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Harman P61 Pellet Stove Review

harman p61 pellet stoveMost people search for Harman P61 when they look for pellet stove reviews, but the latest model Harman pellet stove of this size is actually called a Harman P61A. Because a lot of Harman P-61 pellet stoves were sold and are still in use, any review of the newest model will include information about the stoves still in service and going strong. Unless you’re purchasing a unit that’s been on a dealer’s shelf for a very long time, you’re buying a P61A. We’ll refer to the stove as a Harman P61 throughout this review, because the units are basically the same.

Very few pellet stove manufacturers have the reputation of Harman. Homeowners who purchase Harman pellet stovesĀ  are a little like consumers that favor Apple products. They believe that Harman pellet stoves perform better, and they are manufactured with more attention to cutting edge design and handsome styling. Harman fans are willing to pay a little more for these benefits. Online message boards about alternative heat sources are filled with homeowners who have owned Harman products for decades, and swear by them. That means that new Harman owners are likely to be congratulated by the existing owners, and taken into a kind of club of Harman pellet stove lovers. There are many good reasons for Harman owners to be so fond of their products.

One reason so many consumers love Harman pellet stoves is because they’re made in the United States. Many pellets stoves like the Vogelzang VG 5790 produce as much heat as the Harman, but they’re made in China, and don’t have the same reputation for high quality.

Harman P61 Wood Pellet Facts

  • Automatic bottom feeding pellet stove
  • Produces from 14,200 to 60,300 BTUs
  • Hopper holds 72 pounds of wood pellets
  • Circulating fan pushes 135 CFM
  • Burns at 79.4 percent efficiency
  • Automatic ignition
  • Can heat from 1,300 to 3,500 square feet
  • 23-1/2″ x 29-1/2″ deep x 36-1/2″ high
  • Limited lifetime warranty
  • One-year warranty on all parts and materials
  • Weighs 249 pounds

EPA CertifiedMobile Home Approved

 

 

Harman Pellet Stove P61 Features and Benefits

There are only two ways to feed pellets into a pellet stove. Pellet stoves move pellets from the storage hopper to the burn pot using an auger. The auger is like a giant screw that picks up pellets and moves them along as it turns. Top feeders like the Vogelzang VG 5770 drop pellets into the burn pot from above. Others, like the Harman pellet stove, feed them in from below. This has pluses and minuses.

Dropping in the pellets from above is generally safer. One end of the auger is at the bottom of the hopper, and it lifts pellets up an inclined ramp to finally tumble in the burn pot. This separates the supply of pellets from the combustion chamber, making accidental ignition of the store of pellets unlikely.

When an auger moves pellets in from below, there is less separation between the pellet supply and the fire. In order to guard against problems with this arrangement, Harman pellet stoves use a unique Pellet Pro System to move the pellet fuel efficiently and safely. Here’s how it works:

Safety is only one benefit of the Pellet Pro System. Top feed pellet stoves make more noise than bottom feed stoves. That’s because pellets roll down an incline into the burn pot. This makes a sound similar to dice in a cup. Harman users love their stoves because they are quieter than other stoves without sacrificing safety.

The Harman P-61 also has an innovative ESP system to automatically regulate the amount of heat the unit puts out. This Exhaust Sensing Probe measures the temperature of the exhaust and compares it to the temperature setting on the stove and the temperature in the room. Harman says that allows the stove to stay within 1 degree Fahrenheit of the desired temperature. It also saves on fuel. Here’s how it works:

Pellet stoves can’t cycle on and off like regular oil-fired or natural gas furnaces. The Harman ESP system is about as close to a replacement for a traditional thermostat on a boiler or furnace as you can get. It keep a room at desired temperature automatically.

The Harman P61 is available with several cosmetic options. You can choose from trim and finish options for the burn chamber door, and also different silhouette scenes for the metal inlay on the base of the unit. You can also opt for ceramic logs to make the firebox look more like a wood fire if desired.

You can add a hopper extension to the P-61. It mounts on the very back of the unit, and changes its appearance dramatically. If you’re using the Harman in a location where looks are less important, and you want to have plenty of run time, the extension should be fine.

