Pellet Stove Recommendations

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sheadu061

New Member
Dec 23, 2020
45
Minnesota
Hello,

I've been contemplating a wood stove for a while now but after doing some reading, I'm thinking a pellet stove may be the best option. Less work,, hassle, more family friendly as for as lighting and thermostat control,, etc. I'm pretty new and inexperienced when it comes to pellet stoves. I'm looking for a very efficient stove to meet the tax credit, but that wouldn't be a hard stop. I

What are some of the better brands of pellet stoves as far as quality and warranty?

I'm trying to heat about 1500 sq ft main level with a mostly open floor plan in Minnesota. Any recommendations on a stove?

Id like one with an air wash or one that keeps the glass mostly clean, what would you recommend?

Besides daily maintenance, can I run these for many hours at a time if I keep up with ash removal and regular maintenance? I'd like to run it when I'm at work or away for about 8 hours at a time. I'm sure these are just as safe if not safer as running a cat stove for long periods.

Please share you experience on warmth, maintenance, and how you like it compared to wood stoves.

I'm finding information on pellet stoves is a little harder to find, sorry if some of this has already been addressed. Thank you.
 

railfanron

Minister of Fire
Nov 2, 2013
561
Perry MI
I have a Harman P43 and it supplies half the heat for my 2250 sq. ft. ranch. It's totally automatic and is thermostatically controlled. It runs 7 24s whether I'm home or not. I put it on an Ecobee thermostat so I can control it better and when I'm not at home. All Harmans have an air wash system that works pretty well. Most stoves have one but none of them work perfectly. Maintenance is scrape the burn pot daily which takes about 30 seconds and a once every ton cleaning which takes about an hour and a once a year clean out of the chimney. I clean my stove every 35 or so bags. It cycles on and off as needed or can be run in constant mode. It will heat the entire house if needed but I tag team it with the Propane furnace so I get humidification and air cleaning. My heating fuel bill was 500 gallons of Propane and 2 3/4 tons of pellets for last year's winter in mid Michigan. That heated the house and my 1600 sq ft workshop when working in it and the years worth of hot water. I've burned a lot of wood over the years and as I got older it became harder and harder to get the years supply ready so I moved to pellets. I'm very happy with the change and have been heating with pellets for 6 years now.
Ron
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,619
Eastern Ontario
Find a stove you like then ask for recommendations
I personally like Enviro others its Harman they are probably the best selling
in the high-end brands
My stove runs 24/7 from the end of September till the end of April
shut down once a week for cleaning
Air wash is hit and miss. If you use a good pellet all you have to do
is open the door and brush the ash off the glass. use a natural hairbrush (paint)
(plastic or man-made tend to melt and stick to the glass)
Remember pellet stoves need electricity to run . (not all )
so backup power of some kind is needed if you need/want heat during outages.
Buy a bigger output stove than you feel you need. It is easier to turn down a stove
than get more heat from a stove that is maxed out (never know when you may want more heat )
Most important buy a stove the wife likes!!
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
985
Newport, Wa
I switched out Blaze King King in 2018 for Harmon XXV (Non TC). Sure is nice not getting wood. So much easier to deal with pellets. But wood was almost Free. We had lots of trees that blew down and used those from 2014-18. Gave away 6 Cords when I bought pellet stove.

We live in 2600sq ft house and use couple box fans (get them now) to move around down the hallway. 74f in hallway. 68 in Bedroom. I use the Heat Pump until 30f at nights. We have been going thru 3-3.5 Tons of Pellets. Last year just over 3 Tons. I have them Delivered and placed in Bay of Building and use Tractor and Bucket to bring them up on porch. Cover them with Tarp.

For Power Outages we invested in AIMS 1250 Inverter/Charger. One 100ah Battery gets me 6 hours. I have 200ah of Battery Power. 7kw Generator available to charge battery if needed. Longest power outages so far in 10 years has been 10 hours. Most are less than 4 hours. I run the stove at 1/2 fan speed in Manual Mode.

I got the Stove in April 2018. Floor Model. Got 1k off the Price ($3500 with Tax). Cost about $1200 for Install. Sold old stove for $450. Another 1k in Inverter and Batteries. Oneday plan on New Battery at 5 year mark. Picked up Cougar Vacumn on Ebay for $60 (needed filter).

Every day I scrap the burn pot (30 seconds) and clean it every 1 Ton. Fines, Combustion Blower, Distribution Blower, Clean out Ash Pan and Igniter Area). Most of the time I do this when I clean the ash pan out. Holds about 3/4 Ton of Ashes. I have plenty of room to get to back of stove. Put extension on the OAK so not having to remove the tube and damage it.

