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Why did you choose pellets over X fuel source to heat your home?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by EastMtn, Oct 9, 2013.

?

Which heating fuel source is offered primarily in your community

Poll closed Oct 23, 2013.
  1. Oil

    69.0%
  2. Natural Gas

    10.0%
  3. Propane

    21.0%
  4. Coal

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  1. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Messages:
    210
    Loc:
    Tijeras, NM
    I started this poll and thread because I'm curious to know what primary fuel source was originally used to heat your home and in what state do you reside? Are you in a rural or metro setting. Why did you choose a pellet stove/furnace over a stick burner(firewood)?

    Growing up in a rural city in Southern CA natural gas was king. I really thought I had it rough having to drive 45 min to go surfing before school. After starting a career in the energy industry I realized that there's a whole world behind a thermostat and light switch and that the weather isn't 70 to 85::Fall year round everywhere else in the world.
    Where I come from Coal is a dirty word. Where I live now, coal is to our economy what air is to lungs and the EPA is, in my opinion, suffocating us slowly. But that's another thread for another forum.

    Canadians and those of you across the pond feel free to join in here. What's your motivation? Is it monetary, convenience, availability or something else? Also now that you've made the switch to pellets would you do it again knowing what you know now?

    Feel free to pick and choose what you want to answer and lets see where this thread leads.

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  2. Bob Sorjanen

    Bob Sorjanen Member

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2012
    Messages:
    153
    Loc:
    Edgecomb Maine
    I got a pellet stove basically to take the place of an oil furnace(mid 70's vintage) that is not fuel efficient. I also got a pellet stove for very cheap money($200.00) just to try pellets. After switching to pellets will definitely keep a pellet stove to heat this place. I have found it is cheaper than oil and propane and the house can be kept much warmer. My only regret is not doing the switch years ago.
    Bob
    newbieinCT, pell it and EastMtn like this.
  3. JHASS

    JHASS Member

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    122
    Loc:
    Jersey Pines
    I got the pellet stove to try to help offset what it was costing me to heat the house with propane. Gas is not available to me so pellet was my only option since the wife was making me remove the wood burner. Yes if I had to do it over again I would get a pellet stove. We enjoy the heat and I actually enjoy the hunt for the pellets we burn.
    newbieinCT likes this.
  4. jeanine

    jeanine Member

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2013
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    long island ny
    We purchased a pellet stove because we were tired of paying a ton for oil and still being cold!!
  5. jcleary47

    jcleary47 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 21, 2012
    Messages:
    44
    Loc:
    Gorham, ME
    When I moved into my home, I saw the propane fireplace and I was like "Awesome! I can supplement my oil heat with this thing and save money!".

    Little did I know the propane delivery companies wanted to charge me a higher price because I would only be filling the propane tank maybe once or twice a year. Apparently they like to price out their propane deliveries based on how much you will use.

    So I swapped out the propane fireplace with a pellet stove and I now use that as my primary heat source. Because of the size of my house and the layout, I do have to keep the furnace on during the winter to heat a few rooms that are far from the pellet stove though rarely used so I keep them around 55-60.

    I am having an electric hot water heater installed next week so I'm hoping my dependency on oil will be reduced even more and I can save more money.
  6. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,887
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va
    house had baseboard electric when i bought it, installed a woodstove and ran it for quite a while, but ive moved up in my company to the point that i have to travel and the wife just never really got the hang of runinng the woodstove (catalytic) so i swapped to pellet and havent looked back
    EastMtn likes this.
  7. joescho

    joescho Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 11, 2009
    Messages:
    374
    Loc:
    Northeastern PA
    My house has electric baseboard (not listed in poll). I have a wood insert in my basement and a pellet insert in my upstairs. When I bought the home both fireplaces had woodburners. I got rid of the woodburner upstairs and used it as a fireplace then switched to pellets because its more convienent and I do not have to babysit it, in addition, between the wood and the pellet insert the only baseboard that ever comes on is the one on my bathroom. SO my electric heat really never comes on in the winter which is fine with me.:)
    EastMtn and will711 like this.
  8. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2012
    Messages:
    1,696
    Loc:
    Jaffrey, NH
    My house has an oil boiler. I added a pellet stove to have higher house temps for less $. Plus I like the ambiance the stove offers and the convenience over cordwood.
    EastMtn likes this.
  9. rcc

    rcc New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Central MA
    Great thread East Mtn!
    It's fun to find out why others have made the switch.

