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Thread: Pellet Stove

  1. #1
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    Default Pellet Stove

    Do any of you use a pellet stove? I am curious about them.

  2. #2

    Default Mt. Vernon

    I installed a Quadrafire Mount Vernon as an insert into the fireplace opening in my house nearly a year ago. I've been very pleased with it. There are a number of things I like about it, but perhaps the top 3 things have been the full electronic controls (including programmable temperature settings), the quiet fan motor, and the appearance. The only negative I've experienced was the purchase price; as pellet stoves go, it's an expensive unit, but so far I have no regrets.

    In a few weeks, I'll have owned the stove 1 full year. I've been keeping good records, and at that time I'll be able to do a good analysis on how the stove impacted my household fuel oil consumption, and on my overall home heating costs. I'll try to remember to post the results here.

  3. #3
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    Default How about pellet usage?

    I am particularly curios about how much the pellets cost and where the pellets come from. Also, how big is your house?

    With all of the talk about renewable energy, I am looking at finding a source that is "easier" than going and cutting wood, stacking it, aging it etc. But at the same time, it has to be cost effective.

  4. #4
    Member hodgeman's Avatar
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    Default Take a trip to Delta...

    End of the Alcan Ent. is a Harmon dealer with most stuff in stock and they have a semi-operational pellet mill as well. If the owner is there he'll gladly give you a tour and show you what's there. I've also heard of a few pellet mills being built in the Interior too.

    In the calcs I've done pellets come out slightly ahead of fuel oil but thats a calculated figure not a real world one.

    Big plus in my book is that some local or at worst a N. American company is going to get the cash, not some big oil conglomerate.

  5. #5
    Member matjpow's Avatar
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by hodgeman View Post
    End of the Alcan Ent. is a Harmon dealer with most stuff in stock and they have a semi-operational pellet mill as well. If the owner is there he'll gladly give you a tour and show you what's there. I've also heard of a few pellet mills being built in the Interior too.

    In the calcs I've done pellets come out slightly ahead of fuel oil but thats a calculated figure not a real world one.

    Big plus in my book is that some local or at worst a N. American company is going to get the cash, not some big oil conglomerate.
    The pellet price should stay a little more constant with inflation than oil...in theory...and it's easier to store. Oil is a commodity traded worldwide. As far as I know, pellets aren't. They are still subject to supply and demand but I don't see pellet supply crashing. Besides that it is so easy to store that you can just buy it when you can get a good price. Or just start planting corn.
    That's what she said...

  6. #6

    Default Pellet vs. Wood

    Here is a link that opens an Excel spreadsheet. The spreadsheet allows you to compare the relative costs of heating from different sources of fuel, using standarized BTUs as a measure.

    You plug in the relative efficiencies of your heating unit, plus the local cost of fuel, and the spreadsheet does the calcs. Note that I haven't tested how accurate this spreadsheet is in my (or your) individual home or cabin, but at the end of the year (mentioned above) I'll have a good numbers to compare with.

    www.eia.doe.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls

    A 40 lb. bag of pellets in Juneau hovers around $7 from a variety of sources. Walmart just brought in a load that they're selling for $5.68 a bag.

    FBKSBowHunter: you mentioned a comparison of pellets vs wood. As with most things, usage boils down to individual preferences and values. That said, here's my (probably incomplete) take on some of the pros and cons:

    Pellets are very easy; you pick them up at the store, throw them into the truck, and stack them at home. There's a lot of burn in a bag of pellets, and they store (stack) well. However, I think they should be kept in covered storage (I live in SE) and off direct contact with the ground.

    Pellet stoves, in general, are more efficient than wood stoves.

    Pellet stoves generate far less ash, so cleaning them is easier and is not as messy. And the day-to-day use of a pellet stove is cleaner: no messy wood crib, less trudging in from outside with a loads of wood, etc.

    Pellet stoves generate less smoke stack emissions. Some places (JNU) have restrictions on wood stove use during certain weather conditions.

    Wood stoves produce that wonderful "warm" heat to a much greater degree than pellet stoves.

    You don't have to buy wood. And for years, I looked at cutting, splitting, and stacking wood as a kind of workout.

    Wood stoves don't need electricity to operate (however, my stove has a built-in inverter, and I can run it off a car battery). And with no moving parts, servicing a wood stove is never really an issue, but parts and service can be an issue with pellet stoves.

    Transportation costs can skyrocket; systems can break down; the world can go to hell in a handbasket, and you can still go out in the woods and gather enough fuel to keep you warm with a woodstove.

    Good luck

  7. #7

    Default

    stupid question ..is there a combo stove system that you burn each typle with a simple change over of the system parts....so if something happens and you can not get pellets you can burn word pieces as need ..

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by henry2 View Post
    stupid question ..is there a combo stove system that you burn each typle with a simple change over of the system parts....so if something happens and you can not get pellets you can burn word pieces as need ..
    Yes. You can use a woodstove for burning pellets, with a cage to hold the pellets. But...you cannot use a pellet stove for burning wood.

    Just go with a quality non-cat woodstove and you will be fine. BTW, last time I looked at pellets in Anch, the cheapest around were over $8 per bag. That is a pretty expensive way to heat a whole house.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
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  9. #9
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    Default Thank you all!

    "I heard of some pellet mills bieng started it he interior" Anyone KNOW for sure and if so where? I would really like to talk to them. PM me if need be.

    Also, for those that use pellets. Is it your sole/main source of heat and how big is your house? I have been doing a lot of reading about them and it woudl seem that it all boils down to one main thing...having the source of fuel (pellets) created/supplied from a nearby source. If that can be established, then the BTU output is a no-brainer. As stated, the one drawback is that pellet stoves are electric, but as was said, there are work arounds for that.

