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We're buying our first pellet stove sooon...what would you buy?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Dee Can, Nov 22, 2013.

  1. Dee Can

    Dee Can New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Here are the specs...

    1. We want it soon (yes, it's cold)
    2. We have a fireplace in the living room and can install it there but eventually we want to set it up right in the family room but we do not have the patience to wait for an install right now so we will probably put it in the living room and use the masonry there to vent it. We know that a chimney liner will be necessary and we can install that. We will move it after the season is over so it needs to be a free-standing unit.
    3. We have a wood stove insert in the finished basement so we only need to heat around 2000 sq ft (open floor plan with a small second floor - 2brms)
    4. We were looking at used units but we can't mess with units that need repairs right now. We are very mechanically inclined though and are not afraid to service the unit ourselves.
    5. We would like a hopper that could get us through 48 hours at a slow burn because we go away overnight occasionally.
    6. We can pick up a unit if necessary
    7. We are in CT
    8. We know that we need pellet storage - not a problem
    9. We're willing to buy a refurb if it has a warranty
    PLEASE GIVE ADVICE!! Husband wants to order a unit from Lowes or Home Depot but I'm not sure we would get a quality product for the money. I know that TSC, BJs and Costco sell them also.

    Thanks!!
    Dee

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  2. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    352
    Loc:
    poconos pa
    IMHO I would buy a Harman.
    They are Gold Standard as far as I'm concerned about pellet stoves.
    They allow for the longest time between cleaning of most stovves.
    I Have to shut mine down about once every month to month and a half to clean it out.
    Many other's are only a week needed between cleanings.

    That being said...if you want to goto Lowes or Home Depot...then I would get an Englander Pellet Stove which has the best Customer Service in the world right here on these forums..
    Those stoves are great....But require a little more cleaning and fussing over it. Any time you have an issue with an Englander stove..Mike Holton who works for Englander frequently checks these forums
    and will give you any help you might need.

    I would peruse the forums some and look up some of the threads about different brands etc.
    (I'm a diehard Harman Fan).
    newbieinCT, kinsmanstoves and Dee Can like this.
  3. 2011 GT/CS

    2011 GT/CS New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 31, 2013
    Messages:
    45
    Loc:
    Lehigh township, Pa
    I totally agree with what was mentioned above. I have a harman put and an England stove works. The harman is the way to go..
    newbieinCT and Dee Can like this.
  4. maineah1214

    maineah1214 New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2013
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    Maine
    harman or quad. harman if you like to tinker with settings, quad if you don't want to be bothered.
    Jack Morrissey and Dee Can like this.
  5. hockeyfan

    hockeyfan Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2011
    Messages:
    39
    Loc:
    Western MA
    Whatever stove you decide on (and I agree with the previous recommendations), try not to be in a rush. Mistakes can be made rushing, especially this time of year when demand is high, and the weather is cold.

    Carefully assess what stove you need, and not just what may be in stock or what price may be economical. Stove placement is really important (it looks like you've considered some of that) and it's also important to choose a stove BTU output that best fits your home's size and floor plan.

    In my opinion, if you have to burn a few more weeks of oil/gas/propane or whatever your current heating system is using to get the pellet stove purchase right, so be it. Better that than buying a stove that is underpowered for your situation or that turns out to be unreliable in the long run.

    Good luck on your purchase!
  6. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2009
    Messages:
    1,906
    Loc:
    central ct
    A free-standing unit can never be an insert and vice versa.... At least I've never seen one. You may be able to use a free-standing unit out and away from the chimney and use the chute as the vent path though, but there's probably not enough room to balance it on the hearth, so you'll be jetted out in to the room on a hearth pad anyway. Might as well just chose your destination and do it. It's 1 drill through a wall. will be cheaper in the long run too (can't use liner pipe as free standing pipe really) and that's a few hundred bucks. Plus, you need to get the install certified for CO from the city via building permit most likely too, another cost you'll have to do twice or risk not being covered if your house burns down.
    If you're planning to use it as main heat, you'll want at least a 2-bag (100 lb) hopper for 48 hours. Low probably won't keep the place 'warm' but that won't matter if you aren't there... it should keep it from freezing. I still would recommend keeping a back up thermostat on 55* to ensure you don't lose pipes.
    Dee Can likes this.
  7. The Grintch

    The Grintch Member

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    Apr 4, 2013
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    139
    Loc:
    North Attleboro
    Harman
    Dee Can likes this.
  8. Fundy

    Fundy New Member

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    Oct 30, 2013
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    N.S. Canada
    After watching this forum for some time speaking with others that had pellet stoves and then going to the big box hardware stores and my local dealers I bought a HARMAN. I'm what you might call thrifty and I still ended up with a Harman even though it cost a bit more up front I believe in the long run I will be ahead.
    My new stove will be delivered on the 27th of this month and only time will tell if I made the right choice.
    newbieinCT and Dee Can like this.
  9. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    1,013
    Loc:
    Upstate, NY
    ...Harman...American made, well designed , burns ANYTHING ( low grade pellets) I also recommend hooking it into your central heating system..no hot spots...cold corners
    Dee Can likes this.
  10. IHATEPROPANE

    IHATEPROPANE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 24, 2011
    Messages:
    1,336
    Loc:
    NoPellettons, MA
    Harman's are good but I would buy the Enviro M55....it is very important....even more important than what brand that you buy from a good dealer.

