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Whole home heating via pellet stove

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Elkon, Aug 30, 2011.

  1. Elkon

    Elkon New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    United States
    Hello folks,

    I am looking into some heating options for my home. I attempted to search for some info on heating an entire home with a pellet stove but my search-fu is a bit weak it appears. I am hoping that you might be able to clear up my situation and pass along a few pointers that will help me find a good solution for heat. That said here is my situation:

    Location is Central PA
    I am in a small home (approx 1200sq ft.)
    Layout: Front door to living room and steps to 2nd floor. Living room -->Dining room-->kitchen There is also a bathroom off the dining room. The steps go from the living room to a small (10 ft long) hallway. at the end of the hall there is a door to bathroom 2 and then a bedroom on the right and left.

    Insulation / windows....not a pretty picture and in plans for next year. Its not quite open to the world but not something to brag about.

    Current heat: 27 (approx) yr old NG furnace. it runs up an internal chimney through the home and out the roof. I checked the chimney out and it is A: Brick and mortar (very old) and B: some odd size with no way to put a liner in. The house used to have a coal furnace (prior to me) and I am amazed that they didn't burn the place down the way it is. The gas furnace vents through that. I do not feel comfortable using the chimney at this point (peers have given varied thoughts from death trap to its all good.....) I am considering buying a Pellet stove to put in the living room and using that to heat the house.

    Possible options for stove:
    http://www.amfmenergy.com/49trcpm--multifuel-stove--2200492200.html
    http://www.amfmenergy.com/55trp22--epa-certified-pellet-stove--2255222200.html
    http://www.amfmenergy.com/55trpah--epa-certified-pellet-stove--2000552000.html

    My thoughts are that the ability to heat a larger area than the house is good in this case and these stoves (and their tech support) appear to be very good. Some people have stated that dropping the $ on a high efficiency gas furnace and using existing duct work is my best choice but I still see myself spending a fortune and never truly having that "warm" feeling.. What do you folks thing and does this sound viable?

    Thanks in advance,

    Elk

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  2. festerw

    festerw Member

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2009
    Messages:
    149
    Loc:
    Cambridge Springs, PA
    What about a pellet furnace? You'll have enough heat and be able to utilize your current duct work.
  3. Elkon

    Elkon New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    United States
    What kind of prices and such would I be looking at?
  4. imacman

    imacman Guest

    A better question to you might be, how much is your budget for the entire install, including buying 3-4 tons of pellets?
  5. imacman

    imacman Guest

    BTW, I have one of the stoves you mentioned above, so if you have any questions, feel free to ask.
  6. Elkon

    Elkon New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    United States
    I would honestly not like to go above 2500for the hardware. As far as the pellets 200/ton (the brand was Smith's I think...) or somewhere around there is what I am seeing locally. I can store about 2ton bagged at a time (judging from the size of a pallet of bags).

    I was quoted at 2500 installed and burning for a Heatilator PS50. That included a hearthpad (250...I will be making one with tile I think) and a vent (straight out the wall with a 45' end peice)...no outside air kit was mentioned.

    Another factor is that I live in a college town and will most likely be renting this place out within 5 years. One thought was to do pellet stove now...take with me and install Gas furnace for them.
  7. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,204
    Loc:
    Pocono mts.
    If the plan is to make this a rental unit I would go with windows insulation & new gas furnace you going to need one sooner or later, sooner = less $, later = more $. Not trying to steer you away from a pellet stove just trying to look at the bottom line and long range plan. Just my thoughts
  8. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 22, 2008
    Messages:
    1,906
    Loc:
    Chelsea Maine
    What ever heating system you select, you may want to invest to the max with insulation. Insulation done correctly will make most heating or cooling systems more practical. If you really button up the house, you may want to look into an air exchange system to keep you from too much indoor air pollution. I am heating a little over 2000 ft with one pellet stove, and a an oil fired hot air furnace back up for very cold temps. I use very little oil for heating. I burn 5-6 tons of pellets per season and keep my home 74-78 degrees F. My investment for the pellet heating system and the installation was about $2600. That was three years ago.
    If your goal is to rent this home to college kids, then you may want a system that requires little to no intervention. I agree with others that gas would be first in your area.
    Good luck.
  9. dmaclaren

    dmaclaren Member

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2010
    Messages:
    216
    Loc:
    Seacoast, NH
    I heat 3600 sqft which includes the unfinished basement which is just under 1/3 of that sqft. The Harmon PF100 that I have does a sweet job and I use about 2 - 2.25 bas of pellets a day to keep the basement 65, 71 fitst floor, 69 second floor.


    Down side is they are 4k new. well worth the $$. I bought mine 1 year used for 2600. The unit is outstanding
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I have heated 2,180 sq ft, with a 47,500 BTU stove (Only use it one Low, unless below 0). I probably only use maybe 15,000-20,000 of those. But my house is well insulated with new windows and 1 " thick Drywall (added 1/2" over the 1/2" that was ther instead of ripping out the old. The house is only 17 yrs old now = HUGE difference)

    Insulation is key. I got a Woodstove to help this season, but for 3 yrs, I have heated my whole home with just pellets.... NO Propane at ALL. It fully possible and the PS-50 is a Great Heater along with a couple of the Englander stoves. I would stick with the new generation of stoves. The 25-EP or the 10-CPM (imacman offered his thoughts)...

    If I were to move I would take my stoves also. Cant blame you. Maybe the money you save can help provide the furnace that will be needed if you do ever rent the house.

    If $2,500 is what you got? The New gen Englanders or the PS-50 are great options.
  11. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    13,466
    Loc:
    Northwestern CT.
    Its definitely more convenient to have the gas furnace for renters. But if cash is tight(like everyone else) Go with the pellet/multifuel stove for now. Take it with you when you move on. It will give you time for saving cash for the new furnace.

    If you planned to stay? I would recommend a pellet add on for your existing furnace.

    Pellet heat is very addicting! Just a subtle warning tis all. :)

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