New Castle Serenity Owner

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Alex91

Member
Jan 3, 2016
7
Southern Oklahoma
Good Evening folks,

We moved back to Kansas City last year, our new house is heated with a heat-pump. While it does a reasonable job keeping temperature, a heat pump never seams to have a "warm" feeling. We also suffered from quite high electric bills, presumably from the backup electric strips on defrost cycle or very cold days where the heat pump cannot keep up. Walking around a local farm store, i found a Castle serenity, presumably their display model, marked down to $650, after a quick talk with the manager, i got it down to $600. Has a scuff here and there from being in the store, but i felt the deal was pretty good. I did have to call castle as i found that the ribbon cable which connects the control panel had been damaged - the folks there quickly answered the phone and a new cable is on the way under warranty. I feel this is great service, as the damage is likely due to mishandling, rather than a defective part from the factory - yet they still replaced it at no cost to me.

I also picked up a pallet of "somerset premium pellets" at Menards for $190 after rebate - these somersets seam to have pretty good reviews and i feel the price was quite good as well.

I also ran the pellet stove in the driveway for a few hours to burn off the paint smell. I was pleased, but the sides did get a lot hotter than i was hoping - probably around 350 degrees if i have to guess. I have a 2 year old toddler and a new baby on the way. I expect training to "HOT" and "Ouch" will be sufficient, but am considering a gate. I don't expect we will likely save any money using the stove, but hopefully the house will have a bit of a cozier feel without using expensive to run electric resistance space heaters.

Any advice for a newbie to get me started right?
 

Ssyko

Minister of Fire
Nov 6, 2017
4,256
Lorraine NY
Welcome to the forums Alex91, reading your manual and install you stove to manufactures specs. Follow the maintenance schedule(adjust frequency to the ash content of the fuel you burn). A clean stove is a happy stove and will serve you well. Use a quality surge protector. Control boards are getting more and more complex as the years go by and are much more susceptible to brown outs and spikes, and are the most expensive component in the stove.
 

Alex91

Member
Jan 3, 2016
7
Southern Oklahoma
Thanks for the comments, I have already read the manual front to back, well except the French part! I have a whole-house surge protector, any comments on how effective these are?
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
1,012
Newport, Wa
Are you going to want it to run for Power Outages? Your going to need Inverter and Battery. I have Aims 1250 and 100ah Battery and get about 6 hours on manual (no relight all the time) and medium fan. Another option is small generator. Pure Sine Wave Only.

Also pellets can get hard to find later on in the season. Depends on your area. I live in East Wa State and to save delivery charge I just get 5 tons all at once. But I have place to store them in bay of building out of rain and weather. They make Tarps for Pellets too. Amazon product
 

Jake86

Burning Hunk
Oct 8, 2015
176
Plymouth, Massachusetts
I have owned a Castle Serenity PS going on 5 years. Like it a lot. The front door and both forward sides do get hot, which is a good thing. I purchased a fire place screen (Panecea Products #15951-3 panel arched screen $28. from AMAZON) which puts a barrier in front and to both sides of the stove effectively keeping several very young grand kids away from these hot areas. The screen only gets warm and does not limit the PS whatsoever.
Yes, CS customer service is top notched and super helpful. Good luck and stay warm!
 

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Alex91

Member
Jan 3, 2016
7
Southern Oklahoma
Thanks for the info everyone.

For venting, i can actually get a 4 inch kit a bit cheaper than a 3 inch kit. While i am at lower altitude with a simple and short vent need, is there any reason i would not go with 4 inch being that it is a bit cheaper and possibly more future proof if i upgrade stoves?
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
737
Miller MO
4” drafts better and clogs up more slowly. Most of my customers run their castles on 1 in manual mode constantly. I bet you will save money on your heating bill if you can get the heat spread out with some fans or by circulating with your central fan. Somerset at 190 is a good deal, and those are awesome pellets. I’d buy a second ton if it was me. If you get creative, you can fit a lot of pellets in a garage and still fit your cars. I usually burn 1.5-2.5 to one to heat my 1500 sq foot house.
 

Alex91

Member
Jan 3, 2016
7
Southern Oklahoma
Thanks for the input! I think i will pick up another ton.. storage is not too much an issue, i have a 3 car garage and dont park anything but woodworking tools and machinery in there!
 

Overfireinthehole

Minister of Fire
May 5, 2017
737
Miller MO
I would say that pellets will probably become scarce up there mid winter. We have several people that end up driving down from kc to get pellets from us every winter and we are south of Springfield in Nixa. Last year Pellets were scarce everywhere.
 

Talegas

Burning Hunk
Oct 26, 2016
185
Metrowest MA
Welcome to the happy family of Serenity owners :)

I will recommend doing the mod to adjust the air intake without having to remove the left side panel (your left when standing in front of the stove). You'll want to play around with that puppy as ash builds up. It will be my third year with the stove, and i still like it a lot :)

Stove pipe related, do try to set it up at an angle for easy clean up...and i recommend the olympia ventis system pipe.. cheap price from "The fireplace & chimney store" online. .very nice guys. It has built in gaskets..but if you have cheaper prices over there you are all set then :)
 

Alex91

Member
Jan 3, 2016
7
Southern Oklahoma
First night with the serenity! Got home after work and house was at 67 per the heat pump thermostat upstairs. I turned the heat pump off and turned on the pellet stove. I have the stove centrally located in the living room downstairs. On setting ome the living room is very cozy and upstairs temp has gone from 67 to 70. Tonight is fairly mild at 32 degrees no wind, so I expect I may need to turn it up at times. House is 2000 square foot 2 story built in 2013. Don't mind the missing trim around my hearth pad, I couldn't wait!
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