Can a pellet stove legally be the primary source of heat?

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pageyjim

Burning Hunk
Oct 9, 2014
229
Deleware
I didn't mean to imply that he should install it himself from an on-line source but just to show him how far off that $16,000 quote was if you just consider what the unit costs.
What I like about them is the efficiency, no loss in ductwork, easier installation, and being able to control separately in each room/area.
I'm sorry I didn't mean to imply anything either. I just wanted to explain some other things about them. They are great units especially in certain applications. But he definitely can do better than 16K and get a quality install done. I just want to see him get the best deal that he can be happy with for the short and long term.
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,400
Kentucky
I am also like TJ not suggesting you do this as a DIY project and being new construction you will need someone licensed without question. We are just saying the estimates you are getting are a little steep. At least I think so and I am a design build contractor so I am fairly in tune with going rates and I don't think Kalamazoo would be a whole lot different. Farther north east I can see crazier high numbers.

I'll put it this way. I bought a place 3 years ago and had a new high efficiency natural gas forced air system put in with some additional duct work. AC included along with a mini split out in a big covered porch I turned into a living space great room sort of room. The mini split covered that with heating and air and I did a separate system there because it was not feasible to pick up with the new central system due to location and duct work.

All of this had a price tag of $10,300.00 new units, labor, and materials. I know many HVAC companies usually come in between $9K to $15K for a new system and duct work. A mini split or two does not equate to this price range. There have to be some companies that will do more for less is what I am saying. Have you tried looking up local HVAC supply houses and then gone and asked for some good guys numbers? You can't just grab a phone book these days to get a good and fair price. Unless you want to pay Roto Rooter prices. Places like that will surly butt diddle you and stick the root in well.

Look around high and low and you will have to put in time and effort but it will pay off well in the end. There has to be more HVAC guys than the couple you've gotten happy prices from. Go to neighboring areas and counties. Ask at work if anyone's spouse does HVAC work. You have to do your own networking.
 

Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
If you're going to have a ductless Mini-split heat pump system, THAT'S your primary heat source! Then you can add your Quadrafire pellet stove anywhere you want for supplemental heat.
To call a mini-split a back up is crazy since they are available in 4 ton or more capacity and can heat down to 5 degrees.
Quad doesn't make a P43. Just saying
 

Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
I'm sorry I didn't mean to imply anything either. I just wanted to explain some other things about them. They are great units especially in certain applications. But he definitely can do better than 16K and get a quality install done. I just want to see him get the best deal that he can be happy with for the short and long term.
I am having two mini splits put in this spring for duel heating zones totall cost is under $4000,strongly recommend shopping around.everthing was sized up by a hvac representative and a reputable dealer in my area. Oh and this pricing is for a 2000sqf home
 

tjnamtiw

Minister of Fire
Quad doesn't make a P43. Just saying
I wondered who would pick up on that one, papa. :) Somehow I knew it would be the guy who wished he had a keystoker. :)
 
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Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
I wondered who would pick up on that one, papa. :) Somehow I knew it would be the guy who wished he had a keystoker. :)
Right now it's 75 in the house "wife got to t-stat again and I've used about $400 worth of pellets so far this winter. I'm pretty happy with the harman so far. You should have gotten on my case before I bought it.
 
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Bassmantweed

Member
Nov 22, 2013
103
Avon, CT
I didn't see anything about adding distribution from the OP. the P43 is designed as a space heater (and on the small side). if we are talking distribution, etc. then why get a P43? get a proper pellet furnace. A pellet furnace with a large capacity will allow you to operate it for longer time, even when you are away for a week...
Agree if it is a primary. Just pointing out the fact that with planning pellet stoves don't have to be space heaters.

I am in the process of thinking about building a 2nd home with a pellet stove as the main heating source WHILE WE ARE THERE. Of course we will need something to use to keep pipes from freezing while we are not there.
 

tjnamtiw

Minister of Fire
Right now it's 75 in the house "wife got to t-stat again and I've used about $400 worth of pellets so far this winter. I'm pretty happy with the harman so far. You should have gotten on my case before I bought it.
hahaha. Yea, I should have! $400 would have bought you over 2 tons of coal, which would almost last the winter. When that Harman rusts through in a year or two, you know what to do now. :)
 

Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
hahaha. Yea, I should have! $400 would have bought you over 2 tons of coal, which would almost last the winter. When that Harman rusts through in a year or two, you know what to do now. :)
Lol that's still a heak of a savings over last year,got my pellets for $188 a ton in the spring so not that much more over coal. Oh and harmans don't rust it's a "super"stove.
 

tjnamtiw

Minister of Fire
Lol that's still a heak of a savings over last year,got my pellets for $188 a ton in the spring so not that much more over coal. Oh and harmans don't rust it's a "super"stove.
Wow, that's a deal on the pellets! Did you wear a mask when you held them up? :)
Even at the same price as coal, you're still short about 50% in Btus.
 

Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
Wow, that's a deal on the pellets! Did you wear a mask when you held them up? :)
Even at the same price as coal, you're still short about 50% in Btus.
It's too late to look back now I'm saving money and warmer than I was.
 
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bnther44

Member
Dec 17, 2014
38
Kalamazoo
I am having two mini splits put in this spring for duel heating zones totall cost is under $4000,strongly recommend shopping around.everthing was sized up by a hvac representative and a reputable dealer in my area. Oh and this pricing is for a 2000sqf home
Those were the numbers I was looking at!
The models I requested quotes on were;
A) Mitsubishi Mr Slim 9000 btu single-head SEER 26 for $1600
B) Mitsubishi Mr Slim 30,000 btu single-head SEER 16 for $2600

And pricing for both of those came off of Amazon. Where the $16,000 comes from, when components are only $4200, I have NO idea!
 

Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
Wow, that's a deal on the pellets! Did you wear a mask when you held them up? :)
Even at the same price as coal, you're still short about 50% in Btus.
In the spring I get them strait from the manufacturer they sell them cheap in May and June.if I would have wait till August to get them they would have been $230 a ton,and on up from there.
 

Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
Those were the numbers I was looking at!
The models I requested quotes on were;
A) Mitsubishi Mr Slim 9000 btu single-head SEER 26 for $1600
B) Mitsubishi Mr Slim 30,000 btu single-head SEER 16 for $2600

And pricing for both of those came off of Amazon. Where the $16,000 comes from, when components are only $4200, I have NO idea!
That is an installed price quote for me, if I was you I would dig into the situation find out what is involved and find out why they are charging you that much. From what they described to me it was a very simple install.
 

Snowy Rivers

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
1,810
NW Oregon
Install a heat pump system that is large enough to handle the AC needs.

If you are not worried about it, don't install the heat strips.

The mortgage co will likely not go for the lack of central heat.

If you bank roll it out of pocket, you can tell them to take a hike.

You want an air handler and minimum AC equipment.

With the Air handler in and a modest heat pump, they will leave you alone.

Plan your layout to allow more than one stove.

We have 3 on one level 2300 plus ft

Have one medium to large and one small one.

This assures you of at least some heat if one quits.


We alternate from little to big as the temp outside gets colder, then run both, and then the third one when it gets damned cold.

Don't make the mistake of putting all your eggs in one basket.


Snowy
 
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pageyjim

Burning Hunk
Oct 9, 2014
229
Deleware
Install a heat pump system that is large enough to handle the AC needs.

If you are not worried about it, don't install the heat strips.

The mortgage co will likely not go for the lack of central heat.

If you bank roll it out of pocket, you can tell them to take a hike.

You want an air handler and minimum AC equipment.

With the Air handler in and a modest heat pump, they will leave you alone.

Plan your layout to allow more than one stove.

We have 3 on one level 2300 plus ft

Have one medium to large and one small one.

This assures you of at least some heat if one quits.


We alternate from little to big as the temp outside gets colder, then run both, and then the third one when it gets damned cold.

Don't make the mistake of putting all your eggs in one basket.


Snowy
Heat strips are shipped with the unit unless you live in CA or FLA anyway. You need the heat strips for defrost cycle in any event. You can have it wired or set up so they only come on as emergency heat if you like.
 
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Snowy Rivers

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
1,810
NW Oregon
We had failure today on our little one and had to shut it down.

There was no issue at all, we just started the large one and then tore the little one apart.

As it turned out I was able to fix the issue in about 4 hours and all is well.

This took a trip to town for some high temp silicone as my tube was empty. (plus some shopping while we were there)

Had this been in the middle of the night with snow going sideways, and only one stove it would have been damned ugly.

We have the Whitfield Prodigy2 , a Whitfield Advantage 2T and a Quadrafire 1000

The Whits handle the main load and the Quad stands by just in case.

Real nice not to be stuck if it all lands at your feet PLOP !!!
 

pageyjim

Burning Hunk
Oct 9, 2014
229
Deleware
Those were the numbers I was looking at!
The models I requested quotes on were;
A) Mitsubishi Mr Slim 9000 btu single-head SEER 26 for $1600
B) Mitsubishi Mr Slim 30,000 btu single-head SEER 16 for $2600

And pricing for both of those came off of Amazon. Where the $16,000 comes from, when components are only $4200, I have NO idea!
39K btu in cooling is going to be oversized for 1000 sq'. I believe you said 1000 sq ft living space. If that is the case as it seems you would be paying more for equipment, more wear and tear by short cycling and will have a hard time keeping humidity down. Even if you don't use the company that does a proper heat loss calc you can use that as a guide.
 

