Harman P43 or P68 - Cathedral Ceilings

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Hi everyone! I am trying to decide on which Harman model for my first pellet stove. I will give you some background. My house has a Lopi Liberty wood stove in the basement, which is running pretty much 24/7. I have backup electric baseboard heat. Since I moved in, I have religiously been filling the wood stove in order to bring the electricity consumption down (very expensive where I am at). It has been hovering between 41 to 23 outside from day to day. I have the baseboards set at 63 in case the wood stove goes out while I am at work. My house has NEVER been warmer than 68, even with the wood stove going full tilt. I have decided that I am going to put in a pellet stove on my main floor to supplement the heat as I just can't seem to get it to warm up! My house is around 1500 square feet on the main floor, with the master bedroom/attached bath in a loft. The main living area has cathedral ceilings. The floor plan is decently open, with the living room, dining room and kitchen all open to each other. Two smaller bedrooms and a small bath down the hall. The basement is unfinished with concrete foundation, and has 3 baseboard heaters to keep it above freezing down there if I stop using the wood stove. The house was built in 2002. I am trying to decide if I want to get a P43 or a P68. The price difference here is around $1200 CAD between the two before install. What would you guys recommend for a house like mine?
 

rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,383
Berks County PA.
You can always turn a bigger stove down but you can't turn a smaller stove past it's max.
 
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Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
659
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Have you considered a P61A? The P68 is a monster and will be plenty, I only suggest the P61A because I have one and know how efficient they are.
Oh and there is also a P68 for sale in GP for only $800
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,950
South Central NH
Bigger is better - especially with cathedral ceilings. Either a P61 or P68 would be my vote

If possible, locate the stove so it blows air down the hallway toward the bath and bedrooms. Otherwise, it may be difficult to persuade warm air to go that direction with all that headspace in the living area.

Also, if you can, insulate the walls in the basement - or maybe they are insulated and I'm just assuming they are bare concrete becuase you said "unfinished". It is unbelievable how much heat they suck up from what the woodstove produces.
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,189
ohio
P61. I think it has a nicer burn that the 68
 

missing link

Member
Sep 17, 2008
78
W.Wareham,Ma
P 61 or P61a or just go for the P-68 you'll be warm as toast . From cold to warm in less than 30 min, well in my house that's when I can really feel the warmth we have a single level 1600 SF ranch
ML::-)
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,143
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
You’re kind of going to have to experiment. The Lopi liberty is a high output stove but bare concrete basement heating is hardly an easy task.

1500 Sf of 2002 house should not need a p68 but you’ll have power to spare.
 
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Have you considered a P61A? The P68 is a monster and will be plenty, I only suggest the P61A because I have one and know how efficient they are.
Oh and there is also a P68 for sale in GP for only $800
For some reason my email hasn’t been notifying me that I missed all these replies! Bummed that I missed the P68 in GP.. darn it!
Our pellet stove install guys don’t stock the P61A so I think I would have to get it specially brought in? The 2020 P68 is on right now for 5000CAD + install from them
 
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Bigger is better - especially with cathedral ceilings. Either a P61 or P68 would be my vote

If possible, locate the stove so it blows air down the hallway toward the bath and bedrooms. Otherwise, it may be difficult to persuade warm air to go that direction with all that headspace in the living area.

Also, if you can, insulate the walls in the basement - or maybe they are insulated and I'm just assuming they are bare concrete becuase you said "unfinished". It is unbelievable how much heat they suck up from what the woodstove produces.
I’m going to put it In the corner kind of aimed towards the hall! Unfortunately directly across from my hall I have French doors onto the deck so it’ll have to go in the corner.
I’m honestly not sure what kind of insulation they have in them.. I’m assuming some? It has drywall up and taped but not finished. Concrete floors. The basement gets cooking like 28 degrees and in my living room upstairs right now it is 18. Wood stove has been going all day..

I’m attaching some photos for reference so you can see if you think my location is okay? Excuse the mess, I moved in 2 weeks ago and doing some unpacking today. First photo where you can see plants in the corner, plants are where the stove is planning to go facing corner out towards the inside of the room. Second photo shows kitchen and hallway where the heat should be aimed.
I’m also attaching a photo of the ceiling fans. Do you guys think they’re low enough?
 

