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Aesthetics versus Performance

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by lumbering on, May 17, 2013.

  1. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    We had a bit of a cold snap this week, and I was sitting there thinking about how nice a fire would be.

    There was no need to heat the whole house, just take the chill off the living room for a few hours.

    It was then I realized that all this research I've been doing into maximum burn times, heat storage, etc was neglecting the fact that I miss my fireplace at times.

    I miss the sound, the smell, everything else that goes along with it besides the heat. And for nights like this, being able to convert to open door viewing suddenly became important to me.

    So while I am deeply torn between the hyper efficient Woodstock hybrids, and the Jotuls with their open door viewing options, I am wondering...

    Who else would sacrifice day to day performance for the occasional open door viewing option?

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  2. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Large glass door offers a good view of the fire.
    Sound of the snapping and crackling of the fire.
    Heat.

    Not having a fire place or a screen is not missed by me . . . I get plenty of ambiance (and good heat . . . even on these days when I just need to take the chill out of the air) with a regular ol' woodstove with a closed door.
    BoilerMan, n3pro and PapaDave like this.
  3. Creature

    Creature Member

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    PE Alderlea series have a screen door option. I didn't get that option and I've never seen it, but it is an option. Viewing through the glass is just fine with me.
    PapaDave likes this.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Wide open burning is really uncommon. Many of us have bought a stove screen only to have it gather dust after trying it once or twice. I would place this priority even below having an ash pan on a stove.
    jotulguy, Joful, downeast and 2 others like this.
  5. rdust

    rdust Minister of Fire

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    My lopi had an option for a screen but I never used it. I guess I'm not the best to answer this question since my living room still has a natural fireplace and the family room has the stove. Of course it's been two years since I've used the fireplace, it's just not worth the hassle for cleaning it after I use it.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  6. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    That is one thing I like about having a cat stove, you have the option of opening up the bypass which tends to be in the back of the stove and build a small fire, you could put one of those fireplace screens in front of it with the door open.

    Having said that, I have never actually done it. With the youngsters running around mama bear would have a conniption.
  7. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    I had a screen I could put in front of the open doors on the old insert I had in my fireplace before I replaced it this year with the new Jotul F 600. Once in a blue moon I might use the screen so I could see the fire since the insert had solid cast iron doors with no glass. With the large glass viewing area in the Jotul I'm not tempted in the least to have the doors open for viewing. I don't miss the open fire in the least.
  8. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    The reason I got the screen option with the Summit was that with the Century when I was getting a fire started (cold start) it might take a little while to get it going and you really needed the door open to get it going. Sometimes I might need to walk away for a few minutes to do something else and there'd be times I might forget for 1/2 hour or more if I didn't set a timer. Now when you do -- walk away with the door open-- the only way that's acceptable is with a fire screen. So I just felt it was the safer thing to do -- have the firescreen.

    Turns out I'm better at starting fires now and the Summit has a better air supply system and can have the door closed much sooner than the Century when you're cold starting a fire, so it seems much less necessary and I've only used if for that a couple times in the couple months I've had it.

    Still I'm not sorry I got it. . . Yet.
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    When I purchase a stove, it is the end result that is the biggest factor and that is, will it keep the house warm? After that comes the beauty (or lack thereof) of the stove.
    PapaDave likes this.
  10. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I do. I know exactly what your talking about and feel the need to be 'closer' to the fire too. I don't have a screen for My Oslo, but when I do need to have the door open I'm always right there with it. Usually with a beer and the dogs and wife nearby too.
    lumbering on likes this.
  11. Elle

    Elle Member

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    thanks for directing me to this thread from mine. I have to say...the thought of having an open fire is really tempting. I just got in from the pond with the fire pit and I just love it. of course I am not needing to heat the entire house with the little fire pit so inefficiency be damned. I think the screen is going to win out.
  12. tomahawk

    tomahawk Member

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    An open fire is nice but it's really defeating the purpose of having a fire to begin with. The upwards draft is going to steal a lot of the heat you're trying to produce, looks nice but not for me. I work too hard between the hauling, stacking, etc to just see my effort go up in smoke. I also heat my entire house with my stove and use zero supplemental heat sources, so keeping the heat in is a must for me.
    PapaDave likes this.
  13. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    I think I need to clarify re the loss of efficiency.

    I'm not talking about the loss of efficiency that occurs when burning with the doors open.

    What I really mean is, when deciding on which stove to purchase, who would choose a stove that was less efficient (when used correctly with the doors CLOSED) than your 2nd choice if the less efficient stove also gave you the option of burning doors open from time to time.
  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Not I. I get all the ambiance I need while basking in the glow of a mesmerizing secondary burn with the radiant heat soaking into my bones and the stove room ~ 80°F.:cool:

    I'd bet that, if you found the right stove for you, you'd soon forget all about messing with a screen door. You might use it a few times a year. . .not worth factoring into the stove choice. I might get the screen if it was free with the stove that was my first choice, but it would just gather dust, as BG's and others' do, so I'd probably try to get ~ $100 off instead of a free screen.==c

    Maybe do a fire pit in the back yard to get your open fire fix?
    Gark likes this.
  15. DevilsBrew

    DevilsBrew Minister of Fire

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    I couldn't live with a system in my living room where I didn't at least see the flames. This is why I am so interested in the use of heating mass. I love an open fire but hate the waste of heat.
  16. Coog

    Coog Burning Hunk

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    I second that.
  17. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    I miss the cracking/snapping sounds sometimes and plan on getting the screen for spring and fall when I just need chll out of the main living area - will get the stove hot and then pop in the screen to enjoy the fire noises. I know that in the cold of the winter that the screen defeats the whole puropose
    lumbering on likes this.
  18. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    We bought the optional screen for our NZ3000 fireplace when we bought the unit. Now that it's in, you can't even use the screen. Due to the design of the secondary assembly, top baffles and "smoke shelf" area on the stove, it will pour smoke into the room if you leave the doors open.....:(

    Which is a bummer, because we, too, like the crackling and popping of an open fire once in a while. I plan on trying to make some kind air venturi that I can put up into that area to assist in the draft to pull the smoke up the pipe. I'm still in the "design" stages of that project (all inside my head).....==c
  19. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    That's just what I mean. In the spring or fall, just to take the chill off the living room, and enjoy the fire.
    I would never dream of doing that in the dead of winter.
  20. Bigg_Redd

    Bigg_Redd Minister of Fire

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    Not me. Not even a little. Ever.
  21. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I like having a fire in the fall, even when one is sometimes not needed. Our heavy stone house soaks up heat all summer, and seems to radiate it back on cold nights all fall. When we have a house full of people and a turkey going all day in the oven on Thanksgiving, the house is plenty warm, but I still want to see a fire. In either case, out comes my Jotul open door screen. It satisfies me.

    By spring, after loading two stoves 3x per day all winter, I couldn't care less about looking at or hearing a fire.
  22. PapaDave

    PapaDave Minister of Fire

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    If you want popping and crackling, use some dry pine in the stove.
    You'll hear it.
    firefighterjake and Elle like this.
  23. drifter1170

    drifter1170 New Member

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    If you like watching the fire I have found that using the screen during startup and bringing the stove up to a temp that the secondarys will work keeps the window Kristol clear use it every startup
  24. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

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    Good thought.
  25. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    my husband set in his way...no pine for him, although I have shared what others here have said about dry pine being fine.

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