How do you guys use your stoves on a thermostat?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
316
PA, USA
Hey guys, just curious how you guys do this. My pellet stove is on a thermostat but I don't see how this is good for the stove or good for heating.

I'll turn my stove on, say the house is 65F. The thermostat is set to 70F.

Itll heat to 70, then the thermostat will kick off.

But within 15 min, it'll drop to 69, the stove will start up again, and within like 5 min it is back at 70, and shuts down.

Then it'll cycle that way back and forth. The stove barely gets a fire going before shutting off.

So what I've been doing is kind of treating it like my wood stove. Fire it up, let it heat the place to 78, then shut it down manually for a few hours, then manually get it back going when the temp drops enough.

Appreciate your input.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bostonfan49

heat seeker

Minister of Fire
Feb 25, 2011
3,216
Northern CT
My stove will not shut down before 90 minutes after the t'stat is satisfied. So, theoretically, if the 'stat calls for heat 89 minutes later, the stove just goes from idling to whatever heat level I have selected. 91 minutes later, the stove will have to relight itself. (I have never tested it, my house cools off too quickly, nowhere near 90 minutes.) Yours may have that option.

ETA: Is your stove shutting off, or just going into an idling state?
 
  • Like
Reactions: bostonfan49

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
316
PA, USA
Interesting. Is your stove programmed to be like that or is your stat?
 

bostonfan49

Minister of Fire
Nov 10, 2011
517
Essex Jct. Vermont
Hi Amin! Curious what "Run" options your stove has. I have an "Auto" that runs on and off per the T-Stat like yours. Also a "Manual" setting, stove just stays on, and runs continuously which is great if it’s-30F.... What you should have is a "Hi/Lo" setting. Stove heats up your living space UNTIL it reaches your T-Stat set temp! Then the stove goes into a lower output.....using less pellets, less convection fan speed and thus less heat. *This may maintain your t-stat setting or not....at which time your house temp drops a bit, and now your stove kicks in at a higher level! You end up going from a higher stove out-put to a lower....and back again, and so on! This is a great setting if your going to be in the house for hours. It can SAVE your Ignitor from having to go on and off and reducing it’s life span. Depending on your stove and T-Stat, you may not be able to shut your stove off with the T-Stat....without first going back into the "Auto" type setting.
Good Luck, Bill
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ssyko

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Why I don't burn the biomass stove until it gets (ambient outside) cold enough to not cause a lot of cycling, I run my propane furnace (like I'm doing now) with the stove off and cold. I won't start it for another couple weeks. Mine is an older (No Cal Rod ignition) so it goes to the lowest board setting I set (I can control the lowest and highest PPH delivery settings and all the intermediate ranges 1-8 are controlled by the on board chip and the built in algorithm.

I do not want it overly hot in the house anyway because all that does is drive out any humidity and cause the house environment to become dry and generally nasty. I try to keep the inside temps around 70 to 72 max and I'm always adding humidity with an evaporative humidifier because the more humidity you have, the less moisture evaporation you have from your skin so you feel warmer.

Been in homes where the heat is set at 80 but if feels cold because the RH is like a desert. Why you don't sweat in Scottsdale Az., in the summer when the ambient is 105 but the RH is non existent.

Mine is not even on right now and won't be for a few weeks at least.
 

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
316
PA, USA
Thanks for the input guys. My stove is a Quadra Fire and this is all the manual says:

The appliance is like most modern furnaces; when the
thermostat calls for heat, your appliance will automatically
light and deliver heat. When the room is up to temperature
and the thermostat is satisfied, the red call light will go off and
the appliance will shut down
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
985
South of Boston MA
Get a Harman! I set mine on stove temp manual, there is always a small maintenance burn in the burn pot and it ramps up when the STOVE calls for heat. I have played with the settings enough that when I set it my room/house (open concept) stays at 70-71. The flame and the fan ramp up as needed.
 
  • Like
Reactions: fenderblue

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Get a Harman! I set mine on stove temp manual, there is always a small maintenance burn in the burn pot and it ramps up when the STOVE calls for heat. I have played with the settings enough that when I set it my room/house (open concept) stays at 70-71. The flame and the fan ramp up as needed.

