Sunday, July 27, 2008

pellet stove

With skyrocketing oil prices, the cost of heating homes is jumping off the charts. The Department of Energy expects heating bills to be 27 percent higher this winter for people who heat with oil and 41 percent higher for those who heat with natural gas. In cold-winter climates, this number will be closer to 30 percent. What can you do? I say "convert to wood pellet stoves">
This is the new fuel: wood pellets. Instead of logs, pellet stoves burn a renewable fuel made of ground, dried wood and other biomass wastes compressed into pellets. They are some of the cleanest-burning heating appliances available today and deliver high overall efficiency. Because they pollute so little, pellet stoves do not require EPA certification. Most pellet stoves need a little electricity to operate, and can be easily vented through a wall, unlike log-burning stoves.

My latest challenge is converting our home over to a pellet stove heating source. I build a porch addition on to the back of the house, two years ago, and it has had little usage. The floor is about 3 feet up to the main house and it hooks on to the house where the kitchen and the living room are. I put in two walls of used storm windows and a large overhead fan for ventilation. It has a cathedral ceiling as I came off the existing house with a shed roof. The room is about 12 X 24. Coming out of the kitchen onto the porch is a door. The wood stove will sit next to the house in the far corner from the kitchen. I am punching a hole into the wall above the stove which will be into the living room and I will cover this wall opening with a register with a built in fan. My living room opens to the dining room and at the front outside wall there is a small foyer that is open into the parlor/office which also has an opening into the kitchen. The main floor is actually a pretty good circle. I am hoping for a good natural convection air flow to heat the main floor fairly evenly. Upstairs are bedrooms, the laundry and a bath. Getting the warm air up there will be a challenge. I think I will probably have to use the fan on my oil furnace to circulate the air up there or maybe punch a hole in the ceiling in a couple of places and put in floor registers. The return (cold) air will hopefully spill down the stairs.

We were given a wood stove (Breckwell) and it has very little usage. I need to finish the installation of the stove which means: hooking up the vent pipe; putting a 4" hole in the outside wall for the pipe; pluging the stove into a 110 outlet. When I built the addition I put a 4x4 tile area into the corner where the stove was going and I think it is close enough to the outside wall to vent it. This is a fairly ambitious plan but I think it will work.

In anticipation of it working I have been out trying to buy wood pellets. Tractor Supply, which is in Easthampton about 10 miles away, sent us a coupon for a discount on the pellets and time to pay for them. Welllll, we went over to the store on Friday and if I bought them right then and there I could get the discount and I would be on tractor trailer load no. 11 and they don’t even have a confirmed shipping date for truck no. 1 yet. However, if I took them up on the plan to pay 50% down and the balance by Sept. 1st then I would be assigned a truck when the entire amount I was reserving was paid for. Probably tuck #31. I need 2 ton, I think, and so I only bought 1 ton at $246. I came back to Westfield and checked all of our local outlets and they were out of pellets but one of them was taking orders for delivery when the truck comes in for $285. I bought another ton. From there the prices are expected to go sky high. We will see If I have really purchased any pellets or just some blue sky. When I first started seriously investigating this, about one month ago, the cost of pellets were $250/ton and they had them on hand locally. Procrastination really pays off doesn’t it? Keep watching as I will have the up and downs of this experiment hanging out for everyone to see. Photos at 10:00

1 comment:

kimberly said...

wonderful blog!!! i really like the stove, specially the big ones because i think they are more comfortable for me and I feel identify with my stove all the time. Actually my boyfriend cooked for me once after to
buy viagra , then he gave me the surprise.