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Yul Lose

Wood Stove VS Pellet Stove

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Seems like a good time to ask this question because of the frigid temps in much of North America. We live in Southern California in an adobe house with 18” thick walls, cool in the summer warm in the winter, not really. Not long after we moved in we had a Avalon woodstove installed and it’s performed well for the last 25 years. We use a little over 4 cords of oak, eucalyptus, citrus and avocado, whatever we can get, usually it comes from the ranch that my wife works on. I rent a dump trailer and make six or eight trips with rounds that I’ll dump in the splitting area on our property and then I’ll rent a splitter and my nephew will split the wood. I’ve figured out that we end up paying about $325.00 per cord after paying the ranch, trailer and splitter rental, gas and my nephew. About 8 years ago I bought a small nearly new pellet stove at an estate sale for $100.00 and installed in my shop and it does a very nice job of warming it up and keeping it warm although I probably only use it 12-15 times a year.

 

I suggested to my wife, who would have a fire in the woodstove in the house on the  Fourth Of July if I didn’t complain about it, that we replace the woodstove in the house with a pellet stove. I realize that we’d have a higher electric bill, even though we have a solar power system in the winter it doesn’t generate enough power to run the meter backwards, and we’d have the cost of pellets. My local lumberyard says if I order in the spring they would be about $5.75 per bag on a 50 bag purchase. So pards what are the pros and cons of each and have any of you switched to one kind or the other and switched back? If so why? Thanks for your help.

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Anybody?

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Sorry Yul, Im too lazy to heat with wood. Thats a good thing this morning , it's 15F in Middle Tennessee.

 

Imis   Aint it so that wood warms you twice, when you cut/split/stack it and when you burn it. I am too lazy

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Your wood is too high. Assuming you mean a cord to equal 2 ricks, it would cost about $100 a cord split, delivered and stacked around here.

 

Pellet stoves were very popular around here 15 years ago or so.  The best way is an out door wood burning furnace heating water for circulation through the house.

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8 minutes ago, Noz said:

Your wood is too high. Assuming you mean a cord to equal 2 ricks, it would cost about $100 a cord split, delivered and stacked around here.

 

Pellet stoves were very popular around here 15 years ago or so.  The best way is an out door wood burning furnace heating water for circulation through the house.

I only pay $75.00 per load of rounds but the transportation, splitter and labor to split is where most of the cost is. If I were to buy it delivered and stacked it would be a little cheaper but not much.

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We use a wood stove. Local tree trimmer drops off wood in the pasture and I cut up what we need.

Also, have a sawmill and burn the slash. Pellet stoves only heat to the maximum of whatever the auger and combustion blower can handle. I can meter more wood into the firebox manually in order to compensate for colder days/nights.

I can also use construction scraps in the wood stove. Yul, you are using a lot of wood considering it's not that cold where you live. Pellet stove is probably all you need. As for the remote wood burner that NOZ mentioned. They use more wood than a conventional wood stove. Whenever the heat must travel any distance there is substantial heat loss. My friend in Maryland sells and installs them. He live on a farm and cuts all the wood he needs. Told me if he didn't need it for a demonstrator he would just stick to the conventional woodstove in the basement. It is much cleaner.

Wood stoves are dirty but simple.

Pellet stove are not as dirty but more complex and they need power. If the power goes out I'll have heat, the ability to heat water, and even cook. I'm sticking with my woodstove. Make sure you clean the flue on all wood burning devices annually.

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I've had both...a big fireplace and a pellet stove. I personally love the pellet stove. I don't have to screw around with the wood and the ash normally only needs to be cleaned out of the pellet stove about 1/2 way thru our winter season.

 

Depending on the winter here in SW Colorado, usually a ton of pellets (50 bags) will do the job. Pellet stove are adjustable for the amount of heat produced (contrary to what was earlier stated). There are 4 heat settings and 4 fan settings. I have a 35' x 30' great room with cathedral ceiling and our pellet stove really does a good job. This winter, which has been colder than normal (and more snow too), I've used a ton of pellets already and will probably need to burn another 1/2 ton. I am paying $250.00 per ton. It comes a ton to the pallet. They load it into my P/U and I unload it into my garage myself. They also make inserts that slid into regular fireplaces that convert them. Only once have I had my electricity go out when I was using the pellet stove. I got out my Honda 1000 gen and plugged the pellet stove into an extension cord to the generator outside.

