Pellet stoves : LUSENET : Countryside : One Thread

I am considering buying a pellet stove. I have heard they create a lot of dust via the forced hot air. Is this true or does it depend on the brand stove you buy?

-- MM (, March 15, 2002


My best advice based on two winters experience is find some other type stove. The pellet stove I had was a Harmon and cost over 2 grand. The reason most people use a stove is as a secondary ( emergency) heat supply. The pellet stove requires electricity to operate... No good in a power outage. The pellet dealers have got a captive buyer. There are very few places to buy pellets and this past year the price went from $3.35 for a 40 pound bag to $4.95 for the same size. They gottcha!!!! We used a bag a day. Not very cost effective. I'd spend the money on a good regular wood stove. You can burn firewood... lumber whatever. Not so with a pellet stove. I'd think twice.. three even four times before I bought another one. It's no longer here by the way... I gave it away just to get rid of it. Oh buy the way... it didn't heat very well either.

-- Ken in Maine (, March 15, 2002.

It depends on what's important to you. They are not nearly as messy as a woodstove and pellets are not nearly as backbreaking as cutting firewood. I have friends that switched from wood to pellet and run the auger and blower from a 12 volt battery. It keeps a pretty even heat in their place.

Pellet stoves are not as clean as electric or propane heat but are much cheaper. I think they are cleaner then oil burner heating systems, and again, pellets are a cheaper fuel.

-- Laura (, March 15, 2002.

We just got a pellet stove this winter. The only problem we have had is in getting a steady source of pellets, the store chain we were buying from was out about three quarters of the time at at least three of the five stores within driving distance. However we have never run out either. It costs us less for pellets than for cordwood, and we use it for our main source of heat. It is cleaner, and it is easier for me to load up the stove once or twice a day (we burned around 50lbs a day when it was snowing and bags are 40lbs). NO WET WOOD!!! This was my main problem with our old wood stove. It cost us less than the nice enamled woodstove I was looking at and as we live in town, the electricity it uses wasn't an issue. How wonderful it is to be able to get up early, start the stove and then go back to bed without worrying about it! There is NO DUST at all that I can see in the house unless someone COMPLETELY spills a bag.

Now to the downside. It takes a small amount of firestarter brick to begin. It does use electricity, so you have to have a good supply. You can't let the pellets get wet because they become a wet mush that you can't burn. It takes about 4 TONS ($640.00 in my area) to heat all winter, 6 months.

I still love it. annette

-- annette (, March 15, 2002.

Here's a location-- will help you decide whether to use a wood heater or a pellet stove.

All else being equal, a cord of wood will deliver 1.75 times the heat a ton of pellets will, according to this article (assuming 80% efficiency for the pellet stove and also 80% efficiency for the wood heater.

So if you are using pellets which cost four bucks for a forty pound bag (round numbers) you're paying ten cents per pound, or $200 per ton. You'd be better off, cost wise, to burn firewood, unless the cost of firewood exceeds 1.75 times $200, or $350. This equation also assumes the firewood is equivalent to good white oak.

On the other hand, my daughter and son in law have a pellet stove, and they are quite happy with it. Although they WERE without heat overnight last month after a big windstorm.

-- joj (jump@off.c), March 15, 2002.

Will pellet stoves burn corn, or can they be modified to do so? The corn stoves are said to be very efficient, and corn here is $4 for a hundred pounds. Mac

-- Jimmy S (, March 16, 2002.

Hi MM...we have a corn/pellet stove. That is to say, its main function is to burn corn, but it can also burn pellets. As a matter of fact you start it with pellets (corn is to hard to start the fire with). This is the first year for us with it. I LOVE IT!! Yes, if the electric goes will not function. But Hookin it up to a 12 volt..or a generator will probably get us through any short lived emergencies. I like it..better than wood. And I did not think that was possible. Yes, I get some dust off my corn when I am filling it. Hey its nothing compared to the insects, bark and etc. that would be coming in on the wood. And it is easier to regulate the heat on it. No creasote build up..just soot in the chimney. We have ours vented out through the wall, not up through the roof. The dealer we got ours from has been very helpful in all aspects. We have a Countryside stove. Its plain..with a glass front. Our house is 1100 square foot on the main floor. And that baby will have you in your shorts on a VERY cold day. We have electric back ups..but they do not seem to want to come on when the stove is going. Cleaning this stove is MUCH easier and cleaner than any of the wood stoves I have had. And even I, on a bad day, can stoke it..vs. carrying in wood. We also do not have the time, physical proness, or close source for the wood..we do however have corn staring at us from several sources. My hubby says the corn stove is running about two dollars a day.

-- Sher (, March 16, 2002.

Pellets are readily available in our area and have been very consistent in price, only going up $3 per ton this last year. Compared to other forms of heat, it is about the cheapest heat with the exception of natural gas. The newer pellet stoves are self igniting so you dont have the mess and expense of starter. They can be put on a thermostat so you can pretty much forget about them. On the downside they do require constant maintenace. They need a minor brush out and vacuuming every few days. The hopper should be emptied and vacuumed every month or so. The entire smoke path including blowers should be pulled and cleaned every year. This can be an involved job of about 1 - 1/2 hours, many times requiring professional help at a cost of $80 to $90.. The fact that most pellet stoves will not work without power as well as the constant noise from the fan turns most people off to them. Pellet stoves are also expensive when it comes to parts compared to most other heating units. MOst of them have two blowers, 3 or 4 snapdisks and a circuit board. When you compare heat output, remember this is the real world. Electric and gas are pretty consistent but rating a woodstove varies greatly with the type of wood, moisture conten and how you control the burn. Pellet stoves can be fairly consistent IF you maintain them properly. good luck MM

-- jz (, March 16, 2002.

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