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Assistance Selecting Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by isipwater, Jun 6, 2013.

  1. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Hi,

    This will be my first stove. I live in a one level well insulated ranch house with 1478 square feet in Massachusetts. Our average winter temps are 40F during day and 20F at night.

    Please assist me in selecting the best stove by answering the following questions:
    1. Can I effectively heat my whole house with the current stove placement (see floorplan below)? I am worried the bedrooms won't get enough heat.

      a. If I can heat the whole house effectively, what size stove (firebox size) will I need?
    b. If I can NOT heat the whole house effectively, what size stove (firebox size) will I need for space heating the main living areas and den? I don't want to overheat the space.

    Let me know if you have any other questions or tips; I am open to all feedback.

    Thank you.

    Here is the design of my floorplan:

    [​IMG]
    Ryan

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Ryan. Yes, that is nice placement for the stove. You should definitely be able to heat the whole house from that location. It may take a little fan assistance, but I think that plan will work with a 2-2.5 cu ft stove.
    raybonz and Backwoods Savage like this.
  3. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    If I am heating the main living space to 70F, how cold do you think the bedrooms will get?
  4. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Is the home well insulated?

    If so, with curtains or blinds on the windows, you should be able to heat the entire house to within a few degrees of the temp in the den/dining room quite easily.

    Look at the Woodstock Fireview, etc.

    Enjoy.
    Lakeside and Backwoods Savage like this.
  5. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    My wife is interested in a contemporary stove. What options would I have in the budget of $3500 for a non cat? We were looking at the Hearthstone Bari and Tula but I think they might be too small.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Contemporary European stoves can be small and pricey. Installation could cost $1500-2500 for hearth and flue depending on the setup, number of floors, etc.. Take a look at the Pacific Energy Fusion, Osburn Matrix, Blaze King Chinook and Napoleon S4 for some contemporary options.

    If the house is well insulated, you can probably expect a 5-10 deg. difference between BR temps and the core of the house. A fan, on the floor, placed low at the far end of the hallway, blowing toward the stove room can help even that out.

    Do you already have at least 3 cords of wood stacked and drying? If not, order the best dry wood you can find, cut to 16" lengths, today.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Ryan.

    Begreen has given some very good information. I'll also say for that size home and how it is laid out I can see no problem heating any area of it. I would also say for sure nothing smaller than a 2.0 cu ft firebox but even better would be the 2.2 to 2.5 cu ft. Some might say you could go as high as a 3 cu ft but I feel that may overheat you.

    One thing you need to concentrate on immediately even before you buy a stove is your fuel. You no doubt know that most wood needs a year to dry and that is after it has been split. Some wood, like oak can take up to 3 years to dry. If you do not give the wood long enough to dry you can expect to have some problems and you may not be a happy camper at all. In addition, do not think this is like heating with oil or gas. That is, you can not just call up someone and say you need x cord of wood. Sure, they can come up with it and will tell you raving stories about how "seasoned" it is and ready to burn. A search on this forum will show lots and lots of folks who went that route only to find the wood they bought was freshly cut or freshly split and certainly not ready to burn. Some will burn anyway but will have problems getting the stove to operate as it should. Some will have plugged chimneys in a very short time. So you should already have your firewood on hand now and have it stacked outdoors in the windiest spot on your property.

    Begreen also stated about the fans to even out the heat in the house. This may or may not be needed. We used to have to use a fan because of a long hallway with bedroom and bath at the far end. However, when we installed the Fireview we found we no longer needed to do this as the radiant heat gets to the far end with ease. Without measuring, I'd say our bedroom temperature is at most 3-4 degrees less than the stove room. In addition, we keep our home at 80 degrees or more all winter and do that burning around 3 cord of wood per year. Our house size is very similar to yours.

