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Advice needed on wood stove for 1200 sq ft

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Timnus, May 1, 2013.

  1. Timnus

    Timnus New Member

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    Hey everyone,

    I have been reading here for a while and appreciate all the great input and first hand experience with various stoves, etc. on this forum.

    I am looking to install a wood stove this summer and heat with wood for years to come. Please give your advice as I try to select a good stove for our home.

    I will start off with as much detail as I can muster:


    Details about the home:
    • Ranch style home: 1200 sq ft (main floor with full basement below)
    • Home was built in 1972, has insulation in walls and ceiling and single pane windows are a bit drafty, but we plan to replace the older windows soon
    • Open floor plan with 8' ceilings
    • We are looking to put the stove in the middle of the house of the main floor (living room) and go straight up with the chimney through the roof (about 1 ft from the peak)
    Details about the stove:
    • Cost is not "too" much of an issue - (want what will work best longterm)
    • Long burn times are desirable (10+ hours)
    • Large firebox is desirable
    • We like seeing flames
    • We are concerned about possibly having TOO MUCH heat with a larger stove (80+ degrees)
    As I mentioned, I like the larger wood stoves (for longer burn times, larger capacity) but am concerned about getting something that will be too hot.

    Here are some stoves I am considering:
    • Englander 30 NC
    • Pacific Energy Summit
    • Pacific Energy Super 27
    • Woodstock Progress Hybrid


    Is a catalytic stove a good option in this case? If so, what sizes would you recommend? Can this scenario work out with a large capacity Non-Cat?​

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  2. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I would go with the Woodstock Fireview or Keystone, I think the Progress would heat you out of that room. Large capacity non cat would not be able to burn like you want it to for long periods on low like a cat stove.
    raybonz likes this.
  3. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    It is generally one of the other...

    CAT stove for long burn times or Non-CAT for nice flames. If you wanted longish burn times with a Non-CAT stove, then you'd have to have a large firebox, which could heat you out of your house.
  4. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Long periods of relatively even heat= cat stove
    NC30 1/2 the cost, 10 hours? yes, depending on wood species, hot then tapering down to reload
    Likely find your best bet with the Woodstock

    My nc30 in 2000sq ft ranch 1960 build, load about 5am get back about 5-6pm home is still above 65 most days wood is sugar maple /oak/ hickory/ red elm. Less dense woods not quite the same preformance but still reasonable, and 98% of the time reloadable without another match used.
  5. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    The PE Super Series stoves (Super 27, Spectrum, T5, Fusion) are capable of some really long burns for 2 cu ft non cats. I think the 30, Summit, and PH would be way too much.

    For cat stoves, you may be okay with a BK Princess, Sirocco 30 or Chinook 30, but you probably won't get the flame show you want. There are smaller versions of the Chinook and Sirocco that may be a better fit, depending on insulation. Woodstock Keystone and Fireview would probably work better for you than the PH.

    Whatever you do, you need to get a wood supply drying NOW if you plan on burning next winter. Fast drying stuff like ash, cherry, and soft maple. All modern stoves need dry wood to burn properly.
  6. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    BK Princess is rated for 1500-2500 sq ft for "real world heating" so that may be too large, but the smaller BK stuff make fit the bill.
  7. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    I would get a cat or a non-cat, and avoid the hybrids (expense & complexity). I can recommend the 30-NC. Approved for HUD, WA state, and the EPA. Non-cat, works just fine. It was super cheap on the HD deal last summer. See flames, large firebox, overnight burns not a problem. Too much heat, insert less wood. Never really had an issue here with too much or too little heat. 1350 sq ft dubba wyde with R13 insulation in the Cascades, plus a 300 sq foot dormer off the back which works as a heat shunt, if it gets too warm in the house, I open the sliding door to the sun room. I use a box fan blowing on the stove from one side to move the heat around the house (it doubles the efficiency). Lots of 30-NC owners here on this forum. I took their advice and when the deal came up on HD, I jumped at it. $650 delivered from VA to my living room. You could get a 13-NC, same design, smaller firebox (not as deep). However, you have a large basement, and if you wanna heat that, the 30 would be better. You can always burn less wood in a larger firebox, and that is exactly what I do. I usually burn a few logs at a time rather than jam it full.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Tim.

