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What I was told at the fireplace store

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by dave11, Jul 10, 2008.

  1. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    I have a large, old masonry fireplace that I want to convert to either NG, wood, or pellets. I visited a local FP shop, very large, and was told the following:

    1. There is no difference among the brands Heat&Glo;, Quadrafire, or Heatilator, as they are all made in the same factory, so buy whichever has the better deal. This particular dealer sold certain models of the first two only.

    2. There is no cost advantage to using wood or pellets, as their cost is rising with the cost of gasoline, and their installation cost is higher. The cost savings that remain are offset by the work involved. So everyone should be using gas except those who have cheap/free wood.

    3. The risk of fire and liability is somewhat higher with wood stoves, both to the installer and the homeowner, compared to NG.

    Clearly, I was being led, but I was wondering if those here would like to agree or not with any or all of these sentiments.

    Thanks.

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  2. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    Huh! I'm shocked...no difference between brands. But they all have different efficiency ratings.

    My only comment is that if you have to buy wood...do you really save money? It's been so long since I've bought fuel oil 20+ years... I dunno. As far as pellets go I think the salesperson may be wrong cause they're made from waste material....so imo they'll be the most competitive.

    Western Pa is remote I'm thinking you can get wood at a reasonable price or consider burning coal...still has to be less expensive than nat. gas or LP...and it might be worth the ride to hear what other stove dealers are recommending.
  3. Jay777

    Jay777 New Member

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    Well I'm sure different people have different reasons for going to wood..

    In my case, I've been told that a cord is about 125 gallons of heating oil. So let's call it $280/cord should save me $500/125-gal at current prices, so every cord burned saves $200 in rounded down numbers. Of course, if oil prices go up, any cords I stack now save extra money on top of that.

    Obviously even with bought wood there's a lot of work going into it.. stacking, hauling, stoking, cleaning ash, etc. So it's more a work-for-money arrangement where I make a few extra bucks an hour for moving wood around :)

    But the most important thing for me is self-sufficiency. If something happens in the world and there's no heating oil available for a period, I can still heat my house. If I run out of wood, I can still cut down trees (though okay, I don't have a chainsaw at the moment :) but I do have a maul, etc.). And, eventually, I can get several YEARS ahead on my heating needs.

    For what it's worth, I also have a solar oven, a number of kerosene lamps, several barrels of water... I'm a suburban survivalist :)
  4. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    And if gas is not available? Sounds like a lot of smoke and not much help.

    What do you want as a final product?
  6. Jay777

    Jay777 New Member

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    Hmm.. that comparison seems to indicate 25M BTU for a cord of hardwood, and 15M BTU for 100 gallons of oil (with the same efficiency for the furnace). So that would be about 165 gals = 1 cord, so saving even more. Of course, the house is set up to heat the space more efficiently with oil, so I have no problem downgrading that back to 125 gals to be conservative.
  7. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Hi everyone. Thanks for the thoughtful replies. I admit I was surprised by what I heard the salesman say, but I'm sort of new to this alternative-heating world, and wanted to hear what others had to say.

    Does anyone know if it's really true that Quadrafire, Heat&Glo;, and Heatilator are all made in the same place? I had heard good things about Quadrafire, but this particular shop only sold gas inserts from Heat&Glo;, and I was told there was no difference.

    As for the wood vs. pellets. vs NG, I can't say much, because I've never heated with wood or pellets. So I don't know how bothersome the extra work would become. I like the self-sufficiency aspect, and the lower cost, and so I still might try it. The salesperson sure seemed against it though.

    I will definitely visit some other shops.
  8. myzamboni

    myzamboni Minister of Fire

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    If you do go wood(not pellets), you better get going on getting some or you will have a frustrating winter trying to burn green wood.
  9. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Dave, before you jump right off the deep end into the wide wonderful world of woodburning, take some time to learn about all the ramifications. It really takes a lot of work and a personal comittment/love for it, or else you'll hate it. NG is so incredibly convenient...flip the button on the thermostat, and you're done. Heating with wood, even pellets, isn't nearly so simple as that. It goes far beyond just the "cost comparator"...it's your time, and your effort, and how you choose to spend them. Rick
  10. bartlett920

    bartlett920 New Member

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    As far as the pellets I know about Jan. and Feb. people are scrambling around in Kansas trying to find them every year. If you did decide to go pellet I would go Multi Fuel stoves because you can always find corn even though the price maybe higher!
  11. Girl

    Girl New Member

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    I have lived in two places that heated via natural gas even though it was a long time ago, heating with wood a lot less if my memory serves me right.
    I get so much satisfaction heating with wood and if I move from here it will be a major adjustment not just pocketbook wise, I love wood burning.
  12. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Definately do some leg work. I hit 3 semi local stores, got lucky at the 3rd (3rd times the charm, so they say :p)

    I started scouting the net, then ended up here. Got ALOT of info.