Why would someone buy a Harman when they already have a bio mass burner. Makes absolutely no sense at all unless that person is extremely flush (because Harman's are expensive), just to have one because and I don't believe people with bio fuel or wood stoves are flush with funds because if they are, they won't be heating with wood or woof by products anyway. They will be heating with conventional (NG, propane, electric or thermal transfer (water furnaces), not wood heat.

Myself, when I replaced my first bio mass stove that I basically wore out after 15 years if use, I never considered a Harman at all because of the expense. Now, an additional 15 years into this one, I'd still not consider one again, because of the expense involved and because the one I presently own is fine. IOW, lots of viable choices out there besides a Harman.

If Harman was the 'holy grail' of biomass stoves, then why are there so many brands to choose from? Common sense tells you that a Harman is just like all the others, it combusts wood pellets (or maybe corn and alternative fuels too), like the others and like the others, it has it's issues but paramount, like the others it needs to be kept clean and fly ash free.

Guess it distills down to, people who make blanket statements like the one you made, really don't have a clue about how things work in real life, ot maybe you hold stock in the company......... :rolleyes:

Have a great day and don't forget to vote tomorrow. Voting is still one of the greatest freedoms we have.
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
985
South of Boston MA
Why would someone buy a Harman when they already have a bio mass burner. Makes absolutely no sense at all unless that person is extremely flush (because Harman's are expensive), just to have one because and I don't believe people with bio fuel or wood stoves are flush with funds because if they are, they won't be heating with wood or woof by products anyway. They will be heating with conventional (NG, propane, electric or thermal transfer (water furnaces), not wood heat.

Myself, when I replaced my first bio mass stove that I basically wore out after 15 years if use, I never considered a Harman at all because of the expense. Now, an additional 15 years into this one, I'd still not consider one again, because of the expense involved and because the one I presently own is fine. IOW, lots of viable choices out there besides a Harman.

If Harman was the 'holy grail' of biomass stoves, then why are there so many brands to choose from? Common sense tells you that a Harman is just like all the others, it combusts wood pellets (or maybe corn and alternative fuels too), like the others and like the others, it has it's issues but paramount, like the others it needs to be kept clean and fly ash free.

Guess it distills down to, people who make blanket statements like the one you made, really don't have a clue about how things work in real life, ot maybe you hold stock in the company......... :rolleyes:

Have a great day and don't forget to vote tomorrow. Voting is still one of the greatest freedoms we have.
Some people drive a luxury car and some people drive a Kia.... I like a performance luxury car! Harman's are a far higher-performing make than most if not all other pellet stoves. If you want pinpoint accuracy you buy a Harman!
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,745
Eastern Ontario
Bought a year old Harman first of Oct. cleaned it painted it tested it
Thank god it sold today to much in the way of adjustment and scraping the burn pot every day
what's with that. Prefer the Enviro plug and play
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Some people drive a luxury car and some people drive a Kia.... I like a performance luxury car! Harman's are a far higher-performing make than most if not all other pellet stoves. If you want pinpoint accuracy you buy a Harman!
No biomass appliance ( I prefer to call them what they are) will not put out any more heat (BTU's) that they are designed for, don't matter who built it. Don't matter if you paid 5000 bucks or 1500 bucks, all the same. No, I don't drive a Kia, I drive domestic vehicles only. Not into 4 wheel coffins.
 

Amin1992

Feeling the Heat
Oct 9, 2019
316
PA, USA
Came back to say I think my stove acts this way because my thermostat doesnt have a swing adjustment. If it's set to 70F, it turns off at 70F and turns on at 69F. If I want to fix this, I'll need a stat with an adjustable swing, or just one with a programmed wider swing.