    This does not sound like it will be a hard home to heat and placing the stove in the middle will help out a lot as will the straight up chimney. Many stoves are capable of giving a decent 10 hour burn and we get 12+ hours with our Fireview. The large firebox you state is desirable may or may not be needed. As stated, we can get long burn times from our Fireview which has a 2.2 cu. ft firebox. The Progress is much larger for sure and you can get even longer burn times. Also with the Progress you get much more heat from the front of the stove because of that large glass. Many state they get more heat from the Progress with the same amount of wood they used in the Fireview.

    As for the amount of wood, that really depends upon what and how you are burning. When we installed the Fireview we cut our wood needs in half while heating more space and keeping the house much warmer. Although you say you don't want 80+ degrees, we do want that and have no problem getting it. I want to be really comfortable in my home and I don't want to have to wear heavy clothing when I am in the house.

    Being concerned about too much heat makes the soapstone stove sound like it will fit your bill exactly. Before we bought our stove we kept reading and hearing about this "soft heat" which I could not really understand. However, after actually feeling the difference, we were amazed. So perhaps a higher temperature in your home may feel great to you. With the Fireview, we can be next to the stove or across the room and the feel of the heat is about the same. It is not the harsh heat you will get if standing next to a hot steel or cast stove. It truly is a soft heat.

    You asked, "Is a catalytic stove a good option in this case? If so, what sizes would you recommend? Can this scenario work out with a large capacity Non-Cat?"

    Either stove will work for you but from what you state is your preferences, I think a cat stove would suit you very well. As for size, the 1200 sq ft says a Fireview which has a 2.2 cu ft firebox. In addition, you will love the radiant heat which means you don't have to use a fan which will cause more of a draft in an already drafty home. In our home, the furthest point from the stove is about 40' and we have no problem keeping that far room warm. We did before we did some remodeling and adding insulation plus new windows. But even then, it was rare to want it warmer in the far room.


    I can't let this post go without quizzing you on your fuel supply. Do you have the wood already put up? Will you be buying wood? What type of wood will you be burning? I believe the fuel you have to put into the stove is just as important, and maybe more so, than the stove itself. If you burn poor fuel (which sadly most new wood burners do), then you will get poor results.

    The normal thing we see is folks putting in a lot of research on the stoves and get them installed. Then and only then do they start thinking of the fuel. That is a prescription for failure. Be sure to check in to the Wood Shed part of this forum for more advice on the fuel but be aware that most wood really needs a year to dry after it has been cut to length, split and then stacked. Some need more than a year, like oak. In addition, should you be buying your wood, expect all wood sellers to tell you their wood is seasoned. That is okay, but don't think it is ready to burn! We have numerous cases of people who believed their wood supplier that the wood was good only to find that it was fresh cut or freshly split, etc. Too much moisture in the wood. Until we learn how to burn water, it is best to get the wood way ahead of time and let Mother Nature do the drying for you. Around our place, we really hate it when we have to burn wood that has not been split and stacked for at least 3 years. The benefits are super fantastic!

    Good luck to you.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Bster13, I've read your statement about the cat vs non-cat many times now and have to say I do not fully agree with you. You are correct with the long burn times in a cat stove but perhaps you are not aware just how good the flame show is in a good cat stove. Several videos have been posted on this forum showing some of the nice light shows given with a cat stove. I can post a few if you wish to view them.
  10. Bster13

    Bster13 Minister of Fire

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    My BK Princess Insert will certainly give a light show and keep it going given a high enough setting on the thermostat but from what I read (Just got the stove so only have a small sample size of burns to confirm) most users dampen down the thermostat for general burning and there goes the light show. Based off my limited experience, I certainly saw the same thing, but again I've only burned a few times and that's been in the relatively warm spring time. In the dead of winter I may need the thermostat set higher and thus more light show. We'll see!
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Indeed we can, if we wish, damper down the stove to no flame at all. However, we, and most users do keep flame in the firebox throughout the burn. I think you'll be happy.
  12. Timnus

    Timnus New Member

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    Yes, I do have a wood supply started, probably 6 cord of wood drying since last summer. But I definitely plan to cut a ton more this summer and have it drying for years to come. (I live next to 50 acres of free firewood, so it makes it pretty quick with the right tools).

