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.
- 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
- 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.