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Thread: Pellet v.s. wood stove

  1. #1

    Pellet v.s. wood stove

    I'm planning to put one in the basement. We have an existing fireplace that really puts out little heat. I've been up on the roof and know I have a 12 x 12" square flu with around a 30' length. I will need to put in a liner. I've been looking at wood stoves and pellet stoves. I have some woods on my property, but not a lot. I have dropped several trees this season and chopped the wood.

    I see the pellet stoves, I like the idea that they use a much smaller flue (3" only) which would make the re-line kit cheaper. I could use rigid double walled liner. My wife would be operating the stove a lot in the winter and I like the concept that you simply drop in pellets and it just runs by itself more/less. But my understanding is the cost to operate is much more due to the pellet fuel.

    I see wood stoves, the issue is going through my woods and cutting down old trees, chopping wood. At some point I'm not going to have any more trees to cut. But I imagine there are a lot of "free wood" in various areas (side the road etc). But I heard the newer wood stoves burn wood so efficiently that you are not filling it up every few mins like a fireplace? Not sure.

    We are talking a 1000 sq foot basement, partially finished.

    What do you guys think? Based in this area Calvert county.

  2. #2
    Pellet Stove. You literally dump a bag in and let it go. Hook up a t-stat to it and let it do its thing. No worry of storing, chopping, splitting wood but you would need somewhere dry to store a few tons of pellets.

    That small of a basement won't need much but the radiant heat from the basement will work its way up to the floor above. The down side is the need for power. If you were to lose power for an extended amount of time and don't have a generator, a wood stove will keep your house warm enough, and allow you to cook on it. As you mentioned, the 3" (or 4" if you have a tall chimney) liner kit is fairly cheap (a couple hundred bucks) and very easy to install. I did mine in a few hours start to finish.

    New wood stoves, I'd stay away from. I'm pretty sure they have a sort of catalyst material that helps cut down on emissions from the stove but doesn't burn as hot, not to mention more expensive.

    A few more notes:
    - Noise. A pellet stove will be much noisier than a wood stove due to the number of motors/moving parts. A wood stove can have a blower which adds noise though. It may not be an issue being in the basement.
    - Cleaning. You'll need to clean out the pellet stove at least every week to remove the soot, and a deeper cleaning every few weeks, then a major cleaning at the end/or beginning of each season.
    Last edited by Chris0nllyn; 10-19-2017 at 10:41 AM.
    Crybaby Cripplecrow Hanging on a Monkey's Toe Club

  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by steppinthrax View Post
    I'm planning to put one in the basement. We have an existing fireplace that really puts out little heat. I've been up on the roof and know I have a 12 x 12" square flu with around a 30' length. I will need to put in a liner. I've been looking at wood stoves and pellet stoves. I have some woods on my property, but not a lot. I have dropped several trees this season and chopped the wood.

    I see the pellet stoves, I like the idea that they use a much smaller flue (3" only) which would make the re-line kit cheaper. I could use rigid double walled liner. My wife would be operating the stove a lot in the winter and I like the concept that you simply drop in pellets and it just runs by itself more/less. But my understanding is the cost to operate is much more due to the pellet fuel.

    I see wood stoves, the issue is going through my woods and cutting down old trees, chopping wood. At some point I'm not going to have any more trees to cut. But I imagine there are a lot of "free wood" in various areas (side the road etc). But I heard the newer wood stoves burn wood so efficiently that you are not filling it up every few mins like a fireplace? Not sure.

    We are talking a 1000 sq foot basement, partially finished.

    What do you guys think? Based in this area Calvert county.
    We heat our home with wood. When we moved in 3+ years ago, there was a huge "wood hog" stove and it was not efficient. We purchased a new one through Chesapeake Chimney and they not only gave us a great deal, the hauled off the huge old one. There was a $500 rebate through the state. The stove company had a deal where we received a free blower.
    The first year here, we followed the penn line (SMECO contractor) guys through the neighborhood and picked up every piece of wood we could handle. Yes, we picked up wood from the side of the road! We also have two acres of mostly woods and most of the older oaks have been in decline and have had several 120' trees taken down. We also purchased a log splitter. With this efficient stove, we can heat our house for a few of years with the stock pile we have. BTW, we have wood on racks in the basement, a covered wood rick outside and we have a shed full of wood. (so we have plenty of places to store it)

    I love the "organic" feel and smell of wood and love splitting it (even though my body disagrees)
    "It's nice to be important but it's also important to be nice."

  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by Chris0nllyn View Post
    Pellet Stove. You literally dump a bag in and let it go. Hook up a t-stat to it and let it do its thing. No worry of storing, chopping, splitting wood but you would need somewhere dry to store a few tons of pellets.

