Hello, Wise Ones! We need advice. We are considering a stove solution for our river house, the house to which we hope to retire in a few years. We are considering woodstoves and propane-fired gas stoves as well as pellet stoves. The specs: One story ranch style house, approximately 2000 sq. ft. The living areas are on one end of the house and consist of a living room, dining room, kitchen and Florida room in an open concept design with no doors nor substantial walls nor obstructions between those four rooms. The laundry room is off of the kitchen, at one end of the house, and that has a typical residential sized doorway with a door. A standard long ranch-styled hallway traverses the other half of the house, leading to three bedrooms, a hall bath and a master bath off of the master bedroom at the far other end of the house. The HVAC system consists of a 14 or 17 SEER (neither of us can remember right now) heat pump/air conditioner with a propane furnace back up. We have a 500 gallon propane tank. We opted to purchase a propane tank to replace the rental propane tank, since we don't typically use enough propane in a year (yet) to avoid tank rental fees. Since we had to purchase a tank, we purchased A TANK, with an eye toward a whole house generator eventually. It is a remote rural location with above ground electrical supply lines. Power outages don't occur as often as one might think but we do get both summer and winter storms (and spring and fall storms) and prolonged power outages are always a possibility. The house is new construction (circa 2007) and very well constructed to handle the environment. The builder is a life-long resident of this area, as is his family for several generations. They know how to build houses that stand up to weather on the water. The house is stick built of substantial materials, insulated and tight, with good quality thermal windows, R40 blown insulation in the attic, six inch exterior walls with good insulation, good quality doors, etc. Construction money was spent on "meat and potatoes" construction as opposed to "lipstick and mascara" extras. We feel very fortunate to have found this house at that time. The builder had discounted it substantially in the down turn in the housing market, otherwise it would have been out of our price range. The front of the house has an east/southeast exposure that gets good solar gain. There is a deep front porch that shades the living room windows in the summer. The back of the house has a west/northwest exposure. The lot isn't waterfront but there is a flat, unobstructed field between the back of the house and the water. The highest wind speed we've clocked on our weather station since we've owned the property was over 60 mph last winter- and that wasn't during a storm. That was just winter wind. The wind hits the back of the house directly. (Thank God for substantial construction.) There is the possibility that lots between us and the water will be developed with homes, typical residential landscaping, etc. over time but at this moment there is no development on the horizon. The outside unit for the HVAC is on the front of the house, tucked into a little protected "L" created by two exterior walls. There is a gas vent for the propane furnace, the dryer vent and foundation vents with which to contend in that area as well. This is important because we hope to put the stove, whichever type of stove we get, on the interior of one of those walls. Venting for the stove will come into play here. I suspect that with all of those openings and equipment in play we will be looking at a vent pipe chimney of some sort. The interior location in which we hope to install the stove is on the opposite side of one of the walls of that "L," in the living room. That location would point the stove almost directly down the hall to the bedrooms. It would also locate the stove in the room in which we typically sit on winter evenings and watch t.v. and it also places the stove in the open floor plan portion of the house. The heat flow to the dining room, kitchen, Florida room and laundry room will be unobstructed. The question is- what kind of stove? Propane: easy, will operate during a power outage, but it means that our "supplemental heat" is fueled by the most expensive option we have at our disposal. Not the economical solution we are seeking but it is easy and it will operate during a winter power outage. Pellet stove: easy, economical, and we have a place to store a nominal amount of pellets. We have storage for tonnage in town and we can transport the pellets we need for temporary stays until we build more storage on site. Cannot run it during a power outage. If we eventually have a generator at this location, and we run the generator during a power outage, we'll use it to run the furnace/furnace fans, not to run the pellet stove. Wood stove: can operate during a power outage and any other time as well. The heat is stronger- will it circulate throughout the house as well as a pellet stove with a blower? Will a blower on a woodstove work as well as the convection blower on a pellet stove? What about an outside air kit? Will an outside air kit keep the woodstove from creating negative pressure in the house and pulling cold air in through any little air gap? Both of us realize that embarking on a woodstove lifestyle in our mid-fifties, moving into our sixties (and hopefully beyond) is a lot of work. We are both in pretty good shape, however, and we aren't afraid of work. That being said, we will most likely have to buy firewood. We don't own land, we don't have access to land with hardwoods on it, and many of the very local lumber is pine. How about the new hybrid woodstoves? We are rather fascinated with those... Also, do these newer hybrid woodstoves come up to temperature faster? It's been years since I've been around a woodstove- but it will do us little good if we crank up the woodstove on a Friday night, and just about the time the woodstove gets up to temperature and warms the house, it's time to leave on Sunday afternoon. As far as storage, wood can be stored outside. Combination solution: a pellet stove in the living room to heat the house during normal periods of time and give us an economical alternative to the electric heat pump and propane-fired back up furnace, and a gas stove in the Florida room for power outages. The gas stove could come later, since we are not yet obligated to staying at that location during winter storms and outages. On the other hand, a heat source in the house that is independent from the power grid but quick and easy could protect pipes from freezing in winter storms. Any feedback is welcomed. The two of us are chasing our tails with this problem- we finally realized that we need input from people who are more experienced with the various alternatives. What think you, Wise Ones?