    Thank you everyone for your input. It is all excellent food for thought.

  10. #10
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    Default

    The Dry Creek community (between Tok and Delta) is starting pellet production on a small scale. Not sure if they are retailing much yet but I have seen the mill first hand and it is operational.

    I think you could call their lumber company and find out.

  11. #11

    Default

    on the post about makeing wood gas typle set up ..the website that makes the woodgas powered system has a combo pellet and wood set up for burning both fuels to make gas for powering the small gas powered gen set for use in the backwoods ..

  12. #12

    Default

    My house is on 2 levels; upstairs is the primary living space, and is 1,500 ft2. Downstairs is 985 ft2 and passively receives heat through the upstairs. An important note: in the upstairs, there is a cathedral ceiling in the living / dining / kitchen area, so the cubic feet of heated space is fairly large.

    A couple other important notes:
    1) my house was built in the 1960’s and has that vintage of insulation. I’ve taken care of much of the air leakage in the house, but the wall and lid insulation is only fair by today’s standards.
    2) My Mt. Vernon pellet stove is rated at 60,000 max BTU’s.
    3) Winter temps in SE are very mild compared to most of the state.

    We use the pellet stove for auxiliary heat. This time of year, and throughout the winter, it is the sole source of heat in the upstairs from 5:30 am to 9:30 pm. At night, primarily because the kid’s bedroom doors are closed, we go with the conventional oil-fired baseboard heat. From spring though mid-autumn, the pellet stove provides nearly all the home heat – the oil furnace may occasionally be needed in the middle of the night, but it’s infrequent.

  13. #13
    Member greythorn3's Avatar
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    Default

    pellet stoves are crap, might as welll just stay dependent on others.
    Semper Fi!

  14. #14
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    Default Stoves

    I saw an ad the other day for Harmon Pellet Stoves out of Delta Junction and the ad stated if I remember correctly that if you buy one of their stoves they would guarantee that you could purchase 5 tons of pellets for $5.89 per bag.

    I also talked to a couple of young men at the Fairbanks Home Show last spring who were building a pellet manufacturing business somewhere near the Badger Road and Richardson Highway junction.

  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by Contender View Post
    I saw an ad the other day for Harmon Pellet Stoves out of Delta Junction and the ad stated if I remember correctly that if you buy one of their stoves they would guarantee that you could purchase 5 tons of pellets for $5.89 per bag.

    I also talked to a couple of young men at the Fairbanks Home Show last spring who were building a pellet manufacturing business somewhere near the Badger Road and Richardson Highway junction.
    Two months ago, there were the comparisons in Consumer Reports. Harmon was top of the list for Pellet stove. Base price on the model compared was around $3300 for just the stove. Chimney, base and accesories were extra. Expensive heat for a house.
    "96% of all Internet Quotes are suspect and the remaining 4% are fiction."
    ~~Abraham Lincoln~~

  16. #16
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    Default Harmin pellet stoves

    I sold installed and services wood, coal, gas and pellet stove for many years in CO. Harman had about the best pellet stoves on the market they produced the best heat and had the least amount of problems.

    There are down sides with pellet stoves as with anything that requires electric power. They are controled now with a thermastat so you dont have to get up in the middle of the night. I think the Harmans and most other pellet stoves will run about 20hrs on a bag depending on how hot your running the stove.
    Hit me up if you have other question on this and i will be more than happy to give you more information on this.
    Regards

    Sweepint
    Wasilla, (when not overseas)
    '' Livn' The Dream ''
    26' Hewescraft Cuddy, twin 115 Yam

  17. #17

    Default

    I used one for 3 years in Idaho. I would not do it again. I prefer the warmth of a real wood stove and if you loose electricity you loose heat. Even in the mild climate in Mountain Home, Idaho we would go thru a bag a day. There was also times when we couldn't get them. The dealers would buy what they thought would sell during the season so if you didn't get them when the shippment came in you could be out of luck.

    If your interested the Big Lake SBS truss plant has some sort of ad on their sign for pellets and stoves.

  18. #18

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    http://stoveworksusa check these bad boys out?

  19. #19
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    Default pelet stove ?

    I have a friend back home with a pellet stove , they love in on the one hand beacuse of it's ease of operation , however the motors for the auger and blower have had to be replaced a few times , so haveing replacement motors might be a wise investment , It will always take some time to get the parts if you wait till you need them .
    Better to have it and not need it then to need it and not have it .
    I like the option of a combination stove , pellets don't burn well with out the blower running , they need that added air.
    I am not thrilled with having a battery in the same room as the stove , something about the hydrogen gass charging the battery and live flame just don't mix . But hey you'll be warm .
    I know the battery is in a safe place ( I had to joke about it )
    I use a wood stove actually it is a cook stove with an oven , it's an antique , but then so am I .

  20. #20

    Default Pellet stoves

    are very nice. My father installed on in his house and has saved a butt load of money with it. At $270 a ton for pellets, not too expensive and he didn't use a ton all of last winter. He is using it a "shared" source of heat for his house and is very impressed with it. The nice thing is my mom "almost 70 years old" can fill the hopper and take care of it with ease.

    I recently purchased a blaze king ultra wood stove for my house and simply can not say enough good about it. It was worth every penny spent. Normally I would have burned about 350-400 gallons of fuel oil by now and I "might" have burned 100 gallons and that is basically burned for my hot water.

    Pellet stove while having a high initial cost are worth they money. It will take a few years to recover your cost, but well worth it. After I am too "old" to cut wood, I will have a pellet stove.

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