possible homestead/pellet stove as primary heat?

Discussion in 'Homesteading Questions' started by Nick53, Feb 20, 2004.

  1. Nick53

    Nick53 Well-Known Member

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    Hello all, just yesterday I went to a showing of a house in the town that I currently reside. It's a foreclosed, 100+ year old home that is currently listed at $49,900. It needs some new flooring, and insulation, but the basic structure appears to be good to me, mainly cosmetics. It's described on the listing sheet as "farm house" style of building, and I do like the layout of the house. It's approx. 850 sq. ft., which is more than enough room for myself. It's on about a third of an acre per the tax records, but they only say less than a quarter acre on the listing sheet, so i'm not real sure about the actual lot size, but it looks like a nice sized lot. Lots of room for a garden and a few dwarf fruit trees and some grape vines, and who knows what else. OK, now on to my actual question for this post: This house comes with one natural gas space heater for the entire house. If I were to take that heater out and replace it with a pellet/corn stove, would I see a substantial heat bill savings over the course of the year, and would one of these stoves provide sufficient heat for a house of this size? A little more about the house: It's in my home town as stated, which is a town of about 3,500 people. The property is located right next to the railroad that runs through town, but is very rarely used anymore. Do you think that poses any sort of issues that i'm over looking? Here's the link to the listing on realtor.com for those interested. http://www.realtor.com/Prop/1032462977?lnksrc=00045 Thank you for all replies and responses, and sorry about the length of this post.

    Thanks again,
    Nick
     
  2. rambler

    rambler Well-Known Member Supporter

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    It's gonna depend, if you are in Florida fine, if in minnesota then you have problems?

    Some corn stoves need to shut down, cool off, & be cleaned every 3-7 days - that would _not_ work for me here in MN as the sole heat source when it's minus 20 F.

    Ecconomicly, a real wood stove & you cut your own wood really saves money - trade labor for heat. Buying pellets is not all that cheap any more. Corn stove would be great for me because I raise corn, you would need to but it & folks seem to want to mark it up a lot for those of you who need to buy it in 56# bags.....

    How is the house set up for chimneys, can you vent the propane out the side & use the chimney for the wood/pellet/corn stove? Having both would be ideal. But again, I die (or lose $1000's of dollars of plumbing at the least) without heat in my climate, so this is a valubale, important deal. Don't know what your climate is, might just be a convienience for you....

    --->Paul
     

  3. Nick53

    Nick53 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the reply rambler. I'm in wisconsin, and the winters can and are cold, so my thought was to also get a small vermont castings "aspen" wood stove as supplement heat/emergency heat. I suppose I could also go the route of keeping the gas heater, and then installing the wood stove as supplemental heat. The only thing is i'm not sure about the carbon monoxide issues of the older space heater. I would also feel better using the pellet/corn stove as those are renewable resources, whereas the gas is not, so i'm still up in the air as to what to do about this property.

    thanks
    nick
     
  4. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Not only will location but type of windows will play at lot into what you can heat. Granted 850sqft isnt much but it looks like there is a second floor so you need enough heat to get upstairs.


    Also what is the availability of pellets? Around here they are found only a few locations and are rather expensive based on BTU's per bag.

    Also Can you put a stove in that house? Will the chimney support a full time heatsource? What is your lifestyle like, will you get gone for periods longer than the corn hopper will suppoort? What about the stove downtime corn is a bit messy to cleanup and the stove will need to cool down.

    My gut reaction is to leave what is there. If the cost of gas is to high, I would suggest upgrading the windows and doors and then see how the gas does.
     
  5. Nick53

    Nick53 Well-Known Member

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    Thanks Gary, the windows are not real old, but not real old. My thoughts on getting heat upstairs was to intall a vent in each of the two rooms upstairs in the floor, and putting the pellet stove in about the same location as the gas one, which is in the living room. I think that the upstairs must've gotten a little cool in the winter, as the only way to get heat up there was up the stairs. No vents or anything. As to my lifestyle, I am very much a home body, enjoy being at home. The last time I was away for more than 8 hours or so was last august when I went camping. I don't think I've been gone overnight in the winter time for a lot of years if ever. (I'm only 21, so I was in school all fall through spring, but I don't plan on taking any winter vacations ever really, and all family is within a 20 minute drive.) As to availability, the local hardware store carries them and appears to keep a very good stock of them, I have to check on exact prices though. Hope this answers some of your questions, and thanks again!!

    Nick
     
  6. Gary in ohio

    Gary in ohio Well-Known Member Supporter

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    NIck, Not only check the price but know how long a bag will last at a specific tempature.. Also one other item you might want to look into. Since the house already has gas you may not be able to get rid of the gas bill completely. A gas bill is made up of serveral parts including a REQUIRED connect feed. You may find you still need to pay a fee to have the gas line on your property. And again make sure your chimney support a hotter burning device. Gas furnaces often vent from smaller pipes, metal lined in some cases since the heat going up a chimney is much lower than a stove.
     
  7. Hoop

    Hoop Well-Known Member

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    I haven't see the house, but at $50k, unless the house is a real money pit needing all kinds of work, you can hardly go wrong. Being that the house is 100 years old, there more than likely will be some needed items needing repair/replacement. Have a home inspector give it the once over before you submit your offer. It will at least let you know where you stand.

    I am familiar with your location. You'll pay more in rent....and have nothing....than you will for this house, which will eventually provide you with some equity. Its doubtful you could find a 3 bedroom house to rent in your town for under $500/month.

    Your heat source is quite likely substandard. But if its vented properly and hooked up right, it will suffice until you're ready to upgrade. The fact that the house was foreclosed means some other items may be on there "last legs".

    With your "in town" location and quite likely, limited storage, I'd suggest the purchase of a new high efficiency gas (propane or Natural gas) after you've added more blown in insulation to the attic.