    You can currently get the Woodstock Fireview for around $3,000 and they will even finance if you need that. One of the best things too is that you have a 6 month guarantee on the stove. If it does not work for you, send it back for a full refund. Believe me, very few are ever sent back but some are sent back to upgrade to a larger stove. When they do this, they get full credit for the stove they've returned. Check them out: http://woodstove.com/

    Good luck to you.

    Keep smiling!
    Dennis
    Trooper, Tenn Dave and charly like this.
  8. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks. Tell me why you recommend the Woodstock Fireview? Does the Fireview need to be rebuilt like other cast iron stoves?
  9. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    I don't have any wood yet. I have a friend who can sell me some of their seasoned wood.

    As for contemporary stoves, what can you tell me about the Enerzone Destination 2.3?

    Also, the Blaze King Chinook 20 looks good but I find the catalytic converter intimidating since I have never had a wood stove before. What is the learning curve like for cat stoves?
  10. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Hey Dennis, please share why you recommend the Fireview. Also, have you had to replace many parts on that stove? How would it work if I needed the Fireview to be serviced since I live in Massachusetts; do stove service shops stock Woodstock parts?
  11. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I heated with a Fireview for about six years, until Woodstock made a bigger stove, at which point I upsized because my home is over 3000 feet. I have kept the Fireview, although it is out of service, because it is such a great stove. It is soapstone. The heat it radiates is gentle, even and amazingly comfortable... like the sun shining on one. It is a catalytic stove. I had never used a wood stove when I got mine, and had a zero learning curve. The stove is amazingly easy to use. It comes with an excellent owners manual. I never had to do any service on the stove. cleaned the cat and the flue once a year, but didn't really need to. The cat was never dirty, and I never got more than about a quarter cup of flaky residue from the chimney. Replaced my first cat after 5 years, because the ceramic cells were starting to deteriorate. Cost about $125. A bargain, since it makes the stove significantly (about 11 % perhaps) more efficient than a modern non-cat stove. Over five years, that's a lot of wood not processed, stored and carried into the house to burn, and a lot fewer times loading the stove. On really cold days (well below zero), I loaded three times a day. Otherwise twice a day. Can't say enough good things about this troublefree excellent heater. Woodstock is a great company too...excellent build quality and exceptional service. You can call them six days a week, and knowledgeable people help you with any issue you have with any aspect of your wood heating. They are always friendly, courteous and interested. Your stove will last your lifetime.
    If after many years you need to regasket/rebuild the stove, they will provide parts at very low cost, and detailed directions, or you can return the stove to them for rebuilding. I'm sure you would be talking 20 years or more of 24/7 burning before you would need to contemplate such a task. Take a look at their website and see if you like the stoves. If so, visit the plant and take a look at them. You are always welcome there, and can choose the soapstone for your stove, should you decide to go with Woodstock.
    Tenn Dave and charly like this.
  12. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    It's a very nice stove. They burn really nice as do all the Enerzone stoves! It would do a nice job.

    The Bari is has a very small firebox, but I hear that it throws amazing heat through the glass. The one I installed was very nice looking, expect very short burn times with it though. Coming in a 2x the price of the other stoves mentioned, I would skip it.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Enerzone is made by SBI, the same parent company as the Osburn and related to their Matrix stove. It would be worthwhile looking at too, especially if the local dealer is offering a good deal. If you are serious about getting a stove then get the wood now. The number one complaint we get in early winter here can be traced back to poorly seasoned wood.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    He's not kidding. This should be your major focus now. Plenty of time to get the stove.
    Backwoods Savage and Trilifter7 like this.
  15. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    So, it sounds like the consensus based on my house size and floor plan is that I would do best with a medium size stove that has at least a 2.0 cf firebox.

    Is this correct?

    I have now narrowed down my stove choices to 5 (see list below please).

    [​IMG]
    The criteria for stove selection includes: Price ($2500 and under), firebox of 2.0 cf and higher, non cat, high quality stove, and modern appearance.