And to respond to where this thread is going now lol, I wouldn't consider myself "flush" - in all honesty, if I value my time the same my job pays me, I'm probably LOSING money heating my home with wood and pellets. However, I just like it. Something about a fire. Also, at least with my wood stove, I like the self-reliability and less dependence on foreign oil. I hardly use a pellet and wood stove to make or break the bank.
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,256
Lorraine NY
Came back to say I think my stove acts this way because my thermostat doesnt have a swing adjustment. If it's set to 70F, it turns off at 70F and turns on at 69F. If I want to fix this, I'll need a stat with an adjustable swing, or just one with a programmed wider swing.

And to respond to where this thread is going now lol, I wouldn't consider myself "flush" - in all honesty, if I value my time the same my job pays me, I'm probably LOSING money heating my home with wood and pellets. However, I just like it. Something about a fire. Also, at least with my wood stove, I like the self-reliability and less dependence on foreign oil. I hardly use a pellet and wood stove to make or break the bank.

You have a good quality stove and it is working the way it was designed, Quad does not have a hi-low setting. It is either on or off. with that said I run my 2001 Quad cb1200 for 18 yrs on thermostat and only replace the igniter 1 time. i now have it in my shop and a new Maxx in the house. you could run the stove on the low heat setting with the tstat jumped till it gets colder and then switch back to tsat.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I run the absolutely cheapest digital thermostat I could find at Lowes, it's a Honeywell (made in China) digital and it has a swing setting on the backside of the removeable faceplate and if I remember correctly, it was about 15 bucks. Have to replace the batteries every year, 2 AAA. My central furnace has a fancy dan programmable T'stat with more settings and programs, most I don't use anyway. Both T'stats are side by side so I don't have to look in more than one place to see what is transpiring.

I sure as heck aren't flush either but we live comfortably within our means.
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,988
South Central NH
Thermostat location could have something to do with that issue. I have the thermostat for my main floor stove set up in the den at a set point of 69*. It turns on when that room is 68 and turns of when it reaches 70. The room where the stove is at obviously gets warmer during run time, but the temp smooths out when the stove is off.

Main Floor Layout P43 air flow schematic.jpg


My basement stove thermostat is on a wall on the opposite side of the basement, and around a corner of the stairway (no schematic of that set up though :oops:).
 

MalcolmH

Member
Jan 22, 2017
98
Ontario

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Monitor location has EVERYTHING to do with temperature differentials between rooms in as much as a central furnace or hot water baseboard heat has heat exchangers in every room (or most) whereas the stove is in ONE room and HEATS that room primarily.

My T'stat is located in the kitchen, the stove is in the great room so the great room can be 72 while the kitchen is 65 and the T'stat is calling for heat because I have the set point at 70.

I can get around that to a certain point by running the blower on the central furnace, blower only to circulate the heat (because there is a cold air return adjacent to the stove in the great room (I planned it that way years ago), but, because the stove is incapable of heating the entire house, the BTU output isn't enough even wide open (maximum fuel feed), the only time that works is during shoulder season when the outside temps are moderate. Once the outside temps drop to freezing or below, or the wind speed is high and it's cold outside, that becomes a loosing proposition and the central heat plant takes over so....

I keep my T'stat for the biomass stove set a couple degrees lower than the central furnace cut in temp during the day and because the central forced air furnace is on an auto setback T'stat at night (when we are in bed the furnace is set back to 55 from 68 and the biomass stove moderates the ambient temp in the house, it slowly drops so that by morning it's down to around 60 and the central furnace don't have to work nearly as hard to bring it back up when the T'stat calls for heat at 7AM.

Of course that won't work (I don't think at least) for hot water heat, but it works fine for forced air. Additionally, running a humidifier helps a lot as well, dry air 'feels colder' than moist air because dry air causes you aspirate moisture through your skin constantly and that causes thermal transfer and makes you 'feel cold' when the inside ambient temp is actually comfortable. Besides, keeping the interior ambient RH at a comfortable level saves your furniture, your house plants and the structure because lack of moisture is a bad thing all around.

How it works in my scenario, yours may be different. I took me some years to perfect it and it don't always work as planned, especially with big temperature swings (outside), but for the most part it plays out just fine.

There is no way any biomass appliance will heat an entire home efficiently to a comfortable level unless tis a centrally installed unit running in conjunction with a central heat plant and to think a biomass stove will heat a home is fantasy unless the home is a one room shack and the square footage is minimal.

