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Quadra Fire Mt Vernon AE

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Galroc, Jan 8, 2008.

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  1. Galroc

    Galroc Member

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    I am in the process of purchasing a Quadra Fire Mt Vernon AE from a local dealer called Enchanted Fyreside in Worcester, MA http://www.enchantedfireside.com/

    My house is 2700 sq feet in Massachusetts. It is well insulated but I am currently adding a second layer of insulation in the attic (an addition R-30). The house has large amount of windows, but they are the kind with double glass.

    There is theory and then there is practice...

    First Theory:
    Here are some calculations on whether the Mt Vernon AE has enough output to heat my house.

    I use about 180 gallons of oil/month during winter.

    140,000BTUs/gallon of oil = 25200000BTUs/month

    Assuming 8000BTUs/lb for wood pellets (since both are ~80% efficient, so that cancels out)

    25200000BTUs/month/8000BTUs/lb = 3150lbs of pellets/month

    3150lbs/40lbs/bag = 79bags/month

    79bags * $4.90/bag = $387/month to heat my house with pellets.

    That is basically 2 bags of pellets/day, which is easily doable by the pellet stove we are looking at (4 bags/day is about max for this stove).

    180 gallons of oil * $3.19 gallon =$574/month to heat my house with oil.

    $574 - $387 = $187 saved/month

    This assumes oil stays at $3.19/gallon for the future...

    Practice:
    That will have to wait until I get the stove installed :)

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Western Mass.
    Those calcs sound about right for that stove - a good one. If we want to get really tough, we can add the cost of the purchase, depending on what else the money would be doing, and also the cost for your labor and any outside service (cleaning the stove and vent) that are needed. My guess at those together are about $300 a year.

    You also have to know whether your DHW comes from the boiler, and therefore you may use a baseline amount of oil anyway.

    Space heat also saves over central heat (in many cases), so you may end up with a higher "delivered" efficiency.

    Most important, you will be happy (life, liberty and the pursuit of HAPPY).
    :coolsmile:
  3. BIGISLANDHIKERS

    BIGISLANDHIKERS Feeling the Heat

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    I'm paying about $3.50-$3.80 per bag for pellets...less if I get buy the ton. You may want to shop around and make sure you get the best deal. We like our Mt Vernon alot.
  4. Galroc

    Galroc Member

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    Thanks for the replies.

    I am hoping to get cheaper pellets, but the $4.90 price is a local price that I could find in massachusetts.

    Is the cold air kit worth buying if you have to drill through masonary?
  5. jmlarson

    jmlarson New Member

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    Were do you live that you get pellets cheaper then 3.80 a bag. i would be buying a ton for sure.

    Also i have an AE and love it so far. still adjusting and playing with it though. i do not have an outside air kit on mine but thought of adding one. i believe you could just use like dryer vent or PVC piping. probably cheaper then what the dealer wants for a kit.
  6. Galroc

    Galroc Member

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    I found a nice post on whether it is worth getting a OAK, and it looks like it is, even if I have to drill through masonry.

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewreply/137116/

    The other thing I found is room humidity is better because you are not pulling in colder and dryer air from the outside to replace the moist air inside that just went up the chimney.

    That is a big deal since my wife has issues with really dry air in the winter.
  7. jmlarson

    jmlarson New Member

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    gotta keep the Mrs. happy. maybe i better invest in one as well.
  8. Philip

    Philip New Member

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    I have outside air to my stove and run two humidifiers to keep the humidity in the house at or near 60 percent. When it gets down into the 20s outside, the humidifiers can't keep up and inside humidity drops to the low 50 percent range.
  9. jmlarson

    jmlarson New Member

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    The ideal inside humidity is 35 to 40 percent.
  10. Philip

    Philip New Member

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    The humidity meter on my thermometer (I know it has a name I just forgot what it is) says the normal range is 50-70 percent, 25-50 is dry and below 25 is very dry so we try to keep it in the normal range year round. About 15 years ago when we were heating with a wood stove and didn't have a humidifier, the inside humidity got so low that the solid pine dining room furniture began to split on the ends.
  11. Dougsey

    Dougsey Feeling the Heat

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    Phillip, Don't you get a lot of condensation on your windows with your humidity at 60%?
  12. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    Phillip is from Alabama. They practically BREATH water down there! The humidity is so high in the summer you can actually see it! LOL!

