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Thread: OT- Wood Stove vs Pellet Stove

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    1,228

    Default OT- Wood Stove vs Pellet Stove

    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. Have a heat pump, but a heat pump is a heat pump, not much heat "feel", plus the electric cost.

    I cut and split my own wood, but finding wood gets problematic sometimes. Add to that, I'm 64, and I know my back won't hold up for ever.

    So my question is, what are the costs (aside from the stove costs) of pellet usage as opposed to real wood? Take my labor out of it. 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.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Location
    Ivins, Ut
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    1,474

    Default

    I think I'd go with a nice furnace and keep the stove for decor/ambience/emergency, etc. That's what I did for several decades. Around here, a pile of wood lasts many years if you don't burn it, and we'd light a fire for holidays or whenever we felt like it.

    Seems like a pellet stove is sort of between plain stove and furnace. Still lots to break, specific fuel required and not very useful without electricity.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2018
    Location
    Loveland,CO
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    252

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    Try to locate a source of damaged pallets. Mostly oak, usually free. Use a chainsaw to rip down the sides of the 2X4's, then cut the 2X4's into thirds, allowing you to avoid the nails. Only downside is the nails in the ashes, but a magnet solves this. Heat output is high.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Oregon Coast
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    The biggest problem I had when we switched from wood to pellets, was the quality of pellets was not consistent. Pellets MUST be kept dry, moisture kills them. After a few years of that we switched to LPG and problem was solved.
    _____________________________________________

    I would rather have tools that I never use, than not have a tool I need.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    15,578

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    I like my wood stove -- think of it as back to the futures "mr. fusion" this year my old deck wood and what a friend dropped off from a framing project will be heating my house along with solar and sometimes a blast of NG in the mornings to take the chill off when I don't feel like building a fire and know the day is going to be sunny and the solars about to kick in...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
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    My FIL has used a pellet stove for many years now.

    The advantages over straight wood stove are:

    The "exhaust" is not a big issue, there is no chimney, his blows out a pipe in the side of the shop.
    The pellet stove will keep a temperature for as long as the pellets in the hopper hold out, it has a thermostat function, and a hopper of pellets lasts a goodly time. Wood stoves need regular attention while they are going.
    The amount of stuff to handle is less, and the pellets are easy to work with and load into the hopper. FIL is 81, and can deal with it himself.
    Most will also burn corn, if you do not think that is as stupid as I do.

    Disadvantages:
    Pellets can be expensive, although they can be had in bulk, as opposed to in bags.
    There is more "tech" involved than a plain wood stove, and it needs electric power (what does not, these days?).
    Aside from corn, there is nothing else it can burn other than pellets which are a somewhat "specialized" product.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    New Zealand
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    I have no personal experience with pellet burners, but I believe they are very noisy, as well as being reliant on mains power and on few suppliers of the fuel. Too much to go wrong.

    As for your dodgy back, welcome to the club. I bought a cheap (NZ$399) electro-hydraulic wood-splitter to save making mine even worse. It's rated to 7 tons of split, which takes care of most things, so with that and a chainsaw I'm OK for processing fuel for my wood-burner.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    May 2006
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    I hate winter. even though I have three heating methods im not looking forward to this because it's going to shut down my riding allot and im going to get cold out there and im not tough that way i hate to get cold..

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2004
    Location
    Missouri
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Burch View Post
    I have no personal experience with pellet burners, but I believe they are very noisy, .....
    My FIL's is not noisy. Aside from the fan noise and the clink of pellets shifting, there is not much noise.
    1601

    Keep eye on ball.
    Hashim Khan

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2003
    Location
    Virginia
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    Thanks all. I was not aware the pellets being sold vary in quality that much. Close to me there is a hardware store, Tractor Supply and Rural King, all selling pellets. I see some people getting an entire pallet of them loaded onto their truck. Keeping them dry I think is common sense.

    I have a gas powered log splitter, I gave up the splitting maul some years ago. Still, you cut split, haul, feed the stove.....you handle it so many times you should name the pieces!

    I should have enough split wood for this winter, just looking toward next year.

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