    Dennis, thanks for describing the view of the fire and the soft heat from the soapstone.
  13. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    You are welcome Tim. And it sounds like you have things in hand so my hat is off to you.

    Not a good picture but this is one I took to show folks when I put a wood rack on the porch. We have a 16" raised hearth so we don't have to stoop to fill the firebox. We actually sit on a chair while loading. When the stove needs wood, we just walk out on the porch and grab 3 or 4 splits. Quick and easy and this way we do not have to store wood inside the house which is something we really do not like to do. Oh, and yes, the wood rack has been painted since this picture was taken.

    Stove and wood.JPG
  14. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    I agree the WS Fireview would be best for you..

    Ray
    gmule likes this.
  15. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Of course you can't let it go, Dennis.



    The quizzing, that is.



    [​IMG]
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  16. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Great pic
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  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you are looking at PE stoves I would get the Super27, not the Summit. The Super 27 has excellent burn times. You might also check out the Alderlea T5. It has the same firebox as the Super 27, but has a cast iron jacket that evens out temperature swings nicely.
  18. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

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    Although I wish I had gone with a bigger stove (never heard that before eh?) our super 27 handles our 2600 sq ft house down to -23c without the furnace kicking in (we live in Sparwood BC). We have stopped burning our 'good wood' larch this spring and are burning lodgepole pine which is very dry, and with the load I just put in at 11:15 pm my wife will have good coals at 9 am after the kids go to school to get it going again without a match. Ive put some big splits in there but did not fill the box. I enjoy this stove very much and would love to test it on some hard wood to see how it would do.
  19. StihlHead

    StihlHead Guest

    Western Larch is good wood, and I find it burns a lot better than most people give it credit for; as good or better than a lot of hardwoods around here anyway. Some list it as high in energy as Oregon white oak, though I think it is closer to Doug fir in energy value. Lodgepole is also one of the better pines for heat (about the same as bigleaf maple).
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Summit is a great stove, but too large for 1200 sq ft unless it's a leaky sieve. Run right, the Super 27 or T5 will match it for burn times. I think Tom Oyen got something like 16 hrs out of one.

    Tamarack is excellent firewood.
  21. Timnus

    Timnus New Member

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    So, here are a couple of other questions since I am looking to narrow down the type and size of the stove:

    1. Can you use a Cat. stove that is rated above 1200 sq ft but turn it down more? It shows a range of 12,000 - 73,000 Btu on the Progress Hybrid. Would there be any issue with getting a larger size firebox, but burning it at the lower end?
    2. The same question as #1, but for a Non-Cat stove. Is there any issue with burning a smaller fire inside a larger firebox? It seems that the only difference between a small stove and a large stove with the same size fire would be the temperature of the exterior of the stove. But there is probably more to it than that...
    3. I was comparing the Woodstock Fireview to the Blaze King Sirocco 20. Why is the burn time so much greater for the Blaze King than the Fireview? It seems that this is the case for any Blaze King - it has a longer burn time listed for any of the comparable Woodstock stoves.

    Thanks everyone for all the great input, keep it coming!
  22. Timnus

    Timnus New Member

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    I'll just add in that I have read a number of posts talking about the problem with getting TOO SMALL of a stove. So, this is why I am leaning towards the larger firebox size, but obviously don't want to go TOO BIG either.
  23. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I think this post in the buy/sell will answer that question: http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/2012-progress-hybrid-w-updates.108842/

    Woodstock is conservative with their burn times, BUT the bi-metallic coil that BK has on it's stoves does help extend the burn times.
    Bster13 likes this.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You can overdo it, especially with a non-cat. In cat I would look at the WS keystone, BK Sirocco 20 and the small Buck cat (20?). In non-cat A long burning 2 cu Ft stove should work fine.
    raybonz likes this.
  25. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    In the end you may be happy with either stove. Good luck.

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