2,700 sq ft ranch. Need a starting point

Ducky

Member
Nov 4, 2010
83
Buffalo, NY
im on oil heat out here at my new place and the lay out of the house means I can install a pellet stove in my living room which with a couple fans can push the heat right down the hall that leads to the rest of the house.

So this is what I am looking for (have wood stove experience not for my house no thank you)

A blower
Thermostat
Something that can hold at least one bag
Easy to clean
Easy to work with

I know everyone has their fave stoves but if you could list pros and cons of those you have personal experience with that'd be great

Also, what am I looking for installations Costs? I'll need it installed

Cost of the stove?
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,751
South Central NH
Harman's don't technically have thermostats - they have room probes, but a thermostat can easily be hooked up (my P43 is currently shutting down after the thermostat told it the house is warm enough). The hoppers are large enough to hold at least one bag (and extensions can be bought to bring that up - both my stoves can hold 2.5-3 bags). Easy to clean and the ash pans are large enough that can go several weeks between emptying the ash pan. Please keep in mind I am only experienced with the P-series, so if you are looking at inserts, that could be different.

As for install, if you can possibly set up the stove so it already blows directly down the hall, I think you will be happier and use less (or no) additional fans. This is my currant configuration, and I don't have to use supplemental fans at all to keep the bedrooms 40' away warm.
Main%20Floor%20Layout-sm_zpsbkbc2jho.jpg
P43%20Hopper%20Extension%20Installed%2011-1-15_zps7ghwvqgh.jpg

I previously had a St. Croix Hastings that was a true corner install in that same spot (necessary for clearance reasons) so the air stream was aimed kitty-corner, and I had several fans set up to push the air down the hall. Very noisy and the bedrooms did not stay nearly as warm. Just something to think about.
 

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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,325
Eastern Ontario
You may have just opened 1 Large can of worms . People here are loyal to there brand of stove .
The make you buy is not as important as the dealer you buy from. Find a good one close to home
and buy the stove that YOU like remember to keep the better half happy . You are trying to heat
a large space with a stove which is not designed to do that . Buy a bigger stove than you think you
will need. Makers est. on heating sq. ft. are only good in a perfect world . This depends on how tight
and well insulated you house is . Two of the best makes are Harman and Enviro both heat well
and are easy to clean. But there are others that will do the job you want done . As to installation
I have no idea what they charge . I found it easy an inexpensive to do my own install but
then I have worked many trades and am master of more than 1 It is not a big job just
a bunch of little jobs run together . Good luck and welcome to the forum
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,333
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
They make pellet furnaces to replace or supplement whatever your oil system did. At your square footage, and with a basement I assume since you live in N.Y., it can be a great option for even heat. Even a pellet stove will be messy, noisy, and not much to look at.
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
You might want to send a PM to this forum member ChrisWNY . He has a Farenheit pellet furnace for his 2500 sq ft. home.
 
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jzm2cc

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2014
503
Northern Michigan
im on oil heat out here at my new place and the lay out of the house means I can install a pellet stove in my living room which with a couple fans can push the heat right down the hall that leads to the rest of the house.

So this is what I am looking for (have wood stove experience not for my house no thank you)

A blower
Thermostat
Something that can hold at least one bag
Easy to clean
Easy to work with

I know everyone has their fave stoves but if you could list pros and cons of those you have personal experience with that'd be great

Also, what am I looking for installations Costs? I'll need it installed

Cost of the stove?
Stoves I've used over the years in various homes and can say they worked well.

Lower cost listed first in list:
Pelpro pp130
Heatilator Cab50 or PS50
Quadrafire CB1200
St Croix Prescott EXP or Afton Bay
Harman P43, P61, XXV, or P68
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
Should read some of the specifics of ChrisWNY 's install. He has a Farenheit pellet furnace heating his 2500 sq ft home.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,333
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,333
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Thanks Highbeam, just home from trip so a bit on the lazy side...
I too wanted to read it and since I was there....

Lots of people say 2700 sf ranch and think that we all know that there is another 2700 SF basement under it. Or they really mean 2700 SF rambler with no basement. Or maybe they mean house and basement, each level 1350 SF for a total of 2700 SF. Which is this one?

Basements are cool. They allow for really interesting pellet/wood furnace options as well as heat pump water heaters. It's living space that you don't need to live in. Sadly, in the PNW, we almost never get basements. Jut 2 foot tall crawlspaces under the insulated subfloor.
 

Lake Girl

Moderator
Nov 12, 2011
6,940
NW Ontario
In Buffalo area (where I am from originally) homes tend to have basements. Vaguely recall my Grandma's home on West Delavan ... turn of the century 3 story home with a very damp stone basement. Our home on Grand Island was a 60s ranch that was likely 2,000 sq ft on the first floor had concrete basement and sump pump. Aunt & Uncle's place in West Seneca also had a basement....
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,004
southwestern Minn
im on oil heat out here at my new place and the lay out of the house means I can install a pellet stove in my living room which with a couple fans can push the heat right down the hall that leads to the rest of the house.

