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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. Pellet-King

    Pellet-King Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 30, 2008
    Messages:
    1,224
    Loc:
    Northern Ct
    Funny how NE is mostly Oil dependant, what a scam they pulled here since after WW2, i do have have NG 30 ft from me if i had a NG furnace I wouldn't bother with pellets as NG is CHEEEEPP

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  2. PutnamJct

    PutnamJct Member

    Joined:
    Feb 17, 2006
    Messages:
    226
    Loc:
    Putnam County NY
    I'm in the sticks, all my neighbors are oil/propane/woodstove. No NG for miles.
    Right after Hurricane Katrina, I think HHO spiked up to about $4.69 a gallon. The previous year we were burning 200+ gallons every 3-4 weeks from November through April.
    A friend had a free standing pellet stove and raved about the heat and low cost (pellets were averaging $180 - $200 a ton at the time)
    We figured the pellet stove would pay for itself the first year or so and it has. Plus we like the heat from it better then the forced air oil furnace heat which seems "drier". We have a unique layout that allows for the heat to keep all of the living areas and bedrooms at about 72+ degrees all winter on 4-5 tons of pellets, even during those stretches of zero degrees we get every year.
  3. Bioburner

    Bioburner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2012
    Messages:
    3,519
    Loc:
    West central Mn
    Propain,oil and electric are the choices in our county. 40 percent increase in electric connect fee this spring. 25 percent increase in the overall rate in the last two years. Been burning pellets since the stoves came on the market. Used about 10 percent of the 250 gallon tank of propain for the pilot light as the stove needs no electricity to run is used as backup heat. May stock up on corn as its cheaper than pellets but already have five tons on hand of pellets because of a early season sale.
  4. shtrdave

    shtrdave Member

    Joined:
    Feb 13, 2012
    Messages:
    190
    Loc:
    SW PA
    Where we live mostly oil/electric, although towards the more rural areas there is a lot of wood and coal used. My place has an air to air heat pump, does and excellent job with the cooling in the summer, but it gets cold here and they don't make much heat, even with the toaster inside. It keeps the place warm at the temp you set, but it is not a warm feeling heat. I tried a propane stove, and it worked well, but the cost was on the high side at almost 4 bucks a gallon, plus I didn't trust to leave it on during the day when I wasn't there.

    I wish I would have went with the pellet stove before trying the propane, but I got a good deal on it from a friend who even helped to install it, the line is still there should I want to go back that route, but just sold the stove last week, got 2/3's of what I paid for it so it wasn't a total loss, plus the people that bought it said it will work great for what they are needing.

    If my pellet storage wasn't as convenient as it is, with my health issues, I may have not went this route, but for now it works out great.
  5. sinnian

    sinnian Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    May 28, 2008
    Messages:
    896
    Loc:
    Limerick, Maine
    In the spring of 2008, prior to the Presidential election HHO was flirting with going up to $5.00/gal ~ so I started doing some research here. Found that the layout of my cape wouldn't really work with a pellet stove, so started looking at pellet boilers. Back then there were only the Harman PB105, MESYS and the Pinnacle PB150. The Harman was very new, and no dealers knew squat about them. MESYS NO ONE new anything about. The Pinnacle is the oldest in No. America, where their forced hot air model has been around 25+ years. So the wife and I went with the Pinnacle, and I "jokingly" at the time said, "Watch oil go down to $2.00 per gallon", which it did ::P

    Never regretted it though. Payback period is longer, but we're not dependent on HHO and are more "carbon neutral".

