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Old 06-26-2009, 01:40 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,962,198 times
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I'm thinking about putting in a pellet stove to supplement the ($$$) oil fired boiler that heats my house. I can get pellets from Whitehorse or Juneau, they don't sell them here for whatever reason (chicken or the egg thing, I think).

Anybody out there using one, and if so how do you like it compared to a regular wood stove? Anyone have one that's set up with a battey backup for power outages?

Firewood around here has really gone up, and DRY firewood is even harder to get. If you can believe it, they were actually importing firewood from Canada last winter, here in Haines.
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Old 06-26-2009, 12:15 PM
 
Location: Alaska
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We put in a pellet stove last year and love it. The nicest thing about it, is that you fill the bin and the stove will burn all day (sometimes for several days). We put ours on a thermostat so it keeps the area within a degree or two of the set temperature. We kept the area warmer than we would have using our oil heat which was very nice. This last winter, we went through about 1.5 tons of pellets during the winter, heating a 1,100 sq. ft area.

Maintenance is cleaning the glass and emptying the burn pot if needed about every other day or three and emptying the ash bin every week or two during the winter. The only problems have been you do end up with pellet dust in the area from loading pellets and possibly a fine coat of ash over time because the stove isn't 100% airtight (fans blowing on the fire keep the pressure slightly higher than the surrounding area).

We bought ours through Alaska Fireplace & Accessories out of Wasilla. That was mainly because we wanted a small footprint model that they were a dealer. He had the stove and pipe shipped directly to Juneau with no additional shipping charge. We also checked Seattle, but figured shipping would be on par with any savings. We just had to go to the barge company to pick it up. I installed it myself, which was relatively easy. I do recommend getting a building permit though. I've heard a story about someone who didn't and his house caught fire. The insurance wouldn't pay because it wasn't inspected.
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:17 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,943,039 times
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If you can get a load of coal there from even Canada, it would be well worth the effort and a lot cheaper!

An 18 yard dump truck load is about 65.00 a ton, and that is amost ten tons+- which will heat the house for almost two years. So for about $700.00 a year using coal, verses about $3,000.00 or more for oil and about that for wood, coal wins!

A belly dump could deliver even more coal and you could split the cost with someone else since they can haul about 44 tons at a time!

Don't know where you have coal by you, but there may be some around Whitehorse.

Update: Googled coal sales in Whitehorse and there is a coal mine there so it is doable..

Last edited by starlite9; 06-27-2009 at 07:26 PM..
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Old 06-27-2009, 07:28 PM
 
Location: The Woods
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There's shortages all the time of pellets. I'd go with a woodstove or a coal stove (or better yet, a stove that'll burn both wood and coal).
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Old 06-27-2009, 10:29 PM
 
Location: Interior alaska
6,381 posts, read 11,943,039 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arctichomesteader View Post
There's shortages all the time of pellets. I'd go with a woodstove or a coal stove (or better yet, a stove that'll burn both wood and coal).
I have a couple of friends that bought a full semi Trailer of the pellets from the States. It was cheaper than buying them at the store by about half and they all split the cost of freight. One of them had a small store and used that to buy them wholesale.
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Old 06-28-2009, 02:13 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,962,198 times
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Default thanks

Thanks for the feedback, some good suggestions there.
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Old 06-28-2009, 03:19 AM
 
Location: Wasilla
1,081 posts, read 1,993,770 times
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We heated back in PA with 2 wood pellet stoves - loved them! But looking at the price of pellets here......YIKES! We're currently getting ready to hook up a gas fireplace here for some back up (and mood lighting on snowy nights )

We also had trouble locating pellets back in PA, especially in Feb or March if we were running low - there were none to be found!
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Old 06-28-2009, 11:34 AM
 
Location: Alaska
6,306 posts, read 4,175,363 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by akvarmit View Post
We heated back in PA with 2 wood pellet stoves - loved them! But looking at the price of pellets here......YIKES! We're currently getting ready to hook up a gas fireplace here for some back up (and mood lighting on snowy nights )

We also had trouble locating pellets back in PA, especially in Feb or March if we were running low - there were none to be found!
What she said plus back east they were 170.00 per ton in June 250.00 per ton in Jan.. Up here in the valley they are $350-$400 per ton..

I will say this, they produce a very dry warm heat.. If your home is insulated well you will be toasty.

They also produce a very fine ash that covers the inside of your home. We had two Quadrafire stoves and after we purchased ours they came up with a self cleaning stove. It shuts down, cleans the pot and fires back up again. Ours did not do this it was manual cleaning.

I believe the newer Quadrafires eject that fine ash that went into our home out the vent piping which is a big plus. So, your probably going to have some options that we did not have when we purchased ours.

There is a device that cleans the pellets before you put them into the stove. I think it takes all the extra saw dust and stuff out of the pellets before you bring them into your house and dump them into the stove.

When you dump a bag of pellets in you will have a dust cloud of fine saw dust floating everywhere. I tried to dump them slow and no go. Just to much fine dust in the bags.

You'll love the heat and ambiance but probably hate the dirt..
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Old 06-28-2009, 01:08 PM
 
Location: Casa Grande, AZ
8,685 posts, read 14,167,164 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Crossfire600 View Post
What she said plus back east they were 170.00 per ton in June 250.00 per ton in Jan.. Up here in the valley they are $350-$400 per ton..

I will say this, they produce a very dry warm heat.. If your home is insulated well you will be toasty.

They also produce a very fine ash that covers the inside of your home. We had two Quadrafire stoves and after we purchased ours they came up with a self cleaning stove. It shuts down, cleans the pot and fires back up again. Ours did not do this it was manual cleaning.

I believe the newer Quadrafires eject that fine ash that went into our home out the vent piping which is a big plus. So, your probably going to have some options that we did not have when we purchased ours.

There is a device that cleans the pellets before you put them into the stove. I think it takes all the extra saw dust and stuff out of the pellets before you bring them into your house and dump them into the stove.

When you dump a bag of pellets in you will have a dust cloud of fine saw dust floating everywhere. I tried to dump them slow and no go. Just to much fine dust in the bags.

You'll love the heat and ambiance but probably hate the dirt..
Sounds like they should design one with an outside shoot to load the pellets?
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Old 06-29-2009, 01:11 AM
 
Location: Haines, AK
1,121 posts, read 3,962,198 times
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Default confusing

It would seem that there is a confusing array of models and features. Of course every manufacturer says theirs is the latest and greatest, but I really just want something reliable and trouble free.

I suspect that even with the dustier brands of pellets, the overall mess in the house is still far less that an ordinary wood stove.
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