Loving My Pellet Stove, Harman XXV Part 2

October 2013, see my most recent post about my Harman XXV pellet stove.

 

This is my continuation of initial posting  of my Loving my Harman XXV pellet stove , so I guess this may be considered part 2.

Harman XXV Stove

Harman XXV Stove

It has now been almost 2 full heating seasons with using my Harman XXV pellet stove as my primary heating source. As March is underway the stove is still going but I find myself having to turn it down since they days are getting warmer. It seems a good time to write about my Harman XXV pellet with some additional review information.

Cost: some people are wondering what the XXV cost and I can say it varies. I have seen them online for a lot less then what I paid in other parts of the country. I can say this, you are buying a solid cast iron stove not some sheet metal no-name brand that looks like it will break after the first year so here is what it cost.

  • The Harman XXV was approximately $3100.00 at the local dealer which included a free ton of pellets.
  • I opted for the optional black metal stove pipe that attaches vertically to the top of the stove, which makes it look like a wood stove and is not necessary at all.
  • Total with installation and delivery, the stove and optional “wood stove” pipe was around 4200 of which I got a tax rebate for 1200 back for a total of $3000.00

Has the XXV paid for itself: The way we look at it, YES YES YES. We are insulated from the oil  price spike of heating oil that has happened in Feb 11 and is still rising (hope it goes down) and as an irony pellet prices have dropped so it is cheaper to run. Having to not worry about shocking oil delivery bills has been great.

  • We will have paid $1000.00 for the entire heating season to heat approximately 1900sqft of space to a temp on average of the mid 70’s. We live in Vermont so the outside winter temperature is very cold dropping to below zero F for entire weeks.  We could have saved more money by keeping the temp down, but we like a warmer house especially with a little one.

Maintenance wise: I had the augur replaced, which was under warranty, due to it making a sort of grinding noise. It took the tech only a few minutes to pull the old one and place a new one in, the hardest part was moving it. I bought the optional pipe kit that makes it look like a woodstove and it was in the way. The warranty is very long on the stove so I thought I would go ahead and have them replace it just in case.

Cleaning Tip: Make sure to take the cover off the back and clean out where the pellets come down. It is spelled out in the owners manual how to flip this little cover up after removing this plate which just has a thumbscrew. It is actually really easy once you remove the back cover. I think cleaning it out should be made more important in the manual. I removed a lot of sawdust that had fallen down there, which is normal from pellet dust, and I can imagine it causing issues if it was never cleaned.

Tip 2: Get yourself one of those small wire brushes meant to clean a gas grill, they are about 8″ long and have metal bristles that are semi-soft. These are great for cleaning the grooved inside of the stove where the ash accumulates  out, and since ash insulates, it can keep your heat output from falling. The tool that comes with the stove for scraping is ok but the brush gets a lot more of the crud off.

Loving My Pellet Stove, Harman XXV

October 2013, see my most recent post about my Harman XXV pellet stove.

March 2011 : also see my continuation, 2nd post about my Harman XXV pellet stove

 

September 9, 2010 : Updated info at bottom

June 2, 2010 : Updated info at bottom

I have been bitten by the pellet stove bug for sure. As evidence for this I ordered my Harman XXV cast iron pellet stove, from Bernardston Farmers Supply, 2 months before we moved into our new house. My friend Bruno, who is all knowing when it comes to pellet stoves, showed me his stove and this had me hunting  for my own.

We settled on the Harman XXV stove since it fit all our needs. We where looking at something to heat our entire house, which is approximately 1900sq ft. The stove would be installed on an existing pad in the finished basement which once held a wood stove. Cast Iron was preferred since visually it looked like an old fashion. The hopper had to be big enough to run all day without refueling.

Eventually our choice of pellet stoves narrowed between the Quadra-Fire MT Vernon and the Harman XXV (pictured to right). After getting quotes from several places we went with the Harman XXV. With installation and a free ton of pellets from Harman the price difference between the 2 stoves was well over $1000, so the Harman was the logical choice.

I can honestly say that purchasing a pellet stove is #1 on our list of best purchases for our home.

