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My arguement against pellet stoves
#1
I had thought about picking up a pellet stove years ago based on convenience but I'm glad I went with a wood burner instead. My intention in not to start a pissing contest between wood and pellet stove owners but simply to point out a few potential pitfalls of relying on a pellet stove for heat in a long term emergency.

1) Pellet stoves rely on pellets. Most of the pellets that are burned come from China and are subject to price increases and availability. What happens when your supply of pellets is disrupted? Unless you have the means to make your own compressed sawdust pellets you're stove is a decorative piece. My understanding is you can not burn wood pieces in most pellet stoves. With a wood stove one just has to locate fallen trees, branches etc. to have a steady fuel supply.

2) Pellet stoves rely on electricity to operate. wood stoves do not with the exception of a blower.

3) Pellet stoves rely on motors to function. no motors or moving parts on a wood stove.

4) Pellet stoves require more maintenance than wood stoves. Wood stoves only require flu cleaning and gasket replacement.

If I missed anything feel free to add your input.
We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo]
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#2
Quote:4) Pellet stoves require more maintenance than wood stoves. Wood stoves only require flu cleaning and gasket replacement.

Does this mean I need to get my wood stove inoculated? I'd hate for it to get sick. Wink

You make some good points. I never looked into pellet stoves because I have woodstoves and a fireplace. I've been using my woodstove the past couple of days and it's had no problem heating half the house
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#3
I agree with all of the above (EDIT: the OP), which is why I got a wood stove. I live on a wooded lot, and have plenty of places where I can get free wood. I don't know of a single place where I can get free pellets. And if it really comes down to it, you can actually burn pellets in a wood stove, using a special kind of steel "basket" that's made for it. However, you can never burn wood in a pellet stove.

A pellet stove might be a better option for someone who really wants the convenience, but I think that's the only advantage.
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#4
Excellent points. The pellet stove I have came with the house, but I would have preferred a wood burning stove. The requirement for electricity is huge especially if you don't have a generator.
And I have 12 acres of free wood but I need to buy a ton of pellets every year.
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#5
Pellet stove owner here. I have a pellet insert in my fireplace that I try to heat my modest 1800 sq ft rancher with. This purchase was prompted by my brother who has a free standing pellet stove the he used to heat his 3000+ sq ft house with.


I was not aware that the pellets themselves were made in china. I was under the impression they (at least some) were made here in the U.S.

As far as heat output goes, my brothers freestanding pellet stove kicked butt at heating most of his house. Mine does a piss poor job. Once it gets below freezing the warmest the house gets is 58-60 dg, and that is in the room where the stove is located. I don't know if I just picked out a bad model or if the fan on mine just sucks but it does not give that "toasty warm" feeling you get from a wood stove, or that my brothers free standing pellet stove put out.

Downsides:

You need to store the pellets inside, which uses up valuable storage space in your garage/basement.

Requires electricity. nuff said.

Too many moving parts to break. Auger, fan(s), motor, switches...etc...On mine I have had the motor fail and need replacing once, and the auger routinely gets jammed on the dust from the pellets (despite my attempts to keep the dust out).


At some point I will probably either have a woodstove installed in addition to the pellet stove, or just have the pellet stove ripped out and replaced with a wood burning insert (as long as it will run without electric).
glocke12, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#6
glocke12;36844 Wrote:Pellet stove owner here. I have a pellet insert in my fireplace that I try to heat my modest 1800 sq ft rancher with. This purchase was prompted by my brother who has a free standing pellet stove the he used to heat his 3000+ sq ft house with.


I was not aware that the pellets themselves were made in china. I was under the impression they (at least some) were made here in the U.S.

As far as heat output goes, my brothers freestanding pellet stove kicked butt at heating most of his house. Mine does a piss poor job. Once it gets below freezing the warmest the house gets is 58-60 dg, and that is in the room where the stove is located. I don't know if I just picked out a bad model or if the fan on mine just sucks but it does not give that "toasty warm" feeling you get from a wood stove, or that my brothers free standing pellet stove put out.

Downsides:

You need to store the pellets inside, which uses up valuable storage space in your garage/basement.

Requires electricity. nuff said.

Too many moving parts to break. Auger, fan(s), motor, switches...etc...On mine I have had the motor fail and need replacing once, and the auger routinely gets jammed on the dust from the pellets (despite my attempts to keep the dust out).


At some point I will probably either have a woodstove installed in addition to the pellet stove, or just have the pellet stove ripped out and replaced with a wood burning insert (as long as it will run without electric).

