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Pellet Stove Recommendations?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by DKNJ, Sep 14, 2007.

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  1. DKNJ

    DKNJ New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
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    8
    Newbie here. I am looking to put a second pellet stove in my house. I currently have a Whitfield Profile 20 in a downstairs 'great' room, which the only source of heat in the room. I am very happy with the Whitfield overall (this will be the 4th season with it), although I did have to replace the starter/glowstick when the first one failed, fortunately it was still under warranty.
    My house runs natural gas, and we obviously pay through the nose when the bill comes from October through May (located in SouthEastern NY State). I am contemplating adding a second pellet stove to the main floor of my house, I have a good location picked out which will blow heat to the main floor and the upper floor (bedrooms). My other half isnt thrilled with the idea, but is willing to go with my plan as long as the stove is a>quiet and b>somewhat decorative.

    I know that wood stoves are quiet and can be decorative, but I already buy pellets and I dont want to get involved with stacking pellet bags and wood, and I prefer the heat/blower settings available with pellet stoves.

    Anyone have any recommendations? The area to be heated is probably a bit less than 1000 sq ft.

    Thanks

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
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    9,293
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    I find the Thelin pellet stoves particularly attractive and certainly out of the norm for looks. No idea on noise levels though.
  3. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2007
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    407
    Loc:
    Southern, Maine
    Hi,

    Sounds like your situation is not all that dissimilar to mine. Just this year I added a Harman P61 stove to heat the finsihed basement, but in the main part of our house we have a Hastings St Croix
    http://www.h2oasisinc.com/Hastings/169/
    My wife insisted on getting something that looked nice for the main living area, and the Hastings made the cut. We're entering our third heating season with teh stove and it has been trouble free. I do spend approximately 30 minutes per week keeping it clean and in tip-top shape...but I think this is fairly typical. I'm told the Harman will require less maitenence, but cannot confirm this yet.
    As far as quiet go, the St Croix is fairly quiet on the lower settings. On high I would say that it is pretty noisy (would not want it next to the TV), but I think this is also pretty typical.

    Another attractive stove that generally gets good reviews is the Harman Accentra. I almost bought one of these (used) a while back, but the deal did not work out.
    http://www.woodmansforgefireplace.com/product.asp?Product_Id=156195&d_Id=15812&l1=15810&l2=15812

    Thelin stoves are beautiful (my wife's first choice), but they are priced considerably higher than other pellet stoves. No matter what, you are going to pay at least 10-15% more for something that looks attractive.
    Good luck!
  4. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    407
    Loc:
    Southern, Maine
  5. Homefire

    Homefire New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2006
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    I got a multi fuel stove from H Depot last spring
    for about $450.
    What a great deal that was.
    I called for another one yesterday and the price was
    up just a bit, the guy said that includes a pedestal and fresh air kit.
    I wonder if there are other upgrades to this year model.
    Anyways I really like the stove I got and will get another one.
  6. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2005
    Messages:
    12,379
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    Not to talk you out of enriching our industry - but if you are doing this for economic reasons, you should put pencil to paper. Keeping two stoves going is a LOT harder than keeping one going. You will have to handle and haul pellets up to the stove area by the ton, and you will also have the associated dust and noise (don't show this to the other 1/2).....

    So let's discuss cost and price - look at your gas bill and try to determine the price you pay for Natural gas - for use here, let me guess is is $1.75 per 100,000 BTU (therm) when all is taken into account. It is less in many areas of the country, but higher in a few.

    Let me assume that your delivered pellet price is $235.00

    Using the calculator at:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/

    and plugging those number is, I get that gas would be cost about 15% more, BTU for BTU.
    In other words, it would cost 470 for two tons of pellets and perhaps 550 for the same amount of natural gas.

    So, from a purely economic standpoint, you have to decide if the initial outlay, the additional work, the service, etc is worth the savings of $100 or less per year.

    Again, not talking you out of it - just that your post indicated that $$$ was a lot of the driving force....

    that said, let me make two suggestions:
    1. You could put a direct vent gas stove there instead - you'd still have the fire, save money because it is space heat, and it would work from a thermostat or remote if you want. In addition, it will function when the power is out and you will have no noise.
    2. If you do decide to go with pellets, consider a "multi-fuel" model which can burn corn, high ash pellets and other current or future biomass. Locking into a stove that only burns high grade pellets seems like it could be a mistake. One of our site sponsors specializes in these (plug) - you will find them on the products page (Magnum) - but a number of other makers are starting to design for high ash pellets and corn.

