Pellet Stove Recommendation for Small Garage

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JigOutTrev

New Member
Nov 11, 2021
3
Queens, NY
Hi everyone,

I am now permanently working from home and have made my detached garage space my home office. I have insulated the garage, and I have a mini-ductless split unit that puts out both heat and AC (15 SEER rating). The floors are not insulated, however. It just has cement and then tile laid on top. At the time when I installed the mini-ductless split, I didn't plan on being in the garage as often as I am now. I pretty much spend my entire days in here.

Last winter, I believe my mini-ductless split unit caused my electric bills to spike $300-$500 a month. Quite ridiculous! The space is 20'x20', with 16' ceilings, and I think a wood pellet stove would be the solution I need. I've spent many hours researching on my own and think I've settled on the Castle Serenity Pellet Stove. It doesn't require much space, and I don't have too much space to sacrifice. It also seems to be reliable and safe with little maintenance requirements.

But there are MANY wood pellet stoves available on the market. Are there any other wood pellet stoves I should consider?

Lastly, I've wondered if I should just upgrade my mini-ductless split unit since its a 15 SEER, 10,000BTU unit on 110v to a more efficient and higher BTU unit.

Thanks in advance!
 

Mt Bob

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
3,658
park county montana
Pellet stoves are space heaters. You would be getting about 22k btu's from that stove,wide open running. To put that in perspective,borrow 4 -1500 watt electric heaters and see if you would be happy with that.That would be the equivalent. The tall ceiling hurts,carpet on floor would help, should have 1 big or 2 small ceiling fans. Others will chime in with their thoughts.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,535
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
To run 300-500$ of electricity through a mini split tells us that you have a pretty huge heat load. Pellets cost money too. Are you sure that nothing else contributed to the electricity usage spike?

I would seriously look at how to reduce heat loss from the garage. The overhead door can be insulated as well as the ceiling.
 
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JigOutTrev

New Member
Nov 11, 2021
3
Queens, NY
To run 300-500$ of electricity through a mini split tells us that you have a pretty huge heat load. Pellets cost money too. Are you sure that nothing else contributed to the electricity usage spike?

I would seriously look at how to reduce heat loss from the garage. The overhead door can be insulated as well as the ceiling.
No garage door, just an entry door (insulated). The walls and ceiling are insulated. The only thing that is not insulated is the tiled floor, which definitely allows cold air to come in. Carpet is not an option, as it is also used as a garage (diy projects, etc. etc.)

I would have the heat running 24/7 because I would want the garage heated upon the start of the work day (temperature set over WiFi), and on rainy or snowy days it'll constantly need to defrost itself. Pretty sure this all contributed to the electric bump.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,535
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
No garage door, just an entry door (insulated). The walls and ceiling are insulated. The only thing that is not insulated is the floor, which definitely allows cold air to come in.

I would have the heat running 24/7 because I would want the garage heated upon the start of the work day (temperature set over WiFi), and on rainy or snowy days it'll constantly need to defrost itself. Pretty sure this all contributed to the electric bump.

You have a garage without an overhead door? Cold air coming through the floor?

I insulated the slab in my shop and it’s pretty great. I bet your climate gets really cold and your electricity cost is high.

Perhaps some sort of radiant heater meant to warm your body and not the air. There are electric models as well as gas models.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
884
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
Harman P43 and a couple ceiling fans and you’ll be warm with way more money in your pocket
 
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Former Farmer

Minister of Fire
Apr 12, 2008
622
NE Wisconsin
First thing I would do is install a ceiling fan. For that size of a shop, even with 16' ceilings, only 1 properly sized ceiling fan would work. You might be surprised at the temperature of the air at the ceiling.

If you do decide to install a pellet stove, make sure and install an Outside Air Kit (OAK).

Did your current mini-split keep your garage warm enough for you? Even on the coldest days?

Are you on the phone or in meetings during work? The reason that I ask this is because of the noise produced from the fans in a pellet stove. It will definitely be louder than your mini-split.
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
3,013
South Central NH
I'm thinking that getting your garage floor isolated from the cold ground might be a better investment. Carpeting will only make it seem warmer on the feet. But if you elevate the floor 1/4" or so above the tiles (as if it were a wet floor), then lay cheap linoleum over that, you would get an insulation layer that would help. Also, that tall ceiling, as others have statedm is not ging to be your friend while trying to heat.
 

zrock

Minister of Fire
Dec 2, 2017
1,199
bc
I'm thinking that getting your garage floor isolated from the cold ground might be a better investment. Carpeting will only make it seem warmer on the feet. But if you elevate the floor 1/4" or so above the tiles (as if it were a wet floor), then lay cheap linoleum over that, you would get an insulation layer that would help. Also, that tall ceiling, as others have statedm is not ging to be your friend while trying to heat.
i agree you need that thermal break on the floor.. Without it it will always feel cold in their
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Problem with a concrete slab uninsulated floor is it sucks the heat out like a dry sponge soaks up liquid. I took all the into consideration when I built my 40 x 40 shop and garage. I installed PEX in floor heat (in slab) I should say but I insulated the entire area with pink rigid 4" thick foam sheets (including the rat wall trenches) over a base of tamped sand with steel matting on top and the PEX on standoff's attached to the matting. Then I had the contractor pour an 8" concrete slab on top of that with high density mix. I keep the entire slab at 65 degrees in the winter but it's still costly to heat so I'm installing the refurb pellet-corn stove in one end of the shop. I have 2 ceiling fans in the shop area that run constantly winter and summer. My walls are only R12 but the ceilings are R 50 and it gets COLD here.