So this is what I am looking for (have wood stove experience not for my house no thank you)

A blower
Thermostat
Something that can hold at least one bag
Easy to clean
Easy to work with

I know everyone has their fave stoves but if you could list pros and cons of those you have personal experience with that'd be great

Also, what am I looking for installations Costs? I'll need it installed

Cost of the stove?
Look for a 50,000 btu stove. Try to find one with a large fuel hopper and large ash container. Also make sure you buy one that you can leave running while you dump the ash bucket. Some stoves will burn up to a ton of good quality pellets before needing to be shut down for cleaning. They also will run on a thermostat shutting down and restarting on its own.
I would stay away from the "New Models" because they always seem to have bugs that the company has to work out and the first owners are going to be the ones suffering when the stove quits and the dealer doesn't have a clue on how to keep it running.
You can get some great deals on used stoves on Craigs list or elsewhere and often times after investing in the cost of a replacement part you will have a stove that runs just as good as a new one for less then half the cost. This is also a smart move because service calls are spendy and most of the time the owner is better off learning how to service the stove himself.
You mention your home is 2500 sq ft ranch style If that is the main floor that is about the same as our home. Originally I put a pellet stove in the basement with two stairways I figured the circulation from the stairways would be enough to bring heat upstairs. to the main floor. I tried 3 different stoves before giving up on that idea. Next I installed a 50,000 btu stove on the main floor which has worked great. This house has good insulation and we live in Southwestern Minn which sees -20 F temps . If the temp stays at -20 I also have a stove in the basement and will run it to keep the basement pipes from freezing. But I only use 2 bags of pellets down there in a season so that stove is barely on.
There is many choices out there but be sure to look at efficiency . There is lots of stoves that will say 45,000 or 50,000 btu but look at how much of that heat is blown out the exh pipe instead of being reclaimed by the heat exchangers and distributed in side your home. Most stove will do a fair job of reclaiming the heat until they get to 75% of capacity after that a lot will loose efficiency so keep that in mind.
As a example I would recommend a Harman P-68 for your size home. It is a proven design, Has electronic ignition, Uses a temp probe and you can add a additional programmable thermostat. It can be equipped with a hopper extension which will allow you to leave home for a longer duration then a small hopper. This model will also burn a ton of good pellets before needing to be shut down for cleaning..
I am in a position that I can burn corn cheaper then pellets so I use a multifuel stove. That maybe a option for you to consider. Cherry pits are a good fuel if they are available. The down side of a pellet stove is you are at the mercy of the pellet manufacturers price. If you have other souces of fuel you might want to consider a multifuel stove.
 
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Snowy Rivers

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
1,810
NW Oregon
WE have a 2300 ft ranch and utilize 3 stoves placed throughout the house to efficiently heat it

We have a large Whitfield in the family room which is in the North middle bordering the bedrooms.

Diagonally through the house to the far opposite end on the south side is a Small Whitfield and directly to it's right on the North wall (15 feet away) is a Quadrafire 1000.

We tried heating with one large stove, and during nasty weather one end of the house was cold while the other end fried.

In moderate weather we can effectively heat the entire house with the little Whit, and during slightly nasty weather the big Whit handles it fine.

When we get below 30 F we add the little guy and if its gets really COLD we can augment with the 3rd one.

This is weather down in the low single digits to zero with wind.

Running with a single large stove is a serious problem to keep an even temp, especially in a ranch of the size you have.

Then there is the issue of "Stove takes a dump on a late COLD DARK SUNDAY NIGHT.

With more than one you can at least keep the place habitable until you get parts to fix things.


Hope this helps

Snowy
 
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The Grintch

Burning Hunk
Apr 4, 2013
177
North Attleboro
My house is 2,500 sf, I have a P68. Down stairs is 72, upstairs is 65.
 
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UpStateNY

Feeling the Heat
May 4, 2008
368
Catskill Mountains
Find a wood pellet dealer near by that you trust. May take awhile to figure out if the dealer can be trusted. There are a number of companies that make good Wood Pellet Stoves.

That said, nobody ever got divorced over buying a Harman pellet stove. If there is a Harman Pellet stove dealer not too far away pull the hammer and have him install it with an Outside Air Kit (OAK). Set it up so the stove points down the hall way. You can make your own hearth like I did or buy one on-line. My chimney goes through the wall and immediately points down. I never had a problem with smoke in house during electric outage. Its not that complicated.

BTW - I would not recommend my Harman Advanced because it takes longer to clean than all the other Harman models.

BTW the only reason you may save money with Wood Pellets versus OIL at current prices is by heating the living room to a nice cozy warm 74 degrees and the bedrooms down the hall at a comfortable 60 something sleeping temp. You will need to buy a humidifier.
 
