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Choosing a stove... Keystone or Cera Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by desertfox, Feb 12, 2008.

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  1. desertfox

    desertfox New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central TX
    Hello everyone,
    I'm new here, and I am considering getting a wood stove for heating a home I recently purchased. It is an older, poorly insulated home at around 900 sq. ft. I am doing some remodeling on it and plan to move in around the end of the year. It has a very basic, open floorplan. I have been researching woodstoves as a economical way to heat the house, and I was just about set on the Woodstock Keystone because of its efficiency, even heating with soapstone, its vertical exhaust option, ashpan, and its size. However, I came across the Cera-Stoves on montanastove.com and am intrigued by them. The turbo top teton model seems appropriate. I was curious if their claims of efficiency, ease of use, and safety are true. I noticed that they list no btu or sq. footage ratings, as well as no epa efficiency percentages. I also noticed that they have 8" exhausts which seems to entail more expense in chimney pipe and accessories. I was just hoping that someone could give some advice on which of these stoves gives the best combo of even and efficient heating. I would appreciate any advice I could get.

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  2. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,015
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    The Woodstock stove is on sale, with money off delivery and an extended no questions asked return policy: how can you lose?
  3. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
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    desertfox,
    I actually emailed the Cera Stove inventor, I think his name is Fred Seton, he advised that they are not UL listed or EPA approved. He didn't answer some of my other questions about btus, etc.

    I did ask if he had any plans to seek UL listing or EPA approval and I got a response to the effect that he leaves that to the manufacturer. I couldn't quite understand what he was getting at and emailed him for info on any manufacturers in my area and he never responded.

    My impression is that this is basically a successful, small scale, home based business and he doesn't need the aggravation of trying to develop it into something bigger. I do know that he sells the plans so when he says he leaves UL listing & EPA approval to the manufacturer he's either referring to individual customers or perhaps someone else that is producing them on their own.

    It's a shame since they sound really efficient.

    I wonder if a company like Englander would consider approaching him regarding some sort of partnership.

    By the way, in the course of researching Seton stoves I came across a quotation from someone by the name of Fred Seton, I'm not sure if it's the same guy or not.

    "Bullshit is self-levelling" Fred Seton

    This quotation would work better if it were literally true but it has a certain resonance to it.
    Cath
  4. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2007
    Messages:
    1,015
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    Hey Cath! Is that why the cow pies are always flat in the field.

    Again, go for the Woodstock!
  5. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    294
    Swestall,
    That quotation makes much more sense now! I guess I wasn't taking it literally enough.
    ~Cath
  6. desertfox

    desertfox New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2008
    Messages:
    3
    Loc:
    Central TX
    Thanks for the information and advice. It really is a shame about the cera-stoves. I was hoping to try them out but will not go with a stove that has no official safety testing. The Keystone it is. You've both been vey helpful.
  7. zadwit

    zadwit New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2007
    Messages:
    39
    I purchased a Seton Montana Fan top wood burning Cera-stove last August. I have run it all winter here in Interior Alaska and the last few weeks it has been -40 to -50 (f) . I am heating a 45x41 x14 high aircraft hangar and an attached 24x24 apartment with a 24x14 bedroom up stairs. The stove works pretty well and does everything Fred Seton said it would do. I burn mostly birch firewood, however I have used spruce also. The stove is simple in design and the fire burns so hot that it makes little or no cresote. I have checkd the chimney a few times this winter and it has virtualy no creasote, only a light brown coating.
    I load the stove in the morning at 6am and it still have about 6-8" of coals and is still blowing hot air when I come home at 5pm at night. It keeps the hangar in the 70-80's most of the day even at -40 and I have a fan that blows into the apartment.
    My regular heat system is radiant floor heat and a burnham v-15 oil fired boiler. It averages 10-12 gallons per day without any wood heat. I calcualted that I would need 10-15 cords of wood to heat this season and at $225 a cord = $3375.So far this winter I have consumed about 7 or 8 cords of wood.
    I normally go thru 3000 gallons of oil from August to May at $3.20 a gallon=$9600.
    This is not entirely accurate because I still use my boiler to heat my domestic hot water. I wish I had purchased a Seton wood fired gasification boiler and my do so in the future.
    I have had lots of differnt wood stoves in the past and I while I can't quantify it , this Seton wood stove burns less wood for the tremendous amount of heat that it puts out.
    Fred is kind of a crusty old guy to deal with , but others in the heating industry say he is honest and I tend to agree. I also believe he KNOWS his stuff. I would buy another stove or boiler from him in a heatbeat.
  8. jpl1nh

    jpl1nh Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,572
    Loc:
    Newfields NH
    As a Keystone owner, I can tell you that you can't go wrong with this stove. It's beautiful, it's easy to use, it burns a load forever, it works well in warmer weather, it can crank out heat in cold weather, it's truly well designed and manufactured, and it's backed by a company that is second to none within and outside of the idustry in terms of their customer satisfaction. PS, watching the secondary burn, yes, that's secondary burn in a cat stove, is truly mesmorizing. My 19, 20, and 21 year old sons, all will come home and just sit in front of the stove watching it burn just for entertainment!
  9. Fire Bug

    Fire Bug New Member

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    Loc:
    Clarks Summit,Pa.
    With a "Money Back /No Questions Asked Warranty",(including returned shipping), until Dec. 2008 and, as noted above, thier outstanding customer sastisfaction, with both product and manufacturer, why would you choose anything else?
    No other manufacturer out there offers this kind of warranty. Just look at the ratings posted on this site and tell me if you find a one rating that is less than perfect.
    Woodstock seems to have stayed with the same design, incorportated into thier products over the years, rather than changing contstantly, as some manufacturers do to keep up with their competetors. Maybee this is the key to their great ratings and superior products. Constant changes sometimes hinders a product and the manufacture who produces them.
    From what you saying about this other company, I would steer clear of them.
    John
  10. Cath

    Cath Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    frozenasset,
    Aside from the few emails I exchanged with Fred I don't know him from Adam and yet my instincts --for what they are worth-- is that his stoves are everything he describes and more and that your assessment of his character is accurate.

    The problem is that one way or the other most people need a UL listed stove to satisfy local permit requirements and/or to obtain insurance. In some states you also need EPA approval. And as a practical matter, the UL listing provides some peace of mind.

    I have to hope that some day someone will partner up with him or buy him out and make them available to a wider segment of people. That would probably involve getting them UL Listed and EPA approved.

    ~Cath
  11. desertfox

    desertfox New Member

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    Feb 12, 2008
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    Loc:
    Central TX
    frozenasset,
    I appreciate you relaying your experiences. Which size of cera stove do you have?
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