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Pellet Stove to replace Fisher woodstove located in basement.

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by gangsplatt, Mar 26, 2008.

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  1. gangsplatt

    gangsplatt New Member

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    Hello all,

    I just bought a two story house (1500 s.f.) with a Fisher woodstove in the basement that the sellers used as the primary source of heat. On the main floor is a wood-burning fireplace and kerosene monitor. All the bedrooms are on the 2nd floor and only have electric baseboard heat. I've been doing a lot of research (via these forums and other web site sources) and was really considering replacing the Fisher with a new woodburning stove in the basement. However, I'm a newbie and have zero experience with wood and quite honestly I don't know if I have the desire to do the work that will be necessary from year to year to use the wood stove as a main heat source. I stopped by a friends and he is suggesting I go with a pellet (based on less maintenance)stove. I'd prefer to keep the stove in the basement and am under the impression that the pellet stove won't heat my main & second floor, or would it? Would it be in my better interest to remove the monitor heat and put the pellet stove in its place thus hoping to heat the main and second floor?

    I've also considered installing a wood burning insert in the fireplace, but I think a few years down the road I'm going to have a natural gas fireplace insert installed instead its something we won't really use much just for ambience here and there. So I'd prefer to leave my fireplace as is for now and focus on the best/cheapest way to get some heat to my second floor.

    Thanks for any insight you all my have.

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Plattsburg gets kind of cold so I don't know about heating your entire house with a pellet stove. But down here in CNY I know a person that does and swears it's better than wood. the thing with pellet stoves is that they are dependent upon electricity...so it all depends on how reliable the grid is up there.

    Down here what use to take NIMO a few hours to fix takes NatGrid all day...or longer.
  3. FatttFire

    FatttFire Member

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    gangsplatt,

    Could you take a picture of your fisher and post it! I have one too!

    J
  4. gangsplatt

    gangsplatt New Member

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    Plattsburgh does indeed get cold. This person that heats their whole house with a pellet stove, do you know what stove they have?

    Never had problems with electricity, but I hear you. One ice storm like the one in the late 90's and it could be 2 weeks with no power. If I bought a pellet stove I'd likely keep the woodstove downstairs in the basement for emergency purposes.

    J, I can snap a photo of the Fisher stove. We are still living out of boxes so I've got to track down where the heck the camera is, but I'll try and get a photo uploaded this weekend.
  5. FatttFire

    FatttFire Member

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    thanks gangsplatt let me know!
  6. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    gangsplatt my friend has an old Whitfield 40kBTU's but advises me since Lennox took over the line it's not the reliable stove it use to be. He recommends the Harman pellet stove instead. Their home is 1800 sq ft.

    He goes through a pallet a month but buys them in June when they trade at a discount.
  7. Corie

    Corie Minister of Fire

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    The best way to determine whether a pellet stove in the basement will be sufficient to heat your entire house is to have a heat loss calculation done. I believe the EPA website has some simple calculators that will help you figure out how many BTU's it will take to heat your home. Undersizing the pellet stove could be a huge mistake, so you'll want to go sufficiently large to be certain you can keep up with the heat load of your house on the coldest of days. You should be able to heat the entire house with a pellet stove, but having it in the basement is going to make it difficult to keep the top floor rooms warm.

    PERSONALLY, I'd be more inclined to put in two stoves. One EPA certified wood stove in the basement, and a pellet insert in the fireplace upstairs. When the heat load is moderate, you'll probably be able to heat the entire house with the wood stove on the bottom floor. When it gets COLD you can light the pellet insert and let the two stoves work in conjunction to keep the house warm.

    If I ever build a house for myself, or have a house where two stoves on two different levels is possible, I will do it in a heartbeat. Basement stoves work great when the weather is mild, but have a VERY hard time keeping up with huge heat loads without completely overheating the basement floor. That's why I generally advocate the main level/basement installation setup.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are going to do the basement pellet thing, consider a pellet furnace - you will get vastly more heat delivered to the first and second floor where you need it - even if you have to cut in a few new ducts yourself. An example is Magnum, but other companies make these (Harman for one).
    http://www.americanenergysystems.com/magnum6500.cfm

    Also, do the calcs to see whether the pellets are going to be a lot cheaper than kero - of course both prices will vary. My guess is that pellets and corn will be cheaper, but of course you have to pay for the initial purchase.