    That small of a basement won't need much but the radiant heat from the basement will work its way up to the floor above. The down side is the need for power. If you were to lose power for an extended amount of time and don't have a generator, a wood stove will keep your house warm enough, and allow you to cook on it. As you mentioned, the 3" (or 4" if you have a tall chimney) liner kit is fairly cheap (a couple hundred bucks) and very easy to install. I did mine in a few hours start to finish.

    New wood stoves, I'd stay away from. I'm pretty sure they have a sort of catalyst material that helps cut down on emissions from the stove but doesn't burn as hot, not to mention more expensive.
    Despite that, it keeps our entire house plenty warm. We do run the fan to circulate the air.
    "It's nice to be important but it's also important to be nice."

  5. #5
    Registered User Midnightrider's Avatar
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    You will likely be carrying about the same weight in each day and you need somewhere dry to store pellets. When I heated with pellets it took 4 bags a day to heat the house. That cost more than it did running the furnace.

    I went back to wood and never looked back. I prefer the quite constant and FREE heat from wood. If you run out of wood you can always buy it. I got about 3 cords of slabs delevired for under $200 last year.

    Good luck

  6. #6
    Thanks,

    I read somewhere that "you can throw 2 sticks of wood in a wood stove and it will heat for 8 hours". I know this was based on a customer review and mileage may vary, but do wood stoves require constant refill throughout the day?

    The new wood stoves burn more efficiently though, use less wood. I'm not too concerned about the heat output. I imagine it would output enough considering I'm going to put the biggest I can put in there and with a blower. I'm looking at wood stoves that are rated for 1200 to 2000 sq feet.

    You said the liner kit is cheap. I'd like to know what kit you used, or maybe I'm overthinking this. I see liner kits (flexible) for around 700 - 1000. Rigid is even more expensive. Are you using just "black pipe"?

  7. #7
    Quote Originally Posted by frequentflier View Post
    We heat our home with wood. When we moved in 3+ years ago, there was a huge "wood hog" stove and it was not efficient. We purchased a new one through Chesapeake Chimney and they not only gave us a great deal, the hauled off the huge old one. There was a $500 rebate through the state. The stove company had a deal where we received a free blower.
    The first year here, we followed the penn line (SMECO contractor) guys through the neighborhood and picked up every piece of wood we could handle. Yes, we picked up wood from the side of the road! We also have two acres of mostly woods and most of the older oaks have been in decline and have had several 120' trees taken down. We also purchased a log splitter. With this efficient stove, we can heat our house for a few of years with the stock pile we have. BTW, we have wood on racks in the basement, a covered wood rick outside and we have a shed full of wood. (so we have plenty of places to store it)

    I love the "organic" feel and smell of wood and love splitting it (even though my body disagrees)
    Thanks,

    I was concerned I would be attacked by indicating that you can pick wood off the side of the road. :)

    $500.00 rebate, is that though SMECO or State of Maryland?

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Midnightrider View Post
    You will likely be carrying about the same weight in each day and you need somewhere dry to store pellets. When I heated with pellets it took 4 bags a day to heat the house. That cost more than it did running the furnace.

    I went back to wood and never looked back. I prefer the quite constant and FREE heat from wood. If you run out of wood you can always buy it. I got about 3 cords of slabs delevired for under $200 last year.

    Good luck
    Yep, Thanks.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by steppinthrax View Post
    Thanks,

    I was concerned I would be attacked by indicating that you can pick wood off the side of the road. :)

    $500.00 rebate, is that though SMECO or State of Maryland?
    Not too proud to admit I have picked many things up on the side of the road :-)

    Rebate through the State. It took some work to get, though! We had to send before and after pics to prove we replaced the old stove with a new stove.

    Brand name Regency. We like the window to watch it burn, too. It doesn't require filling as much as the old one and it is easy to adjust the temperature. It helps that our home is well insulated. I only wish we could pipe the heat into our attached in law apt.
    We have a (fun) system for loading wood in basement (we have racks from a grocery store with high sides on both ends- perfect!) Husband gets mower and trailer, fills with wood and we put a tarp on basement floor. Open basement door and he flings them down to tarp and I stack.
    Like I said, we enjoy heating with wood!
    "It's nice to be important but it's also important to be nice."

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by steppinthrax View Post
    You said the liner kit is cheap. I'd like to know what kit you used, or maybe I'm overthinking this. I see liner kits (flexible) for around 700 - 1000. Rigid is even more expensive. Are you using just "black pipe"?
    I got a 3" flex stainless kit from Rockford Chimney Supply online. Depending on how long you need (mine was 25') and any options you want (like insulation), it can be upwards of $500.
    https://www.rockfordchimneysupply.co...ustom-kits.php

    I think with shipping, my kit was about $450 but it's been a few years.
    Crybaby Cripplecrow Hanging on a Monkey's Toe Club

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