    In terms of total installed price, the gas stove should be the same or less as the pellet stove.

    Also, if I were that serious about replacing all my heat, I would consider central heating - even with pellets or corn! There are many models available. This way, there is only one unit to fuel, and the mess is kept out of the living area, etc.

    As usual, the above is purely my opinion based on your post.
  7. kinsmanstoves

    kinsmanstoves Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    3,356
    Loc:
    Kinsman, Oh 44428 Brookfield, Oh 44403
    I have sold three Breckwell P-2700 in the last four days. One is going into my house, waiting on a back-ordered Dura Vent black elbow. I love this stove and the price is moderate. Take a look for yourself, www.kinsmanstoves.com. Eric
  8. tsunamiscott

    tsunamiscott New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2007
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Crescent City, California
    My wife and I purchased an Envirofire Mini last fall and we love it. It's pretty quite and does not take up very much space. Plus we like the modern design. See photo http://www.e-zst.com/Mini.jpg
    We have had nothing but enjoyment so far from this stove. http://www.envirofire.biz/fireplace-products/pellet/freestanding-fireplace.html#mini

    * Heats 600 to 1200 sq. ft.
    * 80% Efficiency
    * 30,000 BTU’s
    * 50 lb (22 kg) hopper capacity
    * 18” X 19 ½ “ in size
    * Built-in hearth pad
    * Circuit board control panel
    * Dual mode thermostat ready
    * “Run Quiet” system
    * Large viewing area (130 sq. in.)
    * Large ash pan
    * Comes standard with ignitor
    * Large heat exchanger
    * Levelling legs
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    49,037
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    For aesthetics I'd show your wife the Quadrafire Mt. Vernon and Castile. Any stove will be noisy on high, but these stoves are quite tolerable at med-low. They look great and are good performers.

    That said, I agree with Craig. You might want to examine heat losses in your natural gas system first. Are the ducts sealed and insulated? Do they travel a long distance through particularly cold areas?

    Besides the ductwork, particular areas that may need attention are insulation, windows and crack sealing. Addressing issues in these areas will pay you back continually, no matter what the source of heat.
  10. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

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    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    The Mini is a nice stove. I liked that no hearth pad was required. Personally I would always have a hearth pad for the ash etc., but it was a good way to save a customer a couple hundred bucks.
  11. mgambuzza

    mgambuzza Member

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2006
    Messages:
    204
    Loc:
    Syracuse, NY
    Thanks for the plug **but** I just sold the stove last night. This week alone I had over three offers for it - a dynamite price for the condition, and considering what this stove sold for new.
  12. Tom D

    Tom D New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 10, 2007
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Watertown , Wisconsin
    i bought the harman xxv and it is nice looking puts out plenty of heat and is easy to maintain.
  13. DKNJ

    DKNJ New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 14, 2007
    Messages:
    8
    Sorry to come back so late to all your replies...I appreciate the input. We are going to hold off on the 2nd pellet stove and see what we can do with insulating the ducts and other ideas.

    I do have another question for anyone that can help me...my Whifield Profile 20 has been acting up a bit lately, i think it may be the fuel i am using. At the local Home Depot they had pellets from a company called NLI LLC - Natural Living Innovations from Overland Park, Kansas. They are premium pellets, made of a hardwood blend, low ash conent, basically the same stats listed on the bag that are on the other brands of pellets I've used. These pellets though, leave a black ash in the stove, darken the window quickly and I've run into issues with the stove shutting itself down. Today while I was not at home the stove smoked out my downstairs room, the window was almost completely blackened, and the room smelled like the stove had been on high for a few hours (although it was on low), that burned paint smell. My wife was home and luckily was able to shut off the stove before it got too bad. When I got home (from seeing the Giants get 'smoked' by the Vikings) the room still smelled. I cleaned out the stove, dismantled the exhaust pipes and vacuumed them out with the shopvac, took the existing NLI pellets out and filled with another brand of pellets that I had from the local Lowes - Greene Team from Garards Fort, PA. The Greene Team pellets leave a gray dusty ash in the stove and I've not had a problem with these at all. Obviously I wil stick to the Greene Team pellets and keep an eye on the stove, but can anyone provide some insight as to whether the fuel can really cause these problems? Like I said, other fuel I've used have not resulted in problems.
    Sorry for the long-winded comment but this is a bit frustrating (and scary since my downstairs room still smells like burnt paint)
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