New Harman Stoves Junk???

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ejsechler

Member
May 18, 2016
58
North East Ohio
So i was doing some window shopping today because i am wanting to buy a new pellet stove before winter. So i walked into my local stove dealer and asked him some questions about what suits my needs. He recommended a Avalon AGP insert. I then went ahead and asked him about harman stoves. He went through this big long story on how the newer harman stoves are junk, because the company switch owners changed parts etc etc. I was wondering what your take was on this? Also the Avalon AGP that he recommended was for 2000sqft my home is 2900sqft open floor plan. He then went on to say it also is going to depend on your insulation which is completely understandable. My house is less the 20 years old so it is pretty well insulated. I was originally thinking about harman but now i really dont know anymore. Please help. Any insight and knowledge would be grateful.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
So i was doing some window shopping today because i am wanting to buy a new pellet stove before winter. So i walked into my local stove dealer and asked him some questions about what suits my needs. He recommended a Avalon AGP insert. I then went ahead and asked him about harman stoves. He went through this big long story on how the newer harman stoves are junk, because the company switch owners changed parts etc etc. I was wondering what your take was on this? Also the Avalon AGP that he recommended was for 2000sqft my home is 2900sqft open floor plan. He then went on to say it also is going to depend on your insulation which is completely understandable. My house is less the 20 years old so it is pretty well insulated. I was originally thinking about harman but now i really dont know anymore. Please help. Any insight and knowledge would be grateful.
my Harman is 3 yrs old.... if it's junk It performs exceptionally well...
I don't know anything about who owns Harman but I doubt that they are anything less than top of the line then and now.
Am sure others will chime in and more or less 99% Positive..
Harmans are Not cheap for a reason..
 
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ejsechler

Member
May 18, 2016
58
North East Ohio
my Harman is 3 yrs old.... if it's junk It performs exceptionally well...
I don't know anything about who owns Harman but I doubt that they are anything less than top of the line then and now.
Am sure others will chime in and more or less 99% Positive..
Harmans are Not cheap for a reason..
Believe me i am wanting to stand right by your side on that, i understand they are not cheap. I have done my research and yes there are some bad things wrote about Harman but the good far out weight the bad. I am looking to buy the best most efficient pellet stove that will heat my home. This is what through me a curve ball when i heard a dealer talk so bad about them.
 

rona

Minister of Fire
Apr 2, 2008
1,029
southwestern Minn
So i was doing some window shopping today because i am wanting to buy a new pellet stove before winter. So i walked into my local stove dealer and asked him some questions about what suits my needs. He recommended a Avalon AGP insert. I then went ahead and asked him about harman stoves. He went through this big long story on how the newer harman stoves are junk, because the company switch owners changed parts etc etc. I was wondering what your take was on this? Also the Avalon AGP that he recommended was for 2000sqft my home is 2900sqft open floor plan. He then went on to say it also is going to depend on your insulation which is completely understandable. My house is less the 20 years old so it is pretty well insulated. I was originally thinking about harman but now i really dont know anymore. Please help. Any insight and knowledge would be grateful.
Before Harman was bought out they were all manufactured in the USA. After they were bought out certain models were made elsewhere. Supposedly they were made to Harmans standards but who knows. The same company owns Quadrafire and when they introduced the AE there was a lot of problems which were blamed on the companies providing parts. The AE was a multi fuel stove and Quadrafire made a similar stove just for pellets. I think this was the one that was prone to breaking the glass when it got hot. Once again the suppliers were blamed.
I think the newer Harmans are using a more complicated mother board which was supposed to have more conveniences then the older technology and this could be the reason for the dealers idea they were junk. It is entirely possible the new owners cheapened them up using lighter steel, cheaper control boards, cheaper motors, etc. I thought it was strange they quit producing the PC45 when corn dropped in price.
 

ejsechler

Member
May 18, 2016
58
North East Ohio
Before Harman was bought out they were all manufactured in the USA. After they were bought out certain models were made elsewhere. Supposedly they were made to Harmans standards but who knows. The same company owns Quadrafire and when they introduced the AE there was a lot of problems which were blamed on the companies providing parts. The AE was a multi fuel stove and Quadrafire made a similar stove just for pellets. I think this was the one that was prone to breaking the glass when it got hot. Once again the suppliers were blamed.
I think the newer Harmans are using a more complicated mother board which was supposed to have more conveniences then the older technology and this could be the reason for the dealers idea they were junk. It is entirely possible the new owners cheapened them up using lighter steel, cheaper control boards, cheaper motors, etc. I thought it was strange they quit producing the PC45 when corn dropped in price.
Good to know, but yea that is pretty much what he said,close to it anyways. Ahhh this is going to take me awhile to figure out what to buy. Glad i am starting early.
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
n'
Good to know, but yea that is pretty much what he said,close to it anyways. Ahhh this is going to take me awhile to figure out what to buy. Glad i am starting early.
I think the newer Harmans are using a more complicated mother board which was supposed to have more conveniences then the older technology
Harman did come out with 1 and only 1 new model that has new digital and I think wireless technology.
Harman Absolute 43...
jury is out still on this new model...
the other Harman models are pretty much the usual standard types they have always made....
This is the company that Took over Harman production
http://www.hearthnhome.com/Brands
 
