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Should I go pellet or gas?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by sksmass, Mar 6, 2013.

  1. sksmass

    sksmass Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    Western MA
    I want to utilize an existing basement fireplace by putting in a new insert. I have the opportunity to either go with a pellet insert or go with a natural gas insert.

    My main heating source is natural gas hot water baseboard supplemented by a Woodstock Soapstone woodstove on the main floor.

    I've been reading these boards and I hear about the hassles of cleaning pellet stoves. But at the same time a unit like the Quad Mt Vernon produces a lot of heat. And I like the idea of a 3rd source of heat (multiple redundancy with gas/wood/pellet).

    On the other hand, natural gas inserts seem pretty low-maintainence and there is no hassle with storing and loading solid fuel. They also seem less expensive (for the unit anyway). But they don't seem to throw as much heat.

    Advice would be much appreciated.

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  2. rickwai

    rickwai Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2011
    Messages:
    289
    Loc:
    ohio
    pellet insert is going to require cleaning, hauling pellets, dust ect. If you are thinking about a pelllet stove be prepared for the weekly maintance. Another concideration is fuel cost. Natural gas in OH is the cheapest to heat with and price should stay down due to a abundant supply. I wish I had NG!!
  3. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
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    1,789
    Loc:
    central ct
    What do you use the basement for? is it finished?

    is your gas line plumed in from the street, or is it tank/delivered?

    pellet stoves are space heaters. if you're looking to do more than 'heat the basement while you're in it' you may be disappointed.
  4. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

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    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    781
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    If it were me I would add another zone off the boiler for the basement and go with a gas insert. You already have another source of heat in your woodstove should you need it. If I had a relatively inexpensive form of heating I would rarely use my pellet stove. Why? Because it requires some effort cleaning dumping pellets etc.., you can turn up a thermostat with a reaching broom.
  5. Sir_Lancelot

    Sir_Lancelot Member

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2010
    Messages:
    15
    Loc:
    SW Ontario
    I have a forced air electric furnace with an ECM motor that costs a fortune to run. So instead of heating my house with it, I have a pellet stove in my finished basement and a woodstove upstairs. Although they keep my place nice and warm, if I ever had the opportunity to install natural gas, I wouldn't hesitate for a moment to install a high efficiency natural gas furnace. Some people may not mind the work involved with a pellet or wood stove, but I can think of things that I'd rather be doing with my time instead. Also, I don't know what the insurance companies are like in your area, but in mine it's a pain to find a company that will even insure you if you have a pellet or woodstove. Even if you do find one, they charge you an extra premium on your policy. As such, you may want to check with your insurer as part of your decision making process (probably not an issue considering you already have a wood stove). Good luck with whatever you decide to do.
  6. JoeS

    JoeS Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    483
    Loc:
    Maryland
    If I had it to do over again I would go with NG.
  7. imacman

    imacman Guest

    If you can find out what the average price of pellets are in your area, and the price of the NG, plug them into this calculator and you have a pretty good idea which is cheaper to BURN.

    Then, take into consideration the time involved in maintaining the pellet stove (going to get the pellets, carrying them around, cleaning the stove, etc), vs no real maint. for the NG stove.

    http://pelletheat.org/pellets/compare-fuel-costs/
  8. Ironhorse74

    Ironhorse74 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2009
    Messages:
    206
    Loc:
    The Great Pacific North Wet
    I rep both gas hearth products and pellet products. In my humble opinion, pellet products are for people who do not have natural gas. Cost of operation and maintenance is much less for gas.

    Peace

    Brad
  9. jvanase

    jvanase New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2012
    Messages:
    34
    Loc:
    Northern CT
    I've heated my entire house from the basement this year. :) I'm not disappointed in the least. But brian is right, results may vary.
  10. gfreek

    gfreek Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Beautiful Attica/Varysburg,New York
    Wish I had that choice... Natural Gas....
  11. Mike D

    Mike D Feeling the Heat

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    Nov 7, 2008
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    Loc:
    North Haven, CT
    I'm not an expert, but don't forget that you can't run your pellet stove without electricity. Not sure if this will impact the gas stove - I believe you can run it without power, just the blower won't work.
  12. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Northwestern CT.
    Ease of use has to give gas an advantage. But like big oil, Will the price skyrocket once its number one? Options are good and having the ability to bounce between pellet-gas-wood has to be a plus?
    Mr. Spock likes this.
  13. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    911
    Loc:
    Southeast PA
    Natural gas.
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    If I had NG, I wouldn't even know what the heck Pellets were..
    Brokenwing likes this.
  15. sksmass

    sksmass Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Western MA
    Thanks for the opinions folks. The feedback seems pretty conclusive.
    Overwhelming advice to go NG over pellet if starting from scratch.

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