    I think the condensation thing really has a lot to do with how air tight your house is and what type of windows you have. Our kitchen still has the old metal framed casement windows and they sweat when every other window in the house is bone dry. I consider sweating windows a window problem rather than a humidity problem but that could be because I'm southern too and like it above 50% humidity myself. ;-)
  13. Philip

    Philip New Member

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    You're right, Peggy, we are used to high humidity during the summer. In the 1980's we had a huge soapstone woodstove and it was really dry in the house all winter long. After the second chimney fire, we sold the wood stove and installed a couple of infrared vent-free gas heaters and we had a lot of condensation on the single-paned windows, but not on the windows that had storm windows on them. Then in 1991 we installed a Mendota vented gas fireplace and the condensation problem went away. Now that we're heating with the pellet stove we find that if the humidity gets below 50% we have a real problem with static electricity so we try to keep it above 50%. And most of the time it takes both humidifiers (about 4.5 gallons in 24hrs) to do that.
  14. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

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    Obviously oil furnaces need to get serviced annually also. I think every two years is the norm for gas furnaces .... so it may be a bit more expensive for annual service for the pellet stove but only marginally so.

    The Tech from fireside was somewhat ambivalent about the OAK. He didn't mention the humidity problem, just problems regarding blocked air intake during heavy snow and critters who like to come live up in there.

    I am curious about the theoretical efficiency of using unheated air for combstion as opposed to air that I already paid to heat plus the inherent negative air pressure created.
  15. Jabberwocky

    Jabberwocky New Member

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    I'm tracking you in everything except sq footage. Mine is about 1600 sq footage and I'll be burning 5 tons for sure this year. During that sub freezing spell the stove was taking two whole bags per day to produce 74 degrees in the living room, 72 in the adjoining rooms and 69 upstairs.
  16. lazyacres

    lazyacres New Member

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    NE Washington
    There are a couple of considerations regarding a change from an oil burner to a pellet stove of any type that haven't been covered, I don't think.

    1) Many insurers will not accept a pellet stove as the primary heating source or will force a modification of coverage. The reason given is that a pellet stove cannot operate unattended for any appreciable amount of time. If the homeowner has to leave for a day or so, there's no more heat for the house. Water pipes or liquid stores could freeze, causing damage.

    2) Very related to #1, but on a more personal level: if you use a pellet stove as a primary heat source, you're really tied to the house. Taking time away from the house during winter could prove ulcer-inducing as you fret over what's happening back home.

    We use several heating sources for our home. It's in a remote area and rather large (5200 ft of floor space). Until we can afford to install a geo-thermal, centralized system (our ultimate goal), we heat the place with a combination of wood, pellets, propane, and electric. Costs a pretty penny. Each has advantages and drawbacks, of course. Wood is abundant, but we only have a few acres of trees and local costs per cord have gone up to $220 for tamarack. Electric keeps getting more and more expensive, even though our coop buys right from the BPA--hydroelectric--and our power is basically run right from a generation plant ten minutes away. Propane is at $2.45/gallon now. Pellets can be gotten for about $195/ton. Like wood, pellets present a storage and distribution issue.

    Fortunately, unlike most of our neighbors, we have soil deep enough and of enough volume to eventually install geothermal and use a combination of wood and electric to transfer the makeup heat. The cost of running a pump, blowers, and makeup heater should still appreciably lower our heating bills.
  17. MainePellethead

    MainePellethead Minister of Fire

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    I do agree on the "primary" heat source of it all. I would never "replace" my furnace with a pellet system. I use my pellet stove as a primary since I purchased with a furnace for back up. Its very cost efficient for us to use pellets right now...but would never have as a primary. In fact in the future would like to add a gas stove or fireplace.
  18. moralleper

    moralleper New Member

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    Our pellet stove is our primary heat source. Granted I live in the NW so our winters are not super cold maybe 20's at night for a week or too. we do have baseboard heat but we have never turned it on since living in the house, 4 years now. the only other heat source we use is an electric radiator heater upstairs for the kids room.
  19. Galroc

    Galroc Member

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    Loc:
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    I stopped by the dealer yesterday to add a Outside Air Kit to my older (~$135). The Mt. Vernon AE isn't in yet.

    I decided to get the OAK because I have a large stove vent (1200CFM) that can really withdraw air from my house, even after opening a window nearby.

    Now, I am looking at punching a 3" hole through two-layers of masonary. I am extremely handy, but I don't have a hammer drill. I assume people use a hammer drill with the appropriate masonry hole saw. Is that the best method? I do have an air powered chisel available, but I figure that would be too brutal on the surrounding masonry.
  20. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    FYI the OAK-3 for the Mt Vernon AE does NOT come with the 3" flex hose. You will want to get some from the dealer or go to the hardware store and get some 3" flex dryer duct.

    For the hole, you will need a hammer drill and a masonry bit. I don't know of a "hole saw" bit for masonry, we always just mark the hole out and drill a bunch of holes in a circle then chisel out the middle with the pure hammer mode on the drill (no rotation). Usually people call it "coring" a hole in the concrete.
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