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Twinturbo6.4

Member
Aug 26, 2014
49
S.E MA
My 2 year old XXV is a champ! It eats whatever pellets I put in it, never even blinks an eye, has no problem keeping our 2800sf house warm and is a great looking stove compared to some of the junk on the market. I spent many months researching stoves and visiting stove shops and it was an easy decision when it came time to buy!
 

Peterfield

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2013
1,393
New Hampshire
So i was doing some window shopping today because i am wanting to buy a new pellet stove before winter. So i walked into my local stove dealer and asked him some questions about what suits my needs. He recommended a Avalon AGP insert. I then went ahead and asked him about harman stoves. He went through this big long story on how the newer harman stoves are junk, because the company switch owners changed parts etc etc. I was wondering what your take was on this? Also the Avalon AGP that he recommended was for 2000sqft my home is 2900sqft open floor plan. He then went on to say it also is going to depend on your insulation which is completely understandable. My house is less the 20 years old so it is pretty well insulated. I was originally thinking about harman but now i really dont know anymore. Please help. Any insight and knowledge would be grateful.

That's called a sales pitch. I went through the same thing with a non-Harman dealer, almost verbatim from what you were told. There are folks on this board with Harman stoves and others with stoves other than Harman's and they are happy with their choice.
 
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ejsechler

Member
May 18, 2016
58
North East Ohio
That's called a sales pitch. I went through the same thing with a non-Harman dealer, almost verbatim from what you were told. There are folks on this board with Harman stoves and others with stoves other than Harman's and they are happy with their choice.
I mean i understand the whole sales pitch thing, but i was also making sure about what he was saying was at least half the true. I mean this is the 21st century and it is not hard to get to the bottom of things and find out if people are making up bs stories.
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,407
Kentucky
Opinions are like a**holes. The dealer bad mouthing Harmans is a jack wagon so there is my opinion on him......

I have a "newer" P68 and an older PC45. Not much difference between the two other than about a decade in age. Anyone that complains about a Harman probably should not own a pellet stove. They are about as bullet proof as they come in regards to pellet stoves. Yes new technology scares some. I prefer simple myself. Harman stoves are about as far away from junk as anyone could possibly be. After having two I would not consider any other brand here unless I was looking for a cheaper back up or infrequent use stove. For primary heat it is and would remain a Harman in this house. Period.

I know running around and listening to these "dealers" can be confusing. Dealt with it myself. Some of them are simply snake oil salesmen looking for the uneducated schmucks wearing their rose colored glasses. I met many of them while I was pounding the pavement in search of a good stove. I am MORE than impressed with my Harmans. When a Harman has problems it is one of three things. 1. It is older than dirt and finally needs a replacement part. 2. It has been run into the ground and neglected of simple infrequent cleanings. 3. A moron owns it and / or some hack dealer or self install has things all jacked up. Very, very rarely is it a quality issue with Harman. Most Harman stoves are no more complex than any other brand but they are made better than about every other brand and the price reflects that.

Most Harmans run like a crock pot. Just throw stuff in, turn it on, and let it go. Simple. Do you clean your crock pot after you use it or do you just throw it back into the cabinet and use it again and again? Sounds like the dealer in question is just that. Very questionable. Perhaps another MORON that has no idea of what he / she is doing because they sure in the hell do not know what they are talking about. Just being straight forward and to the point. Are there other good stoves for the money? Yes, But it is very hard to beat a Harman of any model # or size. And to put it in another perspective There is not much that has changed between my 2006 PC 45 and 2014 P68. Very similar but the newer P68 does respond to changes and user input more quickly. Likely due to some tweeks in the newer control board and ESP probe. I am SOLD on Harman and have ZERO regrets owning them.

Where are you in Ohio? I'm in the SW corner of Northern KY about 34 miles from Cincinnati. I can probably steer you towards a dealer that knows what they are doing also. If you are north of Columbus I can get you to some people that can refer you to them up there. Good Luck and do not believe most stuff these dealers say. My experience was most of them have little knowledge of what they are selling. How far are you from Batesville, IN?

