Best placement/location of pellet stove in pole barn?

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CigDude

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
8
Chicago
Hi guys. Been reading on the forum for awhile, but just decided to join up. I have a large home and sizable shop with all of it on propane unfortunately. I started heating the house with a fireplace insert last winter because the propane costs were getting insane and have been surprised at the amount of square footage I've been able to keep warm with a large insert and just burning good volume of hardwood. Was going to do a wood stove in my shop to get the shop to stop using propane also but then got to reading about pellet stoves and decided to head that route, so I don't have to walk out there multiple times per day to feed the wood stove.

My question is placement. The shop is a well insulated pole barn 60 feet deep by 30 feet wide. Where would you suggest the best place would be to put the stove to heat the space most effectively? Example like half way down one wall, in the corner etc or something else? I also am unfamiliar with how far away from the stove I should keep anything that I'm concerned with being damaged by radiant heat from the stove. Reason being is I have two custom boats in there and 4 snowmobiles, and the boats are painted. I'd be concerned if I placed the stove in the middle of one of the long walls for example that it could be too close to one of the boats paint and cause issues.

Sorry if this is noob questions but I'm new to pellet stove and trying to heat a shop with one like this. Thanks!
 

Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
There won't be much radiant heat from a pellet stove. My Harman P43 has a lot compared to my old Englander, but even then the minimum distance to combustibles is only 16" without heat shields and 10 inches with them. The majority of a pellet stove heat comes from the hot air from the distribution blower. Even then we're talking air in the 300's as it leaves the stove, but a couple feet away you could stand their all day. That's a pretty large area you're heating at 1800sf plus whatever height you have so I suppose it would depend on how warm you need or want to make it, Some others that heat shops areas may chime in on how well their pellet stoves heat their spaces.

Ray
 
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Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
205
Indiana
If you are wanting more uniform heat I would say a larger btu unit in the middle would be better. If it is more important to heat a “work area” and then just take the edge off in the others, then locate the stove in the work area. Pellet stoves don’t radiate heat like a wood burner. It is mostly hot air from the blower.

I will be adding a shop in a couple of years and will probably heat with a pellet stove. Mostly because I will already have the pellets for heating the house.
 
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Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,293
Lorraine NY
Only stoves i know stand a chance of heating that size would be a Harman P68 or an Enviro Maxx 72K btu's and that still might not do it. heating a pole barn is a big task. I heat a very well insulated custom paint shop 30' x 30' and my quad cb1200 never shuts off. but on placement i would put it on the back wall blowing towards the doors. and put in some ceiling fans to keep it circulating
 

Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
205
Indiana
My big question is “To what extent do you want it heat it?”. I had a 30x30 shop that I would heat with 2x240v electric forces air heaters. I would kick on my propane salamander for about 20-30 minutes to help bring the temps up and then just use my 2 heaters after that. This was with an out door temp of 0-10* and the shop not being heated beforehand. I would kick the heat on, go back in the house and drink a cup of coffee and then go out and work. I always wore sleeves and/or a sweatshirt, but working was not unpleasant. Definitely not trying to make it 70* in the shop, but 55-60* was pretty good.
 
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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
2,032
Colorado
To tell you the truth I did not know what a pole barn was--thinking it was some oven building with some poles holding it up --sort of like a carport..lol ,,so I looked it up and they are beautiful..Now if it was me I would put it against a wall and blow it towards the doors with fans like another poster has suggested...but I would have my work table there too with a place for a coffee pot and a nice relaxing chair so that you can watch the pretty pellet stove window even if not as pretty as a wood burning stove ( I have my predilections here--I own a wood burning stove) and I found these pretty pictures on the net of some pole barns...Welcome to the forum...clancey
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,859
Eastern Ontario
Only stoves i know stand a chance of heating that size would be a Harman P68 or an Enviro Maxx 72K btu's and that still might not do it. heating a pole barn is a big task. I heat a very well insulated custom paint shop 30' x 30' and my quad cb1200 never shuts off. but on placement i would put it on the back wall blowing towards the doors. and put in some ceiling fans to keep it circulating
What he said
Welcome to the forum
 

CigDude

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
8
Chicago
I still have the Hot Dawg gas (propane since the whole property is propane) heater hanging from the ceiling with the thermostat set to just 35 degrees at all times to keep it above freezing in there for my boats when I'm not in there. I wanted to do a Nest in the shop like I have in the house, so I can see how much that thing actually is actually running in order to keep it above freezing, since I have WiFi out in the shop but Nest won't go below 50 degrees. I don't need it 50 degrees when I'm not in there and don't want to spend for the propane. 35 is fine.

