Zero Clearance Pellet Options?

Irish916 Posted By Irish916, May 27, 2014 at 2:15 PM

  1. Irish916

    Irish916
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    Hi folks- long time lurker here. I wanted to get your feedback on potential options for me to replace my TEMCO DV5200MBN (converted to LP) gas fireplace. I posted in the wood fireplace section for feedback from that group on wood stoves, and now I'd like to get some feedback on pellet stoves!

    Let me explain my set up in detail. I live in Northeastern Pennsylvania. My house is a ranch home that we bought new in September of 2007. Since it's a ranch, we only have a single wide floor to heat.

    My current propane fireplace sits in the center of the living room in a boxed out mantle configuration that extends in from the exterior wall (into the room) by 27.75" (see pics). The living room is centrally located in the house. The framed area that contains the firebox is about 82" wide. The actual opening of the firebox measures approximately 40.5"W x 36.5"H. The TEMCO DV5200MBN is rated between 17,000 to 25,000BTU. It is vented through a vertical vent that exits out of the roof. I believe it's exhausted through a 7in dual pipe, with a 4in flue. There is a tile (ceramic)hearth that extends forward from the fireplace - approximately 26"x64". The existing rough-in framing dimensions for the TEMCO are as follows:
    Opening Height: 34³⁄₄” (883 mm)
    Opening Width: 36” (914 mm)
    Depth: 19¹⁄₂” (495 mm)


    25,000 BTU is not enough heat for a house during a Pennsylvania winters. What I am looking for are alternative options that would be more economical, such as pellet. I'd like to throw enough heat to heat the first floor, especially when temps dip below freezing and the heat pump is no longer economical to run.
    I'm also not married to the vertical venting, and probably would favor direct venting out the back through the exterior wall.

    What I am most curious about is if there are alternative insert pellet options that I can use in place of my existing propane unit? Since the fireplace already extends into the living room by 27.75", I really don't want a standalone stove that sits on the hearth in front of the previous fireplace...I just think aesthetically that wouldn't work for the room. So I'm looking for inserts that would work in place of this propane unit.

    Any help you can provide would be greatly appreciated!!

    I've included pics below.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    Floor plan:
     
  2. Irish916

    Irish916
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    Sorry- left out the floor plan of the house:
    upload_2014-5-27_15-30-6.png
     
  3. alternativeheat

    alternativeheat
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    How many sq ft is the house roughly ?
     
  4. Irish916

    Irish916
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    Approximately 1,550 sq ft.
     
  5. alternativeheat

    alternativeheat
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    Most of those gas inserts are notoriously inadequate and it's questionable as to how many brands or models actually put out their rated btu. A pellet insert will put out some serious heat. I would think something like the P35i from Harman would do well in your house. It will fit in many fireplace spaces. You may need a o clearance liner in the existing space. But clearances can be pretty tight with them at any rate. You can also go free standing stove and more or less direct vent, though with most installs the vent flows better with some rise. We have shop owners and installers at this forum, maybe one will show up ! Your house doesn't look like a nightmare situation to heat with a stove though, be that insert or free standing.

    There are other brands and models, I just suggested that one because I know it fits about any fireplace, prefab, fake fab or real brick and mortar. There are people here with more sq ft than you heating with the same insert, FWIW.
     
  6. Irish916

    Irish916
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    Thanks- so the P35 looks like a direct fit. Looks like even the Accentra 52i would fit in as well, although that unit comes out onto the hearth a bit far. I'd be worried that thing would burn us out of the room. Does anyone know if the thermostat on the P-35i is wireless?
     
  7. sinnian

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  8. alternativeheat

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    Far as I know its just a probe, a wire with a sensor on it to monitor room temp. The control is at the stove.

    As to the 52i it would spend a lot of time in a low burn which is a dirty burn state. If you set the temp at 73 it will make it 73. It's capable of heating much more than your space but that doesn't mean it will roast you out, specially since it doesn't radiate much heat at all. Actually the 35i might radiate more with the steel construction. The convection blower on the 52i is quite something , it pushes serious heat when cranked up. That stove would be nice at around 2100 sq ft or better but it can heat less space without burning you out.

    How cold are your winters there ? I don't want to speak beyond your conditions ! I'm in New England, it's considered zone two which is pretty cold. However, I'm on Cape Cod which is more moderate at certain times of the winter than the rest of New England. In theory the P61 should be somewhat over rated for my house but it does just fine in here. I'm glad I did not go with a P43. Harmans give you a really broad operating range. But winter conditions and house conditions, insulation etc all factor in.
     
  9. Irish916

    Irish916
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    Great insights! Thank you. Last winter, the average temp was 28 degrees. The house doesn't get a lot of direct sun due to being in the woods, so our heating bills skyrocket as we get below freezing. I'm just trying to see if something like a P-35 would make sense, or would it make more sense to go with Harman's Pellet furnace PF 120 that I could attach to my existing duct work and heat the entire house!?
     
  10. alternativeheat

    alternativeheat
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    I have thought of a pellet boiler since the install of the P61 because then we could heat everything including our tenants apartment. But I haven't done enough research about them or furnaces to make any logical comments. I know that there are a few doing this here at the forum, maybe they will chime in. I can at least say that much ! Also that it seems bulk feeding these units is preferred.
     
