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  1. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    F7Joker

    where you having LP gas delivered? do you use what i'm calling a 100 gallon tank or bottle? how much was the Lp gas by the gallon? How many gallons does a gas stove burn in 24 Hours?

    Do you get the same type heat out of the Lp gas insert than the Pellet or wood burning insert??


    Thank you john

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  2. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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    True... good Mantra but maybe you should add that the only difference is how much am I saving..

    $250 a ton @ 80 % Eff (I went low) =$19.38 per Mil BTU Delivered to home.
    $1.84 per therm @ 81% Eff =$22.72 per Mil BTU delivered to home.
    Also most pelletheads don't have anyone service the stove.
  3. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    You also have to factor in all the taxes and fees you are most likely dodging when you buy pellets. Hell even here in some rich fat guys Empire state they don't tax pellets and with propane or oil you get a full dose of it as well as the usual bum charge to give free heat to NY's finest non working class. We pay $5/ 100 gallons for the honor of helping those who won't get a job on top of everything else. Another thing is the price of pellets. We like everything else have about the highest prices but you learn to shop around. I just scored 3 tons a couple days ago for $194/ton at Sams Club. You buy em when they are cheap and sit on them. When you have gas you pay for the gas and oh so much more. They nickel and dime you to death in exchange for the convenience with all the silly fees. Personally I never liked the needle in the arm dependency you get hooked with using gas. With pellets you duck all that in exchange for your labor. The one thing you do sacrifice in most houses is even heat. Its just gonna be hotter in the room with the stove than it is at the other end of the house. Another thing with getting pellets is how you buy them. If you have a truck its fine while having them delivered can be costly.
  4. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    I'll second this. i'm in connecticut, its the same here.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    I would disagree slightly on both points. I doubt that most pellet stoves end up over their entire burn cycles at 80% total efficiency.

    And on the second point, anyone who uses a pellet stove regularly needs for it to be serviced, and a LOT of retailers that I know spend all spring and summer (and a lot of the rest of the year) servicing the pellet stoves of their customers. I know it's hard to imagine, but a lot of people are not even comfortable with screwdriver, let alone testing or replacing a control board or vacuum switch.

    As fas as where the money goes, that is politics to some degree. As I said, you probably don't know who owns the pellet mills or the forest where they get their fuel source. I think most customer behavior would come down to price point, all things being somewhat equal.....notice I said most, but not all!

    If I had a choice between cars, and one was built in Germany and one was built in Japan and one was built here, I would not analyze how much in taxes, wages and social benefits each company paid to their employees, and then think "I'm not going to buy that BMW because I am paying for those workers who get 5 weeks off a year".

    In fact, I would probably think just the opposite! If I can get a good value while helping my poor fellow creatures (bums, as you call them), I would not hesitate to do so.

    Consumer behavior is complex. As I have often said, electric heaters are the biggest sellers of all - but the most expensive when it comes to fuel. Hot air heat sucks, yet 95% of new houses are being built with it. Square cars do not cut through the wind very well, but some newer models look like the cardboard appliance boxes!

    Some trends are obvious, but guessing what the customer is likely to like..... I'll leave that to Steve Jobs.
  6. GVA

    GVA Minister of Fire

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  7. sorka

    sorka New Member

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    I live in Merced, CA. Around here, a 40lb bag ranges in price from $4 - $5.50 depending on where and the quality of pellet.

    We just bought a pellet stove which has yet to be delivered. Cost comparison is a no brainer. Our current heat source is LPG. It's running about $4/gal.

    1 Gallon of LPG is 91500 BTUs.
    1 lb of average quality pellets is 8800 BTUs.

    Both the furnace and pellet stove are rated at 80%.

    $1 buys 22875 BTUs of LPG.

    Assuming $5 bag of pellets:

    $1 buys 70400 BTUs from pellts.

    That makes LPG *3X* as expensive.

    Now factor in that the furnace really isn't 80% because quite a bit of heat is lost through our insulated ducts...yes insulated, but we still lose about 6%.

    Also factor in that our furnace, 5 tons, requires 750 watts of electricity to run while the pellet stove requires hardly anything once the igniter is powered down.

    We made the decision strictly on a financial basis. Granted, we'll also benefit from the ambiance created by the stove.
  8. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Pellet will kick butt over LP in most areas - especially since the LP dealers really charge big for small users......drives up the price big time. I think the big LP users get a relatively good deal, but still more than Pellets (at reasonable pellet prices).

    Here are todays LP prices (residential)

    Wholesale LP is about $1.60, which probably means big customers are getting it for slightly over $2.00.
    http://tonto.eia.doe.gov/dnav/pet/pet_pri_wfr_a_EPLLPA_PWR_cpgal_w.htm

    There are always a lot of variables. I doubt that a Pellet stove in average residential operation is 80% efficient. Pellets have to be adjusted for moisture, which lowers the heating value to somewhere around 8000-8200 input. Certainly all little things, but little things add up.

    I'll have to come up with a "rule of thumb" about LP vs. Pellets......like take what you pay for LP, and double it (add some zeros) (example $2.50x2=$500) and that would be the equiv price of pellets. In other words, at $250 you are saving 50%, substantial in anyones book! That is just a guess, but I'll see if it works over at the calculator....

