A Little Grouchy... Greenfire GFI55 Enviro Stove Stinks & High Insurance

lkw130 Posted By lkw130, Apr 20, 2016 at 11:18 AM

  1. lkw130

    lkw130
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    Apr 20, 2016
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    Hello,

    I am a new poster to this forum so please forgive my ranting. I purchased a Greenfire stove a few years ago because I was on a budget and boy do I regret it. The stove vendor I purchased from assured me it would heat my 1200 square foot condo just fine. (Not to mention that they didn't install the unit properly to begin with.) Well, it doesn't. We are freezing every winter. Last winter was very mild and we still went through 3 tons of pellets.

    So, we decided to stop using it. Yet, my insurance company will still charge me $65/year to insure the stove unless they get proof it has been removed (and I don't want to remove it.) I am so sad about how much money I have invested in this appliance that I thought I would love. At the time I bought it I did not have the funds to purchase a nice cast iron model. I am so sad for all of the back breaking pellet lugging, all for naught.

    I hope I don't sound like a Grouchy Gus, but is there anything you would recommend? Sell the unit and pretend like I didn't botch this whole thing? I realize I made lots of mistakes but I'm wondering what the best thing is to do now.

    Thanks for listening. : (

    Lisa
     
  2. rich2500

    rich2500
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    What model greenfire do you have
     
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  3. lkw130

    lkw130
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    Apr 20, 2016
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    Hi Rich,

    I have a GFI55.
     
  4. johneh

    johneh
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    A space heater such as a pellet stove is only as good as the area you are trying to heat
    How well sealed (windows , doors )
    How well insulated
    how old, construction type
    Open concept or higully piggly ( lots of dividing walls )
    I personally use 4 ton to keep 1 600sq ft. poorly insulated room warm
    As to your Ins. I'd be looking for a new company . My stove added no cost to my Ins.
     
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  5. lkw130

    lkw130
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    Apr 20, 2016
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    You're right, and thank you for the insight. But we struggle to get it up to 66 degrees in approximately 1,000 square feet over two levels. The bottom floor is about 600 and then an extra 400 upstairs - so yes, a bit higully piggly. : ) My chimney inspector last year said they couldn't even sell this model because it worked so poorly, they had to send it back to the manufacturer. You get what you pay for - I've learned my lesson.

    I will definitely look for a new insurance company. Thank you!
     
  6. Tonyray

    Tonyray
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    have the same sq footage you do... 600 DOWN/400 UP.
    using a Harman P 61A.... A bit overkill but with a ceiling fan at the top of the steps running on lowest speed[clockwise].
    it heats our poorly insulated house all winter.... 3/half tons during a normal cold winter..
    also have an OAK installed for better combustion....
     
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  7. rich2500

    rich2500
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    Could you explain a bit more about the condo,insulation, are the windows drafty etc,etc, how is it laid out, if you have lots of doorways and walls it's gonna be very hard to heat the entire condo with any Pellet stove. You say it's wasn't installed correctly what is the problem there. So many variables that could play into why the stove is not heating the place. Like Johneh says these are basically space heaters and many people have cool rooms in the house.I'm lucky and got an open floor plan that is 1200 sq.feet and with one of the smallest stoves made I heat my entire house with the stove on low and a temp.difference of 2 deg.in the rooms furthest from the stove.Also what pellets are you burning that can also play a big part in the heat output.
     
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  8. Lake Girl

    Lake Girl
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    The lay-out of the condo, in relation to other units, may have a large bearing on heat energy needed also. Our condo only has one exterior wall so heating is relatively minimal cost. If an end unit with 3 exterior walls, insulation, windows, doors become more of a factor.

    In theory, that unit should heat the space. Do you have an OAK (outside air kit)? What brand pellets have you been using?
     
