After 5 months of the Quadrafire (Sante Fe)auger over-flowing the firepot or jamming several times a day, they finally replaced the control box three days after I bought a Harmon Stove. It was impossible to get the technician here in less than 5-14 days, inspite of dozens of calls & emails. And while it was not the sole source of heat it was an important one. Now that I have had both I'd like to share why I'm keeping the Harmon...
1. If the Harmon stops working it tells you why. Instead of a non-technical person like myself guessing having to guess what is wrong, a series of coded lights tell you what needs attention. With the quadrafire I was removing the auger (not a simple task) to unclog it in the middle of the night.
2. With the Quadrafire, only COOLED pellets can go into the ash pan, which means you have to shut down the stove for an hour or so to be able to empty the fire pot. With the Harmon its a quick shut down, empty pan, and restart. Scant minutes vs hours.
3. But the most important difference is the design. With the Quadrafire if there are excess pellets coming down they smother the fire. With the Harmon if there are excess pellets coming down they spill into the pan below and the fire continues.
4. The local dealer (in MA) was very unresponsive to calls. And the only way to get a technician is for the dealer to submit a WRITTEN request. The dealer did not have email or an answering machine, slowing responses
5.I had an Englander stove (sold by Home Depot) as my first
pellet stove. It broke down once and they sent me a replacement part by overnight mail. Their service is EXCELLENT. They worked with my technician, over the phone and by email, they always were there for my many questions. It was my first experience switching from logs to pellets and they were WONDERFUL! The only reason I changed companies was the noise....I live in a cottage and I found the Englander too noisy although other people LIKED the noise - sort of like a white noise machine for them. LOL.
So I would like, from 3 years experience, to encourage people to take a good look at the design of the stove they are choosing, to listen to the different motors and see what level they are comfortable with, and to make sure the DEALER is going to be supportive/available if you need their help. Because I have a macaw dependable, consistent, temperatures are very important to me - the dogs and I have fur! LOL!