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Pellet stove is the last thing that I would be looking at!

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by RedRanger, May 2, 2008.

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  1. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Southern, Maine
    The Rinnais are phenomenal if you are ok with heating with LP or Natural Gas. My 556 is over 10 years old and it has literally never had a problem. The smaller unit is about 2 years old, zero issues. They just plain work, and throw great heat while maintaining a stable temp. They are also extremely efficient. the problem is that LP in my area (and I suspect most areas) is crazy expensive, and the pricing is nearly as erratic as oil.
    Consequently, I don't use the 556 as much anymore, and i'm considering selling both units in the next few years and adding some baseboard eletric heaters.
    I've heard the Rinnai tankless water heaters can be great if you get an installer that knows what they are doing. They can cause major headaches if installed wrong.
    If you search the web for reviews on themm you'll find some dissatisfied customers for sure.

    Personally, I'm fed up with oil and propane, so my 3 year plan is to convert to 100% electric and pellets.

    Here is a dealer in Brunswick that has a pretty interesting web site. You can tell that the guy is passionate about heating!
    http://www.alsheating.com/RinnaiHeater.htm

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  2. sylvestermcmonkey

    sylvestermcmonkey Member

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    The Land that Time Forgot
    What on Earth are you paying for oil and LP to make you consider switching to baseboard electric? Are you nuts, or is your electric service that cheap?

    That's a pretty hilarious website BTW.
  3. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Well, since I only use LP for heating water and space heating my usage is just shy of 200 gallons per year. This doesn't give me a whole lot of buying power so i'm paying in the neighborhood of 3.50 per gallon.
    Electricity isn't cheap in southern maine, but it is price stable and trending slightly down over the last 2 or 3 years.

    At todays prices electric water heat and space heat is probably slightly more expensive that my current set-up, but I like the idea of getting rid of my propane tank and getting rid of the unknown (price factor) associated with getting my tank filled 2 or 3 times per year. I'm also pessimistic about the future price of propane and oil so i'm betting that in 3 years electric heat will be slightly cheaper in this area.

    I am also a little nuts, but mostly in the sense that i've thought (and continue to think) a LOT about what the best way is to go for heat and hot water.
  4. Shooter

    Shooter New Member

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    Feb 17, 2008
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    Loc:
    Michigan
    I'll not post a link for sake of propriety but will at least say there is a good, active forum of folks that burn the "alternate" alternate fuel (corn). Pm me if you want more info. They often speak of other fuels. Experiment, try various fuels. Some have burned cherry pits, horse-matting, and even cheap, dry dogfood.
  5. sylvestermcmonkey

    sylvestermcmonkey Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    The Land that Time Forgot
    Here's a quick summary of heating costs for various fuels that I developed. Most of the costs are very approximate but oil and electric are derived from what I've actually been paying. My oil furnace efficiency is measured by whatever method the service contractor uses. The others are estimates so YMMV.

    I realize it's not as simple as this. I have one small room with an electric baseboard heater because there's no easy way to heat it otherwise.

    Without some good reasons reasons to expect it I wouldn't count on the price of electricity declining. Electric utility deregulation (if that's where you're going) has led to insane price increases in some areas, with some of them more than doubling. Even with the cost of LP I wouldn't remove a good storage tank. Who knows what the price will be in the future. It's good to have options. BTW my local utility has proposed increasing natural gas prices by 30% so take that into consideration.

    Code:
    fuel - BTU per unit - unit - cost per unit - efficiency - cost per million BTU
    
    propane             91690    gal            $3.50    90%    $42.41
    heating oil       138,700    gal            $3.28    78%    $30.32
    natural gas       100,000    therm          $1.00    85%    $11.76
    natural gas     1,008,000    1000 ft^3     $10.08    85%    $11.76
    wood pellets   16,400,000    ton          $265.00    80%    $20.20 *
    electric            3,413    kWh            $0.12    97%    $36.25
    coal           20,000,000    ton          $200.00    80%    $12.50 *
    
    * BTU content can vary widely.
  6. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    Yep, I have a similar spreadsheet going. My Rinnais run 83-84% efficient. Most electric heaters are 100% efficient I believe. I am paying about .15 per KWH including delivery charge.
    Anyhoo, you can see where i'm going with my decision making. I'm not speculating that they are going to deregulate in Maine, but our utility company has been slowly reducing their price as they've relaized efficiency gains. This hasn't really saved me any money (seems like there is always an increase somewhere else), but I have not seen an increase in price in 3 years. So, long term i'm going to bet that petroleum products are going to go up in price faster than electricity rates.
    My LP company owns the tank, so that is part of the problem. I'd buy my own, but again, as a low volume user it would take me a long while get my initial investment back.
    Replacing my LP units with electric should greatly simplify my situation.
  7. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Southern Maine
    I only use LP for cooking.... very $$$ $5.25 a gallon. But I recently have closed in my porch off of my kitchen and made it a winterized sunporch etc. with large sliding windows and well insulated and plan to add a small gas heating stove so my price may go down a bit but dont suspect much. I'll just keep my pellet stove cranking :) And use the furnace only for HW.
  8. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Get a price on propane delivered into your own tank. TSC has tanks (80 gal I think) for $95 . I use about 200 gals a year. Just got a delivery Wed ,106 gals for $1.71 . Lots of compitition in this area so it its cheap.
  9. Redox

    Redox Minister of Fire

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    Burbs of B'more, MD, Hon!
    I don't have a lot of experience with buying propane, but people I've talked to say the price is all over the place. Seems they will give you more of a break for quantity. I think $5/gal would sway me towards electricity too, but I really like to cook on gas.

