input ratings for a general idea. You arguably lost some radiant heating with an insert, but I suspect that this is not a major factor.

    The advantage of an insert is that it doesn't waste space. An free-standing is going to take up more real estate. You've already got a fireplace, so there is nothing wasted if you use that space.

    As for heat... The short answer is that they are not as hot as a traditional woodstove. You can touch it without being burned. The major exception is the glass in the front. That gets extremely hot. And that's what a baby would be most attracted to. So you should treat it like you would a woodstove. However... because they are much less hot, you could probably put a gate around the stove without too much trouble. I'm assuming that a safe clearance for the gate would be much less than with a traditional woodstove.
  3. sylvestermcmonkey

    sylvestermcmonkey Member

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    I would speculate (since I have an insert) that a freestanding stove would result in more heat output since it can radiate from all sides, but I could be wrong. If you have a suitable location for it I'd favor a freestanding stove.

    I thought an insert would be more difficult to maintain, and it would have to be removed for cleaning, but everything's accessible from the side panels. I also thought it would be dangerously hot to the touch while in operation, but I'm surprised that I can rest my hand on any outer surface without injury. Warm, but not dangerously so. My baby grew up around two woodburning stoves which had exterior temperatures 350 F and up. She was taught from birth "hot - don't touch". I'd be less concerned about a pellet stove.
  4. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    My insert slides out quite easily. Only thing to be mindful of is the SS flex exhaust pipe. All components are readily accessible.
  5. sparkydog00

    sparkydog00 Feeling the Heat

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    Umm I think the rails are there....you just take the bottom piece off and it slides out.
    Unless they have rails that they slide on and out the door...like a set of really big lionel train tracks.
    But it just slides out and they carry it from there. It is a heavy insert...that is fer sure.
    but you can clean it yourself if you have a strong friend (even better 2)
  6. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    How much does the Accentra weigh?

    My CB1200i weighs "just" 250-275lbs.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    As noted, an insert takes up less floor space. Some are low maintenance and others are not. Same with freestanding. One advantage of the freestander can be larger hopper capacity and steeper sloped hoppers. This helps the pellets drop better and can mean less frequent refills. Most pellet stoves put out their heat by convection, not radiation so it doesn't seem like a freestander has an advantage there. Yes they get hot enough to burn skin, particularly around and above the glass at the convection outlet. But kids pick up on this pretty quickly. Owwee hot! is usually enough warning. They tend to respect things that can hurt them and give them wide berth.
  8. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    another thing to look at is the cost of installation. running a liner up the flue can get costly when compared with a through the wall install. cleaning the flue for an insert can be more involved as well, of course this is a moot point if the freestanding unit (if selected) were to be set on the hearth and piped up the flue anyway.

    EDIT: by the way , having been the victim as a toddler of a burn accident "owie hot" is not sufficient, get a gate, there are several on the market , some are quite attractive as well as functional and above all , there is nothing as painful for a parent as watching your baby suffer.
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