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what's the best pellet stove for a small apartment?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by trogers, Aug 9, 2010.

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  1. trogers

    trogers New Member

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    My dad has become a pellet stove fan after a few years of experiencing ours when he visits. They live in a 900 sq ft in-law that consists of a front-to-back kitchen & living room, 1 bedroom, and a bath. They would like a unit that can run well at low settings as there place is very well insulated. Has anyone out there installed a stove for this type of situation?

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    First thing I would look for is a very trusted dealer near them. Probably the biggest asset to the stove is quality service.

    That said there are many good small BTU stoves out there. The Enviro Mini stands out along with the St. Croix Lanchaster. I will give the Lancaster a plus because its a multifuel stove and will handle just about any pellet. Will burn other multifuels too!

    You can go with just about any stove that is between 30K and 40K BTU's. Please at least look at the multifuel feature. Even if you will not burn mutifuels, They do go longer between cleaning than the average pellet stove! And if Dad find a deal on some cheap pellets that are full of ash, You might be able to sleep a little knowing the stove will eat them and not fuss about it!

    Let us know what you decide to go with!
  3. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Look at what the low heat BTU rating is. A unit which is too big may only be able to scale down to 12,000 or so. 8000 btu will heat the apartment very nice once the area is up to temp. I carry The Regency Greenfire, which is theexact same stove as the Enviro Meridian and the Vista Flame VS100. Any of these three is great, you may also want to check out The quadra-fire Sante Fe, Enviro MINI and Empress, The Harman XXV, the Hudson River Saratoga, BOSCA Spirit (nice ;-) )...if you need more choices you'll never decide on anything.

    Some here on the forum may know how I feel about dealer service....I wouldn't rely on it as a total deciding factor, there are there are other options out there, :) ...besides, you have us here in the forum.
  4. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Lancaster is a corn stove. It requires a $300 adapter kit to multi-fuel and even with that it burn weird. The burn pot blows on this....go for the Pepin if you must have a St. Croix. It's the same stove and you will get the versa-grate. St. Croix has the dubious distinction of the worst service record for 3 years running according to my service records.
  5. jamesdjs

    jamesdjs Member

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    For small pellet stoves either the St Croix Pepin or the Enviro Mini. I have both but the St Croix is the one I have used the most. You can put a thermostat on both stoves and will burn high or low. I know the St Croix holds the temps pretty close with the thermostat attached.
    The St Croix is rated 35K btu for max output and the Enviro mini is 30K btu.
    The Pepin isn't made any more now they call it the Lancaster and is made for corn. As they said you can buy an adapter to burn pellets.

    In my three years with the St Croix I've put just about every type of pellet in it and never had a auger jam or any other type of problem.
    Keep it clean and it will treat you well.

    In your search make sure you look for a used pellet stoves also. You can get a good deal at a fraction of the cost of a new one. Check out www.craigslist.org do a search for pellet stove.

    Good luck in your endeavor.
  6. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Looking at the brand new lancaster, You only need to remove the side plate. This is a 2010 model I just saw. A friend has a small cottage on the lake. He's been looking at one and might pull the trigger soon! It has the similar burnpot installed in the SCF-050 furnace. Here is a qoute from the new manual(can't link it the site software drops stuff out!)
    I will also include pictures of the burn pot from the Manuals.

    Another nice little stove is the baby country side. See link: Lots of options on changing the appearance of this one!

    http://www.americanenergysystems.com/magnum-baby-countryside.cfm

    Of coarse we have the Enviro M55 now available in the cast version. Nice stove with rock solid dependability. You might have issue getting the cast version. Not yet available. But should be in the fall.

    Attached Files:

  7. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    In my earlier post I said Harman XXV I meant to say Accentra. My opinion of the Lancaster is still the same until I see some results, which may not be in for a year or two. I HAVE SEEN A LOT OF CREOSOTE PROBLEMS WITH THE LANCASTER BURNING WOOD FROM THE EARLIER DESIGN.
  8. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Agreed, Hard to trust something that has not been totally proven. Cute little stove though!
  9. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    The St Croix Pepinis no longer available... how about a Thelin Gnome?
  10. imacman

    imacman Guest

    The St. Croix Hastings is a nice "traditional" looking stove...35K Btu output, max.

    Yep, the Gnome is a real nice little stove too....27K Btu output, max
  11. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

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    that small an area i'd be looking hard for a thermostat controlled stove with "on/off" capability. our smallest unit is rated at 1500 sq ft and does not have on off capability with a stat , though the 25-EP does and would be a good fit with a stat. only downfall to the gnome (though its an excellent stove) is a small hopper capacity , i personally wouldnt want a stove which would not hold a full bag.
  12. krooser

    krooser Minister of Fire

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    My neighbor has a Gnome and has had it for several years...he's one of the reasons I bought a stove. It's been trouble free although they are a little noisy...
  13. trogers

    trogers New Member

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    Thanks for all of these answers! I'm going shopping with my dad this weekend and will be looking at the models referenced. I'll report back on what he goes with.
  14. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    I see you already have a Harman. They can run very low, lower than most at any rate. Why not look at something like the P38 or 43. Built like tanks, run great on low, very low maintenance. When its all said and done, the stove takes up as much room as the hearth pad (~36" x 36" for smaller units). So the overall "size" of the machine itself is relative (I know that some units take up less space, ie the Accentra FS, or the Enviro Mini, just covering bases). I agree with smwilliamson, look for low value on BTU range. You wont need much capacity to heat 900 sq ft, unless you like to leave the windows open, or never wear clothes.
  15. pelletdude

    pelletdude Feeling the Heat

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    http://www.stovekeeper.com/

