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Pellet inserts, BTUs and CFM...

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by caston, Mar 15, 2013.

  1. caston

    caston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    Ok, here's one relating to CFM output in pellet inserts for all of the math people out there.

    I am looking at adding a pellet insert in my living room. I will need to box in the vent pipe and add a stove enclosure for the insert as I currently have a bare wall backing to the outsside. We plan to brick it up to the ceiling for a nice look.

    Wanting all the heat we can squeeze out, my question is:

    Based upon the BTU output of a stove, is it possible to have too much airflow CFM passing through an insert? i.e. the heat exchanger doesnt have time to bring up the air to proper temperature prior to it being pushed back out.

    I currently have a:
    Quadrafire Mt Vernon AE freestanding: 220cfm output
    Harmon Accentra insert: 180 CFM
    (The Harmon blows fair while the extra 40cfm on the Quad makes a lot of difference)

    I am looking at a Hampton GCI60: 300CFM

    Seems like the extra CFM would mean more heat being transferred into the room, but there is a point at which the BTUs produced will not support the air passing by the heat exchanger.

    1. Anyone have experience with cfms and heating effiency?

    2. Is the Enviro M55 the same as the Hampton GCI60? Seems like a couple of posts refer to them as one in the same.
    3. Would anyone push me away from the Hampton GCI60 at 300 cfm?

    Thanks

    Ray

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  2. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    911
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    The blower output changes with stove temp. For example with the quad, you have no manual control over the blower speed, the stove speeds up and slows down the blower according to the amount of heat being called for. The speed of the blower doesn't necessarily translate to efficiency. You should just be looking at a stove with a high btu output and efficiency. Except for the older stoves the blower is nearly fully automated on newer stoves.
  3. caston

    caston New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2013
    Messages:
    5
    John, many thanks for the reply. Im on the fence right now regarding an insert to buy for a new install in my living room. The home I have came with two pellet stoves and Ive never had to buy one.

    Is there a hands down winner in the large pellet insert field? Ive looked at Harmon, Enviro and Hampton.
  4. Cleetussnow

    Cleetussnow Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    148
    Loc:
    Westchester, ny
    I have the gci60 and love it. It heats 2000 sf in the coldest weather. Easy to use.

    Same as the m55, just different design. In fact i bought the hampton bc i like the surround better.
  5. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2010
    Messages:
    911
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    I don't know that there are any winners. The biggest inserts are in the approx 60k btu range. This is pretty much the most you will get. Then it comes down to ease of use, reliability and style. We wanted a quad or a harman but the highest output, of those 2 brands the mt Vernon fit the bill. My wife is very much into style...

    Keep in mind that with all these output ratings, it will depend on the quality of your fuel. In order for me run my quad at full blast, I would consume about 4 bags of fuel a day. The most I have done is 2. So even I'm not using this stove at its full capacity and I rarely will.
  6. flynfrfun

    flynfrfun Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Messages:
    707
    Loc:
    Bonney Lake, WA
    I would say get the GCI-60 or an M55 that way you will have 3 of the top stoves out there and can seriously compare them. Since you are getting an insert, I would go with one that can roll out on rails like the GCI-60 or the M55 or Accentra (which you already have). Sure makes cleaning/maintenance a lot easier.

    I've had my M55 for 3 heating seasons now and can say I never turn it up higher than heat level 3 (medium). At heat level 3 it puts out a lot of heat. Actually my wife and I like our livingroom to be 82F and it does it easily. The GCI-60 and M55 are multifuel and have an agitator to clean the burn pot. So, it would be interesting for you to compare how that works compared to the bottom feeder of the Accentra and the autodumping of the Mt Vernon.

    With that said, if low noise is very important, then the Mt Vernon would be tops. I think the GCI60/M55 are on par with the Accentra as far as fan noise.

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