To answer the question about what my goal is for the pellet stove is. I would like a much more efficient and less expensive way to make it warmer in there when I'm out there wrenching on my boats and snowmobiles. To have it say 60 degrees out there, that Hot Dawg will sit there just running and running and running. 60 degrees would be plenty fine with me while out there working on stuff.

I work from home, so basically I'm liking the idea of flipping on a pellet stove in the afternoon when I know I'm gonna be wrenching on something that night, and walking out to a comfy temp while not spending a zillion dollars on stupid propane. Or just leave it running on low (yes I know this will have some downsides for cleaning, same as if I did this constantly with my insert in the house) during particularly cold periods/days in a row to keep the Hot Dawg from running at all.

Appreciate the advice so far. I have a spot near the entrance door available where I could put it. In terms of giving the stove a boost to spread the hot air, what do you guys use? Just park a box fan in front of vent or is that not enough. I have good size like 24 or 30" shop fan that sits on the floor that I use in the summer to move air around, so perhaps use that just on low and it'll probably distribute the heat from the stove pretty good?
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,626
park county montana
Zillion dollars on LP vs zillion dollars on pellets. Ya,Lp is and will go up,but so are pellets,especially with shipping costs. Pellet stoves are going up.Then you have a new install cost. To heat up,and then keep warm a shop,the stove will be running a whole lot,also. Hot air is horrible to move around,and then you have the added expense of the electricity to move it. The only way I could see you being even a bit happy,is with a big ducted unit, like an Enviro or Drolet,if they are still made. There might be others. Figure your expenses more. It's 35f, you turn it on to heat up the shop, that will take a bag of pellets,or more,AND many stoves are not made to run wide open,for long periods. Then another bag, if you are only in there for 4 hours. So many variables to consider. For efficiency and upfront costs, hard to beat gas, for what you want.
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
172
Lancaster, PA
Yeah, as much as I love my stove I wouldn't want to attempt to get it working out in a workshop. It would never fully get up to temp (especially if you're expecting to walk in and start doing things within 30-60 minutes) making it a really annoying compromise. I don't know what costs are for you with LPG and how long you intend to be in there and if you need to move around a lot in there or mostly confined to one part of the shop but maybe one of those "torpedo heaters" could be an option for you? Might be too expensive though depending on your needs, so disregard if it's a dumb question.
 

CigDude

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
8
Chicago
Zillion dollars on LP vs zillion dollars on pellets. Ya,Lp is and will go up,but so are pellets,especially with shipping costs. Pellet stoves are going up.Then you have a new install cost. To heat up,and then keep warm a shop,the stove will be running a whole lot,also. Hot air is horrible to move around,and then you have the added expense of the electricity to move it. The only way I could see you being even a bit happy,is with a big ducted unit, like an Enviro or Drolet,if they are still made. There might be others. Figure your expenses more. It's 35f, you turn it on to heat up the shop, that will take a bag of pellets,or more,AND many stoves are not made to run wide open,for long periods. Then another bag, if you are only in there for 4 hours. So many variables to consider. For efficiency and upfront costs, hard to beat gas, for what you want.
Pellets are readily available at several stores near me for like $4.50 per 40 pound bag currently (no idea if that's good or bad). I've never had a pellet stove before so unsure how far a bag will get me, but pellets are not all over the national news currently predicting an "Armageddon" shortage this winter and a massive increase on market price like propane. The large propane supplier that comes and fills the 1000 gallon tank on my property told me two weeks ago they are expecting a MAJOR price increase per gallon this winter. The reason I installed an insert in my first floor fireplace in the house this past January of '21 and started heating with wood was because last winter propane went up about $1 per gallon from winter of 19-20 and that $1 made for MUCH larger bills. I don't want to know what that bill would be if it goes up a couple MORE dollars per gallon as my supplier is saying they think it will this winter.
 

maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
172
Lancaster, PA
Hi CigDude,

I think Mt Bob hit the nail on the head that the pellet stove is likely going to be unable to keep up with the demand of heating the barn. You'll likely need a large unit ($$$) and will eat a lot of pellets to maintain a comfortable temperature. But hey, if you come across a large unit cheaply give it a try. I just think you may end up being disappointed. It may take hours to heat the space so everything will have to be planned accordingly. Fans will likely need to be added in strategic places to maintain the heat emitted from it, further increasing your initial startup cost.

