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I used Biobricks, Bio logs, I don't recall the brand at Lowes tried both kinds they sold. Tried another brand when Lowes ran out from a wood stove place and another dealer claiming it will burn 12 hours a log @ $3.00 a log his supposed ly the best.

From my experiences burn for 8 hrs choked all the way down and at that point doesn't put out heat.. Seasoned Red Oak or White Oak lasts just as long as any of the other kinds the only draw back is it can bring bugs in house and is dirty, broken up giant logs or giant pellets are messy also they fall apart during handling etc.

Im still not impressed with bio logs/ bio bricks and all the other companies if it was so good everyone would buy them.

One of the biggest problems with wood is that people that buy it already cut and split think its seasoned. It's usually cut and split in winter or spring left in a big pile no wind or sun to dry it out and are told its good seasoned stuff. I bought would like that before from firewood guys years ago. I know people that do that.

I burn the wood I cut and split stacked and covered 2 years ago. But am fortunate enough that get jobs to clear lots and get paid to cut and get to keep wood.



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BioBricks are so-so. EcoBricks are much better.

12 hour burns are going to be based on having a large enough firebox, but you have to be careful not to overload it.

NONE of the stuff they sell at the box stores is worth a darn - it isn't stored properly and it picks up extra moisture.
 

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As noted in my earlier post, we have burned wood at our farm home for 34 years (the first 5 years wood was our only heat source) and have learned that all wood is not what it seems.

There are numerous web sites that cover this topic in great detail but I would summarize our experience gained from the past 34 years as follows:

1. I agree that wood burns best and puts out the most heat if split and seasoned properly. Unfortunately that is not easily accomplished for many so you need to be aware of the various types of wood that burn with a minimum amount of seasoning.
2. The heavier (denser) the wood is as dried, the higher the heat output produced.
3. A mix of sizes and types of wood will produce the optimum heat output and a long burn time.
4. If you only burn wet wood, you will have creosote build up.
5. You get warm twice with wood heat - once when you cut, split, and stack it, second when you burn it.
6. Have more daughters than sons. The daughters will visit home most often and the sons-in-law will want to get outside and enjoy nature (translation - cut, split, and stack wood). :sidelaugh :bananapow

BTW - we are fortunate to live in Indiana because the choices of good burning hardwoods are many and our 75 acre farm is 1/2 wooded. The following are our favorites woods to burn, in descending order.
Osage Orange (also know as Hedge or Thorn Apple), Black Locust, Hickory, White or Red Oak, White Ash (mostly dead thanks for the Ash Borer - but Ash is the best wood to burn wet), Apple, Cherry, Maple and Walnut.

We have learned not to load the wood stove with just Hedge or Locust. The fire will become too hot, and the sparks thrown by the Hedge is extremely profuse. A good mixture is no more than 1/4 Hedge or Locust and the balance something else.
We try to avoid burning the following due to poor heat output. Sycamore, Hackbery, Buckeye, Cottonwood, Willow or Pine - resin issues :thThumbsU
 

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Discussion Starter #64
Thank You to all for the wealth of valueable info.
Correct on ever taking the stove out once installed, It actually looks nice than a fireplace!
I do have a couple hickory trees and neighor has some too he wants cut. I guess it's a no brainer to have both wood and the brick as fuel. ( in addition to the oaks I have too)
As far as keeping the house clean, should not be too hard as my downstairs is open to outside through sliders to back yard. I plan to store all wood out back and only have enough as needed on back patio (under deck) maybe in a box or iron ring etc. Dad used to used an old, very old woden bread box as a wood box inside by stove. I prefer not to do this but we'll see. Bricks will be SIMPLE as I can store in a closet and balance in garage etc.

Thanks again.
Now to fund the transaction and order the new Quadra Fire Grand Voyageur!
Sure hope we get a bonus here at work.


MU
 

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Don't store wood too close to the house itself - you'll end up inviting mice inside the structure. I keep my firewood on pallets and keep it in a far corner of the yard through most of the year. When winter begins, I will bring pallets closer to the house so that I don't have to drive through potentially lots of snow to get them. I will bring one pallet at a time inside the garage, but not before I lift and "drop" the pallet outside at least once. And, I immediately set mouse traps right near the pallet once it's inside.
 

