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How to Choose the Right Size Stove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Mich-Man, Dec 6, 2005.

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  1. Mich-Man

    Mich-Man New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
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    Loc:
    Kalamazoo, Michigan
    Hello –

    This is my first post on this great site. My wife & I have decided to install a wood stove in our cottage in SW Michigan, and would be grateful for any advice to help select the proper size stove. For a manufacturer we're leaning toward Jotul for now. I'm wondering about this old question of what SIZE – should we buy a smaller stove with our space at the lower end of its rating or a larger stove that is rated to heat quite a bit more than our space? Details follow. The cottage is a total of 1200 sq ft in size. Built in 1935, it has two stories, with 600 sq ft on each floor. Pic is attached. Seven foot ceilings up and down, so not a lot of head space. It is cape-cod style, so the upstairs has 4-dormers and an A-frame style interior ceiling/roof upstairs. No basement, but there is a crawl-space. It is frame construction with wood siding. The cottage has been considerably remodeled and has good insulation, but the windows and doors are still a little drafty. There is a natural gas furnace here, too. So, this stove will supplement the furnace, and the stove will not normally be run all the time BUT we'd like for it to be able to be the primary heat source if needed during winter power outages or winter weekends, or just in case gas goes totally out of sight for price (likely soon). We like the Jotul’s and are considering the F 118 CB Black Bear (heats “up to 1,600 sq ft) , the F 400 Castine (heats “up to 1,600 sq ft”) and the F 500 Oslo (heats “up to 2,000 sq ft”). We wonder in particular if the Oslo would generate lots more heat than we need when operated properly. Certainly would consider other Jotuls or other makers.

    Any thoughts would be appreciated!

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  2. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Nov 19, 2005
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    Your better off to over size than to get the exact size . If you get a stove that heated up to 2000 sw ft does not mean that you have to run it at high all the time. Our house is 1800 sq ft and we own a 97k btu Pacific Energy Summit , PE states the stove will heat 2000-3000 sq ft . It would be a streach to heat 3000 sq ft with it in all rooms with this stove. "over size- not undersize" I myself would go with the 2000 sq ft stove for your house to heat it ALL with wood. I'm sure all wood stoves are "over stated" on what they clame to heat.
  3. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Another thing to consider is how you intend to use the stove. If you plan on mainly keeping a space warm, you may be able to get away with a smaller stove. Whereas if you intend to start cold and get the space warm often, you may want to consider a slightly larger stove.

    Corey
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    If you have the space and fit the required clearances, go with the bigger stove. You can run it at a lower heat, but the benefit will be less filling of the stove and longer burn times. Jotul tends to exagerate burn times, so caveat emptor. If you get the new F118 please post to the list and let us know how it works out. We wanted to get this stove, but the promised Aug. release never showed up here. (Still hasn't out west last time I checked.) My experience with box style stoves is that they really warm up a place fast, so it would be great to hear how Jotul's re-design of this classic box stove works. If longer burns are a key criteria, consider a Harman Oakwood or the Pacific Energy Summit.
  5. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    middleborough, ma.
    Very happy with our Morso but the 3610 would be too big for your needs

    I am glad I stumbled onto this stove company

    This may fit the bill for you
    http://www.morsoe.com/us/2110.htm
  6. annette

    annette Member

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    the Indiana Riviera
    My stove isn't installed yet, so I can't tell you the result of my medium-sized stove in a small house. But I want to mention that if burn time will be an issue for you--wanting the heat to last a lot of the night, and to not need to start the fire from scratch the next morning--you will want a bigger stove. And as stated above, Jotul exaggerates burn times (so does everyone, so I've been told). When I was looking at their stoves, even the Castine didn't seem to give overnight burns for most users (there is a stove review section on the main hearth.com site) and if I'd bought a Jotul, it would have been the Oslo for a 1200 square foot house.
  7. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Is the answer intended for you or your wife? Seriously...It was 80 in my livingroom earlier, and my wife says...I think we should have gotten a bigger stove.
  8. bruce

    bruce Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    191
    Loc:
    long pond pa
    harman exception or harman oakwood great looking and easy to use long burn times and rated over 2000 sq ft
    go bigger, u cant go back after!
    just like my dual fuel tanks on my f 350 i dont have to always fill em up! but its there!
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