1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Help picking a good radiant wood stove?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Hoozie, Sep 30, 2012.

  1. Hoozie

    Hoozie Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    Klamath Basin, Oregon
    Hey all,

    I'm looking to replace my 30 year old Earth Stove with something a bit more efficient. We live in a basin with 'poor' air quality, so depending on the air quality each day, depends on which stoves can burn. (if you're curious: http://www.nmeha.org/Resources/Documents/Klamath Air Delbert.pdf)

    Our house is ~2000ft^2. It's single story, and long and narrow. The stove is on an outside wall at one end, and I don't plan on the bedroom at the other end to get heat from the stove. The living room the stove is in is ~750ft^2 (it's HUGE, lol). The house is old enough and been added onto several times, so there's no central heat. Bad wiring and bad insulation don't help. So other than space heaters if we get desperate, the stove will be the main source of heat. And as long as it stays over 60*F inside, we're happy. With any luck we'll replace the house in the next few years.

    Ideally we're looking for a stove that radiates heat. We want to back up to it and get warm without needing a blower, and at least be similar to the earth stove like that. We both work from home, and we don't mind reloading during the day, or starting from coals in the morning. Winter lows are usually in the mid 'teens, with highs around freezing. I think I'd prefer to have a non-cat stove, but might be convinced otherwise. Wood is all Ponderosa/Lodgepole Pine, or Juniper.

    I was looking at the Lopi Liberty, until I found out that's the stove my parents have, which they really don't like :-| The main thing they don't like is how the fire can be nice and hot, but without the blower running, they don't get any significant heat off it. But talking to my parents some more, they said they got the convective version, and that Lopi also has a radiant version?

    Then a friend told me about Jotul. It looks like they are designed to be more radiant than convective, right? The Jotul F 50 looks interesting, and clean enough that I can get a variance to burn on Red days. Although the 500 and 600 also look interesting.

    Does anyone have feedback about how much radiant heat the Jotul stoves, or the Lopi Liberty give off? Or any other recommendations for which stove we should get?

    Thanks

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Welcome Hoozie. If you want big and radiant in steel, the basic Englander 30NC available at Home Depot is a good start. Basically you want a stove that is not jacketed or shielded on the sides or top. Your other choices for a radiant stove are usually in cast iron. The Jotul F500 or F600 and the Quadrafire Isle Royale are a few good options here.

    The Liberty is a respectable heater and used by one of our mods in Bend for heat. But if your folks have chilly bones and like the deep heat of a radiant stove, then that's understandable. I wonder if you should consider swapping with them and let them buy the radiant stove?

    Members have had good success distributing the heat in your style house by doing the following. It'll sound counter-intuitive, but this works. Try it.

    For more even heat in the house put a table or box fan at the far end of the hallway, placed on the floor, pointing toward the woodstove. Run it on low speed. It will blow the cooler air down low, toward the woodstove. The denser cool air will be replaced with lighter warm air from the stove room. Running this way you should notice at least a 5F increase in the hallway temp after about 30 minutes running.
    neumsky likes this.
  3. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 28, 2010
    Messages:
    2,238
    Loc:
    Soutwest VA
    The Magnolia wood stove by us stove company works for me.
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum Hoozie.

    In addition to what BeGreen stated, you might also look at the soapstone stove. But be aware they will cost a bit more but are wonderful.

    As for the cat or non-cat, we were against a cat stove when we looked for our last stove but ended up getting one anyway when we found out that all the negative talk was baloney. We are very happy with our cat stove and some of the reasons are that we cut our wood needs in half and stay a lot warmer (we keep the house around 80 all winter). Our chimney stays nice and clean (we've cleaned it once since we bought it in 2007). It is a beautiful stove and looks like a fine piece of furniture even in the summer when it is not used.

    BeGreen also gave you some great advise on moving the air in the house. It works!

    Good luck.
    charly likes this.
  5. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,452
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    I would not be happy with the interior temp at 60 . . . I heat my 1,800 2-story Cape with the F-500 Oslo . . . and temps are more often found in the mid to high 70s in the living room with the stove and as you go further away the temps drop 2 or so degrees.