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rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,004
southwestern Minn
We have a ranch house with bedrooms on one side and living room-dining room and kitchen on the other. I put the stove in the dining room and it was about in the middle of one side of the house. If it gets real cold I can start a similar model in the basement. I also have the similar model in my shop and if needed can swap parts with any of the three so never had a long term problem. In the line of dependability simpler is better because less parts are needed on a simple stove. Less parts usually means less things to go wrong. Having said that once you master how your stove works you will be a long ways ahead as you eliminate human error.
 

Ducky

Member
Nov 4, 2010
83
Buffalo, NY
Old thread, I know... Life has happened to me, I turn around its 2019?!

Still running my oil, still no stoves installed.

I still have my stove from my old shop which I REFUSE to use in the house.

Ill be checking out local dealers and such, after talking to people however, it seams pretty straight forward to install a pellet, esp with the fireplace... Ill get a free standing vs insert, easier to install, and if anything happens to it I can get to it.

Ill also look into multi fuel stoves...

is there a shorter phrase I should be looking for vs 'multi fuel'?

Im out in the country surrounded by farmers so I may be able to get fuel cheaper... how much do you pellet people go through in a season?

Mid october - mid april is about average heating for us in buffalo, I can normally push it to end of october, early april depending on weather.


As far as my oil heat, my furnace is a BEAST... is a 185K btu cadillac... lol

I put about $2k into the whole system last winter...

I buy my oil locally and fill the tank as I go along allows me to better regulate my costs... but would like a the 'security' and well as the peace of mind that a stove brings.

For instance at my old shop, I spent about $1000 every fall on firewood, and had heat for my shop, and no heating bill all winter (my companies slow time - work gets spotty,)

It was nice not having to worry how much oil do i have, and then budgetting to buy oil - at the old place cause i just walked out the back door to my huge pile of wood and bam, good to go... Id like something similar - only not wood lol
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,333
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
For instance at my old shop, I spent about $1000 every fall on firewood, and had heat for my shop, and no heating bill all winter (my companies slow time - work gets spotty,)

It was nice not having to worry how much oil do i have, and then budgetting to buy oil - at the old place cause i just walked out the back door to my huge pile of wood and bam, good to go... Id like something similar - only not wood lol
Can't you just fill a huge oil or propane tank and be in the same situation? Or even prebuy your propane? Or put money in a jar? Even the pellet guys will often buy their entire season's pellet supply and store it.
 

Bert Dawes

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
17
Cattaraugus NY
I Have a Harman P68 that i use to heat 2200 sqft, its pretty quite compared to what we use to have and even then you get use to it after a while and don't even notice it. they are super easy to maintain and look nice. since i see you are local to me I personally recommend Dry Creek Pellets around our area, they are make in Arcade put out a ton of heat and very low ash. depending on where you are located in the WNY area I can tell you some great places to get them at. and Installation is super easy that could be done by yourself instead of paying an arm and a leg for dealer install, chit id even do it on the side, I clean and repair friends stoves all around me.
 

Ducky

Member
Nov 4, 2010
83
Buffalo, NY
I Have a Harman P68 that i use to heat 2200 sqft, its pretty quite compared to what we use to have and even then you get use to it after a while and don't even notice it. they are super easy to maintain and look nice. since i see you are local to me I personally recommend Dry Creek Pellets around our area, they are make in Arcade put out a ton of heat and very low ash. depending on where you are located in the WNY area I can tell you some great places to get them at. and Installation is super easy that could be done by yourself instead of paying an arm and a leg for dealer install, chit id even do it on the side, I clean and repair friends stoves all around me.
I am up in Akron... but can, and will travel. I figure I can store 4 pallets of pellets in my attached garage, with impacting my life too much

Can't you just fill a huge oil or propane tank and be in the same situation? Or even prebuy your propane? Or put money in a jar? Even the pellet guys will often buy their entire season's pellet supply and store it.
Funny you say that. My house came with a 1,000 gallon tank... buried under my driveway. For whatever reason the feed line is plugged, we tried to back blow it, but unless I want to risk a blow out (at the time 500G in the tank...

I installed a 275G in the basement. and essentially 'turned off' the underground tank, and then used my harbor frieght pump to pump it out..

At the moment I I fill my 275 using 4, 5g gas cans... I buy at $2.50/g... and run between 250-300/month.

Having tandem tanks is in my future, however whats more closer to reality is a pellet stove.
 

mikkeeh

Feeling the Heat
Dec 7, 2011
417
NE Ohio
A 50k btu pellet stove is gonna burn about 7 lbs/hr running wide open. If you’re trying to heat 2500ft.....that’s a fair amount of area. That’s roughly 3 bags a day. If you buy pellets at 250/ton...that’s 15/day, or 450/mo. You might want to stay with oil.

I heat 1300sg/ft ranch built in 2007, with a P43. Plus a castle serenity in the basement when the temps get below 20 or so. Im halfway through ton #5 this season.

Pellets are cheaper than some fuels...but if it were me, and I could heat for 300/mo with oil.....that’s gonna be the cheapest.

Also consider now you are running 185k btu ducted furnace....and thinking about replacing with a 50k space heater....
 
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