Pellet stove

With the price of natural gas going up I'm wondering how efficient it would
be to supplement my forced air furnace with one of these pellet stoves. I
would guess that the price of pellets or corn will go up too with gas prices
going up delivery has to follow suit. Does anyone have one of these or any
other helpful information would be welcomed. I live 30 miles south west of
Chicago for my general area of the country.
Thanks for any information.
Reply to
Yepp
I have a regular epa approved Jotul wood stove as a heating supplement to my rather weak central gas system, and I love the stove. My friends who have pellet stoves cannot run them in an emergency, as they take electric power to feed the pellets to the fire. They also make an annoying grinding sound all the time. A real wood stove is both silent, romantic, and works when electricity is down. I suspect pellet types are also more expensive to run than a wood stove. All you have to do is compare cost and btu yield from pellets vs wood, per hour of burning. A good resource for your question, with lots of good advice, is newsgroup alt.energy.homepower. Good luck.
Reply to
Roger Taylor
That depends on how you value labor.
My friend's grandfather is quite happy with his new $7500 corn stove. He bought some moldy corn for $1.50 per bushel (vs about $2 for good corn), and says it's equivalent to 4 gallons of oil. The stove has been burning non-stop for the last 3 weeks making hot water for showers, etc. It has an automatic feed and needs ashes removed about once a week. Some pellet stoves have concentric chimneys with air-air heat exchangers and an efficient low flue temp and don't need conventional chimneys.
Corn seems more convenient than pellets, if delivered in bulk, but it's hard to believe it's so much cheaper than oil. Maybe that has something to do with ag subsidies. And a corn plant seems like a very large and inefficient way to produce an ear or two of corn, with lots of water and herbicides and cultivation and fertilizer. Maybe we should burn soybeans instead. They are round and might bridge less in a hopper.
Nick
Reply to
nicksanspam
Hmm. right now I wouldn't mind knowing where I could sell good corn for $2. It's around $1.50 for #2, with heavy discounts for pretty much everything.
I'm not sure what you are implying here, but if it's what I think I take some offense to that comment.
How else do you propose to get an ear of corn? :) And FWIW, $1.65 is about break even cost for most farmers(not considering capital amortization) for input costs. At least in my area. The two biggest variables that will vary from region to region being expected yield and land rent(generally directly related). Given the skyrocketing cost of fuel(and consequently Nitrogen) that number is probably going to be $1.80 next year.
Haven't tried it, but I have heard burning soybeans is less recommended. Due to the higher oil content, there will be higher soot/creosote stuff in the flue. So I have heard. I haven't done it so don't know for sure.
Reply to
cyberzl1
A few years back these were sold everywhere. Now few places even will talk about them.
That should say something.
My thoughts were always that while the pellets were "less bother" than real wood. You were at the mercy of the pellet makers. and what they charge for a bag of "fuel"
Nothing like having a real woodstove that you can even get free PALLETS from factories in your area, saw them up and toss them in. I've had 2 woodburners for over 15 years and have NEVER paid for a piece of wood used in them. Neighbors are always cutting trees, and supply me with more wood than I can use.
AMUN
Reply to
Amun
What the hell are you talking about? They are EVERYWHERE. More and more places are now selling the pellets too. You can even get them at Home Depot and Lowes now. They are mainstream.
2 of my local news stations have done stories on them within the last month about how they are exploding in popularity because of the rise in fossil fuel costs.
A ton of pellet fuel is almost equal in price to a cord of firewood. The pellet fuel will provide, at minimum, 40% more BTU output. In other words, it will last much longer than a cord of wood.
Been there and done that for many many years. Wood stoves can be nice, but they are WAY too much work and messy if your intent is to heat the home for the winter. No more for me, thanks. My last 4 years with the pellet stove have opened my eyes to how nice it can be. I get to keep the house much warmer than with the thermostat and it costs much less and gas/oil.
Reply to
Mark
Wow. I had no idea corn stoves cost that much! A high end pellet stove is under $3,000. Why are the corn ones so much higher? The mechanisms must be very similar.
Actually, most pellet stoves are this way now. I don't think you'll find one without a heat exchanger. You can exhaust them through a wall and vent them 6" from the building without needing a chimney stack at all. The close tolerances are allowed because of the very efficient burn and significantly lower flue temps. They do require a slight rise from the stove to allow for natural convection to exhaust smoke in the event of a power outage.
