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In need of advice

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Holzstapel, Jun 7, 2013.

  1. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The photo shows this as a very open space. Massive radiant heat off the glass of the stove will heat the objects in the room in front of the stove. Those objects reflect and re-radiate that heat to warm the air. Convection moves the air around. You will get plenty of heat in the space behind the stove.

    If you look around this site, you'll see countless references to the way wood heat "feels better" than other types of heat. I've theorized that this is because we enjoy moving from cool to hot, or standing in a cooler space while feeling a searing heat on our skin. Think hanging around a campfire on a cool summer night. With a wood stove, you end up creating this scenario. You can run the thing to where your entire house is above 80F (many here do), but I typically keep the house at or below 70F. I enjoy sitting down in front of the stove, and feeling the radiant heat off the glass warm my face and feet. It's a satisfying sort of heat, which you never get from a central system.

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  2. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    When I went from fireplace to insert, my wood consumption went down. But what matters the most is the type of wood that you are burning and how well seasoned and maybe even the size of the split. Last year before I came to this forum, I was splitting way to thin, now I have a couple of good batches of black locust and maple that are split properly, I should see a big difference. You will need to start learning about wood ASAP, so start asking some questions. There are a lot of guys on here who know there stuff. Good luck
  3. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    Your fireplace is open in the back, so you'll get some heat out of the opening there. You'll have heat stored in the mass of the chimney and slowly radiated as well. Most of your heat will radiate off the front of the stove (insert). Many with inserts do not regularly use their fans, though you can anytime you want. The stove will certainly heat well during a power outage, even without a fan.. Stoves are rated to heat specific area ranges, and really do heat those areas, not just the stove room. You are very open, which you have going for you, but not insulated, which mitigates against excellent heating. So, because of that and the fact that you need heat during power outages when the fan won't be working, I would get the largest, best insert you can fit in there, probably one of the ones that is not a flush insert so some of the unit protrudes into the room. That way you can control the amount of heat you get by controlling the amount of wood you load into the insert. The epa stoves and inserts are far more efficient that the fireplace. You will use a lot less wood to put the same amount of heat into the home.
  4. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    Last year we burned through our wood supply with Sandy. A few days after Sandy, when I was finally able to leave the neighborhood, I went out and bought a Stihl MS290. The wife and I went around and started hoarding firewood like no tomorrow. Most of that wood is already split and has been since winter. I have more of that to split, an entire oak tree is waiting for me in my niehgbors yard, plus my boss just gave me access to his pile which is (quoted from his email) " about 100 ft long, three or four logs deep, and six feet high, you are welcome to take what you want". We might not be ahead of the game with wood, but we certainly on the field. My plan next weekend is to tackle the neighbors tree and split everything we have. Rough estimate of already split wood is about 2 cords. I would guess another 2 in rounds in my yard, the neighbors tree is quite large too, then we start hoarding again.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Try to separate out the oak. It will need 2-3 years seasoning. If you have some ash in the mix, burn that first.
  6. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like a great plan to me. By next year you will be ahead, something that I'm trying to do also. I figure I need atleast 1 1/3 cord each year. I started burning in end of feb when I got my insert. I ended up burning 5-6 days a week because I loved it so much. Mine is only supplemental heat where we watch tv and eat, but I save on the oil in that roombecauseit has its own thermostat.....
  7. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    A quick update to our situation.

    We have gone back to one of the dealers we liked and talked more about stoves. We talked about cat-stoves this time around and checked out the BKs and the VCs they sell. We like the cat stoves but certain design criterias and cost have been taken into account and we have decided to go with a non-cat stove. They had the Jotul F45 Greenville in stock this time around and we have decided on this stove for our home. We like the size of it, the size of the hearth and the warranty. Our goal is try and heat exclusively with wood, but at the very least, greatly offset the cost of oil. The price of the F45 with the tax credit + sales tax is around $1870. We haven't paid for anything yet, but we have an appointment tomorrow with the dealers NFI Certified Master Hearth Professional. We are both looking forward to what he has to say about our install and stove choice.
  8. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Congratulations on the new F45! I'm sure you'll be very happy with it.

