You switch from cord wood to pellets?

jonwright Posted By jonwright, Nov 7, 2011 at 3:46 PM

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  1. jonwright

    Member 2.

    Oct 6, 2011
    Little Rock, AR
    Tell me about it.

    I had another thread out there, I should have been more specific. :D

    I have a very large wood burner and a very small wood burner. I'm finding I'm spending more time tending and keeping wood together for the small one since it burns much smaller chunks (not LOGS) than my large stove.

    Thinking I may switch to pellets for that stove in the next couple of years, but I'm rather put off by buying industrialized product to burn. But since then I've gotten another wood burner so my purist self is set I think.

    Dunno. Tending to two fires and keeping up with two wood stacks is getting a bit tiresome.
  2. briansol

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Jan 18, 2009
    central ct
    Pellets are so easy.

    Fill it up once a day, walk away.
    clean it once a week.
    major clean once a month or so
  3. DonD

    Member 2.

    Dec 22, 2010
    Wallingford, CT
    I haven't burned cord wood as a sole heat source in 20 years but I do recall the constant fiddling to get the room to the right temperature.

    With pellets, if you want the room warmer you just increase the thermostat setting. If you want the room warm when you get home or when you wake up just get a set back thermostat.

    And it's a lot less mess compared to cord wood.
  4. schmeg

    Member 2.

    Feb 5, 2008
    Central Maine
    For all the work and dirtiness of cord wood is, I would never do it again, unless calamity, and anarchy overcome the country, and the economy collapses and we all go back to living like we did in the 1800's. I guess I would burn wood then. Until then, it's pellets for me. No brainer.
  5. RiddleMasterMorgon

    Member 2.

    Dec 5, 2010
    Fingerlakes Region, NY
    There was a thread lately describing a pellet insert for wood stoves. Probably not quite as efficient than a full blown pellet stove, but maybe worth trying for you to get the feel ? I am undecided if I want a wood stove as a second invest or another pellet stove...dunno yet...grass always greener on the other side.
  6. lbcynya

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Oct 26, 2006
    W Michigan
    I live in the woods, so a log burner just makes sense. However, basement install of a log burner is a big challenge due to the pressure differences between upstairs and downstairs and chimey costs. That and I wouldn't want to tend 2 log burners, period. So the finished basement got the pellet stove and we're very happy with both for their own reasons. No different than being hostage to the propane suppliers, I don't solely want to commit to pellets in the event that they become more expensive that something goes wacky with supply and demand. Don't see anything like that happening anytime soon, but we can't predict what will happen in a few years from now.

    With all that said, having 1 of each is the best of both worlds, IMO.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart LLC Mid-Atlantic Division 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    Northern Virginia
    Pretty much where I am this year. Fired the pellet puppy for a few days in the basement for the first time. Enough to see that it makes no economic sense to try to heat the place from the basement but I already knew that having had a wood stove down there for almost thirty years. For now the pellet stove will heat me when I need to do work down there and the wood burner will still do the heavy lifting from the main floor for heating the whole house.

    I did see enough to prove to me that the pellet stove is an alternative upstairs for when I finish the task of getting too old and busted up for wood cutting. Though I must say loading and bringing home three tons of pellets and then after unloading them later having to move them again wasn't one dimes worth of different from moving and stacking firewood. Well, it is different since you don't have to pick up 40 pounds of firewood every time you put some on the stack.
  8. staplebox

    Member 2.

    Jan 2, 2008
    Eastern CT
    I still burn both, although the wood stove is losing the battle.

    I burn free wood so I used to spend a lot of time scrounging, loading the truck, unloading the truck, cutting, splitting etc. My father in law has a lot of land so he is 'nice' and calls me over every once in a while to haul trees out of the woods and spend several hours cutting and splitting for us both. Everyone who knows I burn wood is also always 'nice' and calls me when they have trees down, or a brush pile they think is wood I want. It is usually a PITA to get to and crap wood most of the time. People are killing me with kindness.

    In contrast to that I spent about 2 hours total this year (and $621) driving to HD and loading and unloading 3 tons of pellets into the garage. I can get to the garage without going outside. And I am about done for the year. Maintenance is 5 minutes of tending per day. 15 minutes on Sunday. An hour every month or two.

    This year I just didn't get much wood and the basement will be cold. I may buy a cord if I see some I like but I think the wood stove is done after this year. My only reservation is not having a wood stove if we lose power. But I never bought a splitter either, so I guess I can buy a generator instead.

    I will admit that there is a whole lot less satisfaction watching the pellet stove hum and burn then there is when watching the wood stove silently cruise along with the secondaries going.
  9. gyingling

    Member 2.

    Aug 13, 2010
    south central PA
    When I decided I wanted an alternate heat source to oil, I thought of pellets or cord wood. I grew up in a house heated by wood, so I knew what was involved there.

    Pellets were a logical choice for me. Wood stove type heat without the mess. We live in town, so I save on space. I'm almost 42, so hoofing bags of pellets is much easier than hauling wood.

    We still have an open fireplace in the living room, so I can still get the live burn experience.
  10. dragracer300

    Member 2.

    Nov 20, 2010
    I burnt wood for about 10 years but when my supply of free wood dried up i had to make a switch. My neighbors are much happier now as well. I have no more wood and crap all over the yard plus the smoke is now gone. Plus the house is much more even in the heat. Before the room where the stove was very hot now i set the t-stat at 70 and walk away. If i had another free supply of wood come along i would use what i could but as i get older the less i want to mess with cutting and stacking wood.
  11. jtakeman

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Dec 30, 2008
    Northwestern CT.
    I have burned both. Love the ease of pellets and having a constent heat level due to a stat. But having the wood for backup, Just saved our cans. No power for 5 straight days. Burning the wood again reminded me of all the wood burning draw backs. Overheated the house the first couple of days until I got used to it again.

    Now that we have power back, I'll give you one guess what I am burning? Lets just say the wood eater is on standby until the next power outage!
  12. Jaugust124

    Feeling the Heat 2.

    Feb 14, 2010
    Mid-Hudson Valley, NY
    Okay, devil's advocate here. A few years ago when oil had hit $4.00 / gallon, I vowed not to be a slave to the oil man. Spent a year or so researching and researching some more. Looked at pellets, looked at wood stoves. I knew very little about either, but had burned wood in an open fireplace for about 10 years. I still knew very little about c/s/s like with a wood stove though.

    When I weighed all the factors I went with the wood stove and here's why: If I apply myself I can get wood for next to nothing. Yes, of course I need the tools, but I had most of the stuff anyway and yes, it is a TON more work, but so far, I am enjoying that part of it.

    With pellets, I have no option but to purchase pellets. I am not going to make my own or scrounge some free ones somewhere. With pellets, I would be dependent upon a supplier and tied into the price fluctuations. Although I would still save money over heating with oil, I would still be dependent on the system. With wood, at least I feel like the oil man's hands are quite so tight around my throat. I am not completely independent of the oil man and because of my set up and other reasons I will never be, but I do enjoy that feeling of relying on myself, rather than someone else for heat. Plus, I like the look of the fire.

    With all that being said, I have entertained thoughts of adding a pellet stove to the other end of my house. It would allow me to heat areas that that I haven't been able to reach with the stove yet. That may be a few years down the road though. Adding another wood stove would be out of the question due to running another chimney and all the extra work that would be needed to tend the stove and get the wood. So, somewhere down the line, I may be spending a bit more time here in the pellet forum.
    Thanks for letting me add my 2 cents.
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