  11. alternativeheat

    alternativeheat
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    Earlier I said that the 52i would be in a low burn quite a bit in your size house and that is a dirty burn. Everything is realative though. Harmans are pretty smart, the low burn is no where near as dirty as with some other stoves, they keep a pretty good ratio of air to fuel mix at various settings. What still goes down is stack temp, when stack temp drops you can build some creosote but it is not the kind or quantity of creosote a wood stove would create on a low burn. Wanted to just clarify that point.

    The 35i however, would be in a hot burn state more often. Either way, with a stove your living room, kitchen and master bedrooms will be warmer than the rest of the house given your layout design. You could utilize some fans to push some air towards those far bedrooms. I've found in my house also that the stove on high blower rate at night does a lot towards meeting outer area demands and pushing heat out of the hot zone of the house. Less blower speed keeps it more concentrated nearer the stove. And consequently with my probe only being 5 ft away from the stove then temp demand is met earlier and a lower burn occurs, cooling those outer areas. High blower rates brings up the flame size but heats the house better in colder weather, FWIW.

    I think the pellet furnace would work just as your heating system now works or very similarly. In our case we like to see a fire in the living room and have a stove to cozy up near. Cooler bedrooms are fine as long as they are not cold. Our bedrooms are probably in the upper 60's, it's comfortable. The dining room, next room over from the living room is 73 all winter and all conditions of winter ( unlike the coal stove that baked you out on the warmer winter days but yet at about 10 deg outside the heat would cycle on a few times per day).. The living room a bit warmer, perhaps 75. So you initially feel that change when going to the cooler parts of the house but they indeed are not cold and more comfortable for sleeping. My house is 1800 sq ft, the downstairs sprawls a bit, upstairs is over the original main house. In your case you have no upstairs, so the heat that would travel up there will travel outward instead..
     
  12. Irish916

    Irish916
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    Thanks! Some great points made in there!

    My home thermostat is located on the partition wall between the living room and the dining room (on the dining room side). I'm guessing if I set my stove to 73, the heat pump will never come on so the rooms furthest from the stove will probably remain chilly, no? I suppose I could try the fan option. I know our central air system has a "circulate" fan mode which pulses the air through the house using very little energy. Sounds like the 35 might be the better play for that space. I wanted to ask, are there options (faux log sets) that can be used to improve the aesthetic of the pellet fire? One thing that always rubbed me the wrong way was when I go to stove stores to look at these things while they are running, the pellet fire looks more like a blowtorch/afterburner flame! I've never seen a more natural, dancing flame with those stoves. Is that possible with a logset?
     
  13. alternativeheat

    alternativeheat
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    Well the thing that makes a pellet stove burn so clean is the air injection through the fuel feeding the fire ( the stove is under vacuum and that causes air to inject itself through the proper channels leading through the flame. If you get a slower acting dancing flame with a Harman anyway, you have a lazy fire and that's dirty. The fake logs AKA antlers I call them, tend to be placed around the fire, behind the fire or in front of the fire depending on model of stove. This is so as not to interrupt the flame pattern. Quadrafire might make some in the Mount Vernon that do not behave in this way, not sure of that. But too, Quadrafire makes a great insert as well so you might want to have a look see at least.

    No guaranty on how those far rooms will heat. Acceptably well is my best guess but that is totally personal opinion and also personally acceptable conditions to myself. You might not think so however. I already stated that bedrooms cooler than the main house is fine with me, so you can take it from there lol ! Unfortunately, it's rather experimental. I can just say that the stove/insert will do better than that gas unit you have now, very like so .
     
  14. Pelleting In NJ

    Pelleting In NJ
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    See if you can find a Quadrafire "Edge60" zero-clearance pellet fireplace. They were discontinued by Quad, but some dealers bought the close-out inventory,and sell them at a substantial discount.
     
  15. Boomer Sailor

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    I had my 52i installed in December about a week or 2 before the artic blast of last winter - it heated my 2,300 sq. ft. house with no problem... although when we were in the sub-zero temps for a few days, the upstairs was barely managing to reach 60 (with a stove temp of 6 - and burning what most might consider 'better' pellets). I would say with your sized house that the smaller Accentra insert should do you well assuming your new house is well insulated (mine is due to it having electric baseboard heat, electric hot water heater, stove, dryer... etc). With my limited experience thus far and from what I've read on this invaluable site, a Harman pellet stove is a very wise choice!
     
  16. mr47930

    mr47930
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    We just had the 52i installed as well. Same situation as you, inefficient propane fireplace just wasnt cutting it and with electric heat we were paying some heafty electric bills last winter to keep the house at 65. We have about 2300 sq ft so i'm hoping that the insert heats it nicely this winter. Everything ive heard about the log sets is that it just makes it harder to clean around. Also the cool thing about the 52i is that when its not being used the glass is mirriored so you cant see the internals.
    Here is a close up of the flame on setting 2. Looks pretty natural to me. [​IMG]
     

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