My plan is to install the stove and use an air mover to help circulate the heat and lower my floor temp to 50 degrees.

In the house, the stove is installed in the great room and I keep the central furnace on blower only in the winter and I also use an air mover to push the heat into the other parts of the house. I have the air mover sitting on my wife's curio cabinet so it up off the floor. I'll do the same in the shop. My stove (6039-41) running on HR5 (which is mid range on the heat settings) keeps the entire house including the upstairs at a very comfortable 69 degrees. If it a particularly cold and windy day (like in January), the central furnace will over rode the blower only setting and come on to help out. Don't happen often but it does happen.

The other advantage of the blower only setting is the furnace air filter traps the dust and dirt generated by the stove (and the 9 cats and the pupper) that are in here, our family basically has 4 legs (except my wife and me)...lol

If you want good and inexpensive air movers, I suggest you go to Harbor Freight and purchase the red plastic 3 speed air mover. It's 80 bucks not on sale and it's a helluva air mover. Pretty quiet too. Don't get the round metal one. I bought one and took it back. Too damn noisy and it rattles too.

Probably buy another one when I get the stove installed in the shop to help circulate the heat.

My big issue in the house is humidity in the winter. I have to run a humidifer basically all the time in the winter to maintain at least a 50% RH. remember, the lower the RH is, the colder you feel, even at 70, because when it's dry inside, you body naturally aspirates perspiration constantly and the evaporation of it 'makes' you feel cold, plus it dries all the wooden furniture out.

Because we have well water that has a lot of calcium in it, we have to purchase bottled water, usually in 2.5 gallon jugs and that is an expense but necessary.

Your big issue is your concrete slab and the suggestion of a thermal break with a false floor on top of it is an excellent idea. Until you address that, all that will happen is the slab will suck the heat out. Besides, I dislike cold concrete floors. Hard on your feet and they always 'feel cold' unless you have in floor heat like I do.
 

JigOutTrev

New Member
Nov 11, 2021
3
Queens, NY
Thank you everyone for your feedback. The high ceiling is the result of the angles created by the roof, so the highest point is approximately 16'. I can and will install a ceiling fan. I would need to determine the cost of insulating this floor... I will do that asap. My floor is actually a step down from the outside, which I'm sure does not help.

The Castle Serenity I was looking at seems to be pretty quiet in all the videos I've seen of it, so I'm really not worried about noise.
 

SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
Menards and Lowes have inexpensive 4 blade industrial style fans. What I use in the shop. No need to be fancy and pay a fancy price either.
 

rich2500

Minister of Fire
Nov 19, 2005
1,399
Berks County PA.
Might want to check out a comfortbilt hp50, it cost a couple bucks more then a serenity but has more btu and in eco mode the stove will cycle off and on which will come in handy spring and fall.
 
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bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
3,013
South Central NH
My big issue in the house is humidity in the winter. I have to run a humidifer basically all the time in the winter to maintain at least a 50% RH. remember, the lower the RH is, the colder you feel, even at 70, because when it's dry inside, you body naturally aspirates perspiration constantly and the evaporation of it 'makes' you feel cold, plus it dries all the wooden furniture out.

You are right about the humidity. 69* feels hot in the summer when the humidity inside is 70+% (when windows are open), but feels cold in the winter when it is below 50%

Last winter was the only time I've been able to keep the main floor (950 sq/ft) at 35-45% humidity running 3 humidifiers full time. That is with every opportunity to keep humidity inside the house; not using the bath fan to evacuate shower moisture - I use a tower fan to drive the moisturized air into other parts of the house; drying clothes in front of the stoves etc. Some winters it has been all I could do to keep it 20-25%.
 
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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
I purchased a clothes dryer bypass vent for ours. Fits in the dryer vent and has a summer / winter flap that you can direct the dryer exhaust with at your discretion and it comes with a large drawstring lint trap that attaches to the outlet to catch any lint that gets past the filter trap inside the dryer.

Lowes and Menards have them. Think I paid 15 bucks for ours. Every little bit helps. Ours vents through the floor into the basement but I keep the central furnace blower on so it picks up the moist air and distributes it in the house.

Like I said, the big expense for us is bottled water for the humidifier. I use a large Sunbeam evaporative one with replaceable wick and twin 3 gallon water tanks. Between the dryer and that I can maintain 50%.

When you can maintain the indoor RH at a reasonable level you can lower the ambient temp inside and save fuel too so I guess one hand washes the other in our case.

I have a relative humidity gauge in the kitchen that I monitor the inside RH with. Got it at Cabelas and it was cheap (for Cabelas) too.

Our big issue is the cats and the pupper. You don't want to scratch them when it's dry as they make static electricity... ouch.
 
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