    Check out Stove Keepers in Brookline, NH they are now an Enviro dealer and have been around for a long time. Very nice people.
  16. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    don't count out the Lopi Pioneer: It is a very underated small pellet stove. Since it's top speed hits about 28k btu, there is no need to "smolder" it on a low feed rate to keep it comfy (this will keep the glass cleaner, and not all smokey coming out of vent, less soot, etc). The big clamshell hopper holds 55lbs, huge ashpan, and the routine cleaning is very easy, no tools required other than an old paintbrush to sweep the ash down. It uses a more standard 3" vent, and the clincher: 18" clearance to windows/doors with the vent if using an OAK. (Harman is the only other stove co that has this spec, to my knowledge.) Most companies require 48".
  17. pelletdude

    pelletdude Feeling the Heat

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    Enviro can be installed within 18" of a window with the OAK.
  18. mnkywrnch

    mnkywrnch Minister of Fire

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    St croix can be installed within 18" of a window with an oak.
  19. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    I stand corrected. My rep must be talking out his ass.
  20. trogers

    trogers New Member

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    Thanks for taking the time to share this recommendation, but I've had some dealing with this shop back during the pellet stove rush of 2008. I tried to order an Accentra insert in 9/08, but said that they would not be able to get me one until 6/09...almost a year later. When I found one in another state, they refused to "allow" the guy to sell it to me. Apparently, the Harman dealer contract requires local dealer permission if you are going to buy one out of your area. To be honest, I never got to speak to the owner (although I tried to reach him many times), so I had to deal with a guy that worked the showroom/counter. He was a real toolbag, and I'm not sure he ever really spoke to the owner about my request. Either way, they did not earn our future business.

    Again, thanks for taking the time!
  21. imacman

    imacman Guest

    That's was just plain wrong of them, and I would feel the same way about them now as you do. The "pellet stove craze" caused MANY people to have to wait a LONG time for stoves, and that dealer should have done the right thing and signed the release.

    I'd be taking my business elsewhere too.
  22. trogers

    trogers New Member

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    In the interest of fairness, I wanted to update my last post. My Dad wanted to look at stoves today, so we went down to StoveKeepers because they have the Harman and Enviro. We spoke with the owner and he was pleasant to deal with and answered my dad's questions well. I'm not fully retracting my original statement, but our dealing today were pleasant. If dad ends up buying from them, I'll update my feedback on StoveKeepers.
  23. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

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    Just to be the devil's advocate here for a minute: the tool behind the counter may have been a douche, but the cross state sale thing was an issue back during the crisis of 08. We ran into it all the time.
    Biggest issue for the dealer was the service end. When someone cross sells into his territory, who do you think is gonna get the call for service work/ replacement parts? the guy you didn't buy from, probably, because you are not gonna lug that stove 4 hours outta state to go get it worked on at wherever you bought it. So lets say 3 months into this new stove, the ignitor fails. or the blower, or something ain't right. Who you gonna call? Probably the local dealer. And he's probably gonna charge you for the parts/service (because stocking parts aint cheap, guys don't work for free, and he only gets reimbursed at cost for a service call to a warranty issue - and that takes a couple weeks to get a "credit" not cash). Then you get miffed because this thing is supposed to have a warranty, right? Why is this guy charging you, or at the very least giving you low priority, when its on warranty? So the customer gets mad at the local dealer, places calls to the company, complains, and gives him a bad rep because its a big issue to get to a stove that was bought from someone else 100 miles away.
    So from his perspective: the other dealer gets to make all the gravy, and he's left w/ the drippings, the headaches, and the paperwork.
    Not to say that the dealer in question deserves your biz, just based on the described attitude alone, but thats why they have an issue with the cross state/territory sales.
  24. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    Dealers still abide by these weird geographical concepts. It must be because the economy is so slammin' awesome. It's not that they cannot sell anywhere that they want...cause they can and who's going to stop them, it's that no dealer is contractually obligated to provide service to anything that they haven't sold. I can understand a shop not wanting to deal with warranty headaches, especially on something they never made a dime off of during the sale. That said, manufacturers ought to get their head out of clouds and find a way to solve the problem without sticking it up the dealers ***...cause they do not make anything on warranty work and two, find a way to be consumer friendly so that you are not locked into buying from the "toolbag" jst because he is the only dealer in your service area....if he even services anything anyway.

    For years I have been trying to get all the majors to give me some respect and let me be a parts dealer for their respective brands...some do it, other will not. In the end, the brand suffers and the end user get's dis-serviced.

    Ok , I'm yelling again...I hope you get it worked out and get exactly what you want from the dealer that deserves your business. :lol:
  25. HeadhunterTom

    HeadhunterTom Member

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    Greetings Gurus of Pelledom!

    Alas my faithful asswarmer for the past 16 years will be departing our home on Saturday and going to work as a primary heat source in a new home. I had planned on replacing it with another self starting and self cleaning Rika Integra II. As that unit as well as its predecessor is overkill for heating the 300 S/F room it is in, I started to look for smaller units. I came upon this blog and like what I read about the Hudson River Saratoga. I have not been able to find any reviews on it so what say you all about it?
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