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Cat stove or outdoor wood stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by corey148, Feb 7, 2013.

  1. corey148

    corey148 New Member

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    Western MD
    I was wondering what the best course of action for me to take to help heat my house during the winter months. I live in Western Maryland where winter months average around 20-30 degrees, lows in the teens to single digits every once in a while. My house is a rancher with 13' cathedral ceilings on half the house with a square footage of approximately 1650 square feet. The house is also insulated fairly well. I currently have a wood stove in the basement which is also 1650 square feet so realistically I am heating approximately 3300 square feet. The basement is currently unfinished but will be finished in the future. Would it be better for me to shell out the money for an outdoor wood stove or invest in a high priced cat stove i.e. Blaze King. I checked the prices on the Blaze King's and they are really pricey but if I save in the long run it will be worth the investment. Any input would be great.

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  2. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    For one, I like to look at the fire while having a beer or glass of wine. The old fashioned fuzzy feelin. Outdoor furnaces no doubt do their job but there is no ambience. I'd say, do it inside. Cat stove versus baffles and reburn; I like the baffles stoves but, look around. We all have different tastes. Good luck in feeling warm.
  3. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    Where in western Maryland do you live? I could be wrong but didn't Maryland outlaw outdoor boilers? What about an indoor wood furnace?
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    I am not a fan of the outdoor wood boilers at all. There is a reason many areas are outlawing them. In addition, I have some friends who have them. I hate going there in the winter months because their homes are not all that warm. In addition, they burn a lot more wood than a free standing wood stove. As for the cat stoves, we have one and are happy with it. The two best things about it is less wood useage and super clean burning. Rarely have to clean the chimney.
    Highbeam and Hiram Maxim like this.
  5. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Invest your money in insulating that basement, then you can get away with burning in an Englander NC-30.
  6. lopiliberty

    lopiliberty Minister of Fire

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    Where in the heck is the closest blaze king dealer in western Maryland?
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    A number of years ago I gave a long, hard look at heating alternatives . . . outdoor wood boilers, indoor super-efficient boilers, pellet stoves and woodstoves.

    In the end I pretty much ruled out the OWB quickly for just a few of the reasons Dennis mentioned -- namely everyone I know that has one of these does save money on heating their domestic water and it's nice for the whole heat on demand with thermostats . . . but the price they pay is they go through insane amounts of wood. While I had free access to wood at the time so I would not have to buy wood, I still value my time and have other interests and hobbies and didn't want to have my life focus so much on wood production. There is also the original expensive outlay compared to pellet stoves and woodstoves and the gunk those stoves put out -- my father's OWB was a smoky, creosote-laden mess from so much idling.
  8. corey148

    corey148 New Member

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    Loc:
    Western MD
    Backwoods Savage, just curious on what type of cat stove do you have. what are the specs on it (burn time, firebox, sq footage it will heat)
  9. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Woodstock Fireview. You can find all the specs here: http://woodstove.com/fireview

    Burn time can be a difficult one to give because it depends so much on the fuel. However, we have no trouble going 12 hours if we fill it. During the fall and early winter when the temperatures did not drop below 15 degrees, we could heat the house easily all night on 3-4 splits. Mornings would find the house temperatures >75 and sometimes 80.
  10. corey148

    corey148 New Member

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    Loc:
    Western MD
    How many square feet are you heating, on average how many cords of wood due you go through each year, and if you don't mind me asking how much did you pay for your stove?? Sorry for so many questions but I am trying to gain as much info as possible.
  11. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    Just ask a OWB user, if they even know how much they use. Most don't get the chance to stack it. I talk to a lot of people that run them and the least I have ever heard of burns around 6 cords a year to heat a house. That's over twice as much as an old smoke dragon would use here in a year. I'm not interested or impressed at all!
  12. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    NC MO
    Have you priced the OWB setup yet? I'm guessing the BK will be a cheaper install and will be more efficient per btu produced.

    Another issue you haven't addressed is will you be able to get the heat upstairs, now that is a whole nother issue. If your current stove is heating the space you want heated in the manner you want to heat it, then that Blaze King will be your best buy between the two options you asked about. Call around to several dealers, there seems to be pricing issues east of the Mississippi river.

    There are several threads addressing the problems of getting air upstairs into the living space, which sounds like your objective. How about an indoor wood furnace ducted to where you need the heat?

    Unless you go with a gasification boiler, then the amount of wood you will burn is outrageous to me as webby indicates. The only reason to go with one outside is to keep the mess out of the house and will be difficult to do on a budget.
  13. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    The Fireview would be too small for both levels of your house. How big is your Flue? If it is a 6 inch then go Blaze King Chinook 30 or Woodstock Hybrid. If it is an 8 inch you could get a Blaze King King or a Kuma Sequoia.
  14. ailanthus

    ailanthus Feeling the Heat

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    Loc:
    Shen Valley, VA
    I was making the same decision about 2 years ago. I didn't have a usable chimney, so the initial costs were about the same. Went with an inside non-catalytic stove & couldn't be happier. Also, I think if you end up putting in a stove, your basement might magically get finished sooner rather than later - all of us really gravitate to the stove.

    Good luck - I've got lots of relatives in Garrett county if that's anywhere near you. One of my favorite places in the world!
    lopiliberty likes this.
  15. charly

    charly Guest

    Corey,, I can tell you I had an outdoor wood boiler for 6 years,, heated my domestic hot water and house,,, 10-12 cords of wood,,,, got sick of processing all that wood every year,, sold my boiler and built an outdoor boiler building, installed a Paxo 60 gasafication boiler 1000 gallons of water storage in the boiler building, pus 600 gallons in my basement,,, big money investment, still burned 8 cords,,, had to worry about corrosion in the system, keeping the circulators running if the power went out,,ugg !! Now that we moved to our farm,, two simple wood stoves in the house, one cook stove and one regular Cat stove.. So much simpler ... power goes out, nothing changes.. Half the wood usage,, and no boiler water to maintain....I like having things simple again...Those OWB's gobble wood,,, don't let anyone ever tell you different... People will never admit but your a slave to them,,, once filled with water, your it everyday to keep it going or you lose your investment...unless you can back heat with your main heater in your house in an emergency,,, that what I did......Just giving you a heads up to what I've been through..I actually got two years ahead for my out door wood boiler at one point... 24 cords takes up a lot of room,,, then the sad part is looking at all that wood , knowing in 2 winters it will be gone verses 6 with an inside stove... Makes you think about your time....I learned my lesson;)
    Charlie

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    Backwoods Savage and Jags like this.
  16. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Wow - can't beat the suggestions from someone that has run all three styles. OWB, Gassifier and wood stoves. Thanks for that, Charly.;)
  17. charly

    charly Guest

    Just trying to save the next guy a lot of money.. I had a wood stove before and now that's what I'm back to burning...Simplicity at its best...and a lot less wood... Plus like said earlier in this post,,, you get to enjoy viewing your fire.... And best of all,,, when the wind is blowing with below zero wind chills,,, no trip outdoors to load the wood boiler... even though my gaser was in a warm shed,, you still were heading outside to reload..I like reloading now with my socks on;). Just the money in quality underground insulated pipe puts you in the wood stove range.. Keep it simple and fun!
    Backwoods Savage and Jags like this.

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