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Will Pellets Heat This House?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Wears Wool, Mar 29, 2013.

  1. Wears Wool

    Wears Wool New Member

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    After reading many posts here I lean toward buying a pellet stove to replace my 24 year old oil boiler. I need to convince my wife on several fronts.

    My house (shown, if I have set this up correctly) is about 1800 sq ft in a climate similar to upstate NY but with more wind. We can burn 600 gallons of oil in a bad year, with the thermostat at 68 in the day and 58 at night. If we use one quarter of that oil in January, we are putting 21 million BTUs into our house in 31 days. That is only 28,000 BTU of input per hour. Any pellet stove can do that, right? But the Harmon P38 claims only 1400 sq ft, and it comes from a warmer location. What gives? Am I calculating something wrong?

    And what about my basement? All my pipes are down there!
    john193 likes this.

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  2. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    if your planning on not having another source of heat other than a 1 pellet stove {hence your boiler is in the crapper} your house will be cold and the wife not happy
  3. john193

    john193 Minister of Fire

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    Pellet stoves are overgrown space heaters. Unless you are able to place it in a central location, you will not be able to distribute the heat very evenly. Floor plan plays a big role. Personally, a combination of the 2 systems would be ideal. And consuming 600 gallons of oil per year isn't bad at all. You will not see a quick return at that rate with a pellet stove.
  4. Bob Sorjanen

    Bob Sorjanen Member

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    Are you totally doing away with the current boiler? Have you looked into a pellet fired boiler?
  5. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    Hi wears- your calcs are correct. Will say a pellet stove upstairs prob would be ok, and furnace will supplement as needed. Heating from the basement with a pellet stove not a good option, difficult to do with pellet stoves, they need to be in the space they are heating. Best setup would be one downstairs one upstairs. Leads to bigger cost of course. Prob best option is pellet stove upstairs in area where you frequent the most, and let furnace run part time when needed. You'll prob find you'll be warmer too. Good luck
    Jack Morrissey likes this.
  6. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Think of a pellet stove as a supplementary heater only. If the stove installation , location , and airflow conditions are ideal , the chances are good it will heat your main living spaces to a satisfactory degree but you probably will never know for sure untill you try it. . However, I`d never consider replacing my central heat with a pellet stove .
  7. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    my thoughts were the same as far as trying to heat and save some cash as my house was built in the 1700's and the old boiler was killing me 175-200 gal a month so behind my beloved ones back I bought a pellet stove to supplement heating installed in living room, that was great but thermostat for boiler in same room bad idea front rooms in house cold now so now im a man on a mission to prove to myself this can work so I buy another stove wife is happy first floor and second like the bahammas tank top and short shorts hmm I think shes looking good dressed like this homerun on my part, then comes the eye opener it gets really cold out and the boiler not running she does laundry and its cold in the basement, im no longer a heating master im the guy who made her dress warm to do laundry, so I find a quad 1200 and put that in basement not wanting to stop there I cut up the hardwood floors and install vents to get some of that heat upstairs, God like status again momma wearing them short shorts again house never been this warm and starting on my 8 ton for the year overall I broke even for this year but next year I will be ahead of the game
  8. katman

    katman Member

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    You should consider a pellet boiler. If your oil boiler is toast just swap them out. If it can be used as backup and you have room plumb the pellet boiler in there. You will save on fuel cost and you can crank the heat up a few degrees. My wife loves the pellet boiler. Keeps the house at 70 and leaves the front door open to keep the sunporch warm for the dogs. I'm heating more square footage than you. The only oil burned this winter is when I was down in Florida for 10 days and I didn't want the dogsitter loading pellets.
  9. Wears Wool

    Wears Wool New Member

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    No, I would keep it until it fails if I get to install the pellet burner in the living room. I don't really have any crisis, just some skepticism to overcome in order to get started.

    Let me try again to show my 1899 house--[​IMG]
  10. bdaoust

    bdaoust Member

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    I have a 1,200 sqft house with an hot water heating system running off oil. My P68 is in the basement and this was my first year burning because I bought the house in November.

    If I ran the pellets 24/7 (without oil heat supplementing) on a temperature around 70. The house was for the most part comfortable. The second floor, where the bedrooms are, were slightly chilly eve though the thermostat up there reading 68. I'd go through about 2 bags of pellets a day when temps were in the 20s or lower.

    I wish the stove was in my living room though. Not sure why the previous home owner elected to install in the basement even though the basement is partially finished.
  11. sheetmetaldan

    sheetmetaldan New Member

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    Be carefull chopping random holes in the floor to let heat pass through from one level to the next, very likely against code in your area. They do sell spring loaded fire dampers with a fusible link that melts in the event of a fire to close the damper. You may need these installed to meet code.
  12. ScotL

    ScotL Feeling the Heat

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    I would still go with a pellet boiler and connect it in parallel with your oil boiler. Then just keep the oil boiler for backup or long vacations.
    You would have no holes to cut and no worries about moving the heat from room to room. It could heat your whole house and utilize different zones with separate thermostats, just like your oil boiler, only much cheaper and you could afford to turn the thermostats up a little.
    gbreda likes this.
  13. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    I understand that part very clearly since my house is the second oldest in town everything I do is done quietly I was able to find very old floor registers and used the rough sawn wood in garage basement for support heck even put supports in with old nails this house even has the steam powered sawmill in garage basement that was used for the addition in the 1800's
  14. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Well...... Now you did it!!



