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Helpful Hints

Chimney Kraft is ready to assist you in choosing the most suitable and appropriate heating appliance for your home.

Fuel Considerations

Wood Heat

Requires planning ahead and having a dry wood supply at all times. Labor intensive and includes cutting, stacking, and splitting firewood. Must clean out ash buildup. Minimum yearly chimney cleaning important to avoid fire danger.

Pellet Heat

Requires a dry place to store pellet fuel supply. For best pricing, purchase a one year supply prior to the beginning of each cold season. Requires cleaning the ash pan once per week. A professional yearly clean is highly recommended to properly keep all motors working efficiently.

Kerosene Heat – Monitors and Toyotomi Heaters

Requires an outside wall for installation. An outdoor gravity-fed fuel tank is required for fuel storage. Must keep track of fuel consumption to avoid running out of fuel. Recommended yearly professional cleaning.

Oil, Gas & Electric Heat – Furnace/Central Air

Oil & Gas require an outdoor fuel tank for fuel storage. All furnaces require ducting throughout the home. A thermostat is used to control indoor temperature. Furnaces will not operate during a power outage.

LP Gas Heat

Requires outdoor propane tank for fuel storage. Runs clean but one of the more costlier ways to heat a home. Gas stoves require very little maintenance. Can run using a thermostat and will conveniently operate during a power outage.

Electric Heat –Heat Pump

One of the most efficient systems you can buy to heat your home. Lower energy consumption means saving energy and paying lower power bills compared to other heating options. Electric heat pumps provide a consistently comfortable temperature and eliminate the need for a humidifier to fight the "dry air feel" produced by furnaces. Most heat pumps are quieter than their counterpart heating systems due to the air compressor being located outside the building, reducing the noise levels. Generally recommended for mild temperate climates that rarely drop below freezing, and are found to be ideal for coastal territories. They will not operate during a power outage. A yearly service check is recommended.

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De-Mystification of FUEL

Propane: 1 Gallon = 4.23 lbs. = 35.97 cubic feet

1 Gallon – 93,000 BTU’s

Oil: 1 Gallon = 140,000 BTU’s

Electricity: 1 Kilowatt/hr = 3,412 BTU’s

Pellets: 40 Lb. Bag = 330,000 BTU’s

In BTU’s
1.505 Gallons of Propane = 1 gallon of Oil

41.03 Kilowatts = 1 Gallon of Oil

27.26 Kilowatts = 1 Gallon of Propane

96.71 Kilowatts = 40 lbs. Pellets

2.357 Gallons of Oil = 40 Lbs. Of Pellets

3.55 Gallons of Propane = 40 Lbs. Of Pellets

To figure out cost per year we will use 28,000,000 BTU’s per year -This is for an average size home that is well insulated

8203.33 Kilowatts per year @ .11 = $902.70

301.08 Gallons of Propane per year X 3.4 = $1023.67

200 Gallons of Oil per year X 3.80 = $760.00

1.7 Tons or 86.7 Bags of Pellets per year X 4.75 = $411.83

All figures based on 100% efficiency

April 2008

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To Measure amount of fuel left in your 220 gallon tank:
  • Take a dowel and mark every inch with a line.
  • Dip dowel down into tank (44” high for 220 gallon tank).
  • Count the lines on stick that are wet from fuel.
  • Multiply that number by five for the amount of gallons left in tank*.

*Every inch represents 5 gallon of fuel.

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Heating Cost Explanation
    Unit = KWH (kilowatt hour: 1000 watts for one hour)
    BTU’s = 3413 per KWH
    Efficiency = 100%
    BTU’s produced per KWH – 3413
    To achieve 1,000,000 BTU’s, you need 293 KWH
    Multiplier = 293

Heating Oil:
    Unit = Gallon
    BTU’s = 115,620 per gallon
    Efficiency = 90% (Approximation – this is net efficiency, 
                      not combustion efficiency)
    BTU’s produced per gallon = 104,058 (At 90% efficiency)
    To achieve 1,000,000 BTU’s, you need 9.61 gallons
    Multiplier = 9.61