    Wondering out loud here if the propane bottles that roofers use on an exchange basis are a better deal? They use a lot and their distribution system is probably set up for volume.

    Lee, where are you located if you are not in Ma or NYC? At that price, I would be converting the rest of my cars to run on LP.

    Sorry, we're way OT here...

    Chris
  10. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    British Columbia
    Well I agree with all of your points,cept I don`t understand your last sentence--Are You One Of Them??

    One of what, was just trying to point out the lack of fibre for pulp because of the lack of sawmilling. Seems to me that if pulp and newsprint is more profitable than pellets, then, the big guys will outbid. therefore driving up the price of pellets. This is not the ash can, and I am not trying to stir here, just pointing out facts. Whatever is most profitable will get the resources-period!!
  11. rmac

    rmac New Member

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    Loc:
    central NJ

    While I don’t want to speak for someone else, and I actually don't think you are trying to stir. I do believe that it is the tone of your post title that make some suspect that you may have an agenda.
    Fisrt impressions are everything:
    “Pellet stove is the last thing that I would be looking at!” (with an exclamation point no less)

    How do expect anyone with a pellet stove to react??? I’m relatively new to pellet stoves, but so far I love mine. Not only for the savings, but for the comfort, cleanliness and convenience. There is value in that. Truthfully, the thought of dragging some free dead wood out of the forest doesn’t appeal to me. I don’t have the time, and how much does it really save you? Let’s say you spend an average of 4 hours per week hauling, splitting, stacking, loading the stove, cleaning..... That’s 200 hours per year. Compared to pellets, how much is that per hour of your time in fuel savings? $10, $15??? You could work 2 days a month at home depot and make more than that in less time. It’s not all about the money.
  12. ugenetoo

    ugenetoo New Member

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    dont forget the $75 chiropractor bill and the occasional missing finger and ...........
  13. kh395269

    kh395269 New Member

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    CT
    I'm happy with my choice of a pellet stove too. I figure my stove will more than pay for itself in the first season and I will be alot warmer too. Any savings beyond that goes right to my bottom line, even if pellets increase in price. If grass becomes the thing of the future and in a few years I need to move with the times to a stove that will burn that, so be it. All I know is next season I won't be paying $4.00 plus a gallon for oil (except some for my hot water heater) of course. Too bad the pellet stove won't take care of that too. Ideally , everyone wants to find the long term solution to any problem - the one that will give you the most bang for the buck for the longest. But honestly, my concern at the moment is getting through the next few years with a sigificant savings. Who really knows what the future holds anyway?
  14. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    When home heating oil is $9.00/gal , propane $6.00/gal , corn $500/ton and pellets $600/ ton , WOOD will look a whole lot sweeter to many.
  15. jebatty

    jebatty Minister of Fire

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    A cord of seasoned (20 ) red oak weighs about 3750 lbs. If heat content is the same as pellets, then at $215/ton delivered average for pallets = $400 cord delivered for red oak.

    Although I do not burn pellets, I think pellet, briquet, cube type fuels are here to stay, made out of a variety of materials. I believe the European market is pretty well developed, and the convenience factors plus low emission possibiiites (uniform fuel - burning potential) plus need for sustainable energy sources will dictate a strong presence and future.

    Cost will be competitive, which doesn't mean that it will be inexpensive. Transportation will be a major factor, which will be an incentive to use least expensive transportation and/or proximity to move raw material to the mill; as well as least expensive transportation and/or proximity to locate mills close to demand (users).

    Natural/LP gas and oil have a huge transportation advantage in pipelines and tanker ships, as well as looming disadvantages in long distance tanker ship transportation plus cost, and both pipelines and shipping face political and other major potential disruptions. And that's saying nothing about increasing world demand for a declining resource.

    End result: energy is only to get (much) more expensive, and every reasonable effort should be made as soon as possible to reduce need for energy as we have used it in the past. Need to move beyond traditional approaches (insulation, efficiency, etc.), and towards reducing heating need with smaller homes.
  16. JustWood

    JustWood Minister of Fire

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    Right on the money !!!!!!!!

    It's a free country and people can do what they want but I bet in 5 years alot of people who installed pellet stoves will wish they had gone the wood stove route. But then again maybe they will come out with a clean burning pellet made from humanure and it will be $120/ton.Lets hope the development of all alternative energy sources keeps up with the rising cost of oil.
  17. ugenetoo

    ugenetoo New Member

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    what is the moisture content of "seasoned" wood?
  18. kilarney

    kilarney New Member

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    I've heard about 20%.
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