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Which Pellet Stove? Harman Vs Quadrafire Vs Ecoteck

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by CrowBean, Jul 1, 2011.

  1. CrowBean

    CrowBean Member

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    Hi guys. I am a newbie and obviously thinking of buying a pellet stove. Overview, I own a brand new Raised Ranch 2200sq ft, well insulated, finished basement in Cumberland Rhode Island. basement room is 28x20 with an opening up the stairs to the top floor. I am trying to figure out two options:

    1. put a pellet stove approximately 2200 sq ft in the basement and let the heat come upstairs
    -the problem is it would be really warm downstairs and we do the majority of our living upstairs in a wide open floor plan
    -plus a little electric heater can take care of that no problem

    2.put a pellet stove upstairs in the far corner so it heats the upstairs approx 1200 sq foot.
    - am also thinking of this as a 20 yr investment so if i expand (when i have children) i might need at least 1500 sq foot

    So i am already looking for advice on the two above options plus im having a hard time deciding on brands. I have looked at the ecoteck monica 1500 sq ft for 3600 dollars msrp, harman accentra for a similar price, harman xxv, harman p68, quadrafire classic bay, etc. i am trying to chose a model that will last the longest and be most efficient. Ecoteck has some cool features and has a very pretty flame (for the girlfriend).

    Thank you everyone for the advice in advance

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    There are many of us here that can say "heating from the basement is doable". But it will take some work to move the air. If your going with a stove, Go big!

    Lots of pellet furnaces out there. The absolute sure way to heat the whole shack! Be it boiler or forced air. More money up front, But far less aggravation's in the long run.
  3. CrowBean

    CrowBean Member

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    Thank you Jakeman for the response. i actually just dealt with a Wittus Dealer and he might have me sold. Similar to ecoteck but more btus for the buck. There is an EcoStar 35k btu, the dealer says the european ratings are probably a 10k btu difference (so should be 45k btu according to that measure). They also have ventable systems for alittle more money into my forced hot air system. any thoughts on this product?
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Buy from a good dealer and get something "YOU" like... Everyone may be a little bias. I like Quadrafire's.. I own a Classic Bay. But after 3 years, I am ready to get a more "Adjustable" stove (Draft, Agitator, on/off-Hi/Low feature).. I learned what I needed to know out of my very 1st pellet stove and I am completely impressed with it. BUT... I am the type that is never satisfied.. I can Always go bigger or better... But I do like to learn too. Quad's are VERY easy to run... If you have zero experience. It does not get any easier. Harman's are very easy too. The Ecoteck line makes a heck of a stove, but with little experience, there may be a big learning curve.

    I am not steering you away from the Ecoteck, I wish I would have bought a stove that could be tinkered with more. So it depends on your personality. Do you like to "Set it and forget it"? OR "Mess with it, and Tinker"?... I like to tinker and fine tune..... Everyone has a different perspective... You need your own... Listen to what you want to do.. What do you like to LOOK at. It will be in your home for awhile..

    Good luck and keep us updated... By the Way... The Enviro line of Stoves (j-takeman has one) is a VERY good model.. The Omega (if you can find one/dis-continued), Maxx-M, and the M55 (cast or steel) are all nice stoves.. I would take a look at them. If you have a dealer in the area.

    Last but not least.. Like Jay said.. Heating from the basement.. Go BIG on BTU's.. Big BTU's (At least 50,000) and move the air.. Hard to do (Very) but can be done... Need all the logistic's right... If you were closer I would offer you my Fahrenheit, for a Song and a dance".... Graet stove, but got a Better deal on a Killer wood-stove. With Wood all around, It makes it much cheaper.
  5. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    I sell the Ecoteck line and have the Francesca in my kitchen. Great stove. It is the same as the Monica just has metal side instead of the Majolica. Very peppy little stove, more heat than the Harman for a stove the same size. I little less efficient. The Accentra is easier to clean and it hold more pellets. The Ecoteck doesn't hold a full bag, only 35 lbs.

    Of all of the Ecotecks, the Veronica is the stove I like best. That's a 70,000 btu stove with air handling. It's really my favorite in the line but a bit too expensive. Wittus has some good stoves. Are you looking at the MCZ's? They are simular and work a bit better with the remote and thermostat etc...