    We were heating our cape with a wood stove in the cellar and oil forced hot water throughout the house. The wood stove was not very efficient and the house never got above 65 (because we didn't want to use oil too much due to price) even with the wood stove running 24 / 7. We purchase wood in log lengths and cut it up and split it (rental splitter) and then haul it 75 yards to the back of my yard and then stack. We were burning one full-to-the-brim wheel barrel of wood a day (pushing the wood in the wheel barrel into the double doors of our cellar) and burned about 5 cords a year for 15 years. Long story long one day I looked over at the amount of work and time I had to put in for one day of 65 degree heat and decided enough. We purchased the pellet stove last November. We found the Santa Fe had to run on high most of the time to keep us warmer and it's loud in our living room. So we had the attic insulated in the sprint and we are working on further tightening up of the house. Put an OAK in over the summer. Have almost 2 tons of Barefoots and looking forward to the next chapter.
    CtPaul and EastMtn like this.
  10. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,321
    Loc:
    West central Mn
    Do we see a upgrade to a little more efficient bigger stove?
  11. rcc

    rcc New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2012
    Messages:
    18
    Loc:
    Central MA
    ;em More efficient and bigger? Wouldn't that mean I failed in my research prior to purchasing the stove?

    Actually the cape is fairly small (1600 square feet) with a fairly open floor plan. I'd like to try this year with a better insulated house so I don't have to put a larger stove in the smallish living room.
    CtPaul likes this.
  12. Cleetussnow

    Cleetussnow Member

    Joined:
    Oct 3, 2012
    Messages:
    132
    Loc:
    Westchester, ny
    We have an ancient boiler with oil burner and it was running 700 per month in fuel in the winter. Converting to gas was an option, but the cost was high, and the payback time was longer than pellet. We use oil as the backup plan now.

    The house is really warm all winter long and for about 1000 all winter. The stove will pay for itself in 2 years, almost there now!

    Things i didnt consider is how fun pellet stoves are, and how fun pellet searching is. I also like hoarding pellets. It just scratches an itch! A hobby which is also really practical.

    Ps i am thinking of putting a pellet burner on that boiler...really just for the hell of it, but if i can do it relatively cheaply its happening at some point.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
  13. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    804
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    I bought a pellet stove because I refused to pay for heating costs in NE. I lived in the midwest and was absolutely shocked when I moved that people payed so to heat their homes. Not sure if I would make the purchase again the house has a very poor layout for a stove large room with two small entrances two story staircase on the other extreme of the house. We had a geothermal system installed last spring its been a much warmer fall with it then the pellet stove. That said it cost much much much more so you get what you pay for. In hindsight I wish I would have installed a wood eater instead so I could have heat when the power goes out without running a generator. I could still do that I have one and a hookup Im just to lazy.

    I did look into a pellet boiler I was disappointed at the cost unit/install and operational costs. That was what lead me to put in a geothermal system it did not cost much more then a pellet boiler would have at the end of the day. And I get central A/C with it.

    They are nice though this is by no means a knock on pellet stoves. I hope pellet prices stay reasonable as time goes on.
    EastMtn likes this.
  14. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,640
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    You need to add Electric as one of the primary heat sources in an area. For me, propane, the only other option, was outrageously expensive so I went with high efficiency heat pumps that are as bad as computers as far as being outclassed year after year with more efficient units. When it gets down to freezing or below, the efficiency of heat pumps drops to the point that pellet stoves become more cost effective. Yes, it does get that cold in the sunny South! :) Unfortunately, the cost of pellets down here is equally outrageous so it becomes a toss-up as to whether I want to burn 'gold' pellets or feel heat comng out of the registers that's colder than my farts!
    stoveguy2esw, jtakeman and EastMtn like this.
  15. fmsm

    fmsm Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2011
    Messages:
    529
    Loc:
    South of Boston MA
    +Originally I purchased a Whitfield to heat a 23x20 family room addition that had one air duct and an electric wall heater. This room is a basement level and the Whitfield handles it with ease providing some residual heat upstairs (but not much). I then decided to try an insert in the upstairs fireplace to supplement the oil burner. To my pleasant surprise between the 2 stoves the whole house is heated! I keep the temperature at 74 degrees for my 88 year old mother in law that lives with us and will use between 2-3 tons a year. Before she moved in I was around 70 degrees and used just under 2 tons.