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  9. lkw130

    lkw130
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    Apr 20, 2016
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    Thank you for all of your comments. I don't believe I have an outside air kit, but I will definitely check that out. I have been using Barefoot pellets. Insulation is probably not that great, it's a condo from the 1980's, but I've really got no clue about specifics. Windows are not excellent, they are the side sliding kind and aren't horrible but are not the best. I am an end unit, so that's definitely not the best! As for the layout, the living room is on one side (where the stove is, obviously), with an adjacent a stairwell. Kitchen and foyer is on other side. Hard to explain, but it's kind of a standard townhouse setup. It's somewhat open, but not especially. Upstairs there is a bathroom and a bedroom (with master bathroom within). The second bedroom upstairs we keep shut during the winter.

    In terms of the screwed up install, I can't remember everything unfortunately. But the following year the chimney inspector/cleaner did not hook the exhaust pipe back up properly and I had no idea till the third winter when the next cleaner noticed this. So, that third year it did seem to work a lot better but again, we had a mild winter.

    My local electric supplier does energy audits for around $100. I may invest in that to see if they can help address some of these issues. Thank you for reminding me of that and for all of your thoughts!
     
  10. MadMax31

    MadMax31
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    Barefoots burn hot in my englander. I was going to ask what you consider chilley. Burning propain, our stat is set for 64. Pellets keep us 68-74 depending on pellet quality and ambient temps. My father put computer fan style fans in door corners to move heat from wood stove around. Actually worked.

    We have 1600 sq ft, single story, very open.
     
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  11. lkw130

    lkw130
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    See, now I was very pessimistic about those fans, but perhaps I was too hasty. As for how chilly it is - in January/February we're lucky if we get to 66. We have to keep turning the electric heat on and basically use the stove for supplementary heat. Of course I could turn the stove up too, but then I'd be burning 4+ pallets and still be cold! We've fiddled with all of the settings and nothing seems to help enough.
     
  12. ohbix

    ohbix
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    I think greenfire is made by Enviro. To get stove specific help, you might add enviro stove in your title. Their gf60 stove matches my enviro M55 stove. Outside air is highly recommended. Was the damper set w/ a magnehelic gauge? Are you able to get hot air out of the vents on any of the heat settings? Can you get the room w/ the stove warm/hot? If you haven't done so, you can download both the technical manual and the owners manual for your stove. Reading those might help you determine what to check re: installation/operation.
     
  13. lkw130

    lkw130
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    I wasn't present upon install but I didn't take the time to set with a magnehelic gauge... I'm not very mechanical so I would probably screw it up but my boyfriend is an electrician so I'm sure he could figure it out. We've checked out the manuals but nothing has worked. The oven is warmish in the immediate area (hot air does come out), but beyond that, not so much.
     
  14. Metal

    Metal
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    If you don't have an OAK (Outside Air Kit) installed you are sucking cold air into your house (through cracks/crannies) at the same rate hot air is going up the chimney. In a small house/condo that kind of draft can make a huge difference.
     
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  15. alternativeheat

    alternativeheat
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    Having an OAK or not won't cut back something like a ton of pellets a year for ya ( it will have some effect) but it will reduce perceived drafts and real drafts. If the house leaks air, you're just setting up a sucking motion for the air to enter all the more, literally, with no OAK. If the house is really tight then you can reduce flame efficiency with no OAK. Either way becomes a win win with OAK, plus if the manufacturer of the stove recommends one, then it's a no brainer. So, moving on, even if the house is only a little warmer with the OAK vs no OAK, the feeling of comfort might largely increase because of feeling that presence of warmth over taking the area vs cold . This is a real thing, a house can be 68 and feel comfortable or it can be 68 and feel uncomfortable . Plus in deed the stove works a bit less at it at the same time.

    I'm not familiar with the mechanics of your stove at all but if it has a mechanical damper and that has never been set up you could be losing a lot of heat and burning more fuel to just throw the heat up the chimney/out the venting. This is a critical setting on stoves with such a damper, not so much in the sense of safety but efficiency. Someone around here should know the stats on that. It's not me, I'm in the Harman camp and that is another whole matter in this regard ( blower speed control via electronics vs mechanical damper control). Maybe someone will chime in.

