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Sunday, November 04, 2007

This isn’t your Father’s Wood Stove

Picture courtesy of Whitfield

There is no better feeling in the world on a cold fall or winter night than having a fire going in the house. With the warmth of the flames also comes a sense of well being and a calming effect to the children in your family. Not to mention the romantic side of it with sitting with the one you love and just snuggling up together in a total sense of contentment with your life. With your home warm and toasty you find relaxation comes just that much easier to your spirit.

All the worries and cares fade away as the heat from the fire lets your body unwind from whatever hectic schedule your lives have. If you have one of the old fashioned fireplaces it’s nice to look at but most of the heat from the wood is going right back up the chimney. Then again, one of the old cast iron wood stoves that you might have may be reminiscent of the Tom Sawyer and Huck Finn days but the house smells of smoke no matter how well ventilated the stove is. If you own your own home and love the idea of having a warm fire to take the chill out of the house, then a wood pellet stove is something you should consider.

Wood pellet stoves are nothing like the old wood stove your father had. There is no lugging of cords of wood and waking up in the middle of the night when the temperature dips way below freezing to feed the fire. Wood pellet stoves run for hours without any other feeding of fuel other than tossing a forty pound bag in the hopper and it tends the fire for the night. You do not have to build an ugly cinder block chimney to vent the smoke and gasses from the fire because they can vent directly out through the wall of your home. Granted you have to follow your local fire code on the venting but in most cases you can vent it right out the wall.

Once upon a time we owned one and I loved it, the wife loved it and so did the kids. Nights like this where the temperature dropped down and the house had that uncanny pecking at your neck nip to it were soon warded away with the pinging sound of wood pellets dropping down into the basket that warmed the entire house.

Word to the wise before investing in a wood pellet stove for your home, make sure wood pellets are readily available from at the least three sources. In the past heating seasons many locations were not able to keep up with demand but still sold the stoves which I thought was hypocritical. I’m talking about Home Depot and Lowes whom both had truck loads of wood pellets on consignment or pre ordered. I tracked down a local farm supply store that had wood pellets listed under horse bedding? I do love my Google Search engine!

Wood pellet stoves are a renewable energy resource and in that sense I back them one hundred percent. When I first had my wood pellet stove the cost to heat my home in New England was less than half as much cheaper. That may not be the case anymore so you should research the cost of pellets for five or six tons per heating season versus your current heating source. I used five or six tons of pellets to heat an 1800 square foot home because my family and I enjoyed the fire going in the living room in late September all the way into April. Your use may differ.


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Blogger The GTL™ said...

Bro, that's fascinating. I'd never even heard of one of these before. Been thinking about installing a fireplace in the next year or two lately and you've got me keeping an eye out for these wood pellet stoves due to this article :-)

9:53 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

These are great Gunny and I highly recommend wood pellet stoves. As a semi do it yourselfer, my brother in law and I installed ours in about three hours. We had the stand alone unit that rested on a fire resistant plate that simply rested on the existing flooring. No fancy brick work needed for it to sit on!

Clean up was a breeze because the little amount of ash that the unit creates in one days time falls into an ash pan below that pulls out like a kitchen draw. Full clean out of the inner chamber takes about ten to fifteen minutes.

5:44 AM  
Blogger The GTL™ said...

Interesting... so they throw out a lot of heat -- enough to be felt throughout most of the house?

8:25 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

In our home the living room was the main room of the house roughly 25 x 24 and that room was always toasty, off the living room was the stairs to the bedrooms and they were toasty all the time. With the one entrance into the livingroom from the kitchen and dining room you could feel cold spots the further from the doorway you went. To combat that we put door jam fans (Radio Shack) in the upper corner to move the hot air more swiftly to the kitchen and dinning room. Of course the bathroom was always closed so you might want to be a gentleman and warm the seat for the lovely lady in your life...roflmao!

I'm in New England Gunny so your situation will be very different I'm sure.

We found that our gas furnace only needed to kick in when the temp dropped below zero and then only in spurts.

If you look at the picture there are grills for the blower that is the real source of the heat. Metal tubes inside the burn box move the heat out with a blower and you will not believe the amount of heat you get. In your part of the world you might run it on the lower settings. We ran ours for the most part below half way. Cold spells we cranked the power on half feed of pellets when we were home and it was awesome!

7:38 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

Doesn't the price of operating a wood stove depend upon wood prices in the area? Or is that less of a factor with pellet stoves?

10:27 PM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

I live in New England and the cost of the pellets has gone up in the main retailers but the cost at other locationsw is vastly different. Research it yourself and if you think it will be cheaper then go for it Tom!

It is renewable energry and that can never be a bad thing in my eyes.

10:52 PM  
Anonymous Tom said...

LOL, I live in an apartment! I could install a wood stove (if I had the money) but I think my landlord would object... ;)

5:29 AM  
Blogger Papamoka said...

You are killing me Tom!!! LOL!

10:24 PM  

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