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How much heat can a VC Vigilant from the 80's produce?

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by merr, Oct 15, 2013.

  1. merr

    merr New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    I am having trouble heating my house to a comfortable level. A friend of mine thinks that my wood stove, a vermont castings vigilant from the 80's, should heat my whole house no problem from the basement if I insulate my basement and make vents in the floors and install those little fans to force the air up. I also have a drolet pellet stove on the first floor, but even when both are running, and running well, the house never really gets above say 62. Thoughts? I am thinking maybe not just the basement is poorly insulated.
    Mer

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  2. MDFisherman

    MDFisherman Member

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    Sep 17, 2012
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    Loc:
    So. MD
    I can't speak for the stove but are you getting the fire good n hot?
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    45,814
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    There are too many variables. Do you have a thermometer on the stove so that you can tell what temperature the stove is running at? An uninsulated basement is going to eat up about a third of the heat produced from the stove. If the stove is not getting very hot you may not notice the heat. Are you engaging the bypass after the stove has a good fire going?
    Questions:
    How large a house is this per floor?
    How long ago was the wood split and stacked?
    How is the heat currently expected to get upstairs?
    How well insulated and sealed is the house?
    What is the stovetop temperature?
  4. merr

    merr New Member

    Joined:
    Oct 30, 2011
    Messages:
    24
    Loc:
    Western Maine
    Hi,
    Thanks for your replies. Sorry it took me so long to respond.((be green))In answer to your questions, 1) the house is 800sq. Ft per a floor, 1600 of that living space, then a full unfinished basement, which is where the wood stove is. We hooked it up to the existing chimney, which was there for an oil furnace that is now gone (it was broken). 2)The wood has only been seasoned for one year, we just started burning last winter. 3)the heat is currently expected to get upstairs by natural rise up the stairway.4) the basement is unfinished, so it is only insulated as much as it was legally required to be I am sure. We insulated and finished 1 wall/ corner last year, but we didn't have the money to do more. The reason I am asking these ?s is because we are going to be getting a small windfall, and I am trying to figure out if I would be better off investing in the insulation and venting, or in a better quality pellet stove that will heat the living space to more comfortable temps. We won't have enough to do both, so I need to choose. We have my 81 year old mother in law staying with us, and I don't think 50-55 degree bedrooms are going to cut it this year. And no, we don't have a thermostat attached to the stove. Thanks again
    Meredith
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nov 18, 2005
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    45,814
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It sounds like a pretty leaky house if it can't be heated by both stoves. I would have a professional energy audit done to assess the costs of seriously tightening up the house. Some house problems are easier to fix than others. In the meantime get an oil-filled radiator for the MIL's room.
    Defiant likes this.
  6. iceguy4

    iceguy4 Minister of Fire

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    1,051
    Loc:
    Upstate, NY
    Insulation No doubt about it.
  7. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2005
    Messages:
    1,651
    Loc:
    northern massachusetts
    if that vigilant was installed up in the house it should roast you on the 1st floor that pellet should be doing it's job what is the pellet stove? how many btu is it? how many square is it designed for?

    frank

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