    Unit = Gallon
    BTU’s = 91,500 per gallon (4 lbs per gallon)
    Efficiency = 82% (Approximation – this is net efficiency, 
                      not combustion efficiency)
    BTU’s produced per gallon = 75, 030 (At 82% efficiency)
    To achieve 1,000,000 BTU’s, you need 13.32 gallons
    Multiplier = 13.32

Natural Gas:
    Unit = Therm
    BTU’s = 100,000 per therm (100 cubic feet = 1 Therm)
    Efficiency = 80% (Approximation – this is net efficiency, 
	              not combustion efficiency)
    BTU’s produced per Therm = 80,000 (At 80% efficiency)
    To achieve 1,000,000 BTU’s, you need 12.5 Therms
    Multiplier = 12.5

    Unit = Ton
    BTU’s = 7,000 per pound, 14,000,000 per ton
    Efficiency = 80% (Approximation – this is net efficiency, 
	              not combustion efficiency)
    BTU’s produced per ton = 11,200,000 (At 80% efficiency)
    To achieve 1,000,000 BTU’s, you need .089 Ton
    Multiplier = 0.089

Cord Wood:
    Unit = Cord
    BTU’s = 19, 000,000 Cord (alder a fairly low BTU wood)
    Efficiency = 71.7% (Liberty EPA efficiency - this is net 
	                efficiency, not combustion efficiency)
    BTU’s produced per cord = 13,623,000 (At 71.7% efficiency)
    To achieve 1,000,000 BTU’s you need .073 cords
    Multiplier = .073

© 2006 Travis Industries

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EPA Rating for Wood and Pellet Stoves

Lopi Wood Stoves:				April 2009
Leyden                      87.4%
Answer                      77.7%
Republic 1250               77.7%
Republic 1750               79.5%
Endeavor                    79.5%
Liberty                     75.2%
Lopi Wood Stove Inserts:
Answer                      77.7%
Declaration                 83.5%
Revere                      79.5%
Freedom                     78.1%
Freedom Bay                 75.2%
Walden                      83.5%
Lopi Pellet Stoves:
Leyden                      78.5%
Pioneer                     84.5%
Yankee                      82.3%
Yankee Bay                  86.8%  
Lopi Pellet Stove Inserts:
Pioneer Bay                 82.0%

If the IRS accepts the proposed government standards recommendations
from the Hearth, Patio and Barbeque Association and Environmental
Protection Agency – we have determined the following Fireplace
Xtrordinairwood stoves and wood stove inserts will easily exceed
the 75%-efficiency standard.  See below chart for efficiency data:

Fireplace Xtrordinair Wood Stoves:
36 Elite                     91.4% 
44 Elite                     92.4%
33 Elite                     83.5%

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EPA Certified Wood List

Here is the Environmental Protection Agency's Certified Wood List:

Certified Wood List (PDF)

This requires Adobe Acrobat. A copy of their free Acrobat Reader can be obtained by clicking on the following logo:

Adobe Acrobat Icon

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Pellet Stove Maintenance

If you've had a PELLET STOVE installed …it's important to get into a regular habit of cleaning it to get the best performance from your appliance. Always refer to your owners manual for proper cleaning instructions and frequency. Below are a few general tips and areas to watch out for.

Burn Pot

Check the burn pot every day and clean it periodically to keep the air inlets open. How often you need to clean the burn pot depends on the type and grade of fuel you're using. Check your manual for details.

The burn pot is the stove's carburetor, mixing the air and the fuel to enable combustion. As in a car, the correct adjustment of the air and fuel rates is crucial to getting top performance. When your stove is running normally you should see a bright yellow or white flame. You may also notice a white or gray build up of ash on the glass on high burn and a darker fluffy ash on low burn: this is normal. But if the flame is orange and sooty or there's a build up of a brown caramel-like substance, then you need to take some action because your stove isn't burning efficiently.

Some stoves are equipped with air dampers or adjustable feed openings that you can adjust yourself. Other model stoves will require adjustment to the control board, which may require a qualified technician.