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Discussion Starter #66
Yes,
I keep wood pile at edge of property directly in back of the house. Well there is none now as I sold it all. It is a good area as no grass is growing etc.
I will not store any wood inside the house. I will, when burning the wood just walk out to pile and either cart/tractor-ATC or wheel barrow load to back patio. Just enough for a few days etc. Unless I go with Brick exclusively. I will store brick in closet and garage quite simply.
As mentioned depending on experiences with wood vs brick burning, I may sell all the wood I process to fund the purchase of bricks or just burn both. We will see, but as mentioned no wood will go into house or garage for storage.

When i first purchased this house, not quite a year ago was told they had mice etc. they had the little electronic thing in garage that vibrates once in a while and a couple throughout downstairs. I have since cut/removed huge overgrown rotadendrums (sp) every shrub and other crap bush near the house foundation. I have not seen 1 single rodent since living in the house.
I think this was the sourse of the problem IMO. It was a nice little oasis for wildlife for sure, and I leveled it!

Here are some pic's when I first moved in. First 4 are when bought. Last are in process of many uprgrades, trees gone etc. Also where i will process and pile wood.

MU
 

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Discussion Starter #68
Well I finally made up my mind and flopped back to pellet after much personal debate.

Had many discussions outside of this thread as well and pellet seems to fit better for my needs present and future. Main debate was buying fuel and if buying why not go with the simplicity of pellets for many reason over wood/brick burning unit. The pellet stove is as said more of an appliance but ready reliable heat regardless of outside climate conditions etc.



After much research I went with a Harmon Accentra 52i cast iron (only parts of it are acually cast) in black. I did like the brown color on the QF stove but not on this Accentra. It is a fine looking stove of the selection I looked at in the btu range I wanted. Of all I looked at it is the best made IMO, thicker materials etc. The only area of concern (told to me by dealer) it the placement of exhaust fan. If service is not done following heating season and ash falls into bottom of stove/pipe it can clog blower and cook motor. He said this was the number 1 item replaced on the stoves. All due to neglect and not cleaning annually, moreover in time at end of season.

I do like the way it installs with rear cage type frame with pipe etc, then stove slides back and engages cage for seal to flu/pipe.
I plan to install myself as with the small pipe it'll be fairly easy as no modification the damper plate will be needed.

I plan to install in early spring.

Have not taken delivery of stove yet anyway. I bought this past weekend as Harmon was offering $200 off on this particular unit, more on free-standing units.

Oh well thanks for all the valueable info helping me decide.:thThumbsU

Should help keep the house warmer and lessen trips from oil truck. Just called for a top off (down to 1/2 tank) at 3.95 per gallon!

Even if i cut my oil use by 30% I'll be happy. Not to mention have the area where we spend the most time nice and cozy!:00000031:

MU
 

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I didn't read all 3 pages of posts, just the first. So I am sorry if this is basically repeated information.

Pellets vs "log" wood boils down to your personal situation, and your personal preference for heat.

I grew up with wood heat and have cut, split and staked more cords of wood than I can rightly recall, or "Wood" care to. In my opinion, hands down Log Wood heat is the most comfortable kind of heat here is. Nothing compares. However the trade off is the amount of work involved. You handle the wood many times rather you cut it yourself or buy it cut and split. And no matter how clean the wood is, you will have bugs in your home to one degree or another. We stored 30 cord a year in the basement of my child hood home. Lot's of bugs. Others I know store it outside, and have to haul it in all winter long,,, not fun. Others have space in a garage that they can store some, but you still have to cart it in. And wood is messy. As a boy, the stoves were in the basement with the wood. So the basement was always dirty. Lots of mess but contained in the basement. Other family members had wood stoves upstairs. Wood bark, chips, sawdust and ash are a constant clean up effort. Wood for sure is THE BEST feeling heat. But after 30 years of doing it, I moved on.

