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Converting Wood Stove to Pellet?

post #1 of 8
Thread Starter 
I don't know if this is just a pipe dream, but maybe some of y'all will know...

I currently have an oil & wood burning stove in my basement (one side is the oil burner, and the other side is the airtight wood stove). Heat travels to the upstairs by hot water radiators in each room (not forced air). Question: Is there any way to convert my existing wood burning portion of the stove into a pellet stove? I'm getting sick of the price of oil (my tank is a 275 gal and I'm filling it about every 1.5 months at around $450-$500 per fill), but I'd rather not burn wood because of safety reasons. From what I've heard and read pellets are much more efficient and enviro friendly. The entire stove is already connected to my chimney, so venting should not be an issue. Does anyone know if this is even possible or practical? In my mind it should work, but in reality I have no idea! I don't know too much about how pellet stoves really work.
post #2 of 8
this might help

.comm link edited
post #3 of 8
If you have no firsthand knowledge to post, please refrain from directing others to google anything.
Give other folks a chance to read the thread and perhaps help.
post #4 of 8
It will not be worth the time or money to do this. Pellets have escalated in price tremendously since Katrina....people became hysterical at the thought of paying more for oil or natural gas, raced out and bought pellet stoves, and did not give consideration to pellet supply. time and time again, people bought pellet stoves saying, "It will pay for itself". Well, pellets went from $175.00 per ton pre Katrina to $250.00 plus right now. the rise in oil prices affected pellets as well, as they are only delivered to retailers via flatbed truck which uses, you guessed it, oil (diesel fuel). If you want to promote energy independence and give Hugo Chavez the middle finger, then find a reliable pellet supplier and buy a pellet stove. If you are looking just to save money, pellets are not the way to go. Oh yeah, corn is now going through the roof as well because of the ethanol craze. They ***** the bed on that one too.
post #5 of 8
as a follow-up, I used a fuel cost calculator on a pellet stove web site to come up some numbers. The assumptions are based on pellets at $250.00 per ton, and fuel oil at $2.25 per gallon:

$20.60 per Million BTU of Heat delivered to home
$1,957.00 per year for normal home for Oil

$23.03 per Million BTU of Heat delivered to home
$2,187.85 per year for normal home for Pellets

Add in electricity costs to run the pellet stove, time spent picking up the pellets and stacking, storing and moving them, cleaning the stove, summerizing the stove, etc etc and you can see that pellets are no longer the most economical heating choice. Surprisingly, the cheapest heat source today is coal, and it is amazingly clean. Coal stoves crank heat out like there's no tomorrow, and run for days on a single hopper load.
post #6 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, thanks a ton!! That is the info I was looking for. Just looking for other options now (not for this year, but maybe down the line).

By the way, I do believe my wood stove will burn coal too. It's one of those all-in-one sort of deals. Oil burner on one side, wood/coal box on the other. It's a heavy duty thick airtight steel box with a metal grate on the bottom, so I don't see why it shouldn't burn coal too. So maybe that is the way to go? Where do you even get coal from nowadays? What is the avg price per ton (or whatever a load is)? Thanks!
post #7 of 8
coal prices are updated on www dot hearth dot com. In pennsylvania, it goes for 120-180 per ton delivered. Not sure in NJ, but it is available. Pellets are actually increasing in price again, as the big box stores are not getting in new shipments and cold weather has settled in. People who did not stock up are now scrambling, and where there is low supply and high demand, you have higher prices. I bought my supply in August when it was 100 degrees out.....
post #8 of 8
Thread Starter 
Ok, thanks!
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