 

No more wood for me!

 

 

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Pellet for convenience. Fill hopper, set temp and fan and go to bed.  Temp. stays all night and no wake up cold in the house waiting for the wood stove to reheat the space.  Also bags are easier to store and are clean when you bring them into the house. Wood not so much.

Cost vs. convenience vs keeping warm all night.

Ike

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I just have to ask.

 

YL what are the dimensions of the cord of wood you are buying?

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22 minutes ago, Sedalia Dave said:

I just have to ask.

 

YL what are the dimensions of the cord of wood you are buying?

4’x4’x8’ if I buy it split delivered and stacked. It’s not so neatly stacked when my nephew is finished.

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1 hour ago, Assassin said:

We use a wood stove. Local tree trimmer drops off wood in the pasture and I cut up what we need.

Also, have a sawmill and burn the slash. Pellet stoves only heat to the maximum of whatever the auger and combustion blower can handle. I can meter more wood into the firebox manually in order to compensate for colder days/nights.

I can also use construction scraps in the wood stove. Yul, you are using a lot of wood considering it's not that cold where you live. Pellet stove is probably all you need. As for the remote wood burner that NOZ mentioned. They use more wood than a conventional wood stove. Whenever the heat must travel any distance there is substantial heat loss. My friend in Maryland sells and installs them. He live on a farm and cuts all the wood he needs. Told me if he didn't need it for a demonstrator he would just stick to the conventional woodstove in the basement. It is much cleaner.

Wood stoves are dirty but simple.

Pellet stove are not as dirty but more complex and they need power. If the power goes out I'll have heat, the ability to heat water, and even cook. I'm sticking with my woodstove. Make sure you clean the flue on all wood burning devices annually.

Cold to some (Mrs. Lose) isn’t cold to others (me) but in an effort to preserve domestic tranquility we keep the old adobe (abode) fairly warm and that’s why we burn so much wood. Usually she’ll start the first fire in mid October and it’ll burn until the middle of March or so. We had a rainy day in August or September and I came home from Escondido that afternoon and she had a fire going in the woodstove.

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From the North East.  We have been using Vermont wood pellets for the past 10 years.  3.5 tons get us thru the average winter.  We pay $295 per ton (a Pallet) delivered and stored in the garage.  We also have a Honda Generator to keep the fans in the stove running in the event of a power failure.  Only elec used in the stove is for a small fan.

We love the stoves it is cheaper than paying for oil.  

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I usually cut and split firewood on Sundays when others are wasting time watching football. My protest against those that don't stand for our national anthem. Pellet, wood,

propane stoves are all direct heat. You feel good heat from them. Indirect heat sources such as a boiler or hot air furnace, they just aren't the same. Some like the convenience of pellets or gas. I enjoy the pioneer spirit of firewood.

 

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As we live where free wood is plentiful and easy to acquire and prepare, I vote for wood. If we didn't, I'd make a pro/con list and use it to make the determination. It would have things on it such as price, mess, ease of acquisition...

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We live 50 miles south of Atlanta, Georgia, on a dirt road, heavily wooded mostly hardwoods. Wood heater in basement, central heat(gas)/air upstairs. Use the wood heater in the basement during the Winter, we only buy gas once a year, fill a 200 gallon tank. The wood heater kept the basement in far corners around 65, and heat traveled up stairwell into house, center of house stayed toasty. I split wood with a mauling axe. We have several fruit trees, and unlimited source of firewood thanks to tornadoes and occasional storms. Plenty of wild cherry, oak, and hickory. We grill and smoke with wood only.

 

RRR

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We started out with  wood stove and they work great. However as time past wood

gathering became more difficult and somewhere along the way I got old. we now

 have a pellet stove. A ton of pellets here in northern cal. costs about 275.00 delivered

and stacked. Regards TJ

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3 hours ago, Tequila Jim #14501 said:

We started out with  wood stove and they work great. However as time past wood

gathering became more difficult and somewhere along the way I got old. we now

 have a pellet stove. A ton of pellets here in northern cal. costs about 275.00 delivered

and stacked. Regards TJ

I’m thinking just like you. How many bags does your hopper hold?

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My free standing pellet stove holds 1 +  bag (#40). When it is about 2/3's empty, I add another bag. If I burn it 24 hrs, depending on the auger setting, it usually will burn about 1/2 of the hopper.  Over the 20 years using it, I've found a big difference in pellet quality. Some put out less heat, so I don't buy them. Just  have to try them and find out what pellets burn best.