    I cannot speak to the F-50, but the F-500 is a heat machine . . . a locomotive. It takes a bit (figure on an hour) to go from cold to where the room is warm, but once up to speed the F-500 will continue to radiate out heat for a fair amount of time . . . and it is also near bullet-proof. Occasionally my eye goes wandering and I think about wanting to try other stoves, but the Oslo for me has been just what I needed -- a 24/7 heat supply that works as good as it looks.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The F50 and F55 are jacketed stoves and convective like the Alderleas. That's why I suggested sticking to the F500 or F600. The more I think about it, the more I like the idea of swapping with the parents first. Could be a win-win situation, assuming SWMBO approves.
  7. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,452
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    SWMBO . . . single white male with body odor? ;)
    Dairyman likes this.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    she who must be obeyed
  9. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    I'd consider this option as well. With your floor plan, a convective stove is going to produce warm air that can be moved to the far reaches of the house. If the house is drafty and insulation is not the greatest, this will help. If with your home jobs, your work area is in a different room, you will have an easier time moving warmer air to those. There's a Liberty set up here in a local stove shop. That thing is a heat monster, likes to run hot and also radiates seriously out of the window. You should know from your folks' stove if you're OK with the fan noise of that stove, which IIRC wasn't excessive. There's also something to be said for having the Liberty's big fire box, especially if you are burning those softwoods. We have a radiant stove here but we are in a two-room house...stove room (about the size of yours) and bedroom. I've also run a Dutchwest 2460 in here, which is a convective stove. I finally tried a blower on it in the final year we used it. The increase in heat output was dramatic, and really helped in this leaky house.
  10. Hoozie

    Hoozie Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    Klamath Basin, Oregon
    Thanks for the replies.

    So the Jotul F500 and 600 radiate pretty good heat? I'll have to go price them out at the local dealer sometime soon. I also like the price on the Home Depot ones, but I wonder about how thick the steel is they use to get the prices that low?

    Is there really that much difference between a convective and radiant stove in getting heat to the far reaches of the house? Last winter we ran a box fan near the stove when it was pumping out heat. Seemed to work pretty well. I think I'll also put a ceiling fan in the living room before winter. I just don't want the power to go out and kill the blower, and with it any chance of getting heat out of the stove. If I can get the variance to burn all winter, it will be going pretty much 24/7.

    I'll have to try the fan trick as well. There are three doorways between the living room and the back bedroom, two of which I have to duck under, and I'm 'only' 6'4" :rolleyes: Some tall ceilings, and one low one, and sloping floors. Did I mention this house is old and weird? We like the bedroom a little cooler anyways.

    My other concern is our chimney. 4.5' above the hearth it goes into a 90* and through the wall. The horizontal section is ~4' long, then another 90* and up to above the peak of the house. 6" the whole way, with triple wall starting at the horizontal and going to the peak. With the earth stove last winter (our first winter here), whenever I opened the door the smoke would billow out. Open slow or fast, it didn't matter. Get more than a few inches open and the smoke came out. I'm hoping the new stove will produce less smoke, so it won't be as bad? I'll also need to install an outside air intake which I think should help. There is room to move the horizontal section about 3' farther up the wall to get more vertical rise inside, before it goes outside, if that would make a difference?

    And SWMBO ;lol
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    If you do move that horizontal section, put more incline to it. 4' is a long ways horizontal! Code says 1/4" rise per foot of horizontal but there is nothing to say you can not exceed code and I would. We've gone 1/4" but this last time went a bit over 1/2" rise per foot and it works even better.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    That 4 ft horiz. section is probably the problem, especially if it is dead level. With a modern stove the rear clearance should be a bit better and that horiz run shorter. Like BS posted, you want as short as possible and pitched at least 1/4" / ft uphill toward the chimney. How tall is the chimney after the wall thimble?

    The Englander (Summers Heat) 30NC stove is 3/16" steel.
  13. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    1,459
    Loc:
    Southwest NH
    The F600 throws an insane amount of heat! Mine is in the basement and heats the basement and approximately 2000 ft2 upstairs just by leaving the basement door open. I have one room above my garage (approx 350 ft2) where I sometimes cannot get enough heat and the furnace kicks on, but since I installed an OAK kit, the frequency the boiler kicks on has been reduced.
  14. Hoozie

    Hoozie Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    Klamath Basin, Oregon

    Dead level? Ha! Try a slight droop :mad: And it's probably only about 3' rather than 4'. But still, not good. I'm going to attempt to level it, or ideally pitch it up before winter.

    Wow, the Englander 30NC says it only outputs 1.63gm/hr. And so far the price is half of the other ones I was looking at. Of course the local HD doesn't carry stoves in stock so I can't go look at them. :rolleyes:
  15. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,452
    Loc:
    Unity/Bangor, Maine
    Yeah the F-500 and F-600 produce a lot of heat . . . providing you give them good fuel and run them right . . . and they're reliable . . . but you pay a premium on their looks, cast iron and reliablility.