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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,950
South Central NH
One would assume that there is insulation behind the drywall in the basement, so that is good and should keep a lot of the heat from going to the earthworms. That concrete floor will still act like a great big heat exchanger, bringing in cold from the ground and putting warmth into it. So sometime in the future it would be good to get some kind of barrier there (which will be a PITA since you'll need a hearth pad, and that will mess with the exhaust pipe lengths.

I'm not sure about the ceiling fans. I would think that they would be fine as you just want to disrupt the air, but others that have that situation would be better able to answer that question.

Do you think I’d be better to just go with the P43 then? They’re quoting me 3800 for the 43 or 5000 for the 68 before install costs.

If there weren't a cathedral ceiling, I would say that the P43 would be fine since you have the woodstove in the basement. However, one can't "know" until the install is done. The big stove can throttle down, but the P43 can only put out so much heat so there is the potential for disappointment.

That being said, I'm unsure how cold it gets in your neck of the woods. I always think of Canada as much colder, but BC may be warmer. Here in NH, the lows at night can be -18*F and we can go a couple of weeks in a row at single digit (F) highs. I do NOT want to use the propane boiler (propane being extremely expensive around here) because I was too cheap to get a stove with enough BTU output to keep me warm. True, I have a P43 on my main floor, but my ceilings are <8' high and the square footage is only 950. I have a P61a in the insulated basement, only heating 650 sq/ft. iI can keep the whole house warm enough to keep me from freezing if it has to (about like your woodstove; 64-68 in main rooms, but down in the mid 50's for bedrooms).
 
One would assume that there is insulation behind the drywall in the basement, so that is good and should keep a lot of the heat from going to the earthworms. That concrete floor will still act like a great big heat exchanger, bringing in cold from the ground and putting warmth into it. So sometime in the future it would be good to get some kind of barrier there (which will be a PITA since you'll need a hearth pad, and that will mess with the exhaust pipe lengths.

I'm not sure about the ceiling fans. I would think that they would be fine as you just want to disrupt the air, but others that have that situation would be better able to answer that question.



If there weren't a cathedral ceiling, I would say that the P43 would be fine since you have the woodstove in the basement. However, one can't "know" until the install is done. The big stove can throttle down, but the P43 can only put out so much heat so there is the potential for disappointment.

That being said, I'm unsure how cold it gets in your neck of the woods. I always think of Canada as much colder, but BC may be warmer. Here in NH, the lows at night can be -18*F and we can go a couple of weeks in a row at single digit (F) highs. I do NOT want to use the propane boiler (propane being extremely expensive around here) because I was too cheap to get a stove with enough BTU output to keep me warm. True, I have a P43 on my main floor, but my ceilings are <8' high and the square footage is only 950. I have a P61a in the insulated basement, only heating 650 sq/ft. iI can keep the whole house warm enough to keep me from freezing if it has to (about like your woodstove; 64-68 in main rooms, but down in the mid 50's for bedrooms).

For the insulation, I looked at the only place I could see in (around the window sills) and it looks like I have pretty thick styrofoam insulation between the drywall and the foundation. I pulled down insulation from between the two floors when I moved in as the heat exchange was even worse when it was up, so I’m assuming anywhere where there’s not the styrofoam should be insulated with the same stuff that was in the roof.
Thats a good point about the hearth pad/getting a barrier up on the floor. Especially if I’m just gonna be running baseboards down there unless it gets really cold.
It looks like here it usually hovers 14degreesFahrenheit to -5degreesFahrenheit from day to night. We did have a 3 week stint of -40degreesFahrenheit last winter in January. We also get a ton of snow.
I think my wood stove in the basement would heat about the same. I do have the baseboards supplementing at 65Fahrenheit, but there are no baseboards in the open living room with the ceilings so the majority of the heat there is coming from the stove. I just got up to refill the stove. It’s 65Fahrenheit in my living room, outside it is 5Fahrenheit.
I think since I’m not using the wood stove as much as I’ll just run baseboards down there unless it’s really cold, and I’m going to be heating those ceilings like you said, that the P68 is the safer stove for me. I did contact the dealer (the only dealer available as no one wants to come out from the city which is over an hour away) and inquire if they sell the P61A and he said while they can get it in, the P68 is a better deal right now due to the sale so I may as well stick with that.
 