    I'm not a big fan of the Harman Accentra free standing or the Advance, though I think the XXV may be one of the best stoves ever made.

    What Quad are you considering? I'm not a real big fan of the newer Quads, though for the money I think the Santa Fe is a great value in small stove and may be one of the best stoves on the market for user tolerance when it comes to day in and day out operation....and it takes about 1/2 to perform a full service, another great feature and you can toss Harman into that category too.

    Ecoteck, MCZ, EcoStar....much more complicated than you want to deal with if you are going to be doing the maintenance yourself. And you need a full set of metric tools!
  6. Cincinnati Kid

    Cincinnati Kid Feeling the Heat

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    I would suggest putting the stove where you spend most of your time (upstairs on the first floor). You can also purchase an additional stove for the basement.

    I have a small P-38 Harman in my basement and the Harman Accentra insert on my first floor. This scenario works very well.
  7. rona

    rona Feeling the Heat

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    I have been burning pellets or corn for 7 years and started out trying to heat both finished basement and main floor of a ranch home like you are planning. I started with a Harman PC45 in the basement but it wasn't enough heat. The following year I bought one of the first Mt Vernam AE's which was over 60,000 btus. That didn't work either because the basement was way to hot and main floor was still uncomfortable.
    The next step was the idea of buying two stoves and install one downstairs and one upstairs. At the time I could buy a new Bixby stove for 1700.00 but no warranty on E-Bay. I bought two figuring if something went wrong I could switch parts and keep one running.
    The idea worked real well and we found out that with most of our time being spent upstairs we don't turn the basement stove on unless the temp gets in the minus 20 range.
    In my situation timing was the key as I was able to sell both my Harman and the AE for what I had in them because there was a shortage of the stoves and the dealers had "jacked up" their new stove prices even more thus making a used stove worth more.
  8. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson Minister of Fire

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    It is best when using a zone heating application that you instal the heater in the area where you actually want the heat most. I have plenty of customers that heat a raised ranch with a stove int he cellar/ finished area of the house and the heat makes its way throughout the house...but in most cases, the downstairs room is used as a primary hang-out. Get your stove upstairs if you live upstairs the most.
  9. Vinelife

    Vinelife Feeling the Heat

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    Quad classic bay is very nice indeed..
  10. CrowBean

    CrowBean Member

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    Thank you for your reply. I am definitely a tinkering type of person. I think through all the posts that i am definitely gonna do the stove upstairs for now and when i go downstairs i can throw another stove in the future or a nice electric fireplace. How hard is it to clean a ecostar by wittus or francesa by ecoteck vs a harman accentra or xxv? also there are not alot of reviews on all these stoves. i research for hours to make the right decision. Does anyone have any experience with hearth and patio in warwick for a dealer??? they are offering 0 percent for 1 year right now [plus a free vac and cleaning after one year. oh and the guy is giving me a free hearth pad.

    Thank you everyone for your posts. they have all been outstanding. so the bottom line is i need to hear upstairs which has the open floor plan with approximately 1200 sq ft. WHATS the best stove in everyone's opinion for that scenario? i have quadrafire, ecoteck, harman, wittus dealers around me. plus i think those are the best rated.

    Thank you in advance
  11. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    Any of the above will serve you well. I wouldn't forget the Englander stoves. They have the best customer service around either by calling them or dropping the issue in here. Mike from Englander frequents this site and is very helpful.

    I have a Quad Castile and wish it wasn't as picky on pellets as it is. If I purchased tomorrow it would be a battle between Englander and Harman.
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    If heating from your upstairs. You wont need as many BTU's, as heating from downstairs... .. Go with a 30,000-50,000 BTU unit... Many are Bias on here.. If you want the "Easiest" stove to operate, that will function on a thermostat. Then go with a Quadrafire. Harman's have a "Built In" Thermostat in there system.. Its all in what you want and how the dealer treats you.. I still love my CB 1200!!! But...In the 3 yrs of operating it, I have learned a lot and want a stove that has more adjust-ability. The Quad heats my 2,200 sq ft Ranch on its Lowest setting (Unless its below 0 outside). So I could not be happier with it.