    These five stoves seem to fit this criteria (ranked in order by price).
    1. Avalon Spokane 1750 $1,450
      [​IMG]

    2. EnerzoneDestination 2.3 $1,700
      [​IMG]

    3. Pacific EnergyFusion $2,264
      [​IMG]

    4. Regency Alterra cs2400 $2,500
      [​IMG]

    5. Osburn Matrix $2,500
      [​IMG]
    What are your opinions on these 5 stoves? Any other thoughts, feedback or opinions? Please share.
    And yes, I am already working on getting good seasoned wood from a friend who has excess.
    Thanks to all who have given me their help in my new adventure.
  16. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    I agree, the Bari is a nice looking stove but it is too small and costs too much.
  17. charly

    charly Guest

    I'd take a trip to the Woodstock Stove Company and try to just look without buying anything if you can ;). I think you'll be surprisingly impressed.. I went to just look and bought a stove as soon as I saw the quality of the stoves which just blew me away.. Plus,,, the parts a very reasonable... Someone always answers the phone as well,,, always! Burn it for a winter,, you need something else,,, it didn't cost you a dime,,, trade up or in for a full refund.. who else will let you try a stove out , allowing a return after a 6 month trial period... Good luck with what ever you choose.. Just trying to give you some honest feed back... I'm actually using their trial period to trade in my Fireview towards their larger Progress Hybrid..
    Lakeside, Tenn Dave and fox9988 like this.
  18. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

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    Just my two cents but if you're only looking at front loading stoves you should consider the depth of the stove front to back and the depth to the floor of the firebox from the lip of the door. Why? 1-so that ash isn't spilling out every time you open to refuel and 2-to let you pack in a lot of wood without having it all fall over into the glass as it burns down.

    PJ
  19. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed, good points. They are all decent stoves, but I also prefer a deep stove firebox because it allows one to load either N/S or E/W for greater control over the burn. Of this lot I think the PE will provide the longest burn time with the greatest flexibility in loading. If you are cost sensitive, the PE Spectrum and Super 27 use the same firebox in a more traditional package.

    Mellow, at 1.1 cu ft. I think the 17-VL is a bit too small for 24/7 heating.
  21. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    SCAN stoves are pretty neat too - with the modern look.
    [​IMG]
  22. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Yes, I agree that the Scan Andersen 10 would fit my needs. However, I encountered two problems. First, when I called a local stove shop, I was told that Jotul who owns Scan and has stopped making and selling this model. Do you know if this is true? The other problem I encountered with the Scan Andersen 10 in my research is that it had a safety recall. Click here to read about this. What can you tell me about the recall?

    Finally, do you also agree that based on my floor plan that I should be able to effectively heat my whole house with a medium sized stove using my oil fired radiators as a backup? Thank you.
  23. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Would you say that the Englander 17-vl is of similar quality to the other stoves I am considering? I ask this because you often get what you pay for in life. How could this stove be of similar quality compared to the Avalon Spokane 1750, Enerzone Destination 2.3, Pacific Energy Fusion, Regency Alterra cs2400, and Osburn Matrix when the Englander 17-vl is only $550? Thanks.
  24. isipwater

    isipwater Feeling the Heat

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    Hi, thanks for the input. Do you know of any modern/contemporary stoves priced around $2500 and under that are side loaded?
  25. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Yeah, that would be a strike against SCAN if Jotul was not carrying and supporting it. I just took a liking to it years ago when it came out and considered it for our house.

    We used a stove in our first ranch house (1100 sq feet) and were able to do most of the job. Sometimes an oil-filled electric heating is a better backup for a cold part than the central system....unless it is (or can be) zoned.

    As others have mentioned, fans can be your friend. Once you know how the air flows, you can even install something fancy like a bath (ceiling) fan which sucks the heat from the stove room (don't put it close to the stove!), and dumps it into a bedroom or at the end of the hall, thereby creating some circulation.

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