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Pellet stove recommendations


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Brother in law used to live in cold country, northern Idaho, almost to Canadaian border (now passed away).  He had a pellet stove that feed pellets into an augar type tube that was connected to a wound up spring device.  As the spring unwound, the pellets dropped into fire box.  No electricity needed, or in my case looking for something when our elect goes out.  

 

Any manufactures you would.  recommended?  

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Don't some of those come with battery back up? Seems like they would charge up a battery for when the power goes out.

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OP here... last winter had cold spell and elec went out for long time.  Trying to find out what people use that live in cold country.  My 1980's osburn is shot.  My elec didnt used to be a problem till couple years ago. Now elec failure takes days not hours to get back.  

Battery back up...I never ever knew about.  Going to check out further.  

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I have 2 Harman Pellet stoves that I have installed about 13 years ago.  They will heat the house completely and keep it at what ever temp you want.  The main heating system for the house is water source heat pump which supplies heating and cooling for the house.

 

The pellet stoves were installed for back up heat in the winter so that if I was to loose electricity or the pump for my water source I could have heat for the house.  My mother in law came to live with us in the last few years of her life so I installed a battery back up system for the pellet stoves.  When the stoves are running they do not require much energy.  It's about 40 watts to run the feed auger and that cycles on and off.  The distribution blower is not much more than that.  The power hog is the ignitor, but then that only runs to start the fire then it is off for the rest of the burn cycle.  So a good sealed battery can operate the stove for nearly 12 hours.  If you were to set the stove up to run constantly (rather than on and off cycle controlled by temp set points) you can run for days. 

 

 

 

 

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I looked at many brands for both sizing capacity (BTU output) burn efficiency, auto start capability, fuel burn rate, stove style and cost.

 

There were lots of brands that have auto start features as well as many styles to choose from.  I tried to get as much technical info as I could about them to help me evaluate other features I was interested in.  To make a long story short I chose the Harman brand because it could burn multiple types of fuel (such as wood pellets and/or corn ) and it could be throttled down to 3/4 of a pound per hour burn rate and still stay running.  There were other brands that could burn multiple fuels but no other brand that had a rating of less than one pound per hour burn rate. That for me was the final deciding factor in my choice.  That meant I could keep the unit running and still throttle it down without running you out of the house if you only needed a little heat.

 

So when my mother in law came to live with us I used the wood stove all during the winter because she wanted to keep the temp above the 70 degrees that we kept the rest of the house at in the winter.  We did that for over eight years until she passed away.  During that time Harman had some sort of problem with one of their safety switch features so they replaced that switch in each of my stoves at no cost.  During the 8 years of running I started having a starting problem with the ignitor on the stove that I ran for my mother in law.  Every now and then the stove wouldn't start and I had to reboot the control panel and then the ignitor would work for a while then it would repeat the problem.  Turns out that Harmon knew about the problem and redesigned the ignitor and had a fix available.  It was beyond my 3 year warranty period so the cost was on me.  The new ignitor was $90.  I bought two of them and replaced the one that was acting up and just kept the other one on the shelf for when I might need it for the other stove.  It's still sitting on the shelf because the second stove never developed the ignitor problem.  No other expenses or problems in the 13 years I have had and operated the Harmon stoves.

 

For the last 3 years I have ran the stove in the kitchen and family room area 24/7 during the winter time because of the atmosphere a burning fire creates.  I have it throttled down to it's lowest setting and it burns slightly less than 5 bags a week.  I clean the stove ash out once each heating season and the temp stays right at 70 degrees and my heat pump for that portion of the house hardly runs during the winter now.

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I've always sided with just normal wood stove. Pellet stoves tend to eat a lot of power with the blower running all the time. Then all the power for the auger and pellet feed. Then if the power does go out then the pellet stove does too. I'm use to 24 hour to 48 hour outage. Like this morning its...

 

20200218_075911.jpg

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It's nice to have a situation where you don't have to rely on a system to keep you supplied with the pellets and electricity. I don't like the fact that woodstoves tend to be a bit dusty and dirty to deal with. Pellets are a lot cleaner for the house, but since I've gotten used to woodstoves since 78 I think they are fine.

 

Mopar1973Man likes to pretend he's way way up in the arctic north.:lol3:

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8 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

I've always sided with just normal wood stove. Pellet stoves tend to eat a lot of power with the blower running all the time. Then all the power for the auger and pellet feed. Then if the power does go out then the pellet stove does too. I'm use to 24 hour to 48 hour outage. Like this morning its...

 

20200218_075911.jpg

I've always preferred wood too. But then I have a supply and enjoy cutting it. Seems to me by the time you buy pellets for $250 a ton (price for good ones around here) and a grand or 3 for a stove, might as well just turn up the oil burner. To each their own as always.

What model AccuRite is that? Apparently mine is pretty dated.

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I have a 70kw Herz Pelletstar, not much use to the conversation as it's Austrian, I bought it used from Poland all fitted in my garage heating 2000litres  or 528 us gallons of water and also have a log burner in the house so if the power goes off we can still heat the house, although the pelletstar is connected to underfloor heating.

On a side note all coal and unseasoned wood is banned here in the UK for domestic heating from next year :rolleyes:

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