Pros

  • Approximately 3 months in and we have used ZERO oil to heat our house.
  • Our house is toasty warm, always between 68-75 depending on the room.
  • Low maintenance, a quick vacuum of the ash and a wipe of the glass.
  • Very efficient in burning pellets
  • Using locally made pellets, New England Pellets made 15 miles from our house
  • Not using oil shipped half way around the world
  • Does not get burning hot like a wood stove, much safer for my child.
  • Not having to deal with fluctuating Oil prices

Cons

  • Fan noise can be heard when the stove is on high (we don’t even notice it anymore).
  • Keeping the hopper full with pellets
  • Emptying out ash tray
  • Uses Electricity

As for if the stove would save us money, it all depends on how you look at it?
I filled my 1/4 full  oil tank and it was the same cost as 2 tons of pellets delivered (our hot water uses oil for NOW). These two tons of pellets have kept my house nice and toasty during the worst of winter for going on 2+ months. I very much doubt I could say the same if using oil.

Did we save money?
I am sure if we kept the house at the temperature we would have if we where heating with oil we would save money. One of the main reasons we got our pellet stove is to not have a freezing house especially with a little one. Having a house in the low 70’s in the dead of winter was great.

June 2, 2010 update.

With the heating season officially over I am sure glad we had our stove. It really came in handy on some of those days in April when Vermont decided to drip back into the 30’s for the day. It was nice to just fill the hopper, and have a toasty house in a short amount of time.

One thing we did notice, when the outside temp towards the end of the season was 40 or so, the Harman XXV kept the house very warm and went through very little in the way of fuel. The maintenance during this time of slow burning through fuel was very minimal which was great given our busy schedule.

Fuel wise, we went through 3 tons of pellets plus maybe 20-30 bags which we bought a few at a time during the end of the heating season. In retrospect, we probably should have had another ton delivered, but buying it by the bag isn’t too bad. Still have plenty of oil in the tank, and hopefully it will be that way this time in 2011.

September 9, 2010 update, more area to heat this winter.

As the heating season quickly approaches we are expanding what we heat with our pellet stove this year. Plans are in the works to run some ducts out to an attached sunroom. Our hope is to install an inline duct fan and draw the heat from near the pellet stove and make the sunroom more usable during the colder months. This may have an additional benefit of circulating some heat in our house more, though our layout is very good for natural air moment.

Judging from last year, I am confident the Harman XXV is up to the task!

On the Oil front, it’s close to being official, we are approaching a year without using oil to heat our house.

On the pellet front,  had a delivery of New England Brand pellets which are made close by in NH, can’t get much more local then that.

2010 is here

Might as well start the new year off with a post. Might be months before we remember we still have a blog.

We are enjoying out new house, and renee is getting huge. Life seems to be going quickly which I guess is a good sign. Looking at what concerts we can go to in the new year. Festivals will be high on the list so we can bring renee.

Wow when do we post???

Just realized the other day with facebook, twitter and such we never seem to blog anymore the nerve of us. After all renee is not going to have much to look at in the future if we don’t at least write it down!!!

Anyhow, she is doing great and is getting huge, probably 30″ now, how did that happen??

Super cuteness

Renee had her first “belly laugh” today when her Daddy gave her a bath and tickled underneath her chin. It was unbelievably cute, but of course when I got the video camera she didn’t want to perform–oh well, thought we would at least mention the milestone here! 🙂

First Night Away

Last weekend was the first night we spent away from renee, our little pumpkin. We had planned on some sort of adventure a while ago since it was kathy’s birthday. We did know we where going to both get tattoo’ed again but besides that where not sure what we where doing. As luck would have it my parents where ever to eager to watch renee, and this time overnight.
This could be way too long a post so I will sum it up.

  • Tattos’s went great, tracey of luck soul tattoo did a great job yet again.
  • A nice ice cream stop at ikea. Some pepe’s famous pizza for dinner.
  • Me being the designated driver for kathy when we went to John Harvards for drinks and she had a few.
  • Being able to sleep in late even though we both did not sleep well without renee’s constant noises.
  • My parents telling us they sold our child on ebay and such when kathy called.
  • Having to take the cell phone away from Kathy

All in all it was a great test run for the upcoming several days away from her. Even though we missed her, my parents had a great time with renee and she seemed to have a great time too.