    I realize I am fortunate in my layout but to heat just over 2000 sq feet for under $1000 bucks is cheap in my mind!
    EastMtn likes this.
  16. St_Earl

    St_Earl Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2011
    Messages:
    1,087
    Loc:
    millinocket, north central maine
    we got the stove when we first bought this house.
    got it so we wouldn't have to buy oil and to keep our heating budget to a manageable level.

    the oil furnace is a forced air unit.
    even back in temperate western oregon i never liked getting colder "in between blasts" from the forced air set up.

    the saturated steady heat from the pellet stove is fricking awesome.
    i would definitely make the same choice again knowing what i know now.
    EastMtn likes this.
  17. dlehneman

    dlehneman Member

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2013
    Messages:
    141
    Loc:
    Lakes Region, NH
    We live on the outskirts of a small city in the Lakes Region of NH. Bought a house about 3 yrs ago that had a fairly new, relatively efficient FHW oil furnace. I thought between that and the considerable updates to the 50yr old house that it would be pretty reasonable to keep warm. I was wrong...so after spending $2700 a year to keep the house at a chilly 62 degrees (I'm too skinny for the cold!) I decided to try a pellet stove. Homeowners insurance would have gone up with a woodstove and I didn't really want to babysit it anyway, propane was an option, but expensive and I didn't want a tank in my yard. Natural gas lines stop about 1/2 mile from my house, so the only good way for me to have a fireplace in my house and be warmer was the pellet stove route.
    I went with an inexpensive refurb Englander PAH and 4 tons of cheapo GS pellets for my first year. I kept the house around 68-70 all winter and used a little over 3 tons so I'm never looking back! I had ROI in my first 6 months of pellet stove ownership!
  18. MikeNH

    MikeNH Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2012
    Messages:
    193
    Loc:
    Temple, NH
    We live in a rural area. In our first house, which was in the city, we had natural gas and loved it. We moved here, no natural gas offered, so we went with an oil burner which was relatively cheap at the time. Bought a second-hand 1986 Earthstove wood stove and installed in the basement which we used every year. The heat would work up the stairs and into the first and second floor, supplementing the oil. As time went by, I got tired of all the work that comes with wood...cutting/splitting/stacking/hauling/life revolving around stove load times. Last year the wood stove cracked and we said "all done." Bought the first pellet stove in Dec 2012 and installed it in the living room. As soon as we fired it up, the temps shot from the normal 67 on the first floor to 73 and stayed there all winter. Wife was happy and the oil furnace never kicked on. Heated our home with 2 tons of pellets ("crappy" NEWP at that) from Dec-May. Only downside is the basement was now very cold, and we use our basement regularly. So we scrapped the wood stove at a local yard, sold our remaining firewood, and picked up a small pellet stove for the basement. It works great. We estimated 3.5 years for ROI over not burning oil/wood. We already owned a good UPS and generator, and both stoves will run easily during a power outage.
  19. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,204
    Loc:
    Pocono mts.
    Same for me
  20. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Messages:
    210
    Loc:
    Tijeras, NM
    I wanted to add electric in the poll but got trigger happy before realizing that I had forgot it. Can't figure out how to add to the poll. If the mods are out there and can help us out add electric and geothermal please.:(
    will711 likes this.
  21. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,204
    Loc:
    Pocono mts.
    No worries it's all good called PWD posting while drinking we're all guilty;)
    EastMtn likes this.
  22. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Messages:
    210
    Loc:
    Tijeras, NM
    Whew, I thought I was the only one who did that. :cool:
    will711 likes this.
  23. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,204
    Loc:
    Pocono mts.
    If you look up PWD in the dictionary It's there :pyou'll find my picture ;)
    EastMtn and jtakeman like this.
  24. Bender1320

    Bender1320 New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 9, 2013
    Messages:
    21
    Loc:
    NW Ohio
    New poster. Been lurking since last winter.

    Moved out to a rural area in Ohio around 2 years ago. Bought a 2500sqft two story farm house built in 1900. Heated with a propane boiler and hydronic baseboard. My first winter I found out just keeping the place 65* on the first floor and 55* on the second would cost $500+ a month.

    I am going to try and supplement heating with the pellet stove, have the temps a bit higher in the house and lower that propane bill. I went with pellets over cord wood because I do not have a wood source nor the equipment and time to be splitting/ stacking wood. I also like the fact I can let a pellet stove run 24/7 and tend to it way less than a log fire
    will711 likes this.
  25. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2010
    Messages:
    7,030
    Loc:
    Salem NH
    Hello

    We have mostly Oil in NH and Maine for heat. Since wood is plentiful, may people have been using wood for many years. Now that wood pellets are in abundance and 1/3 the cost of oil and too much labor for cord wood, wood pellets are catching on like Wild Fire!

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