February 2009. Harman is one of the most recommended pellet-stove brands in reviews. The 50,000-BTU Harman XXV is the flagship model that the manufacturer claims as its quietest. The Harman stove, which burns wood pellets, can heat an area up to 1,700 square feet. It can handle wood pellets of any grade, and the 65-pound hopper and large ash tray minimize maintenance. The stove works automatically -- it's self-igniting and thermostat-controlled. The thermostat uses a probe that can be placed anywhere in the room, and the temperature control is computerized for consistent comfort. An optional battery backup keeps it going even if the electricity goes out. The warranty is for six years. If you can put up with more noise and less convenient cleanup in exchange for a lower price, consider the less expensive Summers Heat 55-SHP10L (*est. $1,300).
Several buyer's guides in credible publications mention Harman as a top pellet-stove brand. Energy-efficiency expert Jim Dulley gives the most detail on its advantages, but better-known publications include Consumer Reports, Kiplinger's Personal Finance, and This Old House. We also found useful owner-written reviews of the Harman XXV stove at WiseHeat.com and GardenWeb.com.
Household energy expert Jim Dulley lists the Harman pellet stoves among 14 brands recommended in this buyer's guide, noting that the Harman stoves are easy to clean and have some superior features. The computer-controlled heat output lets you place the probe anywhere in the room -- so it's better than a wall-mounted thermostat.
Review: Bulletin 880: Corn/pellet Stove Heaters are Efficient, Convenient to Use, Jim Dulley
This buyer's guide to pellet and wood stoves lists Harman as one of 17 brands. However, the article neither rates the brands nor recommends specific models.
Review: Buyer's Guide to Pellet -- and Wood-burning Stoves, Editors of Consumer Reports, Jan. 2007
3. Kiplinger Personal Finance
This article recommends the Harman XXV pellet stove, based on advice from an experienced retailer. No testing is documented. The article notes that pellet stoves are less expensive than wood stoves to install and require less tending but can't operate without electricity.
Review: Satisfy Your Burning Desire, Pat Mertz Esswein, Oct. 2005
4. This Old House
This article on pellet stoves describes their advantages. The print version of the article mentions the Harman XXV along with two other models but doesn't document any testing.
Review: Clean Heat, Keith Pandolfi, Nov. 2006
5. Wise Heat
At the time of our report, three owners review the Harman XXV pellet stove here, giving it high scores for performance, efficiency and ease of use. One owner says the augur on his stove emits a high-pitched squeal, but he still gives the stove high ratings.
Review: Harman XXV, Contributors to WiseHeat.com
This detailed and enthusiastic owner-written review of the Harman XXV draws comments from other readers. Other forum discussions at this site confirm that the six-year Harman warranty is fulfilled well, and that the brand has a good reputation for build quality.
Review: Harman XXV Pellet Stove Review, Contributors to GardenWeb.com, Nov. 2005