Soliciting Pellet Stove Brand Input
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    Marlin's Avatar
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    Soliciting Pellet Stove Brand Input

    Our Washington County has approved us for a wood heat upgrade to a less polluting stove. We had been talking of a change to a pellet since cutting, hauling, stacking, etc., has become more difficult over the last few years. Their program gives us a $3500 credit which you can't beat with a stick.


    So . . . any one have a pellet stove brand they recommend and why?
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    BigJim55's Avatar
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    Marlin-we have one in the basement--ehh-good and bad-i guess.

    bad-if power goes off-it smokes back thru somehow-and has filled the basement up/

    good--i call it a rich mans wood burner-as all u have to do-to keep it burning is fill the hopper-no chain saw upkeep-no cutting wood outside, etc.
    good-no need for a fancy chimney -all ours is a 4 inch pipe stuck out thru our cement basement wall

    bad-it is a son of a gun-as far as keeping clean weekly--has a ash pan-we used a shop vac to hose it out.

    would i buy one again--no way-ours with the gold legs was $3,000--it can go thru several tons of pellets easily a yr

    i will have to check on the name of ours as i don't remember it.
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    From what i have read about pellet stoves you should try to buy from a dealer that has a good service tech. There are sensors and circuit boards that will probably need to be diagnosed and replaced at some point.

    Hearth.com has a pellet stove board where there is a lot of good info on the different brands.
    Last edited by Titleist1; 11-22-2017 at 06:33 AM.
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    I have one made by Pleasant Hearth. They are sold by Lowe's, Home Depot, BJs... I've even seen them on Amazon. I do NOT recommend any of their pellet stoves. They require daily cleaning, they're noisy and they use cheap parts. I've had mine for 4 years now and replaced the blower twice and the burn pot melted and had to be replaced. I'd recommend staying away from any brand sold by hardware stores. Take a look at your local Craigslist ads. You'll see a lot of Breckwell, U.S. Stove Company, etc.. brands being sold. Most of them have the same recurring problems with bad circuit boards. Get yourself to a real stove shop and stick with a name brand.

    Harman is probably THE name-brand people chase after. Jotul, Hearthstone and Vermont Castings are also big names in the field. You'll pay more for them but they are usually worth the added cost. There are some European stoves out there that are super efficient but come with matching crazy pricing.

    And keep in mind that a pellet stove won't work if power goes out. A small backup generator can take care of that. Some of them even come with backup battery systems if it's a big concern.
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    Oh, as another option for you, since you are concerned about the cutting/hauling/stacking aspect of firewood... consider another wood stove and buy/burn bio-bricks instead of firewood. They cost about the same as pellets and get handled the same way pellets get handled (i.e. you buy them stacked on a pallet). They might be a good compromise. The Wood stove is simpler than a pellet stove and the wood bricks eliminate much of the manual labor you're currently doing.
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    We installed a Harmon XXV last year. So far it's been great. No complaints.
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    Check out the web page at: Working at Hearth & Home Technologies | Quadra-Fire
    It shows all the brands they own - Harmon, Quadrafire, vermont castings, etc. are all one company now.

    Check your local Coastal - we've had good luck with them on an insert install (Quadrafire).
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    We've had a QuadraFire for about 8 years that's been trouble free, but we don't use it to much-maybe just a 1/2 ton a year gets burned.
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    I have a Harman P43. The p series comes in several different sizes from 43,000 to 68,000 BTU's. I consider this stove to be the best there is. I only have to clean it about every 3 to 5 weeks (about 3/4 of a ton burned). Harman recommends to scrape the burn pot once a day which takes about a minute and can be done without turning the stove off but when I was really busy I would let it go a week without even opening the door and just filling it with pellets. It can be operated in thermostat mode or manual constant burn mode. I have a standard set back thermostat hooked to it and it operates just like a furnace turning completely on and off as needed. It burns any kind of pellets I throw at it without complaining. It's 4 years old and so far it has worked perfectly starting and stopping when needed burning 3 tons a year which supplies half the heat in my 2250 sq. ft. home. I use it for only half the heat and use the Propane furnace for some air cleaning and humidity control. When the furnace ignitor went out the pellet stove heated the house completely in -20 degree F conditions for 2 days with a little help from an electric heater in the kitchen to boost the temp from 60 to 68. My exhaust runs up the fireplace chimney and it only needs to be cleaned once a year. Mine, chimney and all was about 3200 4 years ago.
    Ron
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    I looked at these a few years ago as an emergency heat source. The problem with the vast majority of them is they require electricity to use. I only found one model that did not, and it used pellets non-stop with no way to stop it once it started. I gave up.
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