20200120_141747.jpg IMG_20210119_064818105.jpg IMG_20210119_064841867.jpg
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,398
Colorado
you get that worked out okay but where do your pellets go in and where are they--can't see anything that would hold them in the pictures..clancey...
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,619
Eastern Ontario
Clancey looking at the stove on top is a knob that pulls a door open on the top where the pellet hopper is
behind the firebox. now that's about as clear as mud
Dataman post a pic. of your stove with the hopper lid open
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,398
Colorado
lol I knew it had to be somewhere...That Dataman hid the pellets from me on purpose--just kidding--but the explanation is good enough. Now I would like to know how much does that pellet hopper hold anyway,,,Stove is very pretty,,,clancey
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
985
Newport, Wa
Yes Knob on top. About 1.5 Bags. I use 1/4 - 1/2 bag up to 1 bag depending on outside temp and inside settings. So couple days I fill it. But I top it off daily.
 

Dataman

Minister of Fire
Sep 10, 2018
985
Newport, Wa
lol I knew it had to be somewhere...That Dataman hid the pellets from me on purpose--just kidding--but the explanation is good enough. Now I would like to know how much does that pellet hopper hold anyway,,,Stove is very pretty,,,clancey

You wanted to see the Hopper. It's not being using until Sep or Oct. So Empty
 

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clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,398
Colorado
Thanks and that is a good size hopper and that's what people need in life a large hopper...lol thanks again, clancey
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,953
South Central NH
I came form a house that had a wood stove, and I prefer pellets hand's down.

My pellets stoves are my source of heat with a boiler as emergency back up or for when I am out of town more than a couple of days. I go thru 5-6 tons of pellets a year but I have a 2x4 house so the best insulation I can get in the walls is R13. Roof is very shallow too, so what is up there for insulation is all it will ever get (I think it is R19).

My stoves are on a thermostat most of the winter, although when it is wicked cold and windy (wind is the biggest thing), my main floor stove will get turned to a mode where it continuously burns and ignores the thermostat.

Hoiwever, I also live in a place that doesn't lose power often, and when I do, it isn't for long. My previous place was the opposite and the wood stove was perfect - I would not have traded it for a pellet stove in that house.
 

sheadu061

New Member
Dec 23, 2020
45
Minnesota
Great information. Thank you all. I've been calling around asking for prices of their wood pellets. One retailer said their supplier quit making stove pellets and is now making BBQ Pellets, more money. A sawmill I called sold out for the next year. Seems im limited in my area.
 

johneh

Minister of Fire
Dec 19, 2009
3,619
Eastern Ontario
Do a Google search there are a number of dealers and mills in your State
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
130
PA
Great information. Thank you all. I've been calling around asking for prices of their wood pellets. One retailer said their supplier quit making stove pellets and is now making BBQ Pellets, more money. A sawmill I called sold out for the next year. Seems im limited in my area.

I wouldn't necessarily recommend them, but Lowe's and Tractor Supply (and probably Home Depot, but we don't have them close) have wood pellets. Check out your local hardware stores and farm/garden supply stores as well.
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
130
PA
As for the OP, I really love my Harman P68. I run it in room temp manual mode most of the time, so it runs constantly and the room fan will kick on as needed. If it's cold nights and warm days, I'll run it through the night and shut it off late morning, or just run it for a couple hours in the morning to warm the house back up.

Whatever you decide, get a bigger one than you think you will need. They can run at a low rate if you don't need the heat, but if you're maxing out a smaller stove and it's still cold, you'll wish you had spent a little more on a bigger one.
 
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sheadu061

New Member
Dec 23, 2020
45
Minnesota
I know there are variables, on average, how many hours do you get per bag? I think I read on one pellet stove, a 50lb hopper gets about 50 hours burn. Id have to double check though.
 

Washed-Up

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2011
664
Kananaskis,Alberta, Canada
I good estimate is 1 bag every 24hrs
 

mtnbiker727

Burning Hunk
Mar 11, 2019
130
PA
I know there are variables, on average, how many hours do you get per bag? I think I read on one pellet stove, a 50lb hopper gets about 50 hours burn. Id have to double check though.
I burned about a bag a day, unless the high for the day was 20 degrees, and then it would burn about bag and a half.... but there are so many variables.

Someone on here said a Harman P68 running full out could crank through 3 bags in a 24 hour period, but that would be trying to heat an uninsulated barn or something, because that's a whole lot of heat!
 

bogieb

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2014
2,953
South Central NH
When the wind is cranking and the temps are low (negative numbers lows to single digit highs), I can run thru 3 bags/day between my two stoves heating about 1,600 sq/ft. But, I have a 2x4 house. If I ever have to replace the siding and can get the house wrapped, I'm sure that would make a difference.

The main reason I replaced the St. Croix Hastings with the P43 is because the Hastings could only hold 1 bag of pellets and would be out and shut down before I got home from work (12-13 hours after filling it in the morning).