I was thinking the opposite, but upon further reflection, pellets/corn should all be the same with regards to convenience. It's about the same size and in bags.
I must say that wood pellets are much cheaper than oil and gas in my area. It's costing me 40% less to heat my home (and keep the thermostat a little higher to boot).
I agree. Perhaps this accounts for the cost difference. Wood pellets are produced from waste sawdust and are formed under high pressure. No additives.
Reply to
Mark
I hate to point this out, but some of us on USENET, don't live just down the block from you.
AMUN
Reply to
Amun
Thank you for your astute observation. It's a two way street, you know. Your statements were rather localized as well.
However, they are gaining popularity nation wide. But, seeing as it appears you are posting from Canada, I don't much care.
Oh - to you too.
Reply to
Mark
actually they do not add to the concentration of CO2 in the atmosphere. Bio based fuels are carbon neutral, no gain. They remove the same amount of CO2 during the growing season.
Reply to
Steve Spence
We moved to southwest Missouri from Michigan in February 2005. We purchased a St Croix brand pellet stove at that time. We were able to heat our home (about 1600 sq ft, open architecture) with on 40# bag a day. A forty pound bag of hardwood pellets costs about $3.00. This winter we are going to buy in bulk. The best price we have seen so far is $134 a ton at Lowe's. That breaks down to $2.68 a bag. We have been told that two ton should do it for the winter. The pellet stove does have a thermostat and we try to keep it about 75° , but the house is usually about 80°.
I hope this was helpful.
Amy
Reply to
Crossword
No, they don't. All the carbon comes out of the atmosphere, so biofuel does not contribute anything to atmospheric carbon. It is pure solar energy.
Reply to
Larry Caldwell
Local economies are different from global ones. If you live on a street where they throw away a lot of cardboard boxes, that could be your cheap fuel, but it won't work for everyone. North America has vast regions of rapidly-growing aspen poplar that can and are being compressed into fuel for pellet stoves. Farms produce a lot of excess plant matter that is either left to rot or is plowed back into the soil. Pellets are the easiest form of biofuel to produce, but they still load the atmosphere with carbon.
Reply to
JoeSixPack
Yes, of course we have, but some folks have learning disabilities or just can't believe in the concept that biofuels are carbon neutral.
Then again, I suppose they could be trolling. Nothing's going to incite a reply more than posting a blatant non-truth.
Anthony
Reply to
Anthony Matonak
We moved to southwest Missouri from Michigan in February 2005. We purchased a St Croix brand pellet stove at that time. We were able to heat our home (about 1600 sq ft, open architecture) with on 40# bag a day. A forty pound bag of hardwood pellets costs about $3.00. This winter we are going to buy in bulk. The best price we have seen so far is $134 a ton at Lowe's. That breaks down to $2.68 a bag. We have been told that two ton should do it for the winter. The pellet stove does have a thermostat and we try to keep it about 75° , but the house is usually about 80°.
I hope this was helpful.
Amy
Reply to
Crossword
It's only specious in your eyes, and it's surely no argument. It's a fact. Burning fossil fuels releases new CO2 into the air, adding to concentrations, burning biofuels releases co2 removed in the previous growing season, not adding to concentrations. That's all there is to it.
Reply to
Steve Spence
We've had this argument before, and it's a specious one. Switching to biofuels does not significantly reduce the amount of carbon being loaded into the atmosphere, nor does it trigger the earth to assimilate carbon faster. The dramatic rise in atmospheric CO2 since 1800 has been a result of burning carbon-based fuels faster than the earth can assimilate it. It makes no difference which carbon-based fuel is being burned, rapid atmospheric CO2 loading will still occur. The only way to reverse the trend is to reduce the burning of carbon-based fuels to a point where the assimilation rate exceeds our emission rate. The bigger the difference, the faster the CO2 levels in our atmosphere will decline.
Reply to
JoeSixPack
We have to burn fuel. which fuel would you rather burn, one that is carbon neutral, or one that is releasing carbon that's been sequestered for eon's? It seems you are the one who is not getting it.
Reply to
Steve Spence
What kind of offense are you taking to this comment. It is no secret that corn is highly subsidized by the taxpayers through our ag-oriented government.
Reply to
Oscar_Lives

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