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Pellet Stove in Basement of Split Entry??

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by StormPanic, Nov 1, 2012.

  1. StormPanic

    StormPanic Member

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    Hello - looks like there is a ton of great info from some very helpful people on this site....

    I am planning on installing a pellet stove (Regency Greenfire GF55) in the finished basement of my split entry (2000 SF) to try to offset my heating oil costs. Hoping for a 50% reduction in heating oil costs by using the pellet stove. A friend of mine has been able to heat his entire house (similar size) in a similar manner with the pellet stove in the basement and having the heat rise up the stairs and through a small (4" x 10") vent in the ceiling directly above the stove. Both the salesman in the store and my friend both are convinced that the stove will reduce my oil costs by at least half and maybe by 75%. I guess I am a little skeptical and hesitant to spend over $2,000 unless I get a 3rd, 4th, 5th opinion. Would appreciate any input some of you experts might have in a similar installation. Thanks!!

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  2. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

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    What area you in?

    No way would I do that. Rated at 45k btu, sitting in the basement of a split house? And he says it cuts his oil by half? I just don't see it. The rating say 2k sq ft but that has to be top notch conditions not sitting in a basement.

    My pellet stove is a huge space heater. I have to put thru-wall fans and box fans just to get the heat to flow how I like it. And that's 1400 ft on one floor.

    May want to look at a pellet furnace.
  3. bugize

    bugize Member

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    A friend of mine has a Harman p68...lives in maine...heating the same type of house.
    I wouldnt try it with anything less than a p61
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    No guarantee the heat will move through your house the same as your friends, unless the houses are identical. Basement installs are iffy, at best. Sometimes they heat upstairs, sometimes not.

    If you have another location upstairs that you can move the stove to at a later date if the basement deal doesn't work out, OK, but I'd be leery. Pellet stoves are room heaters, and are designed to be in the area you want to heat the most.....anything other is just a bonus.

    And don't plan on the 50-75% savings....it may not happen.
    P38X2 likes this.
  5. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    First Welcome to the forum. There are several variables you need to consider how well insulated is your home? how about the windows, what part of the country are you located?

    Will a pellet stove save on oil you bet it will but 50 - 75% I don't know that. You may want to consider a more powerful stove . I think it would be better to be over sized than under sized. If you have to run a small stove at max all the time to reach your goal that puts more wear and tear on motors and blowers. A bigger stove could run at 1/2 speed but if you need more heat it's nice to know that you can crank it up. It kinda like should I take my jacket with me? nice to have and not need than to be someplace cold and wishing I had my jacket.

    Hope this helps and good luck.
  6. StormPanic

    StormPanic Member

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    Thanks for the input - the basement is finished and insulated (except the basement ceiling). The 2,000 SF includes the finished basement. I live in MA.
  7. StormPanic

    StormPanic Member

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    FYI the finished room in the basement is only 17 x 14 so its not a huge area before the heat gets to the stairwell.
  8. RightSeatCessna

    RightSeatCessna New Member

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    I have an Englander 25EP in a 2100 split level. I just installed it to supplement my oil furnace. I have run the pellet stove this fall with temperate in the 30s at night which will keep the room it's in anywhere from 70-90 and I have a box fan above the stove on the mantle blow the air out of our media room and another box fan tilted up to the upstairs portion of he house (it was running 70 degrees). The bedrooms are in the 60's which is fine because the family likes to sleep in a cool room. Since I just installed I will not comment on the savings but I do know my family of four loves the addition to our finished basement and any extra heat I get upstairs is a bonus.

    I have not had an issue with my basement install and my EVL is 30+. I'll try to post a picture of my install on here but my only complaint is the outside air kit looks ugly in the house. What is the issue with most basement installs? Is it because the rooms are too tight? If so, doesn't the OAK take care of that?
  9. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    I would avoid putting that stove in the basement. Having it on your main floor would be very advantageous. IMO, you'd have to run that stove hard to get the heat you want....and in the process, burn up a lot of $$$ in pellets....likely more than you're saving on oil.
    thedude110 likes this.
  10. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

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    I have a front to back split that has a large(aprox 22x40) addition. Basically they took the middle bedroom (the door was in line with the stairs) and made it a hallway and bathroom. If you are at the top of the stairs looking at it the bathroom is to the left and the hall leads to 2 large bedrooms. When you go downstairs from the kitchen I have made a hallway with a laundry room on one side and a utility room on the other. It opens up to a 20x23 family room with a large fieldstone fireplace and oversized hearth directly across from the opening. I have 2 pellet stoves, an old Whitfield that was purchased just to heat that room and a Harman insert upstairs. If I crank my Whitfield and get my family room up in the 90's there is very little heat that travels upstairs. Mt Harman which is placed in the living room of most front to back splits heats my entire upstairs with very little effort. I have taken down the wall that seperates the kitchen from room that the Harman is in and my biggest challenge is heating the kitchen! The air travels naturally up into the second floor and keeps it all toasty upstairs. I should mention that because of my mother in law my house is kept a too toasty 74 degrees and I will burn around 2 tons per year.

    That said do you have an upstairs fireplace or location to put a stove?
  11. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

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    That's using 240 sq ft of the rated 2k for that stove, going straight by the numbers. That heat will not all flow upstairs. You will lose heat to that unused room that you could be using up stairs.So that's at least one room that will not get heat upstairs because the basement is sucking it up.

