Pellet furnace to supplement oil?

fr8tdog Posted By fr8tdog, Nov 19, 2007 at 11:37 PM

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  1. fr8tdog

    New Member 2.

    Nov 19, 2007
    mid maine
    I currently have oil fired hot water baseboard in a 2 story 2500sf home. When I built the house about 17yrs ago I make provisions for a wood stove in the basement (but never installed) so there is a double walled metal chimney already there. Also, I installed some duct work that basically goes straight up to the 1st and 2nd floors with vents on both. At the other end of the house on the 2nd floor is a cold air return to the basement that has provisions for a duct fan to be installed to pull air back to the basement. With the price of oil at $3+/gal I am considering using pellets as a supplement to the oil for heating, oil is used for domestic hot water also. I have looked into the Harmon PF100 and the US Stove 6220, both have plenums for the hot air, the Harmon is pricey, but my wife likes the fact that requires less attention (ie self ignition). Appearance is not really a factor. I have read on this forum about Harmon having some monetary problem, I have a dealer about half hour away, don’t really know his history but he has been around awhile. Does anyone have any experience with either of these furnaces? Is my initial idea of supplementing even make sense? We have a new manufacturer of pellets opening very soon about 5 miles away (Corinth Pellets), so the price I am hearing about pellets should be around $200/ton. I appreciate any and all input.

  2. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson
    Mod Emeritus 2.

    Nov 18, 2005
    Central NYS
    I guess you can go either way--a boiler or a furnace. Most people prefer hot water heat, but if you don't mind the hot air, then a pellet furnace is probably not a bad way to go. One advantage to a boiler is that you can heat your hot water, too. But the price difference between a boiler and storage tank compared to a hw furnace is not even close.

    I don't have experience with either of those brands, but I know some of our members do. I would suggest looking at some European furnaces as well. They've pretty well got the pellet thing figured out, and pellet-fired central heat is a lot more popular in places like Sweden and Finland than it is here. It's my belief that pellet prices will always track the price of oil, but they will always be cheaper, too.
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