Even the largest biomass appliances (freestanding) are around 60K BTU input or about 50K BTU output which isn't even close to sufficient to heat an entire average dwelling, especially if that dwelling is multi level. Your average central furnace is at least 2 times that BTU input, sometimes 3 times as much and the efficiency of a modern central furnace is much greater than any biomass appliance 90+ compared to 80% for the average biomass appliance (and that is under ideal conditions as in clean and running optimum fuel), neither of which is the norm. 10-15% difference is a of wasted heat up the stack.

Of course one advantage to running the central furnace on blower only is the air in the house is being constantly filtered which is a plus because biomass appliances are inherently dust generators.

Additionally, my central furnace T'stat has a cycled blower option built in, most don't.

That all plays for a wood stove as well. Chunk wood or biomass, makes little difference. What makes the difference is BTU output and location of the heat plant(s) and T'stat and the capabilities of the T'stat's to 'coordinate' with each other.

Like I said, your mileage may vary and what works for me, may not for you. I've spent at least 20 years dine tuning my situation.
 
Last edited:

Pete Zahria

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2014
1,203
New Hampster
mcmanusfuels.com
if I value my time the same my job pays me, I'm probably LOSING money heating my home with wood and pellets.
While that is a popular phrase, it isn't really a sound one..
It is only valid, if you are using that time away from your job to earn money.
For example... if you are watching a Seinfeld rerun,
you are not making any money.. or losing it.
If you stack pellets.. you have not lost a dime, it cost nothing.
You just missed George doing something stupid...
;)

Dan
 

Pete Zahria

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2014
1,203
New Hampster
mcmanusfuels.com
Bought a year old Harman first of Oct. cleaned it painted it tested it
Thank god it sold today to much in the way of adjustment and scraping the burn pot every day
Strange.
I have a Harman as well. I do burn quality pellets, however,
and I empty my ash pan maybe 2-3 times a season,
when I shut-down clean..
Rarely anything substantial in the burn pot
that doesn't easily come out in 10-15 seconds.
I do that while the stove is running perhaps twice a week...
Depending on the temps, I use stove manual,
or, remote Lux thermostat..

Dan
 
  • Like
Reactions: Mt Bob

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,326
park county montana
While that is a popular phrase, it isn't really a sound one..
It is only valid, if you are using that time away from your job to earn money.
For example... if you are watching a Seinfeld rerun,
you are not making any money.. or losing it.
If you stack pellets.. you have not lost a dime, it cost nothing.
You just missed George doing something stupid...
;)


Dan
Mic Drop----
 

tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
890
Northwest Lower Michigan
I grew up with wood heat so I am used to being satisfied with large temperature swings. Right now is shoulder season so I kick it on when I get home from work, it’s about 60 in the house. House is quite a bit warmer by bedtime. Run it on low all night until I leave in the morning, house is low 70s. At some point I’ll be running it on low 24/7.

I have a BroadLink RM4 with thermometer. It tells me the temperature at the location of the sensor, and allows me to turn the stove on or off as I see fit. That way I can kick it on an hour or two before I get home, or kick it off when (if) the sun comes out. I also have a webcam so I know that the stove has successfully started, or shut down.

I use mine as a primary heat source with my open floor plan and it works well. I am fine with it being 75 at the stove, 70 in the house center, and 65 in the back bedroom. I don’t see a problem with that. What I think others mean is that you don’t want it as your ONLY heat source. Because it will go down and need replacement parts at some point, fire might go out, etc. And you don’t need to deal with keeping pipes from freezing. I have my boiler on standby if the stove ever goes out, haven’t needed it yet but I test it every season.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bogieb and Mt Bob

rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,393
Berks County PA.
T stat is built in to my stove controller, I just set it and forget it, let the stove do what it was designed to do.I just watched my stove go through a cycle, T stat set at 73, stove ran and hit 74 deg. then idled down, 48 mins. later temp dropped to 72, stove ramped back up fed pellets and still had enough embers to start the fire with out the igniter coming on.