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Wood vs. Pellet stoves

Discussion in 'Off Topic Threads' started by robervl, Jan 29, 2012.

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  1. robervl

    robervl TS Member

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    Thinking of buying a stove since propane prices so high. What are the Pro's and Con's. Thanks in advance
     
  2. kevin a.

    kevin a. Member

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    i like my pellet stove - have had it for about 7yrs

    i run it 24/7 unless i go away for a weekend.

    i live in upstate new york and burn about 4tons of pellets -$200 per
    (keep it about 70 inside)

    kevin
     
  3. Grade VI

    Grade VI Member

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    Location:
    Northwestern PA.
    If you have a source for fire wood, I would go for the wood stove. The price of pellets keeps going up every year and the fire box needs to be cleaned out almost every day. I can throw in a nice big log and it will burn for 8 hours. Usually have to close the dampers at night or it gets too hot.
     
  4. Ajax

    Ajax Well-Known Member

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    If you are in an area that loses power the pellet stove won't do much good, unless you have a generator. Lots of new efficient wood stove on the market.

    Ajax
     
  5. skip

    skip Member

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    Have a look at Rice Coal Stoves before you pull the trigger on something, they are known as "Coal stokers" I'm using a stove made by "Alaska Stoves"

    Stove runs for days on 100lbs of rice coal. No shaking with a stoker.

    Very easy to turn way down or crank way up for single digit weather

    See the above Web Site.

    Rice coal is half the price of wood pellets.

    Coal is waterproof, can be stored anywhere.

    Best of all NO Creosote to remove from chimney or pipes and no chimney fires.

    After 30 years burning wood I've switched to Rice Coal.
     
  6. timberfaller

    timberfaller Well-Known Member

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    Location:
    Eastern Washington
    Wood stoves are the best, as long as you can get wood. Look for airtights with battery back up for the fan. There's a ton of options out there for wood stoves.

    Around here the greenies with the help of the US Forest Service have restricted access to firewood patches that have gotten bigger over the last couple of decades. They want all snags saved for the wood peckers and other forest creatures. Guess what though, all the years in the woods, I fell more "live" trees that had woodpecker damage and homes of forest creatures in them. Once a tree dies and becomes a snag, forest creatures usually leave them!! They are smarter then humans, snags fall over more easily and are prone to lightning stikes!

    Drawbacks with pellets, moisture destroys them. Storing them in a dry place is very important.
     
  7. Gunn

    Gunn TS Member

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    We have had a woodstove for about ten years. We loose power about 3-4 times a year. We burn on an average of 2 cords of wood a year. When we had grandchildren living with us, we burned about 3 cords. We have even had to cook on the woodstove. We get our wood free, due to we loose about 4-5 old growth firs or oaks every couple years. But wood here is $125-150 a cord. I think it is cheaper than pellets. Tim
     
  8. Jim R

    Jim R Ljutic Nut TS Supporters

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    Location:
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    We live in an 1800 SF house. Although we have electric heat we use exclusively our pellet stove. Our house is just 5 years old and well insulated. I will use a 40 pound bag every two to three days when the temp is between 40 and 50 and one every day and a half when the temp is between 30 and 40. We just went through a pretty good storm here with 18 " of snow and temps down below 20 and I still did not use a full 40 pound bag in any one day.


    If you live in an area with power outages you will either need a generator or the battery back up for the stove fan. We have a 4500 watt generator that is wired into our electrical system so we have no problems.


    Pellets are cheaper now for good quality pellets than they were 5 years ago. We pay less than 5.00 a bag and could save more if I bought them by the ton. If you want a pellet stove get one that is rated for a larger area than what you plan to heat. Our stove is rated for a 3000 sf house and our house is only 1800 sf. Don't buy a cheap stove or you will be cleaning it a couple times a week. We clean ours about every ten days and it is about a 10 to 15 minute job. You can expect to pay between 2 and 3000 for a good stove installed.


    If you live in the Midwest the better stoves burn dry corn and it works better than wood pellets. We got a couple of bags just to try it and I was amazed. The corn has almost zero ash.


    I would never go back to a standard wood stove and I can have all the fire wood I want to cut for free. I didn't retire so I could spend time cutting and stacking wood.


    Jim R
     
  9. Tdog

    Tdog TS Member

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    I will echo Jim R's comments. I have been using a St. Croix corn/pellet stove for about 6 or 7 years. I bought it to burn corn. Until the price of corn jumped 3 yrs ago it was very cost effective. I now burn wood pellets. Pellets are easy to store as they come in 40 lb plastic bags. This fall I bought 4 tons from Menard's for $174/ton. Ours runs 24/7 except the half hour that it is shut down each week for cleaning. The St. Croix is capable of being run off of a thermostat and does have 5 temp settings if you don't (we don't) want to use one. It also has provisions for using a deep cycle battery for running without house current.
     
