Anyone else use ONLY their Pellet stove as primary heat source?

PeteFromMaine

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
13
Maine
Just wondering what other folks' experience has been using only a pellet stove with no backup or supplemental heat source. I'm going on 5 years now with my trusty Harman P38. I literally turned off my old oil furnace 5 years ago and haven't run it since then. I was so excited about not paying for oil I forgot that the oil would probably go bad and if I ever wanted to use the furnace again I'd have to get the oil drained, furnace cleaned, repaired gaskets, etc. Oops!

Anyways, I run the Harman 24/7 from mid/late November to about April here in the Northeast. Never had any issues but I'm waiting for the day something breaks and my house drops to 30 degrees! What's the most likely thing to break? I might think about beginning to amass spare parts so when that day comes I'm just swapping out a part and continuing on.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
2,351
Eastern Ontario
Pellet stove and a wood furnace are what I use.
Have to keep a working oil furnace for insurance
No one here will give you insurance coverage if
you do not have an automatic type of heating system
oil, gas or electric. But my new oil tank (manditory replacement)
has never had a drop of oil in it. Have not burnt any oil for 30 years
 
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jerrieric

Feeling the Heat
Jul 7, 2008
333
Windham Me
I'm in Windham Maine and I start burning whenever it gets cold. I've had my stove on a couple of days over the last month or so. Looks like it's going to get into the forties tonight so I'm going use it later tonight to ward off the chill I the morning. I always burn 24/7 and use 4 tons plus or minus each year. I still have the oil furnace running for hot water only.
 

zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
728
bc
I use the pellet mainly for primary... gas furnace is only used at night to keep things dropping below 0 since I shut the stove off at night. This keeps me legal for insurance and makes sure my furnace is always working incase the stove goes down

Sent from my SM-G950W using Tapatalk
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Burn pellets 24/7. Use oil for hot water only. And of course the furnace is a backup in case the stove develops a problem. Always good to have a heat backup source.
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
579
Newport, Wa
I live in East Washington State. We replaced Wood Stove with Pellet Stove. Have Trane X13 Heat Pump with 15kw Strips. I don't use it when nighttime temps get down to below 30f. 2nd year on Harmon XXV Pellet Stove.

Went thru 4.1 tons last year and got another 5 tons for this year. Have had some days of using when it got down to 20's.

Average Electric bill is about 240 monthly. Most of that from Four 5k garage shop heaters. 2 in 30x20 Wood Shop and Two in 2 Car Garage with 200 sq ft shop. Up to about 110 k daily use right now. Or .05x110 about $5.00 day electric use. Can't image what it would be on Heat Pump with Strips running for heat. I use couple fans to kick the air around. Supplemental electric heaters in Bathroom and 400 sq ft room downstairs.

I plan on extra parts to have onhand. Already have Distibution Blower sitting. Next couple of Ignitors and then Combusion fan. I like the Wood Heat Feel. I was just getting too broken to do wood anymore.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
I live in East Washington State. We replaced Wood Stove with Pellet Stove. Have Trane X13 Heat Pump with 15kw Strips. I don't use it when nighttime temps get down to below 30f. 2nd year on Harmon XXV Pellet Stove.

Went thru 4.1 tons last year and got another 5 tons for this year. Have had some days of using when it got down to 20's.

Average Electric bill is about 240 monthly. Most of that from Four 5k garage shop heaters. 2 in 30x20 Wood Shop and Two in 2 Car Garage with 200 sq ft shop. Up to about 110 k daily use right now. Or .05x110 about $5.00 day electric use. Can't image what it would be on Heat Pump with Strips running for heat. I use couple fans to kick the air around. Supplemental electric heaters in Bathroom and 400 sq ft room downstairs.

I plan on extra parts to have onhand. Already have Distibution Blower sitting. Next couple of Ignitors and then Combusion fan. I like the Wood Heat Feel. I was just getting too broken to do wood anymore.
agree... chopping, splitting, stacking, moving 2-3x is a younger man's job....
too much work....
 
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Pellet rick

Feeling the Heat
Nov 25, 2015
448
Pottstown PA.
In Pa here use a cheap PDV-25 as my only heat source for the 8 years. Haven’t turned on the oil burner even one time.
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
579
Newport, Wa
agree... chopping, splitting, stacking, moving 2-3x is a younger man's job....
too much work....
Sure is. I did stupid thing. had about 4 cords to buck up and got it all done in big pile and tripped over one round. One hit me in chest and I ripped left shoulder muscle and shoulder. Had to sit down for 15 min in so much pain. I got about 80% back, no surgery. So I went pellets. Would have been very easy for wife to move the big pile of segments out of the way with tractor.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
Sure is. I did stupid thing. had about 4 cords to buck up and got it all done in big pile and tripped over one round. One hit me in chest and I ripped left shoulder muscle and shoulder. Had to sit down for 15 min in so much pain. I got about 80% back, no surgery. So I went pellets. Would have been very easy for wife to move the big pile of segments out of the way with tractor.
Yikes!!!!
 

kappel15

Minister of Fire
Sep 14, 2014
2,298
Iowa
I heat strictly with my corn stoves. But I do have my natural gas furnace for back up if need be. I rarely run the AE in the basement, unless it gets real cold out. kap
 

mountainmike

New Member
Jan 30, 2019
2
Western Maryland
I really hate burning oil, but I think it's important to have a back up. I usually get 100 gallons of oil a season. I try not to use much of it, but it's nice to have if I go out of town or if I want to shut down the stove to clean it.

