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Building new house with cathedral ceilings. Stove choice?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jzinckgra, May 17, 2012.

  1. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    Hi,

    We're hoping to build this year (tried last year and didn't happen). The house will be either SIP or conventional framing with cellulose and exterior rigid board. We'll have in-floor radiant on the main floor. Loft will be HWBB. Total sqft is 2100. The house will be a chalet style with great room and 23ft cathedral ceiling in that room. Obviously there is a lot of cubic volume of air on the main floor and my biggest concern is picking the right stove. I don't think in this instance I can clearly go by the stove manufacturer sqft ratings. In any case, I was looking at the Oslo as there is a good deal on a used one, but was also reading up on the Woodstocks. Although we'd like to run 24/7, this will not be possible all the time with our work schedules and so the radiant will take over on those days. We currently have a Regency in our house and that has worked well, but I think for the new house we'll need something much beefier with a good sized firebox. Any thoughts on what we should consider? Thanks.

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  2. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

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    I'd go with a Harman P61 or P68 pellet stove. Wood is a pain, especially as you get older. ;)
  3. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    We have a pellet stove in our current house and although it is nice, we really prefer the burn and heat of wood. Plus if the power goes out, I'd like to be able to still use the stove. We're not planning on getting a generator and I don't think a 12V would last that long on a pellet.
  4. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Hmmmm. What's our budget?

    If I could do what I wanted, I would build a house around a masonry heater.
  5. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    If you can get past the looks, the Blaze King King can provide extremely long burns
  6. scotsman

    scotsman Feeling the Heat

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    If you're able to build from scratch, my suggestion would be to make energy-efficient provisions for moving the hot air that collects in that ceiling back down to the floor AND making it easy for the cold air from other rooms to flow naturally toward the stove room, and do it in the original building plan. You may want to install transoms, ceiling fans, through-the-wall fans, maybe forced air vents in the walls or some other method(s) that would not be retro-fittable without major difficulty. I like redundancy where a passive method backs up an active one in case of power outage. (Sometimes one measure can serve as both--a through-the-wall fan can also serve a passive vent allowing heat to flow if the power fails.) Most any stove can MAKE the heat, it's managing to keep in where it does the most good (i. e. where YOU want it) that seems to be the difficult part. I've noticed that a large number of posts on this board are concerned with managing the heat rather than actually producing it.

    As far as a stove suggestion, I'd gravitate toward one that performs the most functions well, i.e. heats and cooks, etc. If I have MY druthers, function is the prime consideration. 99% of the time it can also be made to look good. This is just MY approach.
    Hiram Maxim, rideau and Hickorynut like this.
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    If you are going to list the cons of wood stoves, you should also list the cons of pellet stoves.
    My Oslo heats my home likes this.
  8. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

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    I think either a Blaze King or one of the new hybrid stoves should work.
    If you are starting from scratch a Blaze King would need an 8" pipe.
    They have very long burn times on low.

    I have a Harman TL-300 which could also work but it doesn't get the 40 hour burn times of the King.
    Though with a King you can't grill a steak over a wood fire when it is -30 outside.
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I would go larger than the Oslo. You have a lot of volume to heat. The Progress might do it. For the most part look to the 3 cu ft firebox stoves.
  10. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    We will certainly have two large ceiling fans in the great room to push the warm air back down. Regarding the Blaze King stoves, the only one that we would prefer stylewise is the Tuscony and that is a gas stove.
  11. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    You beat me to it BB! My suggestion would be a Jotul. Will you be heating just the great room or will you try to heat as much as you can with the new stove? Is there any openings in the second floor of the great room so the heat may access to upstairs?
  12. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    The main floor is open concept so we will want to push the heat beyond the great room.
  13. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    I have a Progress and I sort of have a chalet home (it's actually a salt box but same difference). Our whole upstairs is basically a loft except one bedroom that does close off with a door. We sleep in the open loft directly above the stove. Our house has forced air propane as back up but doesn't have any ducting to the upstairs at all. It really doesn't need it. It turns out warm air does rise!

    Anyway, I was very concerned about heating the whole house with a wood stove and being able to sleep in the room directly above it. I will say we're sleeping naked with a sheet in February, but that's not all bad. ;) Ceiling fans make all the difference in the world. Keep in mind that you actually want the fans pulling the air up in winter not trying to push air down. Working with natural convection is the way to go.

    Our stove is almost in the exact center of the house. If building from scratch, I wouldn't want anything else.

    Long story short, I think the Progress would be perfect for you. Our house is about 1,700 square-feet but is definitely not as well insulated as a properly built new home will be. It should be the perfect size and will also save you some construction costs over larger stoves that need an 8" flue. We can easily get away with two full loads a day even in the coldest weather, but if one of us is home we tend to do a smaller load in the morning and a real small load in the early evening before loading it up at night. This just helps with keeping a nice even temp. Bottom line, I don't think you'd have any trouble heating 24/7 as long as someone will be there every 12 to 14 hours or so to load the stove.