    A regular pellet stove in the basement is very likely to disappoint you - and that is a lot of money to spend and not be happy.
  9. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Hey!! Looky Craig....I agree 100%!! Not often that happens ;) lol JK. I agree tho....I had an ashley woodstove in the basement when I bought this house and it heated every inch nicely of my house 1268 sq. ft. 2 story cape built in 86. I also had a monitor at that time. Had the old electric ripped out...took out the monitor and sold it....then had a new furnace put in. So this year had a pellet put on my first floor. Theres no way I would have put in basement. Being on 2nd floor it keeps us toasty....and if I open up the upstairs for a game of pool etc....it keeps that a few degrees cooler but comfortable. If it was in basement I doubt it would reach the 2nd floor for a good temp. feel. IMO.
  10. gangsplatt

    gangsplatt New Member

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    Sorry for the delay fatttfire. Here's the pic of the fisher stove. Got any good tips to share when using it?

    Attached Files:

  11. yetty734

    yetty734 New Member

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    wow, they heat the whole house with that!!!....my fisher(i think its an old granpa bear is double that size and i have trouble heating 1800 ft2 in ohio from my basement. i would deffinetly suggest a stovepipe thermometer, you can really overfire these things
  12. gangsplatt

    gangsplatt New Member

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    Not really. Definitely keeps the ground floor warm, second floor especially master bedroom at the opposite end of the house requires supplemental heat. Which in our case is electric :ahhh:

    However, looking to put a pellet stove on ground floor, something like the Harman p61 or p68 and keep the wood stove but only burn the wood stove on weekends or really, really cold days. Which we are known to have plenty of in the Plattsburgh, NY area.
  13. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    I wouldn't necessarily lose the stove in favor of a pellet stove down there if I was you . I do the pellet corn thing 15 miles up the road from you and though I pull it off we definitely have a pretty cold 1400 sf place heating it with a countryside on the main floor. As you will find out soon enough aint nothin cheap around here but you are in wood central. Its the one thing you can get for a decent price and you can scrounge like crazy along the roadsides as no one seems to pick it up and they trim a lot. Coal is 300 a ton and oil is super ugly so get what you need in the summer if you use any . I can't see a pellet stove doing it from the basement here really so ask around well before you go pulling anything out. Its easier to stick a pellet stove out the outside wall with a short 5 foot stack to vent it and heat the top with the pellet stove. Pellets arent usually cheap so watch the Sams Club flyer like a hawk and when they show them in the flyer just buy what you will need for the winter. Don't plan of buying as you go or you will pay 5 bucks a bag all winter for the last 3 years period. When Sams gets em they go fast so buy what you will need right on the net with a credit card if you can do it then haul ass down there with a pickup. You pick em up out back of the store and they drive in with a fork lift and push them full forward and the truck will drive like nothing is even there. In and out in 10 minutes no sweat. I did 3 tons in 2 days like that last winter and it was a pain but they were 3.88 a bag as opposed to 5 buck so you do the math. Don't look for pellets in Sams, you likely won't ever see them, watch the flyer online and buy them when they come in. Don't wait their supply is and always was very sporadic and unreliable. Can't beat the price though by a long shot. I went through only about 3 tons last year which seems strange as it was a pretty long winter as opposed to 4 the year before and nearly 6 the year before that using corn. I can't credit it to anything but using a thermostat on the stove as corn is supposed to be hotter. Corn never was a deal and is outrageous now around here these days though that may change some day who knows.
  14. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    What is that sitting on top of the stove? Don't tell me it's connected to the home heating system.

    Is this an uninsulated basement? If so, you will be using expensive fuel to warm the earth around the house.Put a good pellet insert in the fireplace on the first floor and maybe a more efficient stove in the basement if you expect to be down there a lot.
  15. gangsplatt

    gangsplatt New Member

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    That is a plenum vent on top of the stove that the previous owner of the home fabricated. There is duct work that goes up to a hole in the floor in the living room. Does an awesome job bringing in heat to the room above the stove. Could take a picture of the rest of the vent if your interested in seeing it?

    Basement is currently uninsulated. However, I am looking to turn half of it into an insulated family room down the road a couple of years.
  16. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    A guy I know who lives in a log cabin out in Moores insulated his poured concrete basement. He heats from a furnace in the basement both floors above . It was never really warm down there unless he had it really crankin. He insulated with that Celotex type reflective insulation board and it really did the job. Its downright hot down there now nearly all the time as I have seen myself. Damned concrete must act like a giant heat sink. He swears insulating that basement was the most heat saving thing he ever did.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    No thanks. Seen enough. NIMH (not in my house) Insulating the entire basement would be a really good investment that will pay back regardless of heat source.
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