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On The Edge
11-23-2004, 08:00 PM
Hi All

I am looking for any information about pellet stoves new or used. I would like to spend more time @ my place during the winter months and would like to know if anyone has had any good or bad experience with pellets stoves. Is there a store that sells used pellet stoves? Does anyone have a brand that they perfer? Please feel free to offer any information. I am all ears!!

Thanx OTE

ghoti
11-24-2004, 12:05 PM
5 or 6 years ago I bought a Jamestown. They've since gone out of business. I bought it mostly because I have a small place and didn't need a large stove, either BTU-wise or size-wise. They had a small stove that fit the bill. Some things I've learned:

- Listen closely to the sound of the fan and the auger. Mine is noisy. Wish I'd paid more attention. After a while it blends into background noise and you're not so conscious of it, but could do without.
- All pellets are not created equal. I've used Energex and New England Pellets. Much prefer Energex. The bags last longer and for some reason, New England wouldn't feed thru the auger as easily, at times causing the fire to go out for lack of pellets. Never happens with Energex. Of course, you're choice may be limited to what's available in your area.
- If I had it to do over, I'd get a stove that has an autostart feature. There are times in the fall and spring where you need the stove to take the chill off, but you really don't need to run it very hot. Since the stove has to keep feeding pellets or the fire will go out, there are days that I just can't regulate it well, i.e. at the minimum level to keep the fire going, it's still too hot in the house. With an autostart feature, it doesn't matter. The stove can turn off when it needs to and then turn back on again when it needs to without you being involved to start the fire again. Quadrafire is a brand that comes to mind that has this.
- Get one with a thermostat. Probably available on all stoves, but optional on some.

Good luck.

mcdude
11-24-2004, 02:16 PM
Not sure about pellet stoves but I've dealt with a number of wood stoves in my day. Most recent has been a Quadrafire fireplace insert. I am extremely pleased with how it has held up over the last few years. Very efficient and with a quiet fan. I would highly recommend Quadrafire. Only problem was last winter when the flue seemed to be clogged and I filled up the house with smoke after I'd just finished painting the ceilings. :( Had the chimney sweep come out who explained that some sort of "blanket" is placed within layers of the top of the stove on many brands. These blankets tend to deteriorate and get sucked up into the flue usually blocking it completely. Has anyone ever heard of this happening???

BroadHopper
11-24-2004, 02:53 PM
I am not sure if the 'blankets' being referred to are catylytic material. I have a catylytic stove but my catylytic material is like a honeycomb that the smoke goes through. If I don't keep it hot enough it will clog up with soot and creosote. What I find is that you have to get the stove hot to get the catalytic material going. Once you get it going you can dampen the stove and or feed it less wood/pellets. The material seems to combust all the smoke. It is great as it is smokeless and the chimney stays clean. I had a Citation made by Falls River Iron Works. I'm not sure they are still in business. I've had it for 20 years. :cool:

nerogato
11-24-2004, 03:15 PM
I'm more of a wood guy myself but my neighbor had a pellet stove. Maybe I'm hypersensitive to noise but every time I went over the noise from the pellet stove would drive me nuts. The auger just keeps going. Not my idea of a relaxing time beside a nice fire.

Blue Thunder
11-29-2004, 03:28 PM
I have had a pellet stove for 6 years. I have a Harmon Invincible RS series.
When looking for a stove I checked all around and found that a "bottom feed" stove is the way to go. Harmon makes a superior quality stove and I have had trouble free operation. I used to burn 3-4 cords of wood per winter in the old Vermont Castings Stove. I have used Energex, Stove Chow and New England pellets. I have found the New England pellet to work best in a Harmon stove. I heat my entire house with the pellet stove (55,000 BTUs) and burn approximately 2-3 tons of pellets per year. It is on 24/7 from November to April. The only time I turn it off is to clean it. (once every 2 weeks). Today's good quality stoves come with automatic start and when I trade mine in, I'm looking forward to that feature. Good Luck with your research.

Blue Thunder

Ossipeelaker
05-02-2006, 03:31 PM
I have a saint croix - Hasthings pellet stove, the only down fall is the blower fan is a bit loud. I'v never had a problem with different pellets and it heats my 2900 sq ft house with ease ( unless it below 20 ) then the other heat kicks on. If your serious about a pellet stove,then seriously look into the Harmon pellet stove. It costs a few hundred more but well worth her difference. Dont settle for the Home Depot stove it's nothing but a piece of gunk, impossible to clean and it doesnt self ignite. Im buying a Harmond fireplace insert for my mother, Personally I wouldn't look at any other stove other than a Harmond and i dont even own one yet..

Good luck.

Windrider
05-02-2006, 06:02 PM
I have a Quadra-Fire pellet stove insert that I've used for several winters. It heats my entire house and has an automatic thermostat so it cycles on and off. I buy my pellets at Wal-Mart in the fall, about 4 tons and find that they work just fine and cost about $150.00/ton. My only complaint is that the dealer in Meredith (Energysavers) has very poor service. I needed service last winter and had to wait two weeks for a serviceman. I definitely would look for service as well as initial price, they are more expensive than conventional woodstoves but much cleaner and easier to heat with.

The stove itself is high quality and, yes, you have a fan, actually two and you can hear them but soon you don't even notice. All in all, you definitely save money if you're heating with gas or oil at todays prices.

Woodsy
05-03-2006, 07:33 AM
I went the complete opposite direction... I bought a Harman coal stove! LOL!

I looked at wood stoves and pellet stoves, but the availability and pricing of pellets scared me a bit. Last year pellets were tough to come by and expensive, and it looks the same for this year.

Coal is cheap and heats amazingly well... and they deliver!

Woodsy

Merrymeeting
05-03-2006, 11:43 AM
FWIW, we looked into pellet stoves for both our permanent home and at the lake. We eventually decided to stay with a wood stove at home and got a gas-fired stove at the lake.

While we liked the convenience of pellets over wood, we were scared off by the many cautions given about the maintenance and cleaning required of a pellet stove. It seemed that they needed regular and laborious cleanings to keep them functioning and efficient. Those that have them can better tell if this is true.

While more expensive, we are very happy with the propane stove. We don't use it often enough for the cost to be a large issue (though it does hurt with today's prices!). It is very nice to arrive on a Friday night and flick a switch to take the chill off. Or do the same on a chilly morning.

dpg
05-04-2006, 06:23 AM
I totally agree about the noise of the pellet stoves. Think hard before buying this type. It may seem quiet in the store but five years down the road????:confused: