Pellet Stove: A Final decision on how I’m going to heat my home (I am SO Excited!!)

Jul 30 2018
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Why a pellet stove turned out to be the answer to all of my worries. Well, it happened, we are well past the halfway point of summer and everyone I know (including my chipmunks, birds and especially myself) are flying into a panic screaming, “WINTER IS COMING!!!!” I still have one heckuva long list to complete by the time the snow flies but one of the only things that HAD to be done is in the works!

(I am SO sorry to be using pictures of winter in July – none of us need to be reminded of what’s to come! But they were fitting for the topic so…)


As most of you know I have been heating my entire house with wood and I am so totally over it! After hauling wood 300 feet from the wood shed to my stove for four months and ALWAYS coming home to a freezing cold house.




This wasn’t my idea – I am SO DONE.

(My ex husband had decided that a big radiant wood stove in the middle of the kitchen was a great idea…)

The majority of my home was never much above 40 degrees this entire last winter while my kitchen was usually around 90+. Radiant heat means there is no blower or anything to move the heat around so basically I just got a 900 pound iron box molten lava hot and hoped for the best for four months.

During the coldest times of this last winter I was running home on my lunch break to feed the fire. There was never a single moment when I wasn’t simultaneously in a total blind panic about two things:

ONE – getting home before my house froze

TWO – burning my house down.


In less then three days of cleaning my entire house I could literally wipe my hand over my kitchen table and my palm would be BLACK with ash. I text my best friend in the dead of winter, “Its like I’m living in a crematorium!”

Not to mention hauling wood through my dining room and kitchen almost every day for four months – just the amount of wood chips and bark alone…

And my poor back and body!

The last month of “winter” we saw lows down to nearly 0, over a foot of snow and I heated my home entirely with electric. (Because I was totally over hauling wood lol) Was it expensive? Yes, of course it was, but it was possible.

However, if it got much colder I wouldn’t be comfortable depending on only the two electric heaters I installed during the renovation. (The “new” style of electric baseboards that I have also include blowers. They’re pretty darned nifty, they’re easy to install and inexpensive to buy.)

So, I purchased another one and installed it in my living room.

With that done I know for a fact I can heat my entire home with electricity and, just getting to that point – knowing that I could go totally without wood FOR REAL, is such a weight off of me.

(And a good thing too because I’ve already sold my wood stove lol)

But it would be expensive to run, so I still wanted something more affordable besides. After a whole heckuva lot of himming, hawwing, research and talking to everyone I know about it, I finally decided on what I’m going to do.

Deciding on a pellet stove to heat my home besides my electric baseboard heat which I installed myself. Cleaner burning for a minnesota winter.

Image copyright Harman Stoves

I am going to go with a pellet wood stove.

Pellet stoves are a far cleaner and greener heat and they even have their own thermostat and a blower!

I will literally be able to fill it up and leave for DAYS without having to worry about it AT ALL. And with my electric heaters set to kick on in the case that my pellet stove runs out of pellets I will literally, finally, have a source of “normal” heat for my home.

I’m SO excited 🙂

And it will be affordable! After running the figures the pellet stove is going to save me an average of $2,000 a year on heat!

My local Heat Source company in town came out, gave me a quote and it turns out I have even more to be excited about than I considered.

You see pellet stoves don’t require near the clearance of wood stoves so I won’t need to have it in the middle of my kitchen. I can actually abandon my chimney (which scared me to death this winter) and have them install the pellet stove somewhere else.

So, where am I going to put it?

Beside my kitchen sink 🙂 And that means I can extend my “wood shed” that is under the stairs, move the door to access it to where my wood stove was and add a TON more storage to my kitchen. It will literally give me nearly 5 more feet of kitchen beside my cook stove!

On top of that by making the closet under my staircase bigger I’m going to be able to store ALL of my wood pellets for the WHOLE winter in there too! Woop Woop!!!!!

So here’s how my kitchen looks now and then a 3D rendering of how its GOING to look.

Kitchen reveal at the Grandma's House DIY home tour! 15 months of renovation, remodeling a custom country kitchen with a cast iron sink after a full gut.

In the floor plan you can kinda see that in the extra several feet of wall space in my kitchen (by my cook stove) I’ve already decided to put my Grandparents’ hutch.

That beautiful old hutch was a constant in their kitchen and, currently, its not more than a couple of feet from where it lived for DECADES.

Its one thing to keep a piece for sentimental reasons but it really makes it special to me if I can actually USE it and make it a part of my every day life!

So, my new pellet stove will be arriving and getting installed in just the next couple of weeks. I already installed my new electric heater, an outlet for the pellet stove and I am forcing myself to wait on the house renovations lol.

I have to constantly remind myself to WAIT for winter for inside work no matter how excited I may be!!

A few resources I used to help me make my final decision:
Clean Heat (This Old House)
Forum at
Pellet-fired Heating: the dream heating system

Guys, for real though, for the first time in the entire time I’ve lived here I’m going to be coming home to a warm house in the winter!

Deciding on a pellet stove to heat my home besides my electric baseboard heat which I installed myself. Cleaner burning for a minnesota winter.


  1. jan
    July 30, 2018 at 6:14 am

    Great Info. I’ve been thinking about what I can do for backup heat in my all electric home and this might be it. I’m going to investigate getting a pellet fireplace insert.

    • July 30, 2018 at 9:14 am

      Hi Jan, I will be writing at least one more post here once this winter hits and I start to use it etc. I’m really looking forward to it and I’m very excited but, of course, I’m also nervous lol because it is a lot of money.

  2. Kathy from CT
    July 30, 2018 at 6:22 am

    We have a pellet stove & LOVE it. Though we go thru a little more than 3 tons of pellets a year, we make sure we have at least 4 tons at the beginning of each season. The only thing I was uncomfortable with was if our elkids citric went out, we would have no heat — Pellet or electric baseboard. So we saved up & finally got a whole-house generator. Of course, we haven’t lost power since then. Oh, we put little fans in certain doorways to pull the heat into other rooms. You will love it.

    • July 30, 2018 at 9:17 am

      Hi Kathy, you just hit the nail on the head about my biggest worry. If my electricity went out last year I still had heat because I was heating with wood so, now I’m just taking the plunge and hope I don’t regret it lol! Its sounding like I’ll be using about 2 tons to heat my home but I’m really anxious to get through the first winter so then I can actually know much its gonna take. I’m pretty sure I’m gonna love it!

  3. Jenny Young
    July 30, 2018 at 12:23 pm

    Jan, a wood pellet stove does need electricity to run so you can’t use it for a back up. We loved ours anyway. We used propane for back up.

    • July 30, 2018 at 12:44 pm

      Hi Jenny, yep I know a lot of folks decide to get generators just for that reason! Thank you for coming by 🙂

  4. July 30, 2018 at 5:18 pm

    HaVE you explored the non-electric pellet stoves?
    This is the direction I’m going – I don’t want to be dependent on any electricity for heat.
    One never knows when electricity is down and then you’re back to freezing!
    Worth the look … Much more efficient and comprehensive heating. Best!

    • August 1, 2018 at 9:10 am

      I didn’t even know they made those! I will definitely ask my heat source guy about that as my pellet stove won’t be getting installed for another month! Thank you!

  5. July 31, 2018 at 5:25 pm

    I love checking in on you and seeing what you are up to. I cannot believe how much you have done. I am so impressed. I hope that the Pellet Stove works out well for you. I feel your pain in worrying about if the wood was going to burn out before you got home and basically having a freezing house! Thanks for sharing at Inspire Me Monday.

    • August 1, 2018 at 9:13 am

      Thank you Amy, its all one little step at a time but I really feel like I’m FINALLY moving in the right direction lol!

  6. July 31, 2018 at 10:18 pm

    Yeah for Tarah! That’s awesome. I use to rent a home that was so freaking cold I bought a white winter coat special to sleep in. I know how important warmth is especially after a long day. Good for you.

    Second bonus of five more feet of cupboard space, I am jealous. Congrats

    • August 1, 2018 at 9:20 am

      Leanna I don’t know I would have survived without my heating blanket, I was debating showering at my day job because 52 degrees is darned chilly to be naked in lol! Yeah really looking forward to a far less stressful home this winter.

  7. Sandy
    August 5, 2018 at 8:52 am

    You will love your pellet stove, we switched from wood stove to pellets and it was great!! So much cleaner! Yes, the electricity thing was a concern but with a generator, you are covered.

    • August 6, 2018 at 8:57 am

      Thank you Sandy, its such a relief to here others have had good experiences too! I can’t wait!

  8. Carrie Krumrie
    August 5, 2018 at 11:27 am

    Once upon a time, I lived in a rental, which really had not much insulation.
    My Best Buy, while I lived there, was LL Bean floor length down coat!
    Not to mention drop seat red like long johns and flannel night shirts!!
    I know you can just imagine this Southern Lady, going to the door, going to the car!!!
    I loved that old house!!! I truly did!!! But I moved after 6 years! I endured ice storms, no gas heat!
    But I would wrap up in my down coat and wait it out!!!
    What fun or at least, great stories of women’s endurance!!!
    Enjoy the rest of your summer!!! Winter will be there soon!!!!

    • August 6, 2018 at 8:58 am

      Thank you Carrie, at one point I went to bed with a beanie hat on lol long johns basically never came off except for showers!

  9. August 8, 2018 at 8:08 am

    That’s exciting! My parents have been thinking about getting a pellet stove too. I wouldn’t mind having one when we build a new house, although I wouldn’t use it as much here in Florida.

    Thank you for sharing on the Homestead Blog Hop.

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