    As I said, it will take a lot of doing to get a fair flow going in a one story house so yours will be harder. If you are set on this, you need to look at bigger stove.
  12. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

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    I have a tri-level (actually 4 levels) - basement/garage - main level - bedroom level - attic playroom - all in all, about 2300-2400 sq ft.

    My pellet stove (Harman Accentra insert rated at 42k btu) heats about 2000 sq ft of my home. Easily. I leave the attic playroom closed, because it's only used occasionally. My Harman doesn't struggle to heat the space. On the coldest nights (I live in Maine) my stove will keep the back bedrooms (the further from the stove) at 69-71 degrees. This is without duct work and an unconventional layout (my tri-level isn't like a split/colonial/cape where levels are right on top of one another - they are all offset). Additionally, the stove spits out heat pointing towards the main level (elevation change) and then turn back to go up the stairs, down the hall, make a right turn, and further down the hall. No problem.

    See the diagram in my sig to get an idea of the layout.
  13. thedude110

    thedude110 Feeling the Heat

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    This.

    If you spend a lot of time on the lower level of your house, maybe the scenario you're describing will work. But if you spend most of your time upstairs, I'd put the stove upstairs and heat the downstairs with oil (keeping the thermostat low). That's your best chance for slashing your heating costs.

    Based on what you're describing, it sounds like a big hope is to get the heat upstairs. If that's so, put the stove upstairs!
  14. StormPanic

    StormPanic Member

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    Contrary (or luckily contrary) to the advice I got here, it worked. Temp here in MA got to around freezing last night and the stove kept the entire upstairs at 74 degrees running on medium (3/5). Boiler didn't come on at all. I am sure it will do even better once I put the vent/fan in the floor.
  15. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    Check with your town hall/building department. vent registers like this are NOT up to code in most 'civilized' areas these days. Unless you're living in the country, it probably won't pass fire code. Should something happen, you won't be covered by your insurnace.

    IMO, put it in the living area. Mine heats the foryer/hall of my upper level, but the bedrooms never really get the full heat. That's ok, becase i like it cooler to sleep anyway. If that was my main living area, i'd be disappointed with the results of the heat.
  16. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    And the temperature on the bottom floor with the stove is? Was your stove on 3/5 steady? If it was what is going to happen when the the temperature gets to zero with the wind blowing because your heat requirement will double? You see it is the heat requirement at that point that the stove should be able to handle on 3/5.

    Don't go patting yourself on the back until the fat lady has sung her last song for the heating season.

    Please pay attention to what briansol is saying about cutting vents between floors and yes I know all about the "Well, there is a open stairwell argument" that you can have with the code police where you live.
    briansol and jtakeman like this.
  17. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Basement installs are not optimal but if you can get most of the heat upstairs you have a good chance to cut most or all of your oil bill. I know cause I`m doing it with a small Harman P-38. I`m ducting most of the heat out of the stove directly up thru the floor . My house was insulated for elec heat and the basement IS insulated / finished.
  18. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I have done the same, Ducted the heat where I really need it. I'll upgrade to a pellet furnace someday!

    Mother Nature has only teased the OP so far, Once the days are only in the teens should be closer what its going to take. It may not make the house oil free, But it should put a dent in the demand.
    SmokeyTheBear likes this.
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The OP needs to also understand that jtakeman's setup was blessed by the local code folk.

    Except for certain tested duct capable stoves no pellet stove is safety listed for operation with ductwork.
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Yes bear, And I wouldn't do it again. By the time I was done I probably should/could have purchased the pellet furnace. I won't even get into the hassle factor involved!
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Hassle factor I can understand, I got very good grades in hassling. The wife, the kids, the parents, some local political hacks, a few municipal officials, and so forth.

    ETA: Training pellet pigs is difficult we is strange :p .
    jtakeman likes this.
  22. TLHinCanada

    TLHinCanada Feeling the Heat

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    I can only relate to my own experience. Upstairs is 1700 sq. ft. downstairs is 1500 sq. ft. (finished space). First month of heating after install gas bill went from $90.00 a month to $45.00 a month. Last year total gas heating bill was $260.00 (pellets were $480.00). There is only one door (34" x80" leading to the basement. Depending on your design your split level opening can be much larger. There is no gauranty that you will save money it depends on the price of oil and the price of pellets. I will say that the last year we heated with oil it cost me $2400.00 (with a high effiency furnace). When we changed to a NG furnace it went down to $1200.00 (also increased attic to R80). There are so many variables, giving a difinitive answer is impossible. An educated guess however, would say that you can save some money.
  23. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Yes, anyone thinking of ducting a stove up thru the floor like mine might encounter building code violations.
    Mine was blessed by the insurance company 3-4 yrs ago. They came even in and took pictures . It cost me an extra $35 for the insurance rider to have the stove.
  24. StormPanic

    StormPanic Member

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    I talked to my local building inspector in my town and the only requirement was that the vent needed to be ducted in non combustible duct (i.e. couldn't just be a hole in the floor) and it needed to have a horizontal run in it (i.e. couldn't go straight up) so as to prevent chimney effect. My plan is to add a register to the drop ceiling, 90 degree bend, 6" duct fan, 2' run of straight duct, and 90 degree turn up to register on floor upstairs, then add a switch on the wall next to the stove for the duct fan.
  25. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Why not automate that duct fan?

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