Pellet Stove FAQ

From Rabbi Blog

I decided to start this page for Pellet Stove questions that I've been asked. As usual with me, none of this is backed up by solid hard facts, only what I've cared to recall. Be sure to read this site's General Disclaimer.

Has the stove been able to effectively warm your whole house?

  1. I really need to figure out what our sq ft is here sometime. I think I calculated it last year, but I forget what it is without digging up the paperwork

Do you have to run humidifiers in the winter?

  1. Not really. We are on the edge where we should. Burning wood certainly would tip the scale towards 'too dry' but we don't really feel we need to with the pellet stove.

Has it significantly reduced your oil expense?

    1. hahhahahhahahaa.....rotflmao...muhahahhahahaaaa
    2. Year 1 in the house: $1900 in oil @ $2.36/gal
    3. Year 2 in the house: install corn stove -
      1. 6 ton of corn @ $220/ton
      2. 3/4 tank of oil (left over from previous year)
      3. 3 tanks of propane @ $70 = $210
    4. Year 3 in the house: insulate the walls ourselves with blown in insulation ($450)
      1. 6 tons of corn/wood pellets @ $245/ton (avg price - 1/2 ton left over) $1470
      2. No oil ($4.96/gal)
      3. 4 tanks of propane @ $70 = $280
  1. So that's roughly 805 gallons the first year at $1900. The same amount would have been $3,993 this past season at the peak. $1470 in pellets + $280 in propane = $1750 total last year for heat.

With the price of corn and wood also increasing, do you still swear by it?

  1. We're buying 6 ton of wood this year (no corn) @ $240/ton delivered - this fell through, might explain later
  2. Corn has better heat, but for the price I'll burn more wood

What is the price per ton?

  1. $240 for wood. Haven't looked at corn much. I can get wood year round and the availability seems a little easier than corn.

Approximately how much storage space is required to house a ton of corn?

  1. Basically one pallet space. I have a 4x4x4 box (I'll include links) for the 1st year that held 1 ton of corn at a time. The 2nd year I just kept it on the pallets and the cats kept care of the bulk of the mice problems.

How long does a bag last?

  1. Relative. You have to determine BTU per pound of corn/wood and then factor what your burn rate is to calculate that. On average cold days we would fluctuate between 1 bag a day and 2 bags day for cold cold days. I think we're throwing 70,000 BTU around usually. It's been awhile, I'd have to look at the math again.

How long does a ton last?

  1. 40 bags of corn in a ton. 50 bags of wood. See above somewhere

Does damp corn burn?

  1. I can’t imagine a large enough space in my basement that isn’t damp...ugh.
  2. Well your basement shouldn't be damp in the winter and don't plan on storing it past one season. I believe the mark is %15 moisture before it becomes inefficient/nonburnable.
  3. I do have some in year3 that are left over from year2 and we'll be burning it in with the wood as a mix. If I problems, I'll post them.

What brand is your stove?

  1. Pelpro/ Glow Boy/ Cheap Charlie

What did you pay for it (including installation).

  1. $2450, $1900 for the stove. We were on a budget and it has NO bells and whistles. We did not get a thermostat and while most people would say WHAT?! I think I've found something positive about that: I know what my burn rates are depending on the speed of the stove.
  2. With a thermostat, the stove will try to maintain a temp and there are many factors, so your burn rate will fluctuate. Personally I'm happier knowing I'm using X lbs a day of my stock versus Holy Crap I burned X in a short time to maintain a temp. It's odd, but it makes sense in my head and Fiona has bought into it too.

How Often Do You Have To Clean It?

  1. With straight corn or corn/wood, every 24-36 hours to maintain a good burn. It can go longer but the build up in our stove (which is NOT self cleaning) chokes the air holes and doesn't burn as well.
  2. With straight wood, every 3-4 days just to keep it clean. Could go longer, but keeping the burn pot cleaned out regularly doesn't let it build up in the body of the stove and I don't need to shut the whole thing down to vacuum it out. Those with straight wood stoves (no corn) won't have a burn pot and won't have the same experience.