Frequently Asked Questions


Pellet Stove Questions and Answers

There are several factors that will impact how well a home is heated with a wood or pellet stove.

Each stove varies in efficiency, measured in BTUs or British Thermal Units. Harman pellet stoves range from 43,ooo BTU up to 68,000 BTU. The heat output is quite efficient and will provide optimal heat.

Home conditions will effect heat. An open floor plan allows for better airflow than a closed floor plan will. The condition of windows and insulation will impact heat retention and heat loss.

Weather conditions play a role in home heating. Wood stoves and pellet stoves do a tremendous job warming homes on cool New England days. Most wood stoves and pellet stoves do a great job heating homes even under the coolest of conditions of harsh winter weather.

A wood stove or pellet stove properly selected for your home’s size and condition can provide ample heat output to heat most homes.

A pellet stove can heat an entire home, yet it can not be the primary source. Massachusetts building code considers a primary heat source one that is permanently installed and used to provide heat to the entire structure by means of a central furnace or boiler.

Wood pellets come in a large variety of qualities and prices. Harman Stoves can burn any pellet. Check with your manufacturer for specific recommendations.

Wood pellets that burns in a lower range at or below 8000 BTU heat output: Lower quality/lower BTU pellets generally are yield a higher ash content, requiring more cleaning during the burning season. Lower BTU pellets come at a lower price.

Wood pellets that burn at the highest range of 8700 to 8800 plus BTU heat output: These pellets can produce a significantly lower ash content, requiring a lot less cleaning during the burning season. A high BTU pellet is more efficient. The quality of the pellet is reflected with a higher price.

Deciding which pellet is best for you is a factor of price, desired heat output and maintenance. You can decide your comfort level.

A pellet stove can be installed in a home that does not have a fireplace. There are two options for installing a pellet stove without a masonry fireplace.

A freestanding pellet stove can be installed in a home by venting it to the outside with pellet stove pipe through a wall or roof. This allows for flexibility as to where the stove is installed in the home.

A pellet insert can be installed into a zero-clearance application, which is construction of a “dog house” type unit designed to hold and vent a pellet insert properly. A finished installation can provide the look and feel of a real fireplace.

Wood Stove Questions and Answers

The glass must be completely cool for cleaning. Use a soft cloth and a glass cleaner specially formulated for wood stove glass (available at Kirley). Products containing ammonia may damage the glass. Don’t scrape the glass with any sharp or abrasive objects. Scratches can compromise the integrity and strength of the glass.

It is important to replace the door gasket yearly for combustion, efficiency and safety. To change the gasket, remove the existing gasket. Clean the area, apply a high temperature silicon specific for stove use. Install the new gasket and let it set for 24 hours before burning the stove.

Wood should be properly seasoned. Wood should be cut, split and covered for approximately 1 to 1.5 years before it is properly seasoned. Moisture should be at 18 to 25% when it is ready for use, which can be measured with a moisture meter. If the moisture is too low, it may make it difficult to control the burn. If the moisture is too high, it can create creosote issues.

While curing wood, storage should be in in a sunny, dry area. Stacked wood needs airflow – not a plastic cover. A tent or dry shed works well as a loose cover that allows for airflow. Wood stored under poor conditions may not necessarily be dry, even if it has been cut for several years.