As Autumn arrives it gets colder fast up here in "mountainville" and I have been researching ways to heat my home that would add ambiance but not hurt the environment and that's when i Discovered Pellet Stoves! In case you haven't heard, Pellet Stoves, they look like modern pot belly stoves but they are designed to burn wood pressed pellets, many of them from sawdust or beetle destroyed trees. They aren't cheap (anywhere from 2,000 to 8,000 dollars) but they burn so clean there is virtually no visible emission and no EPA restrictions.
After hours of research starting with Consumer Reports, Hearth.com, and a gazillion forums, I narrowed my choice the Harman Pellet Stove p68. Not only was the P68 Consumer Reports' first choice it was nearly everyone on every forum (except for the people who bought something different and were standing by their choice).
My decision was rather selfish in that I did NOT want to live in this part of the snowy world and not have some fire happening and honestly, I feel guilty when I burn logs and weird with gas fireplaces (just the whole fossil fuel thing) and pellets just seemed "doable".
Shopping around for a Pellet Stove is made easy by first deciding on the one you want. Not all dealers carry the same line, in fact, I found that if they carry one of the big names, they are less likely to carry a complete assortment. The Harmon Site will tell you where you can get one in your area and I had two choices. Front Range Fireplace and Stove or Spa Brokers. Of course the first thing I did was check the Better Business Bureau for both and was fine with what I saw. I was a little put off by the name of Spa Brokers - It just conjures up images of something other than Fireplace - heart/home themes but you have to figure they're doing something right to be referred by the manufacturer.
The Owner (though he doesn't let you know that he is) of FRF&S contacted ME first because I signed up for the 300 dollar rebate promotion. This is a copy of his letter:
Yes, he writes in all caps and it's a little infuriating because 1. it makes him seem oafish (and he's not) and we are conditioned to see that as yelling (which he probably is).
Both companies sent estimators out, but by far Front Rang Fireplace and Stove made me the most comfortable and eager to please. Spa Brokers took a week to get back with me and when they did call said they would only be there 20 more minutes. Ewww. If they took that long to get back to me (after I called and left two messages) imagine if I needed the machine serviced?
They come tomorrow so today I have to get some tile laid and I contacted my trusty carpenter so he could come today and lay it. Here's a " before" picture. I'm going to take one later to show you the progress and then you can share the suspense with me.