Also sold as the England Stove Works 25-PDVC and Timber Ridge TRP-55, the Summers Heat 55-SHP10L pellet stove is a simple, proven design that has gone largely unchanged for more than 20 years. As long as you keep up with the required daily cleanings, owners say it produces more than enough heat for the promised 1,500 square feet. The 40-pound hopper may need to be refilled on days when it's bitterly cold.
Needs a refill on long, cold days. Numerous owners report that the Summers Heat 55-SHP10L -- mechanically identical to the England Stove Works 25-PDVC and the Timber Ridge TRP-55 -- heats up to 1,500 square feet easily in temperatures around 0 degrees Fahrenheit. Heavy-gauge plate steel makes for ample radiant heat. However, a few complain that its hopper doesn't quite hold 40 pounds as advertised, and that pellets stick to its sides. Expect to burn a full hopper-load on a mild winter day; once temps get down to 5 or 10 degrees Fahrenheit, you may need to refill during the day.
A simple, proven design. The Summers Heat 55-SHP10L offers a few useful, basic features including a one-touch ignition and a 140 cfm adjustable blower. It comes with an outside air kit, has a digital control board and is thermostat adaptable, although the thermostat can control only the stove's feed rate and thus its flame, not actually turn it on and off. An ash pan is notably absent, and the auto-ignition's igniter draws some complaints from users. Others suggest a simple fix: Put a small pile of pellets in front of the igniter hole.
EPA-certified. The Summers Heat 55-SHP10L is EPA-certified and mobile home approved, and comes with a five-year warranty on the firebox, cast-iron door and hinges. Most other parts are covered by a one-year warranty, although overfiring or burning non-pellet fuel voids the warranty. Scott Williamson, an independent pellet stove repairman, warns that you may need to replace the lower auger motor every three years.
The hearth must extend at least 1 inch behind, 4 inches beside and 6 inches in front of the stove; wall clearances are just 6 inches to the rear and sides.
Elbow grease expected. In return for the Summers Heat 55-SHP10L's simple design and low price, you'll have to put in some elbow grease. The good news is that it's easy to install, and owners say that if you follow the manual's instructions for daily cleanings -- including vacuuming ashes out, scraping carbon deposits away from the augers and deep cleaning twice a week -- the stove will work dependably for years. In fact, Williamson says that more than 60 percent of these stoves he has serviced required only a cleaning to return to working order.
The editors of ConsumerReports.org test six models of pellet and wood stoves for criteria such as capacity, loading and cleaning. Each stove is rated in the individual categories and receives an overall comparative rating; occasionally users post their opinions about individual stoves, too.
Review: Pellet & Wood Stove Ratings, Editors of ConsumerReports.org, February 2013
2. Alliance for Green Heat
The editors of Alliance for Green Heat offer some comments based on feedback from Scott Williamson, an independent pellet stove technician. They then publish a short article by Williamson, in which he lists his picks for most reliable pellet stoves and explains why he chose each model.
Review: Reliable Pellet Stoves, Editors of Alliance for Green Heat, Oct. 4, 2011
Contributors to Hearth.com describe their overall ownership experiences with these stoves. Most reviews are quite positive, but warn that frequent cleanings must be done and some hands-on tinkering may occasionally be needed.
Review: Englander / Summers Heat Stove 25-PDVC / 55-SHP10 Experiences, Contributors to Hearth.com, As of December 2013
More than 100 owners review the Summers Heat 55-SHP10L at Lowes.com, giving it an average score of 3.9 stars out of 5. Their chief complaints are about parts burning out, plus some mixed reviews about customer service. The most positive feedback comes from users who clean their stoves regularly.
Review: Summers Heat 1,500-sq ft Pellet Stove, Contributors to Lowes.com, As of December 2013
About 30 HomeDepot.com users give the Englander 25-PDVCH -- essentially the same stove as the Summers Heat 55-SHP10L -- an average score of 4.3 stars out of 5. Most stress the importance of regular cleanings, and a couple of them complain that pellets sometimes stick to the hopper walls.
Review: Englander 1,500 sq. ft. Pellet Stove, Contributors to HomeDepot.com, As of December 2013
More than 20 Amazon.com users review the England's Stove Works 25-PDVC, which is the same stove as the Summers Heat 55-SHP10L. They give it an average score of just 2.5 stars out of 5, with the biggest complaints being that the igniter (among other parts) gives out. Some users are also upset to find that they must clean out the stove daily.
Review: England's Stove Works Wood Pellet Stove, Contributors to Amazon.com, As of December 2013