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Help choose new stove for very cold Canadian winters.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Rudy, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. Malatu

    Malatu New Member

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    I assume you have insulation in the attic, and lots of it. If not, I would respectfully suggest that should be first on your list, before windows or a stove. And definately an easy do it yourself job!

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  2. Malatu

    Malatu New Member

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    What do you mean by the term "wider range"? That interests me.
  3. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Cats have a wider range of BTU output than non cats, mostly because they can put out a lower heat output for a longer burn but can still be turned up for higher output.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  4. Malatu

    Malatu New Member

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    Thanks for that explanation.
  5. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

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    Winnipeg, Canada
    The attic has blow-in insulation, i think about 2 feet of it. That's what the guy who did it said.
    The attic is not accessible, he blew it in through a vent in the roof. I cut out a hole in the ceiling in the bedroom years ago to get up there and lay down the vapour barrier, but the hole is sealed now.

    Also I wanted to ask, what is better? Flue straight up and out the roof or through the wall and up? I read something about keeping as much of the pipe in the house to keep the heat, as opposed to out the side and up. Something about the longer section of the chimney being outside in the cold and not working as well? And also the cost of the longer chimney. It just seems easier through the wall than all that work through the attic.

    Because my other plan was to put the stove by the west window, remove the window, board it up and run the pipe though there. But then the stove would be on one side of the house and not heat all areas evenly.. The reason I wanted it at the end of the living room and through the window is that I only have 3 feet between the house and the neighbour's house where people walk so the chimney would be in the way if i ran it out the side in the middle of the living room.

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  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Straight up will draft better, is easier to clean and it usually costs less. It looks like this is going to be a shorter chimney in a very cold climate so I would definitely give the flue every advantage you can.
  7. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Just me, or is anyone else kinda cringing a bit? I'm usually a lot more paranoid than many homeowners, but my gut tells me there might be a mountain of insulation right around the vent area, and not much elsewhere? or not much anywhere? or existing soffit vents now blocked off? I don't want to alarm you Rudy but if it were me I would be making a permanent attic access ASAP (cut the hole, trim it out) in an inconspicuous area and having a good look around. Even if the guy was reputable. Perhaps if others here advise on a straight up chimney, his might even be the perfect opportunity to pick the spot and frame in the ceiling support - when you also care of your attic access..? Just my 2c, FWIW...
    rideau likes this.
  8. hotprinter

    hotprinter Member

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    I live in the heart if Alaska and the only stove I would recommend for arctic temps is a BLAZE KING with a cat. They are amazing. Get the biggest box you can afford as it will give you the longest burn times. For your square footage probably a princess.
  9. hotprinter

    hotprinter Member

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    Also for your windows purchase some of the clear shrink wrap window weatherproofing from Walmart or Home Depot. It comes with two sided tape that you place all around you window frame and then stretch the clear plastic over it. Then you use a hair dryer to shrink it tight. This will keep out drafts and also keep the moisture off the windows so they will be clear and ice free.
  10. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    The more i read about cat stoves here the more I like. Sounds like your location is the real acid test - what model of BK do you run, what kind of burn times do you see, square footage, etc? I'm not looking to change anything now, but just interested in this, and one day when it's time to get a newer stove it could be a cat, you never know...
  11. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

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    Yeah, I might have a peak in there. The guy was a "friend" of a family member, but I like to verify things like you.
    The only reason I didn't is because it's too much of a "pebble in the shoe" to say politely. Also there was some asbestos in there, that's why I sealed it. But the asbestos is now covered by the insulation so I could re-open the hole in the ceiling and climb up there. Will be a little messy, but I could drill small holes in the ceiling from there to indicate where the roof joist are so the line up the hole for the pipe right.

    Thanks hotprinter and bag of hammers for your responseas you live in cold climates. I value your knowledge when it comes to heating in the winter and what size of stove does the job. There are a lot of specs on paper that are useless when compared to real life experience.

    PS I know about the shrinkwrap, I use it on windows in the porch. I really don't get much cold from the current windows in the living room.
  12. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Rudy - it sounds like you have a lot to deal with. Asbestos - just the word is scaring the crap out of people these days. Agree you should exercise caution but at least consider the trade-off between not going up there at all (not disturbing anything but also not knowing what kind of shape you're in) vs going up there carefully (maybe still not disturbing anything but still dealing with things like Asbestos) but then being able to inspect everything (roof, chimney, ventilation, etc.). If you go thru the roof with your chimney, assuming you might have to cut / move some asbestos materials?

    I feel for you - you're kinda between a rock and a hard place. Like I mentioned, I may be a bit more paranoid than others - I won't light a stove if I can't access every inch of the chimney periodically just to sanity check the install top to bottom. I'm not a pro or a sweep but I want to see it. Every year (at least once, particularly when I light the first fire in the fall) I'm on the roof and then in the attic doing a quick visual on every part of the chimney. Maybe an outside chimney in your case would completely avoid the haz mat attic...? really hoping the veterans here chime in with their thoughts on the asbestos thing, and help level set, as I don't want to steer you with just my paranoia.

