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Pellet Stoves and Boilers

This fall I was thinking of getting rid of my oil furnace and going with a Boiler and baseboard preferably with Gas as the Gas Co. usually gives some pretty good deals. But I came across some info on pellet burning furnaces and boilers. Does anyone have any info on this type of Equipment? The link shows what info I have even though I'm sure there's much more out there, Thanks. :)


Re: Pellet Stoves and Boilers

Pellet stoves burn small pellets of dry organic material, typically compressed sawdust or wood shavings. They are inspired by the old-fashioned wood stove, but improve on the idea in several ways. A basic stand alone pellet stove costs $750 plus about $250 for installation. Plus, there is a 30% federal tax credit (expires Dec. 2010). They are really eco-friendly and the new modern pellet stoves are simple to maintain and clean.
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Re: Pellet Stoves and Boilers

Pellet stoves require electricity to operate. If you live in a location prone to power outages, a pellet stove is not for you. Most pellet stoves have a blower for heat circulation as well as the feed auger to keep the fire burning.

Re: Pellet Stoves and Boilers

I like that tax credit but still have to do more research, thanks for the info! :)

Re: Pellet Stoves and Boilers


My parents have a pellet stove and they love it. They installed it in their fireplace (since kids left home and no one to cut wood).
It does a great job of heating their living area and kitchen, but does not reach into their bedrooms. They have a heat pump as well, but the pellet stove really cuts their heating costs in the winter.

Re: Pellet Stoves and Boilers

I see you list your location as the NorthEast so you may be able to get anthracite coal easily. Coal puts out 50% more BTU's per lb than pellets, you can get a stoker-boiler which works like a pellet stove by feeding the coal into the fire from a hopper. Depending on your area (like mine) coal can be less per lb than the cost of pellets. We use about 3 ton per year at a cost of $200/ton. It is easier to store coal since it doesn't care if it gets wet like pellets (except if it freezes into big chunks and can't be handled or fed into the stoker).

As mentioned, if power outages are a concern then a stoker is not for you, but a hand fired coal stove (no electric necessary) could be the solution. In addition to the feed mechanism and blower for heat circulation, there is sometimes a powered vent to get rid of the combustion gas on stokers. If there is no power then the CO could get into the living space since the power vent isn't working.

We are able to heat a 2000 sqft ranch (well insulated, good double pane windows) with a coal stove in the basement. Our propane furnace never needs to kick on, the house stays above 68* at night and if it is extra sunny will climb to 75* during the day. Just last week, it was great to have heat during the 1-1/2 day power outage from the local blizzard.

Here is a link to a boiler, a google search will bring up other options.


Edited to add, even a hand fed boiler will need electricity due to the pumps and zone valves found in a boiler system. Ours is not a "boiler", just a hand fed "stove", the only electric used is for the blower to wash the heat off the stove for better circulation, but it is not necessary.

Re: Pellet Stoves and Boilers

Nice link and thanks to all for the info

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