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gfreek

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2010
1,421
Attica,,New York
I’m also attaching a photo of the ceiling fans. Do you guys think they’re low enough?

This may help with ceiling fan question
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,189
ohio
For the insulation, I looked at the only place I could see in (around the window sills) and it looks like I have pretty thick styrofoam insulation between the drywall and the foundation. I pulled down insulation from between the two floors when I moved in as the heat exchange was even worse when it was up, so I’m assuming anywhere where there’s not the styrofoam should be insulated with the same stuff that was in the roof.
Thats a good point about the hearth pad/getting a barrier up on the floor. Especially if I’m just gonna be running baseboards down there unless it gets really cold.
It looks like here it usually hovers 14degreesFahrenheit to -5degreesFahrenheit from day to night. We did have a 3 week stint of -40degreesFahrenheit last winter in January. We also get a ton of snow.
I think my wood stove in the basement would heat about the same. I do have the baseboards supplementing at 65Fahrenheit, but there are no baseboards in the open living room with the ceilings so the majority of the heat there is coming from the stove. I just got up to refill the stove. It’s 65Fahrenheit in my living room, outside it is 5Fahrenheit.
I think since I’m not using the wood stove as much as I’ll just run baseboards down there unless it’s really cold, and I’m going to be heating those ceilings like you said, that the P68 is the safer stove for me. I did contact the dealer (the only dealer available as no one wants to come out from the city which is over an hour away) and inquire if they sell the P61A and he said while they can get it in, the P68 is a better deal right now due to the sale so I may as well stick with that.
With those kind of temp definitely P68! That climate is nearly uninhabitable by man:)
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,608
Eastern Ontario
That climate is nearly uninhabitable by man
The BC climate is one of the mildest in Canada
I live in Eastern Ontario -30::C is common and real feels of -50::C
now that's cold and then there's Winterpeg AKA Winnipeg. It is very cold
for 3 months of the year
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
1,189
ohio
The BC climate is one of the mildest in Canada
I live in Eastern Ontario -30::C is common and real feels of -50::C
now that's cold and then there's Winterpeg AKA Winnipeg. It is very cold
for 3 months of the year
I like winter but man those kind of temps are brutal!
 
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johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,608
Eastern Ontario
This hour's hot and cold spots ...
Hot spot in Canada: 19.1 °C66.4 °F Port Mellon, BC
Cold spot in Canada: -42.2 °C-44.0 °F Norman Wells Airport, NT

We have it all on any given day of the week
Temps as of 8 am my time
 

minux

Member
Nov 30, 2018
146
Baltimore, MD
Couple thoughts -

Pellet stoves: get a Harman and the biggest one you can afford. You can sell all day long if you ever leave.

Pellet heat: what is the temperature range in your area? If I lived in Canada, I would look at pellet furnaces and not a stove.

Before spending $5K: If your temperatures are only heading to -15 F, then I would go electric, high efficency mini splits. Mitsubishi's HyperHeat runs 100% efficient at -15. Panasonic has models going down to -30 F. They are not rocket science to install. Costs might be $2.5K more installed, but guess what, no buying nor hauling pellets :)

Natural gas: do you have access to a line? If so, I would go natural gas furnace.

Insulation: how much cubic feet of insulation do you need? A can does 12" x12" x 4". Next size up looks like an expansion tank, doing 50 cubic feet, usually sold in pairs online, totaling 100 cubic feet. Next would be to get a company to come in and do it for you. Easiest thing to do is drill 1/2" holes where you need the foam, fill, take a sheet of drywall do a 1" hole, then use the 1/2" bit to keep the paper on the 1" side. Patch with mud on the wall and tape. You'll breeze through it in no time. Be forewarned, taking foam out of walls where you may, in the future, run electric becomes very cumbersome. Get your wires in now :)
 
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