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Thread: OT- Wood Stove vs Pellet Stove

  1. #11
    Join Date
    Mar 2013
    Location
    West coast of Canada
    Posts
    687

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    The authorities are talking about banning some of the older wood stoves that kick out a heavy creosote pollution when dampened down. I know around here on a cool evening when there isn't much wind you don't want to open a window or go outside because of the smell in the air from these older wood stoves. Some of the newer design wood stoves burn very clean and are quit efficient. My brother in law has one that when stoked up properly and dampened down will burn all night with a blue flame. Lots of heat and almost no smoke out the chimney.
    Larry

  2. #12
    Join Date
    Feb 2005
    Location
    gettysburg pa.
    Posts
    932

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    too late for a pellet stove this year. you should have your pellets in by now. I will be 70 in January. still cutting wood it keeps me young. I get slab wood from the Mennonite saw mill . $30 a bundle. a bundle fills my car trailer. I have a buzz saw on the Ferguson.

  3. #13
    Join Date
    Nov 2012
    Posts
    126

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    We have been heating with corn and wood pellets for over 20 years.
    We like heating with corn but it is hard on the stoves. We also live
    in the corn belt, so corn is right down the lane and I have a clipper
    cleaner to clean the corn.
    A mixture of 2/3 corn and 1/3 corn works well for us.
    My wife can keep the stoves going if I'm not home, but ours
    will run over 12 on a fill.
    Pellet quality is a problem. We have been lucky that Menards pellets
    have worked for us mostly because of us mixing corn with it.
    We have a large house and the two stoves will heat our house
    well down to about 20F, then we use the furnace a little.
    I can not begin to estimate how much money we have saved over
    propane.
    olf20 / Bob

  4. #14
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    North west California
    Posts
    1,107

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    I have had a pellet stove for about 20 years. Used to cut wood for fireplace and stove.
    Make sure you have places near you to buy pellets and a dry place to store them. They are pressed wood, so moisture kills the pellets.

    Advantages
    a. No slivers, bugs, or mess brought into the house. I have found Yellow Jackets hibernating in the bark, Scorpions, Black Widows, Rattle Snakes, and other critters I did not want in my house.

    b. I have a coal bucket carries about 15 pounds of pellets. Easy to use and pellets are clean. Most stoves hold about 40 pounds and a bag can be a pain to pour from.

    c. The pellet stove requires power, About 600 watts start and about 200 to run. Small generator will work. Most can have a thermostat to set the temperature you want and all you do is keep the pellets in the hopper.

    d. You do not have burn spots on your floor or a big ash removal problem, About every three bags you remove less than a gallon of ash.
    Bob

  5. #15
    Join Date
    Oct 2015
    Location
    Wyoming
    Posts
    177

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    The upsides of pellet stoves/furnaces are that the pellets are nice, clean, easy to handle, etc.

    The downside is that the pellet stove needs service every now and again (eg, the igniters burn out), they're more expensive than a simple wood/coal stove and they need electric power.

    We have a pellet stove, and compared to natural gas in this area, pellets are more expensive on a per-BTU basis. The only thing cheaper than natural gas here in Wyoming is coal, because we have so many local coal mines. As everyone else has said, pellets must be kept dry, else they disintegrate into sawdust. You can mix some disintegrated pellets into the feed mix with good pellets, but you can mix only so much.

    If you're in an area where you can buy bulk kernel corn, I think the way to go is a pellet/corn stove. Corn has lots of clinker, but corn is often dirt-cheap, thanks to farmers over-producing corn.

    We're in the process of building a new house, and in the new house, we won't have a pellet stove. My wife hates how noisy the blowers on the pellet stove are, and the cost of premium, low-ash pellets has been going up in recent years to a point where it really isn't as cost effective a heat source as it once was. She has no desire for coal in the house, unless we got one of those old coal/wood-fired kitchen stoves you occasionally see in ranch/farm houses here in Wyoming. The downside of coal is the mess of coal and the bigger mess of the fly-ash.

    At the current time, it appears we will be going back to wood for our second heat source, and natural gas for everything else.

  6. #16
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    Sunny So Cal
    Posts
    5,173

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    Quote Originally Posted by rws View Post
    Wondering if anyone has made the change from wood to pellets. I use a wood stove for at least half the heating in the house.

    The other thought is, how much electricity does a pellet stove use? We were out of power for a few days a couple years ago, and that wood stove kept us warm. I use a generator to keep the frig and freezer going, and the fan on the wood stove. But what/how would a pellet stove do on a 120V generator?

    Any input would be appreciated.
    I loke the fact that you are heating your house up they way you are.

    I can only attest to the electrical use if the auger motor is like one of those oldish clock motors. They dont draw much at all. They might even pull DC.

    You painted a great picture of the place you live by the way. Thanks. JR
    My old yahoo group. Bridgeport Mill Group

    https://groups.yahoo.com/neo/groups/...port_mill/info

  7. #17
    Join Date
    May 2006
    Posts
    15,580

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    I don't even seem too have to hunt down firewood for the winter, it always seems to accumulate throughout the summer months whether I like it or not...

  8. #18
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    1,228

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    After the responses here, and finding a couple articles about the pellet issues, I think I'll keep plugging along on the split wood. When the time comes, I guess I'll switch to propane backup.

    A friend who is a HVAC tech has a setup where he runs a heat pump but when the outside temps reach 25 or so, it switches to NG.

  9. #19
    Join Date
    Mar 2018
    Location
    Finland
    Posts
    408

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    Nothing like a nice pönttöuuni for the winter, allows us turn the house one degree (C) cooler and save some money, we could take it down more but we like it around 19-20C.
    Last edited by DennisCA; 10-07-2019 at 06:59 AM.

  10. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2001
    Posts
    222

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    I have both a pellet stove and a wood fire place. The pellet stove is on a thermostat and it also plugged into a WiFi plug so I can turn it on and off from anywhere there is cell service. We now have many Edison control outages and I could run the pellet stove on a battery and an inverter if needed, any small generator can run it. I have found that if I put 3-4 bags of pellet next to the stove for storage that it will dry out the pellets even if a bit moist form humidity. And there is still a difference in pellet brands, in the amount of ash. Yep more maintenance. I have had to put in a new pellet heater/igniter after about 12 years and this year will need a new blower assembly, the motor is not sold separately. and I have not used the propane fired central heat for over 12 years. I turned 70 and still splitting fire wood with a new to me used gas splitter now.
    Ed
    Agua Dulce, So.California
    1950 F1 street rod
    1949 F1 stock V8 flathead
    1948 F6 350 chevy/rest stock, no dump bed
    1953 chevy 3100 AD for 85 S10 frame have a 4BT cummins motor, NV4500
    1968 Baha Bug with 2.2 ecotec motor, king coil-overs,P/S

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