    Buy what you want.. Ecoteck makes a GREAT stove as does Harman..

    Good luck and cheers.. Hppy 4th.
  13. CrowBean

    CrowBean Member

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    Thank you for your reply dexterday.

    Also thanks for the information on the new englander stove. I believe the new englander is sold at our local lowes for like 1k (1500 sq ft model). Is it better to grab a new englander at that price vs a harman/quad/wittus at 3k? obviously the payback would be much quicker but i am also waying the aesthetics portion as well. i have a transitional/contemporary look inside my house and just want to match that up as well. Can you hook the new englander to a programmable thermostat?
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Yes... An Englander can be hooked to a Thermostat. There are 2 "New" Models of Englander now. The old design used a double auger system and was a Bottom Feed System (kinda like a Harman). But these 2 new ones incoperate a top feed system like most stoves. Where the pellets are feed up a chute and dropped down into the firepot.

    Here is the Englander 10-CPM Nice Multi-Fuel Stove http://www.englanderstoves.com/10-cpm.html

    Here is the New 25-Evolution Pellet Looks like a Quad CB 1200 http://www.englanderstoves.com/25-ep_i.html

    These new stoves they made, kept people from being stuck with just a "Black Box". The Black boxes work well. I have an old beast myself. But for people with a certain look in there home. These 2 new stoves will fit the bill. There is a Forum member who is installing the new 25-EP into his home. Here is that Thread http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/76121/

    Like Countryboymo said, Englander Customer Service is 2nd to none.. I am currently looking into buying the Multi-Fuel 10-CPM.. Hope some of this helps..
  15. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    The models you mention are all decent especially the Harman. Based on your comments you are looking for a pellet appliance that 1) looks nice 2) Can distribute the heat throughout the house 3) some serious BTU.

    The Enerzone Euromax may fit the bill... http://enerzone-intl.com/product.aspx?CategoId=5&Id=549

    Its 70,000 BTU, it's a bottom feeder similar to Harman and the nice thing with this unit is there is a kit for a small distribution system where you can duct your heat around your house. It retails for about $3,800
  16. CrowBean

    CrowBean Member

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    Thank you I am gonna look into those models.
  17. CrowBean

    CrowBean Member

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    That was a nice looking stove. It was only 77% efficient though. The wittus is 91% efficient.
  18. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    This is where I really hate to do this kind of posting.... Burn time, coverage, cu ft and many other specs have to be taken with a grain of salt... It would be fantastic if the 'baseline' was really hard coded so everyone is talking about the same thing but, unfortunately that is not always the case.

    I'll try to explain. North American Manufacturers for the most part have to follow the EPA protocol to establish efficiencies. It takes into consideration Fuel/air ratio. NA standards also requires a minimal flue temp in order to avoid condensation (creosote). In Europe, standards to determine efficiencies follow a different protocol. In Europe it is possible to buy a pellet appliance which is almost 100% efficient, they also have condensation recuperators and are typically more expensive. There's also other efficiency measurement you can state (LHV vs HHV) but you get the point...

    A BTU is a BTU not sure what your dealer is saying regarding European BTU. The BTU stated by all manufacturers are 'input' BTU. If the unit is truly 91% efficient (NA Protocol) (to confuse you further this is an average based on the different burn rates) your output will be around 31,850 (35,000 X .91). The Enerzone will be around 55,000.

    The bottom line will be your bottom line... What you can afford & what will serve your needs and which unit will give you years of service with minimal maintenance.

    Edit: I checked Wittus web site and spoke to some dealers. What I said about European appliances above is not likely to apply to Wittus. They are made in the US and their efficiencies are likely what they are... excellent!
  19. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I just read the entire owners manual. I never seen anything on-line or in the manual about a kit turning it into a "Furnace"?? Interested, becuase I too am looking to get another stove, and we have an Enerzone dealer really close....Where do you get this kit??
  20. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    You're right. It will be added to the web site shortly. Since the Euromax is not certified as a 'furnace add-on' you cannot connect this appliance to your existing duct work. However, this kit is perfect for houses who may not have existing duct work such as electrically heated homes, mobile & or trailer homes etc...

    Basically, since the Blower is about 500 CFM the kit allow the unit to still send about 20% of its heat from the front and the rest is re-directed to the removable grille where the distribution kit is installed. You can then extend 2 duct up to 20 ft away to bring heat to registers.

    Shoot me a PM if you want and I'll send you the installation manual.

    Hope this helps

    Attached Files:

  21. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Very Nice... That big blower would be enough to move some air too..

    In the owners manual, it also said it had 2 auger motors?? Does it incorperate a system like Englander? Looks from the manual that they are one on top of the other? (Like Englander)?

    Also says it has 3 blower motors.. Convection Blower, Comustion Blower and an Exhaust Blower??? An Exhaust Blower and a Combustion Blower? (One and the same)?? I dont know if I follow that one?? Page 38 Figure 31 in the owners manual..

    Overall, It reminds me of a Maxx-M by Enviro. 70,000 BTU's, with a 465 CFM Blower (Big Blower), Only difference is the no agitator for the Enerzone. Although bottom feed Harmans can run for weeks without shutting down.. The burn pot looks to be almost the same..(Or as much as you can see from a picture), as a Harman (Not an Englander) with the upsweeping ramp and a widening pot at the top..
  22. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    [/quote]
    Very Nice... That big blower would be enough to move some air too..

    In the owners manual, it also said it had 2 auger motors?? Does it incorperate a system like Englander? Looks from the manual that they are one on top of the other? (Like Englander)?

    Also says it has 3 blower motors.. Convection Blower, Comustion Blower and an Exhaust Blower??? An Exhaust Blower and a Combustion Blower? (One and the same)?? I dont know if I follow that one?? Page 38 Figure 31 in the owners manual..

    Overall, It reminds me of a Maxx-M by Enviro. 70,000 BTU's, with a 465 CFM Blower (Big Blower), Only difference is the no agitator for the Enerzone. Although bottom feed Harmans can run for weeks without shutting down.. The burn pot looks to be almost the same..(Or as much as you can see from a picture), as a Harman (Not an Englander) with the upsweeping ramp and a widening pot at the top..[/quote]


    The 2 auger system works as follows: The top auger regulates the feed rate from the hopper and drops the pellets to the bottom auger. The bottom augurs always turns at the same speed. Not sure how Englander works.

    Yes it has 3 separate blowers. The convection is the big 500CFM. Since the combustion air has to be regulated separately than the exhaust it needs it's own blower. You might be thinking of a 'sealed' system (less expensive) in which the hopper, ash pan, door etc... must be tightly sealed since the system works with only one exhaust blower. I think Englander works that way. As soon as you open a door the whole system decompresses and you might lose combustion. With separate combustion/exhaust blower you can open the front door, hopper etc.. and it does not affect combustion.

    We dont need an agitator, much like the Harman the pellets burn, turn to ashes and fall down into the large ash pan below. You mention you have a dealer nearby, you may want to go visit him if he has one on his show room & play with it a little. The touchpad screen makes it really easy to set up. Let me know if you have other questions.
  23. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Englander works the same way, Top turns intermittently and bottom is constant... 2 blowers for combustion is a Great idea, but with a "Pressurized" Burn chamber, the Glass must not have a "Standard" Air-Wash.. The way a normal air wash would work, would not fit this application.. Unless the Exhaust blower is still pulling "Just a Few More CFM's than the Blower set-up for combustion... I want to go look at one now.. Got me very intrigued.
  24. briansol

    briansol Minister of Fire

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    I would also suggest putting it up stairs.
    use a space heater/etc on the lower level that you use less.


    Look for
    - big hooper (can hold a full bag, some don't)
    - settings/dials. I hate my 1/2/3/4/5 option only. Independent feed & fan dials would be a must for my next stove.
    - ability to use a thermostat. look for a cat-5 like plug on the control board
    -
  25. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Air wash on any pellet stove is a tricky proposition as it affects your efficiencies if not done correctly. The Enerzone Airwash is very good for a 70K BTU. And good call!You are right, the exhaust blower is pulling more than the combustion blower is 'pushing'.

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