Pellet heat as far as how it feels is NOT like wood heat, but,,, it's not nearly as bad as forced air, which I hate, or base bored heat, which is marginally better. It's a decent compromise. Pellets have several advantages otherwise over wood. Our guy delivers 5 ton a year on 5 pallets. The pellets come from the factory to our suppliers Barn, (he’s a farmer) where they are stored until they deliver them. The pellets are never exposed to weather. He delivers the pellets right to the point of storage. Two tons directly placed in my garage where I stack them 4 feet away against the wall. And 3 tons at my basement door, where we then cart them in to be stacked in the basement. Bags stack neatly and easily. And one bag = one fill of our pellet stove for 24 hours when 40 and above, and 18 hours when below 40. In other words, I basically mess with my stove 1 or 2 times a day. Pellets are not without cleaning issues. The dust in the bag will,,, well get all over everything which causes us to have to dust frequently. But,,, that’s basically it. No bark, bugs, chips or ash all over. We clean our pellet stove, that is vacuum it out, once every 3 days. And once a month we take the baffle out to clean the heat exchanger. The ash pan also gets vacuumed out. For this, we bought a Cheetah (or cougar, which ever one was the better of the two) ash vac which I highly recommend.

We opted for the Quadrafire Mt Vernon with the mahogany enamel finish. It is the center piece of our living room and heats our 1200 sq ft upstairs. It's an insert in what was a wood fireplace. We LOVE the Mt Vernon. It looks great and destroyed the Fuel Oil bill. We hope to add a second Mt Vernon to the basement wood fire place by next winter.

If you have access to wood that you cut yourself, or you just enjoy cutting wood (Logs delivered), and you enjoy the work which many do, than Wood is just great. If you are looking for an easier process, than Pellets are hands down the way to go. And pellets have the added benefit of being carbon neutral. (I suppose wood is too), however the sawdust that pellets are made out of would be there rather or not there was a use for it. You actually CAN save trees locally, if you are so inclined, by using the sawdust that would be there in any event rather than cutting trees down to burn directly.

Having experienced both, pellets made the most sense for the wife and I. The only part of the stove that gets hot is where the hot air blows out. The cabinet is always cool to the touch, so there is small risk of getting burned. And the pellet stove starts and stops itself and maintains a temp within a 3 degree range as long as you feed it pellets. The wife can dump a 40Lb bag of pellets in the hopper without having to stoke the fire, get smoke in the house or risk getting burned. Pellets really are brilliant and I highly recommend going that route if you are so inclined. There is nothing about burning pellets that is “Bad”. The technology has come a long ways if you are willing to pay for it and it just works very well. But as I started out by saying, the choice is really down to heat preference and lifestyle.
 

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Discussion Starter #70
I've yet to pick up my new stove and pipe to do the installation. Probably by mid April it'll be in.
I have had an uneasy feel about going with pellets due to the shortage.

Has anyone run into this problem.
I know most buy a seasons worth and store them. I was not planning on doing this. I wanted to buy a ton as needed so much storage space is not needed.
Now i'm thinking I should buy at least 4 ton and stock pile it.

Please let me know if anyone has had issues getting pellets, that is if you're not stockpiling.

I'd like to do as I've done with oil, call and get it filled as needed, the same with pellets.

The whole shortage thing bothers me.:thSick:



MU
 

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During winter, the prices are normally higher, and years like this they might be a little harder to find. I don't know if you need to have 4 tons laying around, but I think I would want to have a good ton or two laying around. That way you have reserve if they do get scarce, or have a huge price spike
 

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I'm not a pellet burner, so I don't have direct experience, but I have heard of them getting scarce at times. Personally, I would buy all I thought I needed for the year in late summer. That way you avoid any possible supply issues, and avoid the winter price increases. Also,unless you are palnning of picking up the pellets yourself (can you put a ton in the back of that S10?), it would be cheaper to have them all delivered at once!
 