I've gone some winters without oil because my furnace needed serviced and I didn't have the $, but I was always worried about what I would do if something on my pellet stove would break. I try to be more proactive now.
 

tlc1976

Feeling the Heat
Oct 7, 2012
377
Northwest Lower Michigan
I heat strictly with pellets and have done so since January 2016. I have an LP boiler as a backup but that's all it is and knock on wood I haven't needed it ever. I shut it down completely in the summer and in the winter I light the pilot and set the thermostat at about 45 so it won't kick on unless the stove goes down for any reason. I also keep spare parts for the stove on hand.
 
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Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
612
Miller MO
Only pellets for 4 years in a Big E, then wood only for two years in a Eco Choice WS18, now on second year of pellets with a cb1200. I tell my customers they should always have backup heat, but I run a lot of emergency calls in winter because it’s an “only source of heat”. It’s annoying when they say that and I show up to a warm house.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
I really hate burning oil, but I think it's important to have a back up. I usually get 100 gallons of oil a season. I try not to use much of it, but it's nice to have if I go out of town or if I want to shut down the stove to clean it.

I've gone some winters without oil because my furnace needed serviced and I didn't have the $, but I was always worried about what I would do if something on my pellet stove would break. I try to be more proactive now.
same here... 100 gallons a year for domestic hot water..
 

Sm1ley

New Member
Dec 13, 2018
20
Western Colorado
I do. I bought my house last year and all it had was electric baseboard heat and 6" pipe where a wood stove was.

It does not get that cold here during the day because I get tons of sun and live in a temperate and dry Mediterranean climate. The high/low for December and January is 38/15 F every other month is warmer. I pretty much use the stove late October through early April.

I also have had to replace the auger motor (out of warranty) and exhaust blower (in warranty) due to the bearings getting terribly loud. I have kept the old parts for spares in case something breaks.
 

Warmer Winters

New Member
Oct 16, 2019
4
MA
I have two stoves! The first (Enviro Empress) was installed on the north side of the house which works well balancing the sun side. We have an addition that is just too far away from that stove, but gets a lot of use so I bought a used Enviro Mini. Like others, we need to keep the oil burner going for hot water.

My strategy for an all pellet heat winter: Buy second copies of all maintenance items. That means a second exhaust fan assembly, a second convection fan assembly and possibly a second auger motor to mitigate delivery times (assuming you buy on-line). I rebuild units, but others simply replace. In my case, there is some overlap of components stove to stove.

Temps can get down to 0F. Before the second stove, the Empress would just about keep up, but some rooms were a tad cool.
 

shtrdave

Feeling the Heat
Feb 13, 2012
250
SW PA
I bought a P43 in 2012. It has been my main source of heat for my living space since then. I do have a heat pump system that is used for Ac i the summer and heat before I really need the pellet stove and in the spring when it starts warming up.

I have replaced my combustion motor/fan assembly, I light manually so I think the igniter may be bad. Mine also runs 24/7 except when I shut it down for a monthly cleaning.
 
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Lordtimothy200

New Member
Dec 29, 2018
16
Nebraska
We heat mainly with the St Croix Corn stove, starting in Oct till April. It runs 24/7 unless we are gone more than 2 days in a row during the winter. Once we start it, pretty much runs constant. For example yesterday it was 65 degree's outside-so we just opened the front door as it was getting a bit warm in the house.

Burn around 200 bushels of corn a year and it is the primary source of heat with a electric furnace for when we are out of town.
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,753
South Central NH
My pellet stoves are my primary heat and the propane boiler is back up only. Haven't even lit the pilot light on it yet. If I go out of town during winter, definitely need to have the boiler ready to go since pet sitters may or may not keep up with feeding the stoves (and they certainly couldn't trouble-shoot if any issues arise). Also, some of my FHW pipes go thru my unheated underhouse garage, so in January and February I have to run warm water thru them occasionally to make sure they don't freeze. I use a ThermGuard to do that about 3x / day.
 
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Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
612
Miller MO
I really hate burning oil, but I think it's important to have a back up. I usually get 100 gallons of oil a season. I try not to use much of it, but it's nice to have if I go out of town or if I want to shut down the stove to clean it.

I've gone some winters without oil because my furnace needed serviced and I didn't have the $, but I was always worried about what I would do if something on my pellet stove would break. I try to be more proactive now.
When you say oil, what are you talking about. I’m from the Midwest and we have lp and natural gas but nobody calls it oil. Are you talking like kerosene?
 

tlc1976

Feeling the Heat
Oct 7, 2012
377
Northwest Lower Michigan
We call it fuel oil. Lots of people still burn it.
 

PeteFromMaine

New Member
Jan 14, 2019
13
Maine
When you say oil, what are you talking about. I’m from the Midwest and we have lp and natural gas but nobody calls it oil. Are you talking like kerosene?
Indeed, it's Oil. Like the "There will be blood" type of oil! It was extremely expensive when I first moved into my house so I converted to a pellet stove using the 6" stove pipe in the ceiling left from a woodstove and put in a hybrid hot water heater tank (the GE Geospring) back when the government was doing rebates on them. I turned off the furnace completely, not realizing that the oil in the tank would go bad!