  10. BIGDON

    BIGDON Well-Known Member

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    Location:
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    Check and see what it will increase your HO insurance costs. Pellets cheaper than wood and corn cheaper than pellets. Outside wood burner cheapest of them all.

    Don
     
  11. dverna

    dverna Active Member

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    This is a timely thread as I am contemplating the same question.

    Never heard of rice coal.

    Don Verna
     
  12. kiv-c

    kiv-c Member

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    + 1 to what BIGDON said about the home owners policy!

    There are lots of lightly used wood stoves out there for sale because the owner found out that his insurance premium would be sky high or the policy cancelled if they found out a woodstove was in use.

    State Farm is a good example; they threatened to cancel my policy if I put a stove in my unattached workshop. That pissed me off for the last time, I dumped them!
     
  13. Haskins Bill

    Haskins Bill TS Member

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    My understanding is that corn stoves will burn pellets but on most pellet stoves a the 'fire box etc' is not heavy enough to burn corn. Just a factor to consider.
     
  14. lbshootin

    lbshootin Active Member

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    I use both, the pellet stove is real nice to warm up the house in the morning, but the residue ash needs cleaning about every four bags (50lb ea), cost $5.25 a bag at Walmart...cast iron wood burner puts out double the heat, so we use that at night...LarryB
     
  15. BigBadBob

    BigBadBob TS Member

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    What do you haul "rice coal" in, a Toyota or a Nissan?? Would it be against the rules to haul it in a real truck like a Chevy or a Ford?

    Seriously, what is Rice-coal? I've never heard of it.
     
  16. wolfram

    wolfram Well-Known Member

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    The bottom line economics heavily favor the pellet stoves but if you can get firewood at minimal cost and effort then of course the numbers favor the wood burners.

    I have a wood burner and even though getting firewood isn't exact easy or cheap I wouldn't want to change. My fellow pyromaniacs can probably understand this but i just plain enjoy the wood fire. Life isn't always about saving a buck or two.

    Which ever route you choose, you will probably save enough on the propane use to pay for the stove and intallation withing 3-5 years. Also BigDon's advise is spot on - make sure your homeowner's policy will cover the device before you buy it.
     
  17. skip

    skip Member

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    Here are several Rice Coal Stove (STOKER) Manufactures:

    http://www.alaskastove.com/

    http://www.leisurelinestoves.com/

    http://www.readingstove.com/

    http://www.keystoker.com/

    Loose Rice Coal Delivered http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JlOFA81rhxg

    Rice Coal Burning in a Stoker http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LPEcLXufZJI
     
  18. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    Pellet cost will go up and as someone said if power goes out you in trouble. Corn in my area was $4.00 per 100 pounds now it 10.50 per 50 pounds. Coal can be hard to find in some area's and costly to.

    Wood you can find anywhere. Buy the wood by the 8 foot bed PU that is also stacked in the truck. If thrown in you will loose 1/3 of a stacked bed. Wood doesn't need power to burn and will keep you warm when the power goes out. Right now you can buy GREEN wood cheap and have it season for next year.

    I have a shed with 3 bays. They are 10x12x7 feet. They will hold 7 cords. 4x4x8 = 1 cord. 2x4x8 = 1/2 cord. Remember those numbers. 1 bay is for this year, the second bay is for next year and the third bay is for the following year. If I get sick or hurt I will have a min of 2 years worth of wood till I'm back on my feet.

    Get a hood to go over the stove so you can work the heat through your furnace. The hood will catch the heat with an intake going to the furnace. You will have to change your thurm so you can cut on the fan without cutting on the heat part of the furnace. You can heat a good apart of your house by doing so.

    The first pic is the shed that I store the wood in and the second is how I bring the wood to the shed to be split. It works well. I also have a hydralic splitter.
    auctioneer_2009_0507113.jpg

    auctioneer_2009_0507114.jpg
     
  19. Auctioneer

    Auctioneer Well-Known Member

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    When we put our stove in we taked to our insurance agent. We had a name of a guy who we wanted to put the stove in for us. He was on their list to do so. We even talked to our local fire department and they even said the guy was great. We also have a tin roof. Not wood shingles like some people.

    Have the chimney cleaned each year. We once had a stove that we had to clean the chimney twice a year because of the build up in the chimney. Watch which stove you buy. Some are great and others will build up creosot(sp) fast.

    Burn oak, locust, hickory, ash. NEVER burn pine or cedar. You will have a problem in the chimney.
     
  20. 99 from the 20

    99 from the 20 TS Member

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    Just got a pellet stove Nov 2011 to replace the wood burning stove (my husband doesn't want to cut wood anymore, can't blame him) Up here in the northwest we have alot of no burn days, but we can still burn the pellet stove. Best decision we made and after reading this thread I will look into the rice and corn pellets. We paid $200 a ton for our pellets (40lbs per bag). My husband cleans it about once a week. He put it on a themostat and it is great.
     
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