 

Overall I would not go back to wood, even if I got it for free! (I corrected my statement..left a word out!)

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9 minutes ago, Big Sage, SASS #49891 Life said:

My free standing pellet stove holds 1 +  bag (#40). When it is about 2/3's empty, I add another bag. If I burn it 24 hrs, depending on the auger setting, it usually will burn about 1/2 of the hopper.  Over the 20 years using it, I've found a big difference in pellet quality. Some put out less heat, so I don't buy them. Just  have to try them and find out what pellets burn best.

 

Overall I would go back to wood, even if I got it for free!

Good info, thanks.

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I used to sell, install, and service pellet, wood, and gas stoves. There was a brand made in Austria, Austroflamm was the manufacturer. I'm pretty sure the hopper held 7 bags of pellets and would run for a week without having to refill the hopper. 

 

The most common problem with pellet stoves was using low quality pellets that created alot of ash and excessive build up inside of the firebox and the augers would clog up, especially in a humid environment . The other problem was the pc boards were very sensitive and a lightning strike would take the board out, just unplug them in the spring and summer. Quadrafire units had a self ignition system, and the igniter needed replacement every year, maybe they've improved. They all work best when kept clean. Many of the newer units have a separate air intake for an outside air source rather than using heated air for combustion. 

 

I'm a prepper type person and plan for the worst. If poop hits the fan and we have a total collaspe I can always find wood and other cellulose products to burn without the need of electricity. Lack of pellets or propane would render a stove useless under those conditions.

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15 hours ago, Yul Lose said:

Anybody?

Best check to see if they are legal.. I'm told some places (Colorado?) won't let you use a wood stove anymore...something about pollution.

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20 minutes ago, Assassin said:

I used to sell, install, and service pellet, wood, and gas stoves. There was a brand made in Austria, Austroflamm was the manufacturer. I'm pretty sure the hopper held 7 bags of pellets and would run for a week without having to refill the hopper. 

 

The most common problem with pellet stoves was using low quality pellets that created alot of ash and excessive build up inside of the firebox and the augers would clog up, especially in a humid environment . The other problem was the pc boards were very sensitive and a lightning strike would take the board out, just unplug them in the spring and summer. Quadrafire units had a self ignition system, and the igniter needed replacement every year, maybe they've improved. They all work best when kept clean. Many of the newer units have a separate air intake for an outside air source rather than using heated air for combustion. 

 

I'm a prepper type person and plan for the worst. If poop hits the fan and we have a total collaspe I can always find wood and other cellulose products to burn without the need of electricity. Lack of pellets or propane would render a stove useless under those conditions.

I hear what you’re saying and the woodstove has worked out well. The older my wife and I get the more of a chore it is to get the wood rounded up and she has this thing about fires, woodstove or pellet stove. I haven’t had my propane tank filled in 3 years because we rarely use central heating and at $2.80 a gallon delivered for propane, it’s expensive to heat with it. I keep an extra igniter for my shop pellet stove on hand but I’ve never had to change it. It’s air intake is outside of the shop so I’m not burning heated air. We’re just kind of in a quandary with what to do.

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Just now, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Best check to see if they are legal.. I'm told some places (Colorado?) won't let you use a wood stove anymore...something about pollution.

They’re legal where I live, most places down here allow it. I’ve been burning wood in the woodstove for 25 years or so and only had one looney, tree hugging neighbor complain. She isn’t around anymore.

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8 hours ago, Forty Rod SASS 3935 said:

Best check to see if they are legal.. I'm told some places (Colorado?) won't let you use a wood stove anymore...something about pollution.

The only place in Colorado that has air quality rules is around Denver .....and who would want to live there. LOL

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EPA approved stoves are legal in most areas including Denver metro.

I have not studied the climate change nomenclature. However, I did read some of the rhetoric. One of the items on the list of major pollutants is wood and wood products. 

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My stove is a fireplace insert, it will hold about one bag of pellets. TJ

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As an aside, in about 1990 something my wife and I were driving south east from Rifle, Colorado and came upon a camper with a sticker on the back reading Save A Tree! Wipe Your Ass With A Spotted Owl.

 

A sticker on the other side read Nuke A Gay Whale For Jesus  (Is there anyone I didn't offend?)

 

Made my day.  Heck, it made my whole month.

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