    Would I do it again? Yes and no. Yes, because I like not being dependent on HHO. And no, because there are a lot more choices in a pellet boiler that I would go with today, like the Windhager or Kedel for a lot more features and comparable money.
    ScotL and EastMtn like this.
  6. JohnRXL

    JohnRXL New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 7, 2013
    Messages:
    98
    Loc:
    Ontario,Canada
    Here in Canada I live in a small community where there's only oil or propane, the house was set up with a high efficiency oil furnace. Price of oil was starting to go up. Wood stove was completely out of the question with the insurance company, my home insurance was going to go up more than I was willing to pay. Started to do research on other heat sources and came up with a pellet stove. Best thing we did here for more heat.:)
    EastMtn likes this.
  7. RKBAGUY

    RKBAGUY Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2013
    Messages:
    214
    Loc:
    Milford, PA
    Couldn't agree with you more about the EPA and the other government agencies sticking it to us, but like you said, that's a sidebar conversation.

    I have a small (1600sqft) Chalet-style home (two BR upstairs with finished basement) in Northeast PA (right where NY, NJ and PA come together) and the choices for heat in this semi-rural area are oil, propane and electric; in addition to coal/wood/pellet of course. My home was built in 1975 when electric was cheap, but I learned the hard way how expensive it could be when I got a $300+ electric bill in October (before it really even got cold!) during my first year here from running the old-style electric baseboard heat.

    Luckily the previous owners installed a Quadrafire propane fireplace in the basement, but there's little to no heat exchange between downstairs and up, so I just picked up a pre-owned Austroflamm Integra. Not sure how it'll work out, but given the choices, it's got to be cheaper by far than the alternatives of electric or other fossil fuels.
    Last edited: Oct 9, 2013
    EastMtn likes this.
  8. earl764

    earl764 Member

    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2011
    Messages:
    119
    Loc:
    CT
    $2K a year for oil got old.

    We also like fire. The fireplace was nice to watch and warmed the room on a fall night, but couldn't do much beyond that.

    The pellet stove actually heats the house as opposed to the oil just heating the air that blew around.
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    28,740
    Loc:
    Northern Virginia
    Well how's this poll working out for ya? ;lol

    BB - The guy that keeps trying to get the boss to do away with polls.
  10. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Messages:
    207
    Loc:
    Tijeras, NM
    According to the poll oil is the root of all evil heating, a few natural gas users made the switch. If I hadn't fat fingered the enter key I could have electric added to the results as well.
    I was exploring the different pages on Hearth and stumbled upon the poll option. So far its working as intended._g
  11. EastMtn

    EastMtn Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2013
    Messages:
    207
    Loc:
    Tijeras, NM
    I think we should take a poll on that.
    BrotherBart likes this.
  12. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 14, 2006
    Messages:
    5,960
    Loc:
    madison hgts. va

    you will do better , if looking to do the whole house our PDV or a big harman would be the tool, work on insulation as its really the biggest "bang for the buck" in heating making heat is easy, trapping it , thats the challenge
  13. pinetop12

    pinetop12 Member

    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2008
    Messages:
    57
    Loc:
    Androscoggin County , Maine
    Hot Water Boiler / Oil ,is the principle heat . Put a new boiler in 4 years ago, considered a pellet boiler but did not dare to take the plunge. Stuck with our wood insert as much as possible to keep heating costs down. The last 8 years or so , bought most of my cord wood and was never happy with the quality=dryness nor true amount of wood delivered. Pellets seem to eliminate those quirks, its dry and a tons' a ton. We bought a new pellet insert and 4 tons of pellets ,and , so far could not be happier. This will be our first winter of Pellet burning.

    / Hearth.com / is one of the great sites on the inter-tubes !
    EastMtn likes this.
  14. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2009
    Messages:
    3,817
    Loc:
    North Georgia
    I'd have that oil burner ripped out in a heartbeat if I had NG 30 ft away! I'd have a gas dryer, gas water heater and gas stove too! Good bye $300+ electric bills.
  15. moey

    moey Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2012
    Messages:
    896
    Loc:
    Southern Maine
    We have a natural gas line about a 2 miles from our house the main trunk up the Maine coast. There is one house that has one of the NG markers in their front yard. I cant imagine living on top of it and not being able to hook it up like this person. Where I live theres no NG gas companies even serving many areas although the line gos right through your property in some cases.
  16. MtDew