    The first stop left me very [​IMG], so I kept reading here.

    My second stop was [​IMG]. I read here more, and asked a couple of questions.

    3rd stop [​IMG]

    It'll come to you, like a door, opening and closing :p
  13. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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  14. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    shogun , that was probably the most entertaining post ive seen yet, love the smilies bro ;)
  15. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Dave if you like paying yourself for exercise then go with wood. Don`t be fooled though, wood heat will spoil you rotten. Once you start enjoying that constant heat you won`t ever be happy with anything else. The other "problem" with wood heat is that you will soon get used to 75-80 degree temps and won`t want to settle for anything less in the winter. Kinda sucks, huh?

    Seriously, I am in my sixties and will never enjoy any other kind of heat. But then again, like most of the other (nut cases) on this forum, I also enjoy the work involved with splitting , stacking, and most important of all--when that is done--like the rest of the crazies here, I go constantly to my wood piles and just look at them with admiration. :)

    So if you want to be independent, and save tonnes of money, then by all means, welcome to the loonie wood bin. :-S
  16. dave11

    dave11 Minister of Fire

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    Thanks everyone for the suggestions. And thanks to Eileen for the inspiring emoticons.

    I'll visit some more shops tomorrow.
  17. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    If they are all the same then why be in business of selling them, comodity sellers have no control over price!
  18. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Ah, I gave this MUCH thought

    Mike before you read further, you need to have a camera handy for when you read the next line. Please. Trust me. I want a pic. I really do. Of your face, or atleast the recorded laughing !



    *insert needed pause here***




    Mike, my name is Eileen. (I wish I had a camera)

    [​IMG]

    Shogunjack is my 28 YO Quarter Horse gelding.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Glad you like the emoticons [​IMG]
  19. joustinghill

    joustinghill New Member

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    Heh! Nice to see another horsewoman here. Was starting to think I was the only girl around.

    I imagine this picture will explain my username. :)

    Attached Files:

  20. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Oh, how cool !!! I have friends who do the jousting thing !!! Mostly western pleasure here.

    I have 2 other mares, both paints.

    I'm waiting for a thread on "Post A Pic Of Your Truck" [​IMG]
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    In some ways, that dealer told the truth - when it comes to wood or pellet against Nat Gas - Pellets can often be more money when everything is figured in, and it does take a lot more work. Wood can save money, but it takes work......

    As to those brands, they are all made by the same company...but, they are made to serve various markets. For instance, only Quad makes pellet stoves - and Quad does not make cheapo builder grade fireplaces (like Heatilator).

    I think you have to take one step at a time - narrow it to the fuel you want to burn, and then start thinking about the brands.
  22. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Eileen, you don't have to wait, nor do you have to hijack Dave's thread...there's a whole forum here called "The Perfect Picture" where you can start your own thread with pictures of your truck, or your horse's butt, or anything (well, almost anything) else you want. Of course, finding at least some obtuse relationship to woodburning is a plus. There's a thread on there filled with pics of folks' tractors, one filled with pics of folks' woodpiles, and on and on. Rick
  23. skamp

    skamp New Member

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    Sonnyinbc your my hero. Your mindset is what I hope mine will be at your age. I have exercised since I was young guy I love all kinds. When I used to hunt deer I loved the exercise I got from hiking around. So anyways your my new hero. ;-)
  24. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    No hijack intended, my apologies if it came off that way.

    Once you start talking horse, well, I guess it's like talking stove, boiler, or insert.

    They are both an addiction :)
  25. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    thanks for the warning , i would have painted your gelding with crown. im still laughing!

    pleasure is all mine Eileen nice to make your aquaintence

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