    We gotta see some pics of that damn Saw now!! :)


    You can't just talk about a piece of History like that, and think we're gonna let it slide??
    Eatonpcat and jgrz0610 like this.
  15. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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  16. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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  17. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    IMAG1117.jpg IMAG1116.jpg
  18. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    there a bunch of parts and the other half of engine under the shelf
  19. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    No, not every pellet stove can do that, there are several that are under that figure.

    And those square feet figures are based on a certain Btu heat loss per square foot of heated area and not where the stove "comes from".

    Heating from a basement is an entirely different kettle of fish. Your boiler isn't primarily heating your basement, placing a stove down in a basement also requires that you heat the basement (unless it can be ducted) in order to get much, if any heat upstairs. In effect you have to add the square footage of the basement to that 1800 square feet you quoted and even at that the additional volume, the relative small size of the convection system on the stove, coupled with the poor insulation in most basements usually results in very bad performance with basement installs.
  20. Brokenwing

    Brokenwing Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for sharing the pics of the saw mill. that is amazing, I love seeing old mills like that, definitely a part of history you have there!
  21. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    NW Oregon
    We have a 2300 ft ranch style home and have 3 pellet stoves on the one level.
    One large Quadrafire in the far corner of the living room, one tiny Whitfield in the near corner of the living room and one large Whitfield in the family room, which is more to the opposite end from the other two.

    We run stoves depending on the weather.
    The little one when the temps are very mild, the large Whit when the weather is colder, then add the little one when its colder yet.

    We have never needed all three, and use the Quad only for times when we can't be home to tend the two Whits.
    The Qusd runs on a stat.

    Yess, these are space heaters, but location is everything.

    We have full electric heat in the house, which is costly and has never been used.
    We heat 100% with the pellet stoves.

    Its a way of life rather than set the stat and just pay the bill.

    The stoves are something that we have to deal with all the time, morning and night.

    Snowy
  22. lessoil

    lessoil Minister of Fire

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    Western Maine
    Here is our situation for your your info:
    We were burning about 925 gal/year for heat and hot water (Amtrol Boilermate)
    We have a 24'X32' Cape(Needs more insulation) with pellet stove in living room.
    First and Second floor 1530 sq ft mainly heated with stove.
    When real cold (<20F), have to use oil to a bit to keep upstairs at 67 in north facing bedroom.
    Also have a zone(oil) in basement to keep basement above 55. (Pipes
    With that said, we are now burning about 350-400 gal and burning 4 tons/Winter.
    We are also warmer as we keep the first floor between 70 and 76 depending on outside temp.
    Used to run at 68 on oil but was not warm.

    With today's prices: oil at $369/gal and pellets(local brand) at $224/ton we are saving around $900/yr and are warmer.
    As far a Harman's go, we are finishing up on our 5th year with the stove and are pleased.
    Did have to replace an igniter once(Bad batch from supplier) also changed control board and circulation fan.
    The board and fan covered by warranty. Harman stoves will burn almost anything you put in them and easy to clean.

    Hope my long-winded post is helpful.
    Welcome to the forum and good luck with your search!
  23. LOPI AGP

    LOPI AGP New Member

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    Orange county NY
    I just want to add my 2 cents. I have a house similar to the poster. I have a 1500 sf house in upstate new york. I got the lopi AGP pellet stove in my family room which is almost the basement. I have a split level house. I still have a half basement where my hot water heater and furnace are located. The agp is hooked up to a thermostat set at 80 degrees. So the family room which is a large room 35 x 25 is at 80 degrees all the time. The heat rises. My maine level where the living room dining room and kitchen are located is at 74-75 and the bedrooms and main bathroom are at is at 68-72. The big thing is the out side temp. When it was in the single digits The stove still kept the lower level at 80 but the main level was at 72 ish and the bedrooms were at 68 to 70. My heating system hasn't kicked in since I brought the Lopi. I have burned around 3 tons of NE pellets. Problem with those pellets is the ash build up. I am doing a full cleaning once a week. I have it down to 20 mins to clean the whole unit and the stove is back up and running. So I guess what I am trying to say is that yes you can use it as primary heating for your house. I even have that zone on my generator back up panel so if I lose electricity I can still have the Lopi running. Good luck.

    Robert
    Brokenwing likes this.
  24. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    W Central MO
    That sure looks like an old hit and miss engine that runs off of fossil fuel from what I can see in the pic.
  25. doingitonadime

    doingitonadime New Member

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    I will not argue that fact with you , all I know is it came with the house and the 67 old granson told me it was a steam powered engine to many things on my plate never got a chance to really look at it to be completely honest

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