    MtDew Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Messages:
    110
    Loc:
    Perkasie, PA
    We bought our current home in 2007. It's a rancher with electric baseboard heat. We knew we were not going to heat with the Electric from the very start. My wife and I decided on trying the pellet stove and have never regretted it. Our previous home had an oil fired hot air system and we would generally use $2-3K worth of oil per season. Now we use about 3.5-4 ton of pellets and have cut our heating cost to less than half of what we previously would spend.
    EastMtn likes this.
  17. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2012
    Messages:
    118
    Loc:
    Portland, CT
    My wife and I were looking for a house a few years ago. When we first saw the one that we ultimately bought, our only hesitation was the electric heat. We couldn't get records for what the previous owners payed to heat the house, so we estimated the cost using a the local electric company's website. According to the estimate, it was going to be expensive. We really liked the house, so we bought it anyway. The first winter we spent in the house was not as expensive as we thought it would be. It turned out that the house was well insulated. It was also a warm winter that year. When the second winter was on its way, we decided to get a pellet stove. It was a great decision. Our house is warmer than when we were using electric heat, and the cost of heating the house is much lower.
  18. rayttt

    rayttt Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 11, 2008
    Messages:
    351
    Loc:
    poconos pa
    I used to have Kerosene heat..then installed an oil/hot air furnace..right before the price of Heating oil doubled :( .
    With the cost of Fuel Oil being what it is... I had to find an alternative...even going back to kerosene was too expensive.
    Someone pointed towards pellet stoves.
    After researching them I decided on a Harmon P38. I only have a 725 SqFt house.
    I got the stove and installed it and absolutely love it.
    Now my house is WARM. Before it was only warm air washing over ya..not
    its the whole house is pleasantly warm.
    I have the furnace for emergency back up..but there is only about 4 gallons in it..since I ran out of fuel oil.. and dumped my 5 gallon kerosene into it.


    I can't imagine using anything else other than pellets...(assuming pricing stays reasonable).
    Bob Sorjanen likes this.
  19. Dana B

    Dana B Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2013
    Messages:
    398
    Loc:
    So. New Hampshire


    200 gallons every 3-4 weeks? That seems like a lot for the average home? How large is your home and is it insulated?

    Here in Southern NH most people use oil for heat. Prioir to buying my pellet boiler I pulled the oil reciepts going back to June of 2009 when we bought the home. I got a pre-buy in August 2009 for 2.39 a gallon. Not bad right? Yet from 2011 on the least I've paid is 3.59 a gallon and there were some months in both 2012 and early 2013 when I was paying 3.99 a gallon. I can easily envision a situation where oil climbs to 4.19, 4.29 maybe even higher in my area. NH had a very cold winter last year and we were burning through 100 - 130 gallons a month to heat our 2500 square foot home. No thanks!

    I had a pellet boiler installed a month ago and am looking forward to the savings this winter. Not only will I save money but I'm buying MWP so I'll be helping a Maine company to do business and provide jobs. No more sending my money out of the country to you know who!

    I wish the costs associated with biomass central heating systems would come down so that more people could take advantage of them.

    Now if I could just find a way to run my car on pellets or some type of Biomass I'll really be ahead of the game.:)
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
    dlehneman likes this.
  20. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 2, 2012
    Messages:
    413
    Loc:
    Albany (ish)
    About 3 years ago maybe 4 or whatever.... I bought into the Buy now Lock in a price for oil. Well oil shot through the roof 5 months later in November and wouldn't you know it the oil company called and said "we have to raise your price" So I fired them right there. About a year before that this same oil company came to fix my Oil furnace....... but they didn't and wanted to charge me another service fee just to show up when they didn't fix it the first time. I learned how my oil furnace worked, fixed and cleaned it myself.
    Long story short I was looking for an alternative fuel source to heat my house and found an inexpensive Englander 25 PDVC for a song and have since bought a bigger better Englander.
    Bob Sorjanen likes this.
  21. DneprDave