Another problem to watch for is a buildup of clinkers in the firebox. Clinkers are formed from ash that has melted and then hardened. If ash in the burn pot starts to melt it can block the air holes of the incoming air and upset the mixture of air and fuel. Incorrect adjustment of the air to fuel ratio can greatly increase the likelihood of clinker formation. This is due to the stove1s inability to adequately burn the excess fuel and remove the excess ash that is building up in the burn pot. Clinkers are easily removed, even while the stove is in operation, by using the ash tool or rake that comes with your pellet stove.

Ash Drawer

Empty the ash drawer before starting a new fire and occasionally by interrupting stove operation. How you need to empty the ash drawer during operation of the stove depends on the type of fuel and the stove design. Typically this will be once or twice a week, but may be monthly in some new designs.

Heat Exchanger

Also located in the combustion chamber is the heat exchanger which is designed to transfer the heat being produced by the burning fuel in the burn pot into clean hot air for distribution into the home. This is usually done by a chamber or a series of tubes located in the firebox that the hot air and gases pass over, heating the outside of the chamber before exiting the stove. Fresh air is passed through the inside of the chamber, drawing the heat out of the stove and into the room. For maximum efficiency the surface of the heat exchanger should be cleaned regularly. The frequency of these cleanings will depend on your stove design and may range from daily to monthly. Refer to your owner's manual for cleaning instructions. On some stoves, cleaning is simply a matter of moving a rod that scrapes the tubes inside the stove. Other stoves, however, may require professional service.

Ash Traps

These are chambers located behind the fire chamber, which prevents excess fly ash in the exhaust from exiting the stove. In some designs owners can easily access them for ash removal. Other designs require professional service.


Clean with glass cleaner when the glass is completely cool on stoves with effective air wash systems. May require more vigorous methods on others.

Hopper and Auger

Check for accumulated sawdust materials (fines). The fuel in the hopper and auger tube should be run out occasionally to prevent auger blockage by fines.

Cleaning the Venting System and Other Difficult Components

Most owners have the venting systems of their stoves cleaned by professionals. However, you may want to tackle it yourself if you're handy, thoroughly knowledgeable, and have the right equipment.

If the vent pipe becomes blocked some smoke may leak into your home. Most pellet burning appliances have a safety switch that will interrupt their operation and keep any exposure to a minimum.

Motors and fans need occasional cleaning and may need lubricating. Using the wrong lubricant or wrong amount of lubricant, however, can damage components. Some components that have to be removed for service need gaskets to be replaced. Gaskets for the fire chamber door, ash pan door, and hopper lid (on some designs) may need replacing occasionally to keep the seals tight.


If you notice dirty or sooty burning in the combustion chamber, here are some possible remedies:

  • Check the adjustment of air dampers if your stove is so equipped.
  • Remove any excess ash, carbon or clinkers from the burn pot.
  • Clean any air filters or air inlets to the appliance.
  • Remove the burn pot (if possible) and clean the air openings in the burn grate.
  • Check the burn pot and burn grate for proper fit and possible air leaks. Many stoves are equipped with gaskets in this area that should also be inspected.
  • Check the door and window seals for leaks.
  • Clean the firebox and vent ash traps.
  • If possible, re-adjust your air and fuel feed rates for a leaner burn. You may need to call in an authorized stove technician to do this.

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Professional Cleaning and Maintenance

Most pellet stove owners use professional service for cleaning and preventive maintenance on at least an annual basis. Many dealers offer service plans that offer reduced costs and convenient scheduling. Cleaning and maintenance services usually performed include:

  • Emptying ash traps and cleaning exhaust passages behind the fire chamber.
  • Cleaning and lubricating fans and motors.
  • Cleaning the hopper and fuel feed system.
  • Cleaning the heat exchanger system.
  • Cleaning exhaust pipes and resealing the venting system if needed.
  • Verifying and adjusting the stove settings with proper gauges and meters.
  • Mechanical and electric components may eventually wear out and need repair or replacement.

Service should really be part of the buying decision, since service is needed at least on an annual basis. Chimney Kraft has service technicians and offers lower cost cleaning during spring and summer.

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