    A loose house in the end is a loose house and pellet consumption will be directly related to weather changes. I have an 1800sq ft cape, in the exceptionally long and exceptionally cold winter of 2014-15 I used 4 tons here but the house was basically 73 deg almost unwavering. I did run a little central oil heat the few nights with deeper negative numbers that winter though, not trusting pipes in walls in outer rooms. We had steady 40 + MPH winds with that cold for it seemed like, well all winter. Our house isn't all that tight but the central block of the heating area down stairs is easy to maintain those temps or more . Some out rooms can get chilly in the 0 weather. When oil prices are high I can heat all winter with just the stove ( Harman P61A), especially on an average winter but we pay in pellets to do it. Nothing is for nothing ! This winter I used 1-1/3 tons of pellets and some oil because oil was low enough to do that. I cut the stove back and the oil up, let the oil cycle on now and then. On the other hand the P61 can be a blast furnace too, hot enough you don't want to sit too near it or you tend to lean away if you do.
     
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  16. Tonyray

    Tonyray
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    Good explanation there...
     
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  17. Lake Girl

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    When the chimney is cleaned, what about the internal exhaust path within the stove? Has the room blower been cleaned? Has the exhaust blower been cleaned? Has the firebox backing been removed?

    These stoves also have a damper adjustment that is supposed to be set up with a magnehelic on installation. Has that been adjusted for a better more efficient burn (even w/o the proper set-up)?

    Seems closet to the Enviro Meridian on first glance... on high fire, wc reading should be .11 - .12
    Page 5: http://enviro.com/custom_content/docs/manuals/C-12145%20Instruction%20PELLET%20Service%20Manual.pdf
     
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  18. stoveguy2esw

    stoveguy2esw
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    questions I would ask if someone called my support line;

    install (would want the customer to describe it to me starting at the stove) to ensure it is within specs needed. sometimes even supposed professional installers don't do it to spec for the model itself.

    how much fuel does it use in a day (24 hours) so I could quantify if it was inputting enough fuel to create the expected heat.

    what does the fire look like? is it big and dark orange or small and very bright yellow? this gives an indication of airflow, a stove can move too little air and not heat well due to not burning the fuel as completely as it should , or could feed inconsistently due to not enough air for the vacuum switch. a small very bright fire indicates too much air and with too much air the heat released leaves the stove faster than it can transfer to the heat exchangers (which send it to the room)

    the answers to these questions will usually let me know what is happening and in most cases I can solve the issue with one of my stoves, bear in mind I do not know the specifics of your model but pellet stoves in general are pretty much the same. the "no heat pellet stove" issue is usually going to be the stove not feeding as much as it should, or the exhaust is running so fast it literally yanks the heat out the vent.
     
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  19. Don2222

    Don2222
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    X2 I have 1100 sqft up and 900 sqft down with my P61a which is 61,000 BTUs. I extended the room probe to the upper level and hardly ever need to adjust the heat level!! It adjusts automatically!
    You cannot get a better stove than a P 61 and if you look around, you can get a used one cheap and fix it up. I just got this Factory Blue P61 with gold trim for under $1,000. I painted the fire box high temp Flat black, the outside High Temp Satin Black and the trim High Temp Flat Aluminum with 2 coats of high gloss clear!
    With a little sweat equity, you can get a great stove for a very economical price!!!

    See pics
     

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  20. Watcher1

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    Nice job.
     
  21. stovelark

    stovelark
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    LKW130- I see your plight, normally Enviro stoves are pretty good heaters. You have the equivalent stove to an Enviro Meridian, its been out for a long time, good solid heater. If you want someone who knows that stove well (along with most other pellet stoves), my Friend Al Stomsky over in Southington can help you. If you want, PM me and I'll give you his info. That stove if set up right and running good fuel should easily handle that area you're talking. Take care.
     
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  22. smwilliamson

    smwilliamson
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    I've seen that model stove heat a 2000sqft home very well. Maybe you should consider a new home?
     
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