PM me. I will be more than happy to give you some help. Kick that jackazz selling the Avalon to the curb for starters. They are not even listening to your needs. Them selling or trying to push a stove rated for 2,000 SQ FT when you need to heat almost 3,000 SQ FT is a huge red flag and will likely end in an epic failure. Are you going to pull a 32 foot boat with a Ford Fiesta? NOPE! You need a heavy duty truck.
 

bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,407
Kentucky
Another point and no disrespect nor harm Rona, but comparing a Quadrafire and a Harman is somewhat like apples and oranges so to speak. The self cleaning overly complex AE's are not much like the basic Harman. Yes, HHT owns both companies, but they are very different stoves.

Kind of like comparing cars and trucks and the conglomerates producing some of them. Like comparing an $18,000 Fiat car to a Ram Cummins HD 4X4 truck. All owned by Chrysler now. Or VW, Audi, and Porsche. You have your high ranking brass and your still wet behind the ears Private.

I am not knocking Quads and looked at one myself. However, I will say I am very happy I made the educated choices I did. There are many good Quads and other brands too for that matter, but for me a Harman is the right answer for many reasons regardless of brand loyalty, looks, or any other factor. They are simply top notch stoves that come with a price. They can take more abuse and neglect than any other stove made now and still keep on keeping on. Try to pull trees down with a Fiat in the mud. If someone likes their Fiat then drive it until the wheels fall off.

Like comparing a Bixby corn burner to any other biomass burner. You have the cream of the crop and then you have other stoves that try to eat corn............... I know you get the picture.
 
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Husky

Feeling the Heat
Nov 2, 2014
351
Rochester, NY
I have had my Accentra 52i now for 2 seasons. It has worked flawlessly. I know some people have had problems with a popping noise with the stove but I have not experienced this. I have nothing to say bad about this stove. It was a bit expensive but well worth the cost for the quality and ease of use and maintience.
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,930
South Central NH
Harman was sold to HHT in 2007 (not just recently). My stoves have born on dates of 2012 (P43 bought used) and 2013 (P61a bought new). Believe me, if the P61a had not been a great stove, I wouldn't have bought the used P43. I didn't NEED to buy the P43, I already had a stove where it is now (St. Croix Hastings), but when I got the chance I bought the Harman and sold the Hastings.

The Harman's are simple to operate, easy to clean and hold a lot of ash so they don't need attention every week even if you burn garbage pellets. The Hastings was simple to operate (once I finally got the damper set correctly for the pellets I used - the Harman's don't need adjustment after set up), but it was harder to clean, and it HAD to be cleaned weekly using middle-of-the-road pellets. There is no way I could have gone a week between ash pan cleanings if I used ashier pellets. I also put hopper extensions on both Harman's, while I couldn't on the Hastings - which was a problem as during really cold weather a hopper full would only last 13-15 hours - I got home from work several time to a hopper that either had, or was in the process of running dry.

I'm not saying the Hastings was a bad stove, because it did its job well, I just enjoyed the convenience and simplicity of the P61a so much more, and there were other considerations (such as capacity for pellets), so when I got the chance at a good deal on the P43, I jumped at it.

There are many good stoves out there, as attested to by the members on this forum, but I wouldn't listen to the salesman when he says that Harman's are junk (why in heck would he carry a line he doesn't believe in anyway?). And, I certainly wouldn't buy a Harman from that salesperson if a Harman is your choice - I would find a dealer that likes the product he sells.
 
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railfanron

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2013
561
Perry MI
There can be a lot of reasons to undersell the Harman. More profit on the other stove or it has been in the warehouse to long and needs to be moved. Dealer requirements call for a certain volume to be met every quarter and they're not there yet so push the other model instead of the Harman. I would say this: Any salesman that is bad mouthing the competition is either lying to make the sale or just plain inexperienced. Either way I would run not walk to a different dealer. Any salesman worth his salt in any field will tell you bad mouthing the competition will come back and bite you in the rear one way or the other. JMHO
Anyways I also have a Harman and did a lot of research before I bought it. I believe I have the best stove on the market. My neighbor bought a different brand of stove and they told her it was the best on the market and a couple hundred less than a Harman. Is it a good stove yes. Is it a great stove comparable to my Harman, in my opinion absolutely not. Not even close. I make this assessment because I maintain both of them so I believe my opinion to be a valid one.
YMWV
Ron
 
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slls

Minister of Fire
Jun 9, 2008
1,497
central maine Lat 45
Harman was sold to HHT in 2007 (not just recently). My stoves have born on dates of 2012 (P43 bought used) and 2013 (P61a bought new). Believe me, if the P61a had not been a great stove, I wouldn't have bought the used P43. I didn't NEED to buy the P43, I already had a stove where it is now (St. Croix Hastings), but when I got the chance I bought the Harman and sold the Hastings.