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we have a pellet stove and we buy 4-5 tons in spring when my local agway has a sale on them. yes there was a shortage about 3-4 weeks ago in wny due to the cold and the local tsc not getting anymore in for the year so everyone got scared, and then in my area if they are stored in the open some people will steal them. most local places around me will store for 10.00 a ton extra when you buy them and sometimes will run a promo for free storage. then you just get what you need.
 

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I know i'm a little late to the party but i burned pellets for a season and wasnt a fan of them, but i grew up burning wood and coal for a short time at my parents house. So i knew of the downfalls of burning wood. I switched from pellets to wood and although it's a royal pain, i prefer it. First off it's tough finding a reliable wood guy. There's plenty of people who sell wood but they either short you or sell you junk. Then there's seasoning it. You need to make sure you get it seasoned or you need to find somewhere for it to season. I typically buy green wood and season it for 2 years so i need to have room for about 16 cords of wood, 8 ready to be burned and 8 for the next year. I found that you really should get what you need to burn for that year very close to the house or in the house so if you get a freak 2' snow storm, you're all set. I bring wood in during the fall so it's right near the stove. It's a pain getting 8 cords of wood into the basement. Then it's the mess it makes. I have a stove that'll take a 30" long and try to burn large pieces so they can be a handful especially half asleep and having a hurt hand or shoulder makes them a real pain to haul over to the stove. But the heat rocks, just ask my cat that sleeps right next to it.

If i knew you'd be in the area i wouldve invited you over to check out my wood stove prior to the purchase just to see it but it's too late now. I intalled my stove piping myself, metalbestos, from scratch which meant cutting holes in my flooring, ceiling and roof to run it. Luckily i was able to build a chase in a large closet so i didn't lose much area in the house. So if you ever need any help or assistance let me know. My buddy is also a building inspector here in Mass so if you ever have any questions i can run them by him but he always requires pellet stoves to be installed per the manufacturers instructions.
 

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We had problems with a shortage in the area, once, about six years ago:

Case 1: Feed store where I normally buy told me that the mfr. had some mechanical problems, and the store had limited the number of bags you can buy in a day. I could still buy pellets, I just had to come in twice as often.

Case 2: Somebody had stolen ten tons - yes TEN TONS - from out in front of a small-chain discount retailer in town, the paper ran all kinds of "shame on you" letters for the next few days.

For us, it was as simple as going to the big-box store a half hour away and getting what we needed. They weren't as good as the feed store's brand, but they worked just fine in a pinch.

I prefer pellets, have burned them for 22 years. I go to the feed store once a week and get as much as I need. Some weeks it's about a dozen bags, some weeks, it's six. I don't have to stockpile them, I can get them most anywhere. One place runs out, there's others. Even the local drugstore carries them.

Shortage lasted about three weeks.

Even so, there are lots of positives: No driving up to the State Forest to cut culls, no dangers of getting crushed by a 'widowmaker', no spending every weekend for a month busting and stacking stubborn stuff that's too knotty to go through a sawmill, no having to make my way across an icy deck to a woodpile, no bugs and other critters (the hitchhiking mouse was REAL fun for my wife) in the house, no falling and nearly breaking my leg while carrying an armload of wood, no yearly ransom to sweep the chimney.

Never going back to cordwood.
 

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Discussion Starter #76
No plans on getting them in the s10. I will get a half ton if needed in it without issue.
Delivery is the way to go for sure.
I called 3 places today and discussed my concerns, Squier where I'm buying stove in Monson Mass. They said in the 20 years selling pellets this is the 2nd time they had issues. Told me same as all here buy what is needed for season. Told them I'd like to buy as needed like oil. They said that's fine and most customers do just that for multiple reasons.
Another place in Terryville Ct. said they ran low but never ran out, also said they have plenty on the way and see no issues whatsoever meeting customer demand.
Last place really did not have much to say other than they have pellets.

I do have the room to store plenty of pellets and most likely will do just that.

Thanks very much for all the input.

MU
 

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I'm pretty excited. I have two fireplaces that were unusable due to water damage (from before I bought place).

Last year sucked. We had propane heater as only heat source. Not only was it expensive, it was also cold. House never got warm. Kept it at 67, but it was a cold 67 if ya know what I mean. I knew I had to do something different this year.

