Harman pellet insert recommendation - P35i vs Accentra 52i

OSBrain

New Member
Dec 19, 2019
3
New England
Hi all,
Thanks in advance for your home heating wisdom. I'm looking for insight on pellet burning insert recommendations.

Our primary objective is to reduce our oil consumption.
  • Location: western Mass New England, college town, few power outages experienced
  • Ranch style home configuration - pellet insert would go into family room which is open to the kitchen on one side of house, bedrooms on opposing side
  • 2000 sq foot upstairs, 1000 sq foot walkout basement (we spend 95% of our time upstairs)
  • primary heat source is relatively new oil burning furnace + hydronic baseboard system
  • internal chimney
  • limited clearance around firebox (wood insert would require major rework of mantle/surrounds/hearth)
  • We would rather not modify the mantle/surrounds/hearth to save on cost, also the existing wood work is quite good and matches many other built ins around house
We are considering the Accentra 52i vs the P35i. Installation would be similar for both units (~$1000) but the Accentra would require hearth modification (maybe an extra $300? installer is getting back to me)

Accentra52i would cost us $4200 but would also require hearth modification to meet 18" ember protection (installer is looking into installation of metal plate on top of hearth?). This unit looks a little nicer (to us) and puts out more heat on paper (50,000 BTU).

P35i would cost us $3200 and would not require hearth modification. Cost is better than the Accentra but looks less interesting and puts out less heat on paper (38,000 BTU). Overall, I think we are leaning towards the P35i because of cost and ease of installation.

Questions
  1. Dealer is steering me towards the P35i because the cost is better and "puts out similar heat" to the Accentra. Do folks buy this?
  2. Installer (separate contractor) is steering me towards the Accentra because he thinks we'll be happier with greater BTU output. He readily admits that he installs wood stoves for the most part and has less experience with pellet.
  3. Is it a problem to use a separate contractor for the installation? He comes recommended from a friend and claims that installation work of the dealer is not great (claims they use cheap liners).
  4. Have folks ever used ember protection in the form of metal liners on top of a masonry hearth? (I'm getting more info from installer)
Thanks in advance!
 
Last edited:

DAKSY

Patriot Guard Rider Moderator
Staff member
They DO NOT put out similar heat.
How is 35K (INPUT) ~ 26.25K (OUTPUT) similar to
52K (INPUT) ~ 39K (OUTPUT)?
The Accentra puts out 50% MORE heat.
That being said, the Accentra is a much quieter unit &
has a better heat exchanger.
Your call, but the Accentra is the better unit.
 

Montecarlossfan

New Member
Jan 1, 2019
51
Connecticut
I have the 52i heating approx 1400 sq feet and it does a great job.. My favorite part is no more accordion heat exchanger in the 52i’s it’s so easy to clean and throws a ton of heat.. believe me you will need it to heat 2000 sq feet... I don’t know why they need to modify your hearth... look at the install manual and as long as your clearances are there.... no need to modify anything. I attached a picture of my 52i and I still have plenty of clearance.
 

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OSBrain

New Member
Dec 19, 2019
3
New England
Thanks for your responses!

Our hearth is 18" deep - the stove protrudes 14 3/8" and 6" is required from the glass - so I think we're 2 and 3/8" short. I'm told that our inspectors in our town will not pass this deficit, hence the need for exploring additional ember protection.

Regarding BTUs, it was unclear to me if those ratings are "real" and calibrated. Plus, the dealer seemed to think that they perform similarly. But that's why I'm here asking questions!
 

Montecarlossfan

New Member
Jan 1, 2019
51
Connecticut
Does that protrude include the bottom lip.. I believe it does...just measured mine.. so with the glass you gain about 4 inches back from lip edge to glass...meaning it would work... I have a 19 inch hearth from opening to just before the wood so o think you would be fine

btu is input and output is input x efficiency =output

I’ll put it this way.. both are great stoves... if you have no choice then the 35i will surprise you but the 52i puts out a lot of heat. I have a 1400 sq foot ranch and this thing will blast you out of the house lol. Sure it’s a bit oversized but when it’s -10 outside I can easily keep it 72-74 no problem, with the smaller size stove you may have to run the heat a bit. The 52i is also much quieter of a stove.
Either way if you never had a stove before you will be very happy especially if you are just supplementing
 
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OSBrain

New Member
Dec 19, 2019
3
New England
Awesome, this is super helpful. I just got off the phone with a dealer and you're right. They have the distance from back flange to the glass around 10" or so, so our 18" hearth would clear the 6" requirement. Awesome!
 
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rickwai

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2011
777
ohio
The 52 is worth the extra in my opinion