    The Englander stoves that you see at Home Depot are the BEST bang for your buck IMHO.

    I believe there is a hopper extension for the M55 and the Harman P series...that should get you the 48 hours needed.....there is a Englander that has a 120lb hopper that could do it as well.
    newbieinCT, DevinM88 and Dee Can like this.
  11. Dee Can

    Dee Can New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2013
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Wow, you guys are VERY responsive!

    I guess that means you love your pellet stoves!

    I just found the coupon offers from the Quad and Harman websites for $100 off and a dealer who will match the offer. So with the tax credit that's $500 off.

    Are Quad an Harman divisions of the same company? Their offers look identical.

    We've got oil heat and we have been trying really hard not to buy any more so we can apply the savings to the pellet stove purchase so I understand that we should not rush into anything. (but of course we have the tax credit expiring at the end of Dec)

    What about a used Quad or Harman? Are there any you would avoid? Older than a certain age?

    Who would you call to install a used stove so you could be sure it was safe?
  12. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    983
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I would suggest only installing it once. Youll be spending a lot more money on installing it twice then you would have just waiting for a dealer to do it.
    becasunshine and Dee Can like this.
  13. sante fe

    sante fe Member

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    Sep 28, 2011
    Messages:
    178
    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie ny
    New Harman 52i insert here. Its the best, couldnt be happer.
    newbieinCT and Dee Can like this.
  14. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

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    352
    Loc:
    poconos pa
    One thing I do know is that anyone who buys a Harman rarely complains about their stove.
    Dee Can likes this.
  15. DevinM88

    DevinM88 Member

    Joined:
    May 3, 2010
    Messages:
    10
    Loc:
    Western MA
    I agree with IHATEPROPANE, the Enviro M55 is a great multi-fuel stove. Absolutely love it! I have the extended hopper, and it can last 4 days (holds 4 full bags).
    newbieinCT and Dee Can like this.
  16. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
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    Loc:
    poconos pa
    I dont understand this ...I have a harman and never tinker with the settings..its set it and forget it.
    brokenknee, Jacques909 and Dee Can like this.
  17. Cincinnati Kid

    Cincinnati Kid Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Cincinnati
    Yes, Harmans and Quad's are divisions of the same company HHT.
    Dee Can likes this.
  18. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

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    1,138
    Loc:
    millinocket, north central maine
    just reading on the m55. claims to be the quietest stove in the industry.
  19. jgrz0610

    jgrz0610 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 13, 2011
    Messages:
    158
    Loc:
    Eastern CT, Andover
    It used to be before the blower upgrade...now mine is kind of loud.

    A M55 insert will not go 48 hours unattended in CT. I have one and I need to fill it twice per day. The ash pan is small if you are burning ashy pellets as well. I LOVE my stove and wouldn't get a different one but you may want to look at a Harman for your needs.
  20. Micmann

    Micmann New Member

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    Loc:
    Eastern MA
    I have a Harman that has been cranking for 12 years with no major mechanical issues and gives great heat. It will burn crap and good quality pellets. Not that you can get the same performance from crap or good out of the stove, just that it will digest and poop out you feed it without regurgitating as some stoves might. They're easy to repair if necessary and parts are readily available. The P series holds a ton of ash before needing to be emptied. Some stoves need the ash tray emptied very often which can be an annoyance. As mentioned they do have hopper extensions. I would repeat buy a Harman again in heart beat.
    newbieinCT and Rastallama like this.
  21. becasunshine

    becasunshine Minister of Fire

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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Va
    Dee Can, this is one of the very best forums on the interwebs- the community is GREAT. :)

    We do love our pellet stoves. :) Some of the members have multiple stoves, some have multiple types of stoves- different brands, multi-fuels, and some use a combination of wood stoves and pellet stoves. There are gas stove people on the forum as well.

    Our insurance company requires a professional installation. We used a local stove shop.

    Best wishes to you with your new stove, and welcome to the forums! :)

    P.S. Love the avatar, but sooner or later you're gonna have to post a picture of
    a. Your stove
    b. Your dog
    c. Your cat
    d. Your cat and/or your dog in front of your stove.

    :)
  22. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
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    29,071
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Most certified chimney sweeps do stove installations.
    newbieinCT likes this.
  23. becasunshine

    becasunshine Minister of Fire

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    Central Va
    Brother Bart, that's really useful to know. ^^
  24. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The best stove shop here never has done installs. They refer a couple of sweeps. For the last 40 years.
  25. Nick of PA

    Nick of PA New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 18, 2013
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    central pa
    I've had my heatilator eco-choice cab50 for a couple months now. Has worked flawlessly so far and VERY reasonably priced which was one of the selling points for me as this was my first stove. Simple design -high/med/low setting and adjustable feed gate inside the hopper.

    I looked at Englander, US Stove, Harman, Quad, Enviro, Lopi, Enerzone, Heatilator. From what I learned over months of reading this forum and talking to a few buddies of mine (most own Harman), all of these stoves except for US Stove and you really can't go wrong. I had it down to a P43 and the CAB50. I chose CAB50 because of price, btu output, size of hopper, and simplicity of design/operation. I realize I will be cleaning more than the Harman owners, however those things were important to me, and that was why I chose the CAB50. Comes down to the individual and what is most important.
    newbieinCT and IHATEPROPANE like this.

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