    Yeah, close enough for regular figuring. I really wish we could get some tests on Pellet stoves as to actual working efficiencies throughout a long term burn. I use 70% and think that is probably where most will fall when measured, but some that are set up right and clean might hit 80....well, someday we will know more!

    The last time Pellet stoves were measured in the field, the results came in way lower than any manufacturer had advertised or any test lab checked (in the lab). While I don't expect the current gap to be as large, I still would guess that it will come in lower than advertised.

    Attached Files:

  9. sorka

    sorka New Member

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    Last year I bought my 500 gal LPG tank so that I'd be free to shop around for the best price. We can get by from early October to early April on one tank, but we always we're always running the heat as little as possible and often the house is cold. We use the furnaces sparingly. My wife is tired of it. She wants something that we can keep on a lot more. So in the long run, we're not really saving any money going with the pellet stove but we'll be a lot more comfortable because we'll spend the same budget on heating either way.

    In October, when I filled up the LPG tank, the prices ranged from $3.50 to mostly about $4.00. 5 years ago, they were $1 / gal which would have made LPG on par with pellets, except that pellets were a little cheaper then.

    I definately plan to stock pile pellets when there are good prices and probably mostly in the summer. Wouldn't want to get caught by the whole fiasco that happened 2 years ago.
  10. Hammerjoe

    Hammerjoe Member

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    That is where alot of people (myself included) got trapped.
    It is true that for the same price you might get more btu from the pellets.
    What you are forgetting is that you will need to use more btus to heat the house with the pellet stove than with the furnace which will ofset the savings youa re expecting.
  11. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    There is something a little easier about buying a bag of pellets and then turning the stove up, rather than adding to a monthly bill that is just "numbers". It's like all those coffees are Starbucks. If we ever got yearly invoices on those purchases, Starbucks would be out of business.
  12. sorka

    sorka New Member

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    I'm not forgetting. I'm not aware of any reason why that should be the case and you haven't stated any either.
  13. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    I have a Question for all of you. in a 24 hour period how much will a gas stove(on high) burn the equivalent in pellets??


    I need the gas converted to bags of pellets.i know what my pellet stove is using on high so i need to know what a gas stove is using on high to compare.

    Thanks John
  14. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    Is that suppose to be more like 700?
  15. mkmh

    mkmh New Member

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    We'd need the stats of the gas stove to be of any assistance. Typically you can get the BTU range off the side or back or the appliance.
  16. johnnywarm

    johnnywarm Minister of Fire

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    Gas insert natural vent is 30,000 BTUs Max. 60% efficiency. The pellet stove is 45,000 BTUs with it at 80% efficiency.
  17. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    it is about 91000 BTU's per gal of LPG
    so a Mid size LPG stove will burn for 3 hours on one gallan

    a pellet stove will burn from 1 - 6 pounds per hours depending on the feed rate.
    but in my parts an average 1800 sq feet house will use 40 pounds in 24 hours
    Most of my customers burn 2 to 3 tons a season. we dont have COLD days all winter and most homes are NEW 30 years or so.
    the older homes or larger homes will use 4 to 5 tons per season.
  18. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    But when you are running a pellet stove you feel warmer because you have radiant and convection heat
    it heats the floors and the fixtures in the home
    Central air is only convection and will only heat the air and not the fixtures as much.
  19. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    "That is where alot of people (myself included) got trapped.
    It is true that for the same price you might get more btu from the pellets.
    What you are forgetting is that you will need to use more btus to heat the house with the pellet stove than with the furnace which will ofset the savings youa re expecting."

    Huh? Why on earth do you need more pellet btus to heat a house than propane btus? I think you've got it backwards. You need more central heat btus since the central system has the duct losses.
  20. hearthtools

    hearthtools Moderator Emeritus

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    "That is where alot of people (myself included) got trapped.
    It is true that for the same price you might get more btu from the pellets.
    What you are forgetting is that you will need to use more btus to heat the house with the pellet stove than with the furnace which will ofset the savings youa re expecting."
    Yes
    A Gas furnace will start out at 200-300 Deg at the Heat exchanger then be at 90 coming out of the ducts.

    My pellet stove the temp of the air at the heat exchange is about 250-300 (depending on setting) right in my room.
    and I can feel the heat.


    I know for a fact if I wanted to stay as warm as I am now just using my Furnace I would spend over $300 per month x 4 months $1200 in LPG just for the season. I spend that a year in LPG for my hot water, Dryer, Cooking, and a few times turning on the furnace to quickly heat up the house in the inbeetween season.

    and my house would be 72 deg but I would still feel cold.

    The past 8 years (current house) I have used 3 tons of pellets. so that cost is $810 per year at my current pellet price.
  21. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    I would expect a stove would be a bit more efficient than a central furnace.

    It is a space heater - so if you put it where you spend most of the time (e.g. living room), and accept that areas further away from the stove will be cooler, you should need less BTUs.

    That is, you take advantage of the fact that you want the living room at 20C, but are OK with the bedrooms being a bit cooler, say 18C.
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