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think im burning too much

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by ad356, Sep 24, 2013.

  1. ad356

    ad356 Member

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    north java, ny
    i have a 1,500 sq ft farmhouse. i bought a harman P61 2 years ago. last season i burned 6-7 tons, isnt that a little much. granted it was an extremely cold winter, but i spent $1,400+ heating last winter. the dealer said i would be able to heat my home with 4 or 5 tons, that's not the case. the pellet stove is my only heat, but even burning that much i still had cold spots in the house. my home is also very old, built in 1895, its a great old farmhouse that has seen SOME updates; new windows, new drywall and insulation, ect; but im still burning ALLOT and not really as warm as it should be. is my stove running efficeintly, it puts out allot more heat then my prevous stove but then again its a much higher qaulity unit. i still dont think its putting out quite what it should, im not sure. i have been burning instant heat pellets

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  2. Paul Raz

    Paul Raz Feeling the Heat

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    I think the problem is your pellet choice. From what everyone here says instant heat are a bad pellet. The P61 is a great stove and should easily heat that house. Try a better grade pellet
    P38X2 likes this.
  3. serveprotect

    serveprotect Member

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    Unless you have a really tight newer house your gonna need btu's. Mine is around 2000 sf and same age and also has some updates. I burned 3 ton last year and used some oil too. It still will beat the cost of electric or oil.
  4. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    Can you tell us what settings you use and what your feed rate is set at?
  5. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    How much insulation in the attic? What type of foundation do you have? Is a rock foundation? If so is the floor insulated? Sounds to me like your loosing heat somewhere. Also, try a few bags of good pellets to see if it makes a difference.
    bill3rail and MikeNH like this.
  6. MikeNH

    MikeNH Member

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    +1 to that. I have an 1850 sqft house but it was built in 2002. I have the same stove as the OP (we only used the P61a last winter to heat) and used 2 ton from end of Dec to May, and that was with "crappy" NEWP. My neighbor has a P68 heating a house built in the1800s and went through a lot more pellets within the same time frame.
  7. dlehneman

    dlehneman Member

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    Definitely sounds like heat loss. My house is a ranch style, around 1500sq ft on the main level, built in the 1960's. Newer windows, blown in insulation on top of original in ceiling, R11 walls and I only went through 3 tons last year using the PAH stove exclusively for heating. I was using GS pellets last year, so nothing special.
  8. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    Hard to compare heating of a long hard winter to one of a normal winter. Older homes can still have insulation voids. Have you had a energy audit done?
  9. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Without having a heat loss analysis done, everything else is just guessing.
    bill3rail likes this.
  10. skibladerj

    skibladerj Member

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    I have a 1700sqft and burned 5+ tons... however the house wasnt tight at all and had some old single pane windows.
  11. foamit up

    foamit up Member

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    If it is a rock foundation, you probably want to insulate that foundation and rim joist area. Past clients say it makes a huge difference. Foamit UP
  12. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    instant heat are junk... that's why. you'd probably burn 4 of something good.
  13. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    if you don't already have an OAK (outside air kit) it's a safe bet that installing one will help regardless of any other issues needing addressing.

    proper insulation is still the best money to spend. and sealing leaks in the house is vital as well.
    but an OAK is pretty cheap, fast and easy. and it will have immediate effect.
    Last edited: Sep 25, 2013
  14. ad356

    ad356 Member

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    north java, ny
    well there arent allot of choices around here as far as pellets go... yes there are pellet available but allot of the pellets i hear being discussed here dont seem to be readily avialiable. instant heat pellets is the brand avialble at the stove store where i bought the harman, its less then 3 miles away. i can acutally just take the bonneville and load one 1/2 ton at a time, make two trips and that only equates to 12 miles total driven to pick up a ton. i do not own a pickup truck. as far as options, tractor supply usually carries crap. arcade lumber, they have what i consider to be a decent pellet, its dry creek pellets; then again i probably would have to pay to have them delivered. i dont know how dry creek pellets are rated. there is another place that sells appling county pellets, i tried a bad once they were the very worst pellet i have burned, pure trash. how are PA pellets ranked because those are readily avlialable. some of brands mentioned here i have never seen, for example barefoots.


    my home is an old farmhouse, stone foundation and all.i probably should insulate the "sill plate", where the foundation meets the joints. i did replace all of the windows in the house since i have lived here, all of the windows downstairs were very old single pane windows, now they are low E double pane windows. the front door is still original to the home, so that's a source of heat loss. the house had as much insulation stuffed into the walls as posible a couple of years ago, and while it helped we could only put so much insulation into the walls, the walls are plank so in allot of places there is not too much of a wall cavity. we would have to completely rebuild the walls to install more insualtion and then you loose interior space as well. it was an improvement at any rate.

    we have not had an energy audit done but we did what we could and have made some improvements. that's not to say there isnt room for more improvement.
  15. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    dry creek are not top of the line by any means, but they are infinitely better than instant heatless.