    The only not great thing about the Progress is a screen that you need to clean frequently that really isn't very easy to clean. Wood Stock is working on that and should have a fix soon. Good luck!
    rideau likes this.
  14. mygasfireplacerepair

    mygasfireplacerepair Member

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  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    +1 . . . I love my Oslo, but at times (maybe 5% of the time) during the winter I find myself wishing I had just a little bit bigger stove . . . and this is in an 1,800 square foot Cape with no loft . . . even with fans you've got to figure on a lot of heat rising into the loft area without a lower ceiling to "trap" it.
  16. Hickorynut

    Hickorynut Burning Hunk

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    I agree with Scotsman, think this through which you are trying to do. We have a story and half with a interior chimney and stove in the great room on the lower level with cathedral ceilings. We CANNOT keep the heat down in the lower level enough so the upper level is always much warmer. We have ceiling fans, tried the autofan through the forced air ducts of the furnace, whatever. You probably for the most part have to live with the situation you create. If an upstairs bedroom, keeping the doors closed a good bit of the time is an option or you will be sleeping naked with only a sheet over you as one person said:).
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Well, I'll be the contrarian. With a large open floorplan I would opt for a large convective stove and ceiling fans to break up heat stratification at the ceiling. Depending on the budget this could be the Jotul Rangeley, Enviro 1700 Boston, Napoleon 1900, PE Summit or Alderlea, etc.. A big rock like the Mansfield could work too. The Progress Hybrid may be a good choice also, but we have only about a half season's worth of data on it.

    Also, don't scrimp on the glazing. Put up windows with a high R value, the best you can afford.
  18. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

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    Not sure what would be gained by going with a convective stove other than to send more hot air up faster. We had a convective stove prior to the Progress and found it actually took longer to heat up the lower floor than with the radiant rock. Boy, the upstairs sure warmed up fast, though. <>

    Really, in an open, loft house the loft will ALWAYS be warmer than the lower level, regardless of the heat source. Like I said, we don't even have heat ducts upstairs for the furnace. With the furnace running (not anymore), the loft is still warmer than the downstairs.

    I find with the ceiling fans the difference really isn't all that much. Maybe up to 5 degrees. Cracking a window upstairs works just fine, too.

    Edit: I guess I should clarify that if I was building a new house my plans would not include an open loft bedroom directly above a wood stove. I doubt that is the OP's plan. As general use room, it is just fine, but do plan on a window that can be opened.
  19. DickRussell

    DickRussell Burning Hunk

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    As BeGreen noted, install the best (low U) windows you can afford, and in general focus a LOT of attention on the shell of this house. You are in Maine, after all, and you want the house to be comfortable everywhere, without cold spots in remote corners. If a good heat loss model hasn't been assembled for the proposed structure, do so. That will tell you how high the heat loss can get at minimum outside design temperature. That in turn will let you match the heat output of the stove to what the house needs. The stove tag will have a firing range stated, and that will give you an idea of what range of outside temperatures you can deal with. You wouldn't want a stove that puts out too much heat for the house, or you won't be able to use it as much as you'd like. This will be a new house, presumably a lot better insulated and a lot tighter than older houses, so you don't want to rely on rules of thumb for sizing the stove.

    My house is superinsulated, with nearly 4,000 sqft (gross) of conditioned space. The stove is a Quadrafire 2100 Millenium; the tag that came with it says the firing range is 11-28,000 BTU/hr, although the company's web site now says it can go to 40,800 and heat from 800 to 2100 sqft of space. The heat loss model for our house is about 22,000 BTU/hr at -5 F, right in the middle of the firing range on the tag. Actual experience supports the numbers, and the stove can indeed heat the whole house.
  20. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    Just following up on everyone's suggestions. Was at our local woodstove dealer this past wknd. checking out the Harmons and Hearthstones and Jotul. The new Jotul F50 and F55 caught my eye. I'd think either may handle the cubic volume of our house. The reviews here seem favorable. Any thoughts?
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The F50 (Rangeley) is in my list of recommended stoves. It was introduced a couple seasons ago and had proven to be a good heater.
  22. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    Also noticed the F55 is much lower on efficiency (74%) then the F50 (84%). If I were to go with the bigger F55 stove, should the efficiency be a top priority in considering stoves?
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  24. jzinckgra

    jzinckgra Member

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    Thanks, the T6 is on the list to look at too.
  25. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    look at your wood source. In my area, the supplieers only cut 18 inches. Lots of stoves on the market need smaller, We used to cut our own and could do any length and for our Fisher, we cut 22 inches. The Woodstock Company list many of their stoves at 16 inches, but the Progress lists 16-22.ionches Progress may be too big for us, the Keystone would have been the better size, but only takes 16.

    I see that Jotul has a Maine built steel stove called the Carrabasset, but have not seen any commentary on this. Think this one would be too big for us as well.

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