Big papa

Minister of Fire
May 4, 2014
856
Pa
39K btu in cooling is going to be oversized for 1000 sq'. I believe you said 1000 sq ft living space. If that is the case as it seems you would be paying more for equipment, more wear and tear by short cycling and will have a hard time keeping humidity down. Even if you don't use the company that does a proper heat loss calc you can use that as a guide.
I'm guessing a 2ton unit with proper air flow would do it for 1000sqft?
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,400
Kentucky
I wondered who would pick up on that one, papa. :) Somehow I knew it would be the guy who wished he had a keystoker. :)
I saw that subliminal message too but let it slide. Nice! I had enough to ramble about on the $16K.
 

bnther44

Member
Dec 17, 2014
38
Kalamazoo
39K btu in cooling is going to be oversized for 1000 sq'. I believe you said 1000 sq ft living space. If that is the case as it seems you would be paying more for equipment, more wear and tear by short cycling and will have a hard time keeping humidity down. Even if you don't use the company that does a proper heat loss calc you can use that as a guide.
I need to clarify what I meant by the 1000 sq'

According to the HVAC guy, the pellet stove would not count - for final house inspection - because it's not applicable for primary heat. The house is single-story open-floor layout that measure 1625 sq'. The master bedroom would get the 9000 btu unit, and I would put electric baseboard units in the 2nd and 3rd bedrooms (to satisfy the inspector). This leaves roughly 1000 sq' of living, dining, kitchen ect. I refuse to put electric baseboards in this part of the house because A) I have no intentions of ever using them and B) I see it as nothing more than a complete waste of $$

Hence the question of whether or not a wood pellet stove can legally be a primary source of heat.

I've attached the floor plans to clarify.
 

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bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,400
Kentucky
Nice open plan so moving heat should not be much of an issue on the main floor. What about heating and cooling the basement? This changes it up a bit. 1,625 and a full basement is not a small place. I'll look the plans over again but need to hit the rack here tonight. The plans will help many others here for input also. You might be better with one nice central system and adding a pellet stove. With a set up like that, which is what I have, you can also help distribute and circulate the warm air from a pellet stove thru a forced air system. Any natural gas there?

I am spent and tired but I will look at this a little more in depth. I think people here were thinking you were wanting to heat 1,100 SQ FT total. I kind of did anyway. A pellet stove will heat the main floor without much trouble if you get the right set up. I will tell you electric heat sucks in my opinion. I have it and a Carrier system. Heat pumps are only so good until temps drop. I knew this and when I did mine I also incorporated a Woodmaster OWB. It uses a bunch of wood! Now is the time for you to figure things out. Is the house framed and under roof yet? Not sure exactly where you are in the process? Foundation poured or are you breaking ground after winter?

Never mind I went back and saw your 1st post. Time to get the ducks in a row though!

All said and done this place is 3,250 SQ FT. That is a game changer.
 
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bnther44

Member
Dec 17, 2014
38
Kalamazoo
All said and done this place is 3,250 SQ FT. That is a game changer.
The drawings are actually misleading. The 4th room shown in the basement is actually optional - in other words if I should ever have the $$. There are no immediate plans to do anything to the basement other than put doors on the mechanical room. So for the moment, I'm just focusing on the main floor.
 

Wildo

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2011
555
jackmanistan, maine
What counts as primary heat depends on your loan if you have one, or on your insurance company's level of anal retention. Our mortgage wouldn't count our LP Monitor or our K1 Monitor even if though they could run until the tanks were empty as primary heat, yet my cousin's LP Rinnai counted for his loan through the same USDA loan service. We installed electric bb to get by that one and the insurance company didn't care a bit one way or another. Electric bb is cheap and nobody says you ever have to use it. We do love the forced air ones in the bathrooms to heat the tile while in the shower.

16k for a heat pump is a rip off of the grandest order. You should be able to get two big ones for that and still pocket 6-8k installed.

If you can afford it go with sprayfoam for insulation it is amazing and the payback is quick in a cold environment, if heating fuel prices don't go way down. We are having a mild winter here(-26f coldest so far) and have just hit the 2 cord mark and 10 g. of K1 heating about 2200sq ft compared to 4 cord and 60 g last year without sprayfoam last winter at the same time.

Whatever you do just remember a little overkill never hurt anyone ayuh.
 
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