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Old 12-21-2007, 08:14 AM
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,443,843 times
Reputation: 1393


Originally Posted by Northern Maine Land Man View Post
The two most efficient heaters today are the Monitor type and pellet stoves. Monitor heaters are very efficient and will work when the power goes out. The blower won't work, but the heat will come on. You must ensure that the little backup battery is changed periodically. That's what runs the controller.


Actually this incorrect. The kerosene or propane heaters made by Monitor or Toyostove will NOT run without electricity. Once electricity goes out, the stove is cold and dark. I heat my house and commercial building with a combination of Monitor (both 40,000 btu and 20,000 btu models) and Toyostove (20,000 and 10,000btu units). Without a doubt the Toyostove units are superior to Monitors. The Monitor stove had designed in defects that will require rebuilding in three to four years. The defects are principally in the fan bearings and the flame unit.

I bought a generator at Home Depot last year and have actually used it once. I have not had the electrician here to install a switch, although the generator is large enough to power the house's two heating units and almost everything else except for the oven...cooking and hot water here is by gas.

When we had the power outage that lasted two days, I ran power cords from the garage into the house to power the large Toyostove in the front room as well as lights and tv. It ran all night providing heat, although it wasn't especially cold. When I built the house, I had the electrician make provision for installation of a switch in the garage for a generator, but in the fifteen years since I have lived in the new house, I have actually needed a generator three times.

We are moving next year and will be building a new home. I will NOT be using Monitor or Toyostove heating units in the new home at all I do not believe. Our choice in the new home will be to try to achieve a zero fossil fuel foot print, and right now we are looking at either geothermal or solar powered hotwater, inslab.

The generator? Well, I am unsure. We will be connected to the grid, and ideally, money allowing, we will have a passive solar array that will power the house during the day. The generator will probably be an emergency back up for those long dark days along the coast.

Over all, I have been using the Monitor or Toyostove heaters as my main heat source for sixteen years. This house was designed and built around using first and then two of them. When I first moved into the new house, I had a 40,000 btu and a 20,000 btu Monitor. Eventually the larger of the two failed and I replaced it with a smaller Monitor. When it failed, I replaced it with a Toyostove. I have owned two commercial buildings, one of which was a six unit building using Monitors in each unit. Basically, I rate the Monitor brand heating unit as fair. So far the Toyostove units are outstanding and seem to provide more heat than do the comparable Monitor units.
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Old 12-29-2007, 05:59 AM
Location: Durham NC-for now
303 posts, read 1,289,861 times
Reputation: 240
Default Thanks for all the info

Everyone, thanks for all the information! I think I will feel much better to have a generator when we can afford one. Having elderly parents and kids to take care of makes it more important than just for us. All the details you have posted will give us a good foundation to make a selection.
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Old 12-29-2007, 06:39 AM
17,159 posts, read 22,175,230 times
Reputation: 31232
i broke down and bought a generator last yr,,,,more so for peace of mind, for a back up power source for the sump-pump in the basement,
ive yet to use it, besides starting it, and have yet to install a switch into the house for a plug-in.
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