    Good luck with whatever you decide on. As I've read here a hundred times or more, above all be safe.
  13. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    I'm just south of Ottawa, my sister is in Ottawa. She swears Ottawa feels colder than Winnepeg, because it's wetter. She claims 20 below in Winnepeg feels warm compared to 20 below in Ottawa.
    Anyway, I heated an over 3000 square foot home for about 7 years with a Fireview (Woodstock). It didn't adequately heat the home, but did an amazing job for a small stove. First floor was fine, except when it was 30 below, then 1st floor was in the 60s. Second floor never got much above 60, unless it was sunny out. Third floor high 50's. Home 46 feet x 32 feet three stories, lots of windows.
    A Fireview or Keystone would provide plenty of heat for you. Fireview went about 10 hours on a moderately full load for me (about 1/2 to 3/4 full). I never split my wood small enough to really load the stove.
    Just make sure, if you want to get a Woodstock, that your localk building inspector will accept UL listing. Woodstock doesn't do CSA testing, although the latest Woodstock stove is tested by a Quebec lab. Woodstock will provide all the paperwork for customes, and will ship to Canada.
    The stoves are beautiful, and very well built. The Fireview never gave me any problem whatsoever. Cat lasted over 5 years. Woodstock sells replacement cats at really reasonable rates. The heat from Woodstock soapstone stoves feels as if it is the sun shining on you.
  14. hotprinter

    hotprinter Member

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    I have the top of the line ULTRA KING. It is heating our 2 story house. 1120 sq ft x 2 stories = 2240 total. Stove is in basement. The stove is amazing. It replaced an osburn that would not burn overnight.
  15. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the add'l info. Re: the Osburn, I'm not sure if I should laugh or cry, next time I load mine :). Seriously, the BK sounds like that it an awesome stove.
  16. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    On similar note, a stove I really liked (also would have shipped from US) did not have the CSA listing and my insurance company balked. I think it's sad if a beautiful and (tested) safe stove gets nix'd by what's essentially some kind of bureaucracy.
  17. rijim

    rijim Member

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    I agree, straight up with the chimney is the best option for draft as the height will be limited; locate the stove where ever it works best for room layout, the area is small enough that if needed a small fan will move air around. Box the chimney where it passes thru the attic to keep the insulation away from it and maintain clearances.
  18. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Yeah the Chinook would be a great fit, if you dont want too much heat you can set the cat temp at 800 or so, its its below zero you can warm the cat up to 1800, its amazing the control you have with these stoves to regulate the heat output, of course if your running it hot the burn wont be 40 hours but you'll still get a long burn time.
  19. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

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    Can you cook on the chinook?
    The top doesn't look like its made for cooking.
    I guess as long as it's hot enough, it can cook.
    The chinook 20 is $2500 and the chinook 30 is $3000.
    The difference in size is 5 inches on the side and 6 to the back.
    The 30 takes an extra inch or two of wood and gives an additional 10 hours on low burn.
    It's 6 inches deeper which means extra 6 inches of hearth protection to the front.
    Hi heat output is almost the same but slow burn makes the difference.

    The fire box is 2 inche wider and they both fit 18" of wood north/south, but the chinook 20 will have it nearly touching the glass. Is that a problem?

    I guess the best way to reload it is to wait till the wood is down to coals? I am trying to figure out my schedule to reload the stove when I'm home. It would work every 14-15 hours according to my schedule. So maybe the 20 would work slightly above low to make it burn that long? Does it radiate heat after it goes out like soapstone or cast iron?
  20. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

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    How does the heat from the bottom level get to the second level? Ducts?

    I could put my stove in the basement with concrete walls and floor and maybe use existing ducts from the furnace to force the heat upstairs. But would the air in the ducts be hot enough to heat the upstairs?
    Maybe I could partially enclose the stove in brick with lets say 2 foot clearance and attach duct to it with a inline fan and run it into the furnace duct......? Just thinking out loud here...
  21. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

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    Well, if you want to hook up to your existing duct work they make Wood stove furnaces, we used to have one. They are awesome if you are trying to heat the house and don't mind looks.

    http://www.northerntool.com/shop/tools/product_200435189_200435189
  22. hotprinter

    hotprinter Member

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    I had 2 ducts installed right above and toward the front of the stove. Then I have a ceiling fan right above on the 2 nd floor pulling the air up. Works great.
  23. Rudy

    Rudy New Member

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    I found a used wood furnace locally for $375, but all I have is a trap door into the basement and there is no way to get it down there. Even a stove would be tough to get down there.....so scratch that idea.

    I think the chinook 20 would work. It has local support from the dealer, parts and installation and insurance agencies should cover it. Of course the combuster will need replacement eventually, and i read something about humidity in the chimney when a stove is more than 80% efficient? What about the fresh air intake kit? Probably a good idea to have, to prevent negative pressure in the house and so the fire doesn't starve for air?
  24. rijim

    rijim Member

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    I like the BK line, trying to talk my better half into the Sirocco, problem is just got the Jotul 3 years ago.
    Good luck.
  25. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

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    The window thing again...here, read this: http://www.oldhouseweb.com/forums/viewtopic.php?f=2&t=28618&p=264476&hilit=window efficiency#p264476 I am hoping to replace my yucky replacement windows with old ones. New windows are WAY overrated, imo. We put all new Andersons in our old house and it didn't help the heat bills one bit.

    Now, I agree the Chinook or Sirroco would be a good fit. We have a (non-cat) stove sized for a MUCH bigger house here, and we rarely cook ourselves out. You just need to build smaller shorter fires in shoulder season.

    Pipes...we used to leave our tub faucet run a little during really cold spells at our old house, where we had an unheated crawl space.

    I don't think you'll need an OAK.

    I don't think the BK will radiate heat like a soapstone stove after the fire is out.

    Yes, you'll want to wait until the stove has just coals left before reloading, and you don't want to reload on a LOT of hot coals. If you need to reload on a full bed of coals, rake them forward so the whole split isn't sitting on them and catching fire at once.

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