Went back and forth between pellet stove and wood burning stove. Also considered inserts, but it looked too expensive. I really liked the ease of install, and relative reasonable cost of a pellet stove. However, I liked the thought of having a heat source with no power with a wood burner. Plus, I have access to ample wood. However I also have room to store and therefore buy bulk pellets to keep the cost down.

So, I went back and forth.

Found a decent deal on inserts with the install. So, got a wood burning insert in basement and gas upstairs. I am so hyped that I'll have heat even with no power, and also can potentially heat house with wood. Plus, and this will sound dumb (unless you went through something similar to us last winter), I will actually have a place to get warm! Even if it means moving the family to the living room for the night to camp on the floor.

I think they turned out well.

[/QUOTE]

 

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I'm pretty excited. I have two fireplaces that were unusable due to water damage (from before I bought place).

Last year sucked. We had propane heater as only heat source. Not only was it expensive, it was also cold. House never got warm. Kept it at 67, but it was a cold 67 if ya know what I mean. I knew I had to do something different this year.

Went back and forth between pellet stove and wood burning stove. Also considered inserts, but it looked too expensive. I really liked the ease of install, and relative reasonable cost of a pellet stove. However, I liked the thought of having a heat source with no power with a wood burner. Plus, I have access to ample wood. However I also have room to store and therefore buy bulk pellets to keep the cost down.

So, I went back and forth.

Found a decent deal on inserts with the install. So, got a wood burning insert in basement and gas upstairs. I am so hyped that I'll have heat even with no power, and also can potentially heat house with wood. Plus, and this will sound dumb (unless you went through something similar to us last winter), I will actually have a place to get warm! Even if it means moving the family to the living room for the night to camp on the floor.

I think they turned out well.
Wow Full Moon, that looks good! Nice work and good looking units. You should be in great shape this winter.
As noted in my earlier posts, we heat our home with a freestanding wood stove. It is located near the center of the basement.
(Disclaimer - our home is basically a cube - 30' x 30' x30' - and the stairs are lined up from the basement to the top floor - it makes for ideal heat circulation.
Our Lindal cedar home has 9 inch thick walls and the roof is 12 inches thick. The insulated windows and patio doors have a 1/2" insulating gap - see avatar of our self built home).
The wood stove has a blower and we turn on the house geothermal furnace fan and get great heat circulation from the wood stove. Sometimes the upstairs (top floor) gets so hot that the windows need to be opened to have a comfortable temperature.
Normally the geothermal furnace never comes on but we do keep the thermostat set at 55 F just in case the wood stove is not kept on or we are gone for an extended amount of time. Our winter electric bills are extremely low when we utilize this source of heat.
If you don't have a central air circulation option you might use fans to move the warm air from the room with wood insert to the rest of the house.
 

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Discussion Starter #79
Very nice inserts!
I've yet to buy my years supply of pellets. I have a bit over half ton and plan on getting 2 more for starters.
It will be nice as you mentioned having an area to get worm. Our's happens to be in the same room we spend 90% of our time when home and awake.

MU
 

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Yeah johnmarcotte, you have definitely got a good situation there!

I'm sure those pellets are warm munder.

So far I'm really liking the inserts. Granted, it hasn't been "cold" here yet, but it has got to the low 30's, and we don't have plastic over the ancient windows yet.

With just the wood burning insert in the basement going, I have been able to keep the basement very warm, and the upstairs in the low 70's. This has been keeping the insert at the low setting and using nothing else for heat. Last year at these temps, I would have had to bundle up to sit downstairs, and we would have had the furnace on by now.

It took me while to figure out how to load the insert (I'm sure I'll pick up other tips as I go). I've never burnt wood in an insert or stove before. My experience with burning wood has been with campfires and things of that nature. So, I was loading the insert with the wood at an upright angle like you would a campfire. So I couldn't fit much and it would burn up fast. My manual had nothing about how to load it, so realizing this wasn't right, I looked up some stuff on line. Now its a heat pumping machine!
 
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