    Do you use plastic over some doors? I use it on my sliders... they leak like a sieve in the winter.... and my house was built in 1997!
  16. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

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    I know the pain of an old house. When we first moved in there was a gap all around the sill plate. Gooped up with canned foam. Insulated where we could. Had a bottle of pop between front door and door cozy and it froze solid overnight. Was finishing the wood work for the new front door and had a fire and burnt the house to a crisp. New home on ECF basement takes third-half the energy.
  17. Lousyweather

    Lousyweather Guest

    please, guys, the type of pellets aren't gonna make a dig difference to the OP here.....even at a 10% difference in BTU's per pound, it wont make a huge difference.....need to know more info...where's the stove located, how warm do you like your place, how well does air flow around in your home, etc......one of the biggest things you can do to help yerself is keep a clean stove.....
    stoveguy2esw and St_Earl like this.
  18. maple1

    maple1 Minister of Fire

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    Insulate your foundation the best you can, right up to the underside of your floors. That's likely where most of your heat is going - the rim joist area is one that is often overlooked but a major source of heat loss. Plus you must be getting a ton of air infiltration throught the stone foundation where it's above ground.
  19. ad356

    ad356 Member

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    i love the charms of my old home, its made out of wonderful planks and very heavy beams. sure its not sqaure, was built by farmers and not to any kind of code, but it some ways its amazing how well it has held up very well for its age. its lasted 110 years and probably will last another 100 years.it has outlasted many newer homes. it does have the disavantage of being built in a time of cheap energy, most people heated with firewood and it got cold out they just overfired the stove. that's kind of what the prevous owners did, they owned another property with 40 acres of woodland. there was a wood burning stove when we moved in, but it wasnt exactly safe. they overfired it repeatedly and had several chimney fires, the chimney was condemed as unsafe and i went to a pellet stove. i love my home and a $75,000 for a 1,500 sq foot home, a 900 sq foot barn, and 2 acres of property the price was right.

    maybe i could go get some insulation soon and insulate around the joist area. that probably would be a cheap upgrade a couple of insulation rolls maybe $40.
  20. ad356

    ad356 Member

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    i would also like to add that i had been using the lowest feed rate possible, now im starting to find out that is actually conter-productive and i might be able to get more heat and use less fuel with a higher feed rate. i think basically i want to burning pellets to be over the holes, in the burn pot??
  21. Harman Lover 007

    Harman Lover 007 Minister of Fire

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    As has been said here many times, the feed rate is a "set it and forget it" adjustment on a Harman. Click on the link in my signature if you haven't read this information already and follow the instructions and info there for optimum Harman efficiency.
  22. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    OAK if you don't already have one.
  23. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    I love old homes:) ,but there are gonna be trade offs insulate as well as you can you got a great stove :cool: load it up and let her rip.
  24. ad356

    ad356 Member

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    does an OAK make a difference in an old home? i thought it was intended for super air tight homes and to prevent the stove from consuming that air from inside the living space.
  25. AddictiveStew

    AddictiveStew Member

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    I have a 1901 Farmhouse and I believe the OAK would make a huge difference. Right now your stove is sucking air from inside the house for combustion. This creates a negative pressure that actually draws cold air into the house. With an OAK, it pulls that air in from outside and your stove can then create a positive pressure and "push" the heat into the house. My house has no insulation in the walls but it's 1800 sq ft and so far the 25-EP has been just fine heating the whole house on a moderate setting when it's under 40 degrees at night. The biggest bang for the buck I got was to insulate the attic to R-49! Insulating your walls doesn't have near the effect that insulating that attic will. You may want to see how much you have up there and add as much as possible. I also insulated the sills of my home (old stone foundation) and caulked around all of the windows. I used to have air just blowing right in!
    St_Earl likes this.

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