Did you install an insulated block off plate in the chimney? If not that's probably the reason the room temp is low, all the heat is escaping up the chimney.

[Image: block.jpg]

I have a wood insert and the only electric it needs is for the blower. But I can burn without the use of the blower and still be nice and toasty in the main living area. The rooms further away from the stove are colder of course without the air being blown in that direction. Still in a worse case situation we can sleep in the living room around the stove.
We should not forget that the spark which ignited the American Revolution was caused by the British attempt to confiscate the firearms of the colonists. - Patrick Henry

[Video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh2sWSVRrmo]
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#7
bucksco;36852 Wrote:Did you install an insulated block off plate in the chimney? If not that's probably the reason the room temp is low, all the heat is escaping up the chimney.

[Image: block.jpg]

I have a wood insert and the only electric it needs is for the blower. But I can burn without the use of the blower and still be nice and toasty in the main living area. The rooms further away from the stove are colder of course without the air being blown in that direction. Still in a worse case situation we can sleep in the living room around the stove.


yup...got the chimney blocked off and it is insulated also...
glocke12, proud to be a member of pa2a.org since Sep 2012.
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#8
Well I heated with a pellet stove for 13 or 14 yrs.
Pellets were a lot cheaper then and they certainly were not made in
China. Mine came from Ulysses Pa., and the last year I think Canada.
It was my first home and electric was the alternative, so for about the price of a decent wood stove I went with pellets. Heated the house plenty, and it could go about 3 days on low. I had a kerosene heater for backup. The stove never failed me in that time. The clean time was about the same as sweeping the chimney once a year. They work for certain circumstances.

They are not for prepping to be sure. And the pellet storage, as mentioned, could be a pita. I purchased all my pellets for the season at once when they could be had for cheap, and it was almost the size of a decent wood pile, the foot print anyway. The work of moving the pellets for storage, and moving them again for burning was almost as much work as stacking and carrying in wood all winter.

So when I moved I was sure to buy a place with a suitable location for a wood stove. I can't see me ever going back to a pellet stove other than for convenience.
Welcome to ObamaNation part deuxUtg
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#9
I can only comment on what I witnessed with my father pellet stove when I was growing up but the biggest issue was supply.

He'd generally buy 1.5 tons of pellets and all that had to be stored inside. Depending on how long the cold season lasted there was the chance of running out of pellets and finding pellets during the cold season can be a chore in itself. At least, it was, don't know about these days.
When they come for my guns; It is not my right, at that point,
but my responsibility to respond in the name of liberty.
[Image: sig.jpg]
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#10
glocke12;36844 Wrote:Pellet stove owner here. I have a pellet insert in my fireplace that I try to heat my modest 1800 sq ft rancher with. This purchase was prompted by my brother who has a free standing pellet stove the he used to heat his 3000+ sq ft house with.


I was not aware that the pellets themselves were made in china. I was under the impression they (at least some) were made here in the U.S.

As far as heat output goes, my brothers freestanding pellet stove kicked butt at heating most of his house. Mine does a piss poor job. Once it gets below freezing the warmest the house gets is 58-60 dg, and that is in the room where the stove is located. I don't know if I just picked out a bad model or if the fan on mine just sucks but it does not give that "toasty warm" feeling you get from a wood stove, or that my brothers free standing pellet stove put out.

Downsides:

You need to store the pellets inside, which uses up valuable storage space in your garage/basement.

Requires electricity. nuff said.

Too many moving parts to break. Auger, fan(s), motor, switches...etc...On mine I have had the motor fail and need replacing once, and the auger routinely gets jammed on the dust from the pellets (despite my attempts to keep the dust out).


At some point I will probably either have a woodstove installed in addition to the pellet stove, or just have the pellet stove ripped out and replaced with a wood burning insert (as long as it will run without electric).

I had a neighbor with an insert pellet stove and they were also disanointed with it.
I don’t care for the newer auto ignition stoves. They may save pellets in the early and late season, but when it’s Cold out my observation is they shut down too often and re ignite to slow, not to mention that it takes 15 minutes for the stove to warm up enough throw good heat. When they shut off there is nearly no radiant heat, so they cool quickly, and need to waste all that time warming it up again when it re ignites. I’m thinking an insert is worse since the hearth and flu are a huge heat sink which never get hot from a pellet stove and end up robbing some of the heat when the stove is on. As with wood stoves IMO free standing is the best alternative.
Welcome to ObamaNation part deuxUtg
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