Pros

  • Attractive styling looks good in any setting
  • One of the most powerful freestanding pellets stoves you can buy
  • Made from high-quality materials in the USA
  • Very quiet operation
  • Easy to clean
  • Large removable ash pan
  • Heavy steel enclosure for increased radiant heat
  • Limited lifetime guarantee is an industry best
  • Big viewing window
  • Seven heat settings for maximum comfort
  • EPA certified

Cons

  • More expensive than other brands
  • Hopper extension is unattractive, but it works well
  • Only available through dealers

Final Word on the Harman P61 Pellet Stove

The Harman P61 pellet stove lists for over $3,500, but prices vary depending on options and discounts. Coupons are often available. If you want a turnkey operation, Harman dealers have a great reputation for customer service and installation.

Harman pellet stoves are built to last. They back their products with one of the best guarantees in the industry. If you factor in the amount of use you can expect from a Harman, the price difference between them and other brands shrinks. If you’re a homeowner that would like to use clean, renewable pellets, but doesn’t want to give up the convenience of a thermostat, the Harman P61 might be perfect for you.

Have a Harman P61, or Harman P61A? Let us know how you like it in the comments!

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12 Comments

  • Hello Steve- Thanks for reading Wood Pellet Facts, and for sharing your experience with your Harman pellet stove with our readers.

  • Hello Jeff- Thanks for reading Wood Pellet Facts, and for offering our readers the benefit of your experience with your Harman Pellet Stove.

    Getting 17 years of use out of your pellet stove shows how well made the Harman is.

  • Hello Scott- Thanks for reading Wood Pellet Facts, and for offering our readers the benefit of your experience with the Harman P61 A.

    Five years and four tons a year without any kind of problem is an indication of how well designed and constructed a Harman stove is. Many other brands of stoves are cheaper to buy, but require much more maintenance and don’t last as long as Harmans.

  • Hello Anthony- Thanks for reading Wood Pellet Facts, and for sharing your experience with the Harman P61.

    I think details like the ash pan are often overlooked when people shop for pellet stoves. It’s easy to get caught up in BTUs and other features, but it’s usually the simple things like the size of the ash pan that makes daily use pleasant or a pain.

  • proud owner of a P61, just wrapping up season 15. This is a workhorse
    and durability is second to none. If you go the pellet route Harman
    is the only choice.

  • Hello Rory- Thanks for reading Wood Pellet Facts, and for sharing the benefit of your experience with our readers.

    Fifteen years of dependable service is a remarkable testament to how well made the Harman P61 is. It’s no wonder that so many Harman pellet stove owners are happy with their stoves.

  • Live in old 2 story drafty farm house, I purchased p61 about 18 years ago and a p38 15 years ago. My extended family has also used same two stoves. All run each season. Only issues, how many tons of pellets do I burn before cleaning? I burn a ton and a half before needs cleaning either stove.! I only heat with the harman stoves. Live in nw pa, cold long winters, burn 8 tons on average, maintain them once a season, they are very reliable. Easy to clean, parts replaced most is combustion fan. Have not bought propane in 18 years now. Looking at the newer harman stove absolute series,.Hard to justify a new stove when these older ones work so well!!

  • Hello Jamie- Thanks for reading Wood Pellet Facts, and for sharing your experience with your Harman pellet stoves with our readers.

    Getting 18 years of regular use out of a pellet stove is amazing. That’s a testament to how well built that Harman pellet stoves are. The fact that you’ve also had another pellet stove from the same manufacturer for almost as long means that your stove’s longevity isn’t a fluke.

    Most pellet stove reviews pay close attention to upfront costs. Harman pellet stoves cost a bundle compared to models from other manufacturers like Vogelzang or PelPro. However, it’s important to take into account the cost of owning the stove over its useful life. In your case, I’ll bet your pellet stoves ended up costing less per year than stoves that had really low price tags but only lasted for a few years before needing replacement.

    As far as cleaning, I’m not aware of a pellet stove manufacturer that doesn’t recommend cleaning their units after every ton of pellets. Of course the type of pellets you burn, and how much ash they produce can extend or shorten the time between cleanings.

    Thanks again for your useful comment!

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