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Avalon Olympic too much stove for us?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by tomzpc, Nov 7, 2012.

  1. tomzpc

    tomzpc New Member

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    Hey folks. New guy on the block! Have been burning pellets to subsidize electric baseboard heating in our 2 story 1700+- s.f. home for several years and am looking to go back to firewood. I'd like to be able to heat the house with a new wood burning stove 24/7 during the winter, for aesthetics as much as energy savings. I just miss wood fires. =) Had a recent inspection done by a very reputable local company and am going to have them install heavy duty 6" liner into our outside masonry chimney (block and terra cotta tile lined), insulated with poured in vermiculite mix. Been researching the stove lines that they carry and am considering the Avalon Olympic stove. When comparing stoves it seems to me that the dropoff from the largest model in a line to the medium is pretty major. In the case of the Avalons the difference is a 3 cubic foot FB and a 2. Not sure a 2 is going to heat our whole house but don't want to get a stove that heats us "out" of the house. I've attached a sketch of the first floor layout which is pretty open. The main part of the house is around 750 s.f. on first and second floors. We spend most of our time in the enclosed porch off the back of the house on the first floor(240 s.f.) It's a heated room but has lots of windows and isn't well insulated. Living room is rarely used. Take a look at the layout and let me know if you think the Olympic will work well for us or if it is too much stove. Upstairs are three bedrooms. Thanks!
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  2. tomzpc

    tomzpc New Member

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    Wow, almost 40 views and no replies? :(

    I definitely want to get my stove from the one shop that is doing the liner install. The people are much more helpful and informative than other stores that I visited and they are the only ones who recommended that the liner be insulated. The other places said that I shouldn't bother, yet everything I've read here and elsewhere has led me to believe that we should absolutely have the liner insulated.

    Their retail store carries Avalon, VC, Majestic, Dutchwest, Morso and Rais.
    I don't want VC or DW since I've read a lot of different negative reviews around here. I also have no interest in a catalytic stove. Rais stoves are way too contemporary looking for our "log" home.

    So I see my options as:
    Avalon Olympic (1500-2500, 3.1 firebox)
    Avalon Ranier (800-1800 s.f., 1.8 firebox)
    Avalon Spokane (1200-2000 s.f., 2.2 firebox)
    Majestic WR00007 (up to 2000 s.f., 2.1 firebox)
    Morso 3610 (up to 2400 s.f., 2.1 firebox)

    Love the look of the Morso and the side loading option and it's a big stove that they rate for up to 2400 sq. ft. but they list the firebox as only being 2.1 ft3 which is in the same range as the Majestic, the Avalon Ranier and Spokane. Is the stove more efficient than these? Just wondering why it's such a big footprint with a small firebox. It is also the only cast iron in my list though I'm not sold either way on steel or cast.

    So I guess the big question right now would be is the Olympic too big and if so which would you go with? Also, if anyone has experience with the Morso 3610 I'd love to hear it.

    Thanks again!
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    There is a ratio of about 99:1 of people complaining about too big of a stove. Go 3 ft or go home.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  4. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    You can always build small fires in a big stove, but not big fires in a small stove.
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  5. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    If you are looking for 24/7 burning it will be much easier with a 3 cuft stove than it will be with a 2 (unless of course, you are home all day.).
    BrowningBAR likes this.
  6. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    I have the liberty which is the same as the olympic minus the steptop and a different door. The liberty replaced a 15 year old dutchwest 3 years ago and its a heating monster. We heat 2400 sqft and its usually 87 in the living room even when temps are down to 10 degrees outside and about 80 upstairs. You said you have no interest in a catalytic stove, I use to fell the same way because my dutchwest NEVER worked as it should, but if I was you I would look into a blaze king or a woodstock. Two of the best catalytic stove out there. I think I'm slowly going back to wanting a catalyic stove. I know what my dealer was pricing the avalons at and the blaze king and woodstock are close the same price if not alittle cheaper.
  7. tomzpc

    tomzpc New Member

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    Thanks for the feedback guys. My thought was that going too big would be better than going too small.

    Been awhile since I've burned wood. Do these EPA stoves work like they are supposed to when you build a small fire in a larger stove? Won't regular small fires in a large firebox hinder secondary burn and cause dirty glass and creosote build-up?
  8. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    No problems running half loads.
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    This is true.

    No, not if you are burning good dry fuel. Burning small fires is a little less efficient, technically, but it is still very easy to manage. I have two stoves in the 3+ cu ft range and I can live off coals for hours and it lessens the urge to try and cram every stick of wood in the firebox in the hopes of making it until the morning.
  10. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

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    We have an Avalon Ranier in our 1,700+ sq ft Split Level Ranch.....it heats our home fine, but we do have issues with burn time.....I never sleep more than 2 hours at a clip, so I'm up to reload what is needed anyhow....but if you're comparing the 2 stoves, and burn time is impotant (always is), I'd go bigger.....we couldn't because our fireplace wouldn't take it, otherwise I would have got the Olympic
  11. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Where are you located and what outside temps you deal with and how well insulated is the home? Depending on where you are, a three cf could be too large for a 1700 sf house. I know it would be for us, in a mild climate and fairly tight 1750 sf house. If I read you right, the stove is in a 750 sf area?

    Having said that, we've been burning small fires so far in our 2 cf stove, and it's fine. We do have to tend it often that way which is okay for us because we're home all the time and don't care too much about overnight burns. There are three things that make for a clean burn: 1. Good, dry wood. 2. Good dry wood. 3. Good dry wood.
  12. tomzpc

    tomzpc New Member

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    I am definitely looking for a stove that will give me overnight burns which is one of the reasons I'd like the big firebox of the Olympic. Sounds like our houses are about the same size and we are close geographically. (NY and CT). Thanks for posting
  13. tomzpc

    tomzpc New Member

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    House isn't very tight and we are in NY. It's a log home so insulation is what we get from 6" thick wood walls with latex chinking in the gaps. Not to mention the rear enclosed porch/family room is all windows and very poorly insulated framed walls with no foundation under. We leave the french doors open to this room year round as we spend most of our time out there. That combined with the desire for overnight burns is what pushes me towards the Olympic.
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    So it sounds like 3 cf might be a good fit. Avalon's are made by Lopi (actually Travis Industries) and they always get good reviews here. If you can find other dealers, though, there are a lot of other options. Also, the Englander 30-NC is highly regarded here and can be had for well under $1000, but not through regular dealers, so you would have to find an installer. If you don't want to shop around, though, I don't think you'd be disappointed with any Lopi/Avalon product. Avalon is kind of their "budget" line, but I believe are basically the same stoves as their counterpart Lopi models but with more plain doors, less fancy lines, and things like that.

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