    DneprDave Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2011
    Messages:
    270
    Loc:
    Western WA
    Most of my neighbors have propane furnaces, I have an oil fired forced air furnace to heat my 1800 square foot, one story home. I used to use almost 600 gallons of oil a year. Since I put a pellet stove on a 400 square foot glass enclosed porch, I've more than halved my oil consumption. I used to close off the porch in the fall and winter, now I leave the sliding glass doors open to the house.

    This year I bought 260 gallons of oil. I have a 1000 gallon oil tank, I could easily go three years between fill ups now, but I top it off annually. I haven't had to light off the oil furnace yet, the pellet stove keeps the house about 63 degrees running at the lowest setting. I don't like it any warmer, so it works great for me. I have the oil furnace thermostat set at 60F, so it will kick in when the pellet stove needs some help at night, it hasn't started up yet.

    Dave
  22. brokenknee

    brokenknee Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2012
    Messages:
    143
    Loc:
    about 30 miles NW of Bemidji MN
    Electric baseboard, we moved into our home about 2 1/2 years ago, so this will be our 3rd winter here. I told the realtor when we were looking at houses I did not want electric heat; well most of the houses in the area are electric, liked the property so bought the house. My story is very similar to RKBAGUY, first electric bill in October I finished putting up tin on the woodstove room (insurance requirement) and fired up the wood furnace. The old wood furnace is not very efficient (12 cords for a 1200 square foot slab home) was looking for something for the shoulder seasons.

    This spring we added almost 400 square feet, decided to add a pellet stove in the old living room P68, and will be adding a new efficient wood stove in the new addition. I like burning wood, but also like the convenience of the pellet stove.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2013
  23. ChandlerR

    ChandlerR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2009
    Messages:
    634
    Loc:
    Hampton, NH
    The house I live in was bought by us for income property. It's a two family colonial built in the early 1800's The upstairs is heated by an oil fired steam boiler that's about 10 years old. The woman that lives there pays less than the going rate so she's able to afford the cost of oil. She pays about $2000 a year.

    My unit, on the first floor had an old Weil McClain hot water furnace. About 7 years ago, before we moved in, the boiler had a blow back and I found out that the cast iron segments in it were leaking badly and so we decided to replace it. I found a great deal on a Buderus boiler with a Riello burner. I have experience with the Riello and love them so all was good. The tenant told us she saved about $400 in heating costs but still spent over $1500, and that was in 2006.

    Due some pretty nasty financial issues my wife and I made the decision to move into the rental property. I gutted the first floor and added a 24 by 24 addition. I super insulated everything and put new windows in the whole house. I bought the little Baby because I was only heating 1100 square feet and, quite frankly, I couldn't afford paying $1500 or more a year to heat the place. I am able to keep it toasty (68 to 70) using under 60 bags a season. Depending on the price of pellets, that's under $350. Even if I used natural gas, I couldn't heat the house for that. I used to dread the heating season. Now I look forward to it!
  24. Big E

    Big E Member

    Joined:
    Feb 3, 2012
    Messages:
    129
    Loc:
    Upstate Panhandle NY
    Bought this house in 2004. Former owners said 450 - 550 Gals of oil per year for forced hot air and water. At 99 cents per gal, it wasn't bad. However, 3.70 per gal... started to hurt. Bought the Pellet stove and for $1000 dollars per year in pellets, we are comfortable. Also, no more on/off with the forced hot air furnace.
  25. Mr._Graybeard

    Mr._Graybeard Member

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2012
    Messages:
    135
    Loc:
    Southeast Wisconsin
    I've got a 30-inch gas pipeline running along the edge of my property ... when the utility people "requested" an easement I told them they could have it for free if they provided service to my home. They laughed.

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