The torpedo heater might be what you need if you're just hanging out in one corner of the barn wrenching for a couple of hours. My old man did it all the time back in the day. They emit nice heat, pretty quickly. You can find used units pretty cheap online. Though I don't know how much fuel they eat versus running your LPG. So, it may be a moot point. You'll have to crunch those numbers yourself.

How often do you go into the shop? How much time do you spend in there? How much are you willing to spend to install something else? How much time are you willing to invest on installing something else?

I'm not trying to dissuade you, but I am concerned that you are thinking you can put a pellet stove in your barn and expect to turn it on and 30 minutes later be comfortable in there and save lots of money doing so. It may be possible to turn on the LPG unit for a brief amount of time to get up to temp then run the pellet stove on high to help maintain the heat. I do this on very cold mornings with my oil furnace... run that for about 20-30 minutes to get it to about 72F and then use the pellet stove the rest of the day.
 

Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
205
Indiana
I can get pellets on sale here for $4 a bag if I am patient.

Ceiling fans can help disperse the heated air as well.

For me, heating with pellets is a substantial savings over propane but I also am heating a house, not a giant open pole barn.

If it is well insulated it may be less if you are just trying to reach temps of 50-60
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,626
park county montana
LP and NG may double in price later this winter. Prob. electricity. That is what the predictions are. BUT, to try to use pellets, you have to purchase a big unit so 4-5 k, plus install, plus manhandling pellets. Yes, there have been some winters I never lit my pellet stoves,LP was cheaper. But, my stoves were installed and paid for themselves,years before. And, I use them properly,as space heaters. And,I do not try to go from 35 to 70 for their main use, they are just not made for that. Perhaps consider a quality forced air pellet furnace.
 
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maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
172
Lancaster, PA
LP and NG may double in price later this winter. Prob. electricity. That is what the predictions are. BUT, to try to use pellets, you have to purchase a big unit so 4-5 k, plus install, plus manhandling pellets. Yes, there have been some winters I never lit my pellet stoves,LP was cheaper. But, my stoves were installed and paid for themselves,years before. And, I use them properly,as space heaters. And,I do not try to go from 35 to 70 for their main use, they are just not made for that. Perhaps consider a quality forced air pellet furnace.
Speaking of pellet furnaces and pellet boilers I have found that you can find them used for good prices on CL/Facebook Marketplace. It appears that people buy houses with these already installed and they do not want to deal with getting pellets shipped to them so they put in an oil or NG furnace and put the pellet unit up for sale.
 

Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
205
Indiana
Speaking of pellet furnaces and pellet boilers I have found that you can find them used for good prices on CL/Facebook Marketplace. It appears that people buy houses with these already installed and they do not want to deal with getting pellets shipped to them so they put in an oil or NG furnace and put the pellet unit up for sale.

For a shop, this is what I would do whether I went with a stove or furnace. It can take some effort/time to get a used one running right, but for something like a shop I wouldn't want to spend the $$ for a new one.........but I am kinda cheap/thrifty that way.

I wonder if a USSC 6500/8500 multi-fuel furnace would work decently. They are both rated up to 105K BTU and 3000sq/ft. They are designed to be hooked to duct work. Maybe find a used one fairly cheap.
 
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maraakate

Member
Sep 27, 2021
172
Lancaster, PA
Pellet furnace or boiler is probably better in your use case. Check used. Like I said I frequently find some in my area at good prices mainly because someone bought a house and wants nothing to do with researching pellets, getting them shipped, and maintaining the appliance. I'd put one in my house, but I plan on renting this out within the next 3-5 years. Next house I definitely want to look into a pellet boiler.
 
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Ocelot

Burning Hunk
Dec 27, 2010
102
Hudson Valley, NY
The other problem with a pellet stove using it in the way described is that they aren't fast and hot heat producers. So if it's really cold, it's going to take much longer to bring that pole barn up to 60 degrees then higher BTU heater will. A larger wood stove would probably have at least 2-3 times the BTU. But of course then you have to be more cautious of the radiant heat you were worried about.

Ray
 

Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
205
Indiana
With my USSC 6500 it runs on the lowest heat setting which I have programmed as a very low feed rate when the thermostat isnt calling for heat. Then when the thermostat calls it bumps up to medium or high.

