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Wood to Pellets

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Steamer, Sep 30, 2010.

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  1. Steamer

    Steamer Member

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2008
    Messages:
    76
    Loc:
    Southern Vt
    I have been burning wood since 1981 and am currently thinking about switching to a pellet stove. I have a large wood lot so the wood cost is my labor. I have an old wood stove Nashua that heats really well but needs a lot of tending such as being filled frequently as I burn hot fires with dry wood to keep chimney clean. I only burn about 1 1/2 cords a year when I am home and about 250- 300 gallons of oil to heat the house which is 2,000 square feet and well insulated. I would like heat entirely with a wood product. I was looking at the Quadra Fire Mt Vernon and the dealer explained the cleaning of fly ash and after every ton cleaning other parts inside that takes about an hour and then at the end of the season cleaning all components. My question are:
    1) What is the maintenance of pellet stove to keep to in good operational order
    2) Is it difficult to do

    I am mechanically inclined and to do most things my self.

    Thanks in advance

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  2. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    1) weekly vacuuming of the firebox, dumping the ash pan weekly, removing the baffle and cleaning the heat xchanger weekly.

    2) no. takes me about 20 mins after stove is cooled off.

    by the way I have a Mt Vernon AE and it heats my 2000 sq ft 2 story.
    your results may vary.
  3. tsmith

    tsmith Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 13, 2009
    Messages:
    764
    Loc:
    Kutztown, PA
    I too have the Mt. Vernon AE and again it only takes about 20 minutes a week to clean glass, burn pot fire box etc. Once a month I clean baffle and exhaust pipe. At end of season I do a very thorough cleaning of everything and paint the baffle and spray all internal areas with Pam cooking spray. Stove is on the lower floor of my Bi-Level 1700 sq. ft. home and is my main source of heat. Works very well.
  4. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    oops. good catch tsmith I forgot to metion wiping the glass.
  5. TDHJ

    TDHJ New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2010
    Messages:
    9
    Loc:
    NW NJ
    I used a wood burner for 13 yrs. and was great but spent way too much time splitting wood(6 cords a yr). So I decided to convert to pellets. I have been slightly frustrated with mine that I bought in 08. Overall I think it's a good stove, however I think they put a little too much technology into it. Too many sensors on it and the auto clean had given me problems(causing it to shutdown and waking up to a cold house) until they replaced the mother board and warranty replace the fire pot w/ an improved design last year. Since then it has been reliable. Less work preparing for winter but a little more time spent cleaning it versus a wood burner. It does not pump out the heat like a wood burner but you can keep your heat more steady.
  6. vgrund

    vgrund Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2005
    Messages:
    375
    Loc:
    Amherst, NH
    Smoke show is accurate. I also have a Mt Vernon AE, it heats lots of my 3600 sq feet even though it is not ideally placed. Pellet stoves dump the vast majority of their heat into the air - there is comparatively little infrared radiation. I have a theory that this enhances their ability to move heat to more remote parts of a house without completely baking the room in which they are installed. It's just a theory.
  7. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 9, 2008
    Messages:
    1,457
    Loc:
    central maine Lat 45
    Not a theory, fact. My convection fan is at floor level, the fan pulls colder air off the floor and the air in all rooms is replaced by warmer air. I run mine med heat and med fan, does not take long to replace the air in all my rooms.
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