Debating on pellet fireplace insert. 1600sq ft home with forced hot air by oil, used 600 gals 2006/07, 900 gals 2005/06. Just paid $2.90 per gallon for 200 gallons. Ouch! Also have 400sqft addition on opposite side of house away from existing fireplace, heated by Vermont Castings Resolute Stove, with 80sqft sunroom that sucks heat out. In winter we burn nightly (both of us work). Wife has trouble lighting stove, or forgets to add wood to a prepared to-be-lit fire because distracted by kids. The 400sq ft addition has a cathedral ceiling with fan that we run when stove fully up to temp. Pellet stove seems to offer self-ignition (for my wife), self-feeding, easy cleaning, burn efficiency, consistent 24 hr heating. I’m sure I do not need to tell any of you this. Questions: 1) What is the best pellet insert for my home? 2) Harman Accentra seems to be the only feed-below system. Of course one store says this is the best way, the other (nonHarman dealer) says this is the weakness of the Harman system. The Harman dealer says that the top feeders have a problem during the self-cleaning of the stove. Is there a big difference between top and bottom pellet feeding fireplace inserts? 3) I do not have space in finished basement for a ton of pellets. Can they be stored in yard (no shed)? 4) Do these products cost less off-season? The stores say no. 5) Prices are tough to bear. Harman Accentra: $3000, Lopi Yankee Bay $3000, Rika Astroflamm Integra II $3800, Enviro $2500 Plus $1000 installation, plus $270 per ton of pellets. So I figure I am in it for $5000 so it will take me 3-4 years to break even. Is this about right? 6) Maintenance: Stores suggest cleaning by a technician one time per year at $125 per year. Is this necessary? I currently clean the stove flue every fall with a brush and am done for the year. 7) Closest store to me in SE Mass is Kirley Masonry in Mansfield MA, next is in Norwood for the Harmans; Lopi/Astroflamm/Enviro are in Middleboro. Any suggestions for others locally? BTW one dealer swears that after I get a pellet stove I will trade in the wood stove within a year for another pellet stove. Thanks to all.