I’ve burned wood (and oil) in my home(s) for 40 years. I’ve gone through three chainsaws. One was too small, the second was crushed by a falling tree (don’t ask) and the third was off limits after I got a pacemaker (one year ago).
I have numerous burn scars from loading logs into fireboxes and accidentally brushing against the HOT iron or steel. I’ve purchased firewood from a guy using a draft horse, our own property and in one case a questionable location at a major development.
Anyone that heats with firewood know how it heats you three or four times, cutting it , splitting it . moving it and finally feeling that warmth. The warmth is wonderful, the rest not so “hot”.
It seemed we were always doing the hardest work in the dead of summer, wondering if it would ever be cold again. But in New Hampshire, Winter happens!
Even though I was burning wood in my basement and the room directly above was a comfy 70 degrees, the damn oil burner would cycle on and off. It was heating water and funneling cash to the Middle East and offshore Oil Rigs. There had to be a better way.
It was expensive but I finally decided on a Pellet Boiler made in Pennsylvania USA, fueled by wood pellets from USA forests and produced by our neighbors in Jaffrey. I had it plumbed by local folks too.
The oil burner hasn’t fired since it was started (That is not exactly true, the igniter was late today and the oil burner started).
Pellet Power is for tinkerers. There is a lot of moving parts, a lot that can go wrong. A lot of cleaning. But they are direct vented, highly efficient, quiet compared to a oil burner.
Did I mention the physical challenges? How many TONS of pellets do I need? The oil delivery man would pump it in. But I carry these 40 pound bags. The good news is that one bag seems to be good for 24 hours.
0 degree weather is predicted for this week. I’ll be seeing how this unit does with that. I suspect this will be an ongoing topic on this blog.
|My daily chore, scraping the burn pot|
|Control panel of the Harman Hydroflex 60
It puts Walter White’s Meth Lab to shame
|The unit is tall and takes little space|
|On a tour of New England Pellets in 2009 (NEWP)
Bulk delivery is for the serious
Our New Ipswich elementary schools, Warwick Mills all use Pellet heat
|This would be awesome to have on reserve|
|I was on a official tour in 2009, long before I became a consumer
Not sure who this was, might be an owner of NEWP
|Interesting place but big mistake to visit in August, hotter than hell|
|Pellets to dry more pellets|
|Grab and fling|
|Obviously Natural Gas is the way to go, but Pellet pricing looks pretty good for those of us without gas lines
One helpful forum for heating with wood is the site http://www.hearth.com
I recommend Ken’s informative and entertaining book for Newbies to the this technology