The Harman's are simple to operate, easy to clean and hold a lot of ash so they don't need attention every week even if you burn garbage pellets. The Hastings was simple to operate (once I finally got the damper set correctly for the pellets I used - the Harman's don't need adjustment after set up), but it was harder to clean, and it HAD to be cleaned weekly using middle-of-the-road pellets. There is no way I could have gone a week between ash pan cleanings if I used ashier pellets. I also put hopper extensions on both Harman's, while I couldn't on the Hastings - which was a problem as during really cold weather a hopper full would only last 13-15 hours - I got home from work several time to a hopper that either had, or was in the process of running dry.

I'm not saying the Hastings was a bad stove, because it did its job well, I just enjoyed the convenience and simplicity of the P61a so much more, and there were other considerations (such as capacity for pellets), so when I got the chance at a good deal on the P43, I jumped at it.

There are many good stoves out there, as attested to by the members on this forum, but I wouldn't listen to the salesman when he says that Harman's are junk (why in heck would he carry a line he doesn't believe in anyway?). And, I certainly wouldn't buy a Harman from that salesperson if a Harman is your choice - I would find a dealer that likes the product he sells.

Has Harman changed the suggestion to open door and scrape pot once a day, even with fire going.
 

alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,803
Cape Cod, Ma.
We own a Harman P61a, next season will be season 4. So far no issues. We wanted a stove that makes heat, I mean serious heat and that's what we got. A P series Harman comes with the added benefit of being maybe about the easiest stove going to deep clean.

Efficiency with today's nominally efficient pellet stoves really comes down to your homes efficiency. If your house is like a weather vane when the weather changes then you're going to burn a bunch of pellets, period ( gee how would I know that). I don't care what stove you get. Is the P61 the most efficient of all pellet stoves ? No, it's a heat monster ( 61,000 btu), to make heat you burn pellets. If your house is loose and requires a lot of extra heating, the stove will burn them for you. If it's super tight and well laid out, the stove will cut back and burn less pellets. That's how it works.
 
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railfanron

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2013
561
Perry MI
When my wife was in the hospital I let the Harman burn a week without cleaning the pot. I think with good pellets you can easily go more than a day. I'm burning Pro Pellets.
Ron
 

fmsm

Minister of Fire
Dec 12, 2011
980
South of Boston MA
When he says the new Harman's I bet he's talking about the Absolute, the tried and true Harman's are great stoves, the Absolute?
 

Tonyray

Minister of Fire
When he says the new Harman's I bet he's talking about the Absolute, the tried and true Harman's are great stoves, the Absolute?
Absolutley the Absolute 43...
which I think is a 43K BTU unit.. all digital controls and wifi I think..
won't make any more heat than a regular 43K BTU Harman but prob a bit fun to play with.
Personally I don't think anything beats a Freestanding Harman with the HUGE TRUMPESQUE ASH PANS..
 
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alternativeheat

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2013
3,803
Cape Cod, Ma.
The jury is still out on the Harman Absolute 43. But if I owned a 2900 sq ft house ( don't ask me why on earth I would but "if" non the less) I wouldn't be looking at a single 43,000btu unit anyway. Maybe two but certainly not one. Even then two P43's would probably be ideal, heat from a couple of different directions etc etc..
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,930
South Central NH
Has Harman changed the suggestion to open door and scrape pot once a day, even with fire going.

The chart shows every 3 bags (hardwood) and every 5 bags (softwood) - OR, every day. The cleaning description says when adding fuel or once a week.

Depends on the fuel and also can depend on what mode it is burned in.

With the Hastings I had to shut down daily to remove clinkers; Supposedly you could do it while the stove was running but I didn't' want to chance stray falling pellets producing sparks that could out the door, or even hitting burning pellets in such a way to create a fire hazard (my own paranoia most likely). With the Harmans I don't have to shut down as the bottom feeding screw stops.
 

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Tonyray

Minister of Fire
The chart shows every 3 bags (hardwood) and every 5 bags (softwood) - OR, every day. The cleaning description says when adding fuel or once a week.

Depends on the fuel and also can depend on what mode it is burned in.

With the Hastings I had to shut down daily to remove clinkers; Supposedly you could do it while the stove was running but I didn't' want to chance stray falling pellets producing sparks that could out the door, or even hitting burning pellets in such a way to create a fire hazard (my own paranoia most likely). With the Harmans I don't have to shut down as the bottom feeding screw stops.
Correct....
 
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bags

Minister of Fire
Oct 12, 2014
2,407
Kentucky
The Harmans will run dependably even if you do not scrape the pot daily. Ask me how I know....

Really though, Do the recommended cleans and pot scrapes and such as many do here and just turn that bad boy on and enjoy the plethora of heat and no baby sitting at whatever temp you like.

Harman stoves are minimalistic animals in the "needy" department. Many others are still attached to Mom's teat. For life! Ouch! the bullets are already hitting that target.

Set it and forget it. Give it some love every now and then. It will love you back ten fold like a loyal old dog.
 
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