If the stove is already warm from running on the lowest heat setting it will ramp up fairly quickly to the high setting and produce a good amount of heat. If it is starting from stone cold it definitely take a bit. Either way they definitely are not as fast a producing heat as a propane or electric heater.
 

CigDude

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
8
Chicago
I think I failed to mention this in my haste or just figured everyone would assume this, but my pole barn is pretty well insulated. Has that SilverCote R-19 on all the walls and the ceiling as well. Overhead doors and entrance door are quality and insulated as well. The ceiling is not terribly tall at 10 foot beam height, I think I saw someone ask about the height.

Honestly I already ordered a PelletPro PP60B before posting this, its sitting there waiting for me to pick it up. Part of me is now re-thinking this based on what you guys are telling me and wondering if I should see if I can return that thing, and get a wood burner instead.

Question then: in your opinion, assuming I went wood burner instead, would that better accomplish what I'm trying to do here? I've never had a wood burning stove, my only experience is with my insert in the house so far but I know a stove puts off a buttload of heat and quickly in a shop space based on seeing them perform in friend's shops (much smaller than my own however). If I was willing to do bit more work by going out there more often to keep a wood burner running, would this work alot better for what I'm doing in you guys opinion? Again, like 60 degrees is more than adequate when I'm out there. I'm not trying to turn the place into a sauna lol.

Really the main attraction to a pellet stove in my thought process here was being able to set it and forget it for longer periods of time vs a wood stove. I think my failing is that I have never physically been around one and don't have alot of knowledge about their actual functionality in real life.

This past weekend I started sourcing hardwood logs locally off FB marketplace and split my first big pile, and am in process of clearing a space on my property to start seasoning my own wood for the house, so I suppose a wood burner would also eventually become very cheap/free as I build up my fuel supply as well.
 

Jeremy6500

Member
Jan 22, 2021
205
Indiana
A pp60 is rated for 1500sq ft. Your barn is 1800sq Ft. Seems undersized to me.

I have a pp130 in my house and it works pretty well, but it is higher btu and rated for 2500.

The pp130 can get put on a Peller Miser thermostat and with an add on hopper it would go quite a while between fills.

If you do go with a pellet stove I would see if you could exchange for a bigger one, or 2 smaller ones in different locations in the barn.
 
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CigDude

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
8
Chicago
A pp60 is rated for 1500sq ft. Your barn is 1800sq Ft. Seems undersized to me.

I have a pp130 in my house and it works pretty well, but it is higher btu and rated for 2500.

The pp130 can get put on a Peller Miser thermostat and with an add on hopper it would go quite a while between fills.

If you do go with a pellet stove I would see if you could exchange for a bigger one, or 2 smaller ones in different locations in the barn.
Yeah its undersized for sure, but my experience so far with my fireplace insert has been that its way way more capable than what its rated for. I have 4500 above ground square feet with 20 foot ceilings in numerous places using a large fireplace insert rated up to 2500 sq feet and unless its really butt cold out side like 0 degrees, my furnaces don't run and the house stays 67-68 degrees. Will stay 68 in the upstairs master with a small boost at night from a space heater. Granted I have radiant heat flooring in the basement and of course utilize a few tricks like closing doors to a couple guest rooms on the first floor but still.

I guess a good question is what temp do manufacturers target when rating square footage? Obviously takes alot less BTU to warm a space from 35 degrees up to 55-60 than it does 70 I would think.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
877
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
You’re better off going more BTU than you think you need, as mentioned above a Harman 68 or even a P61
 
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CigDude

New Member
Nov 19, 2021
8
Chicago
If Menards will let me exchange the pellet for wood burner instead, any feedback on that idea as maybe better route for what I'm trying to do? Possibly the better route to ramping up the heat in the barn with the downside being having to go out there a lot more to keep it running.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,859
Eastern Ontario
I have a 1200 sq foot woodshop that I heat with an Enviro ef 3
The shop is insulated to R24 in the walls and R40 in the roof
which is light for Eastern Ontario. The 8 by 10 door is
insulated and weather-stripped. I have no problem keeping
the shop temp at 70 ::F using 1 bag a day the pellets I buy are
Cubix at 6$ a bag. I have used propane, wood, and oil and I will
stay with pellets constant comfortable heat
Just my nickels worth.