    Honestly, I would not trade in my Jotul stove . . . I love it. It is my main heat source in the winter, going 24/7.

    That said . . . if I was looking for an inexpensive but quality wood heater I would go to the Englander in a heart beat based on a) folks' recommendations and experiences here and b) the customer service I have personally seen or heard about. And if I wanted to get a very beautiful and functional stove I would go with a Woodstock (and with this I am often sorely tempted -- but since my Jotul has yet to let me down I really cannot justify the added expense.) And if I wanted a butt ugly but super duper long burning stove I would consider a Blaze King . . . and cover it up with a blue tarp in the summer time. ;) :)

    As BeGreen and others have said . . . you can effectively move the heat by pointing a fan towards the stove . . . which sets up an air current as cooler air at the floor level is pushed towards the hot stove where it warms up and then the heated air which as we know hot air rises flows out along the ceiling level and into the void area left behind by the cool air . . . sounds crazy, but it works.

    Hmmm . . . your chimney set up is not good . . . the long horizontal run with no pitch is without a doubt a big part of the smoke show.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    That slope must be fixed or even a new stove will spill smoke. How tall is the chimney this connector attaches to?

    Ask HD to order one in. Or you can order the 30NC directly from here: http://www.overstockstoves.com/50nowomo2sqf.html
    PapaDave likes this.
  17. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 25, 2010
    Messages:
    5,711
    Loc:
    Southern IN
    Yep, good draft is key to avoiding smoke roll-out and getting all the heat that the stove is capable of producing. If your chimney is tall enough, all you need to do is get that horizontal section sloping up. Also, I've seen it mentioned here that the Jotul stoves like stronger draft than a lot of other brands.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yes, that's why I'm asking about the chimney length. If it's short, then the options get shorter too.
  19. Hoozie

    Hoozie Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    Klamath Basin, Oregon
    Did some more measuring. The horizontal section is ~3.5' long, with a very slight droop; maybe 1/4" over the entire span. I can see some paint peeled away outside on the stove pipe showing where it settled over time. Vertical section is 12' outside the house, and only goes about a foot over the peak.:rolleyes: I'll try to get some pictures later today when my phone is charged up again, but I think I can just shim the brace outside to reduce the droop.

    As for stoves, it will really depend on our cash flow in the next couple months. I like the price of the Englander, and looking around here it has a good following. But I do like the looks of the Jotuls. I should get some prices in a few minutes for them from a local dealer.

    Thanks for the help :)
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    That chimney setup is far from ideal. I'm not sure I would try a Jotul here. After correcting the interior connector, plan on adding at least a couple feet or more to the outside pipe and then sticking with a free-breathing EPA stove. Of the large radiant stoves this would be the Quad Isle Royale. You might even consider replacing the interior connector with double-wall pipe using a couple 45 elbows and a short connector to soften that 90 turn.
  21. Hoozie

    Hoozie Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    Klamath Basin, Oregon
    Hmm, the Isle Royale also looks quite nice. And a similar price to the F500.

    Attached are a couple pictures of the current setup. I'd like to fix it without tearing into the wall, but I can do that if I have to.

    1002021248.jpg 1002021248a.jpg
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Cripers, another problem with the current setup is the reduction to 6" then back to 8". Unfortunately that 8" pipe is going to be a further draft reducing complication.
  23. Hoozie

    Hoozie Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Sep 30, 2012
    Messages:
    155
    Loc:
    Klamath Basin, Oregon
    I know the 8" to 6" right at the stove doesn't help, but everything else is 6" ID. The inside 90* looks to be double wall, and I think everything beyond that is triple wall. Just measured the pipe in the outside 90* just to make sure.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,167
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    If it is 6" outside that's good. Check the pipe label if unsure. The Tee support outside is bogus. It looks like the pipe joint on top is stressed from the tee sagging. That needs a proper tee support from the manufacturer. Are there any more shortcuts taken on the chimney besides the poor tee support and too short chimney?
  25. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2009
    Messages:
    1,353
    Loc:
    Central Kentucky
    Well... once you get the chimney deal sorted out, I will just add this..

    My sister has a 2000sqft, brick, ranch style, the living room, dining room and kitcheen are effectivly all one space, easily 800sqft. She has an Oslo, sets a small fan at the far end of the central hallway, and strugles to keep the house UNDER 74 degrees.

Share This Page