Guy Girouard, Northern Kentucky writes:
I’ve been able to analyze my situation in terms of the heat capacity and costs of operating the [Kimberly™] stove. I’ve had a chance to use the stove all day, about 12 to 15 hours/day for 3 days now. I don’t attend the stove from about 10pm to about 7am. I can say that the house can stay @ 70F all day that I use the stove. The outside temperatures have been between 37F to 40F, the winds varying from 0mph up to 30mph. My house area is about 1300ft2. Today, I’ve had the upstairs open, which adds another 300ft2. So my situation substantiates your claims.
When lighting the fire for the first time, I’ve developed, what I think is a great technique. I set a bed of pellets a little below the door. I then put a firestarter so that it sits against the grate and is partially submerged in the pellets. I place the brick (or log) so that it sits on the pellets and on the starter so there is a little air gap between the pellets and the brick. The pellets start to burn real quickly (probably because there is a lot of air between them). I’ve got a good fire in less than 5 min. I only use the pellets to get a fire going. It causes too many complications to try to heat with them.
I’ve been tracking my propane usage. It works out to 2.9 gals per day of propane for the month of January vs about 10 bricks/day at a cost of $0.50/brick. A gallon of propane costs about $2.50/gal, depending when you buy. Comparing costs:
Propane – $2.50/gal x 2.9 gal/day=$7.25/day
Kimberly – $0.50/brick x 9 brick/day =$4.50/day (based on 2.75hrs/brick/x 24hrs. A brick weighs 3.5lbs so presto logs would result in 31.5lbs/day)
So you get a 38% cost savings with Kimberly over natural gas or propane, based on my analysis. You just can’t keep a good engineer down. Our home is fairly well insulated for it’s 11 years old.