Friday, October 28, 2011


I fired up the pellet stove on the other end of the house this morning. It got down to 37 degrees this morning with another light frost. It's supposed to be 32 degrees Sunday morning so I thought I better start warming this big ole barn up again. I say that affectionately.

We used it very little last winter and I found out why. We had a small bird nest in the chimney, just big enough to keep the air flow down so the stove wouldn't get hot enough to stay lit or catch that nest on fire.

It's been a very fickle stove since the day we bought it. It is a perfect example of buying into new technology too early. I still think most of the problem is the location of the stove and the chimney. It's on a south wall and the winds hit the chimney and the chimney is not straight through the wall like a clothes dryer is vented and a pellet stove should be vented.

It was sold to me as a corn burner, too, and it is really a glorified pellet stove. It burns pellets nicely and will corn too if the corn is clean and gas dried down to a low temperature. I don't own an operational gas fired corn dryer. I have the old StorMor in bin dryer from 1970 but couldn't justify rebuilding the rusty bin and dryer so it's still there taking up space. I really need to do something about that but I never seem to have enough extra cash to tackle it. That's another story.

Somehow though I was able to run a few gravity bed loads of corn through that stove until I got totally frustrated trying to keep it running 2 years ago. Corn price went up, pellets didn't so I switched to pellets which are just as cheap to burn now.

If you put in a pellet or grain stove in, my recommendation is to make sure you vent it straight out the wall and don't try to vent it into a chimney that goes up in the air. Stoves installed straight through seem to have no problems and all the problems you hear come from trying to vent it up a chimney although I am sure some people got lucky and do that well.

It's nice to have the cold side of the house heated again but it is a signal that winter is near. I haven't lit the big Vermont Defiant but that won't be long, either. When it stays 32 or so and lower all the time, I use both stoves and keep the ole barn toasty warm, 4 bricks thick and no insulation.

I am burning a little propane in the furnace now and don't have to get up and stoke the stove yet. That cost me about 5% of the 500 gallon tank sitting next to the north side of the house so far this month.

That's a cheap price to pay for the convience of heat during harvest season.


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