    Living in the same climate, I think you will find that heating solely with wood Christmas thru early March is a breeze. By late March, heating demands are low enough and so cyclical that I usually just let the oil take over. The same could be said for the early fall, except then I'm usually itching to get back to burning, whereas I'm plain tired of it by late March.

    Doing this, you will cut down your oil usage in a major way, while still keeping the furnace exercised and in good repair.
    Holzstapel likes this.
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds good. For your installation be sure to insist on the installer putting in an insulated, damper-sealing block -off plate, the lower the better. And definitely order with the blower.
    Joful likes this.
  10. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    I will definitely talk to him about the damper plate.

    Why do you recommend the blower? Better to get it now than later?
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Some heat is going to get trapped in the fireplace cavity. The blower will help get it out into the room. I think for this setup you will notice a significant increase in heating with the blower running, even when set to a low speed. And yes, it is better to install the blower before the stove is installed. It hangs on the back of the stove and is much less accessible when in the fireplace.
  12. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    I just want to make sure that we are all on the same page here. The stove is going to be installed on the floor infront of the fireplace and not inside the fireplace. The entire stove will be outside of the fireplace cavity.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ah, my error then, that's a less common install. If it's entirely outside of the fireplace then it's worth a try without the blower. With good accessibility it isn't hard to retrofit if you find it needed.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Still good advice, begreen. I think I need to find a blower to fit one or both of my Firelights. I suspect the F600 blower would work, but Jotul is so poor about indicating which blower fits which stove...
  15. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    We finally had the Installer come out and check out our chimney. We bounced ideas off each other and he was very helpful and answered all our questions. He said he would have no issued cleaning the flue from the inside of the house. He said the pitch on our roof was frightening!

    He made the following suggestions about our situation:

    1. Remove the small non-code hearth which will allow you to push the stove and new hearth closer to the opening.
    2. Center the hearth and stove on the chimney structure. This will allow the flue pipe to be centered on the structure as well and would look nice.
    3. A slab of bluestone cut to size for a hearth would be great since you only need ember protection with the Jotuls.
    4. Either remove the stone from about 6" above the brown tile down to the floor and retile it, or use cement board mounted to the structure to make a fake wall/cover for this face of the chimney for a cleaner look. I understand what he is suggesting, I hope that I have explained it for anyone who reads this.
    5. He also suggested an insert, but the hearth would have to be brough up to code.
    6. He said we could heat with the Jotul F45, but with the high peaks he suggested bumping up to the F55 Carrabasset. He said once the temps drop down into the teens, the F45 would not be able to keep up. The temps do drop into the teens here in NJ, but not for long. We could always turn on the oil boiler to help out when this happens.
    7. He said we wouldnt get much heat down the hallway where the bathroom/bedroom is. There currently is no radiator in the bathroom and the only heat it gets is from a radiator in the hallway and us moving around. I could always install a thermostat in the bedroom/hallway which would bump the oil on if/when needed. The thermostat is now located about 5 feet from the fireplace so once the stove is going...
    Im expecting a full quote from them today.

    We are getting closer and closer to pulling the trigger on this. Now I'm thinking, since he suggested centering the stove on the structure, it might open the doors to other stoves - like sideloaders.


    [​IMG]
  16. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Beautiful floor. Careful pulling up the tape!

    < -- at first glance, thought he was looking at some bizarre inlay
    Holzstapel likes this.
  17. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Well in my opinion, I can see why he says to go bigger, so I would lean in that direction if it was me. Also, if the thermostat is 5 ft away, you will have to move it, I had a friend that had to stop using his fireplace because his wife was freezing cold in the bedroom everytime he used it...
    Holzstapel likes this.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How many sq ft in the house minus the loft?

    In a mild climate and a small house I would be leaning more toward the Woodstock Keystone as a 24/7 heating solution. That said, I think the F45 with a 2.2 cu ft firebox will be fine and more appropriately tuned for most of your heating requirements. It will keep up with weather in the teens, you'll just need to feed it more frequently. FWIW, we've had more than one person here downsize from the F50. It is a serious heater. For comparison, our neighbor is heating a 1600 sq ft poorly insulated old farmhouse with a 2 cu ft PE stove and has no problem with weather in the teens. During average weather 30F and above, the stove is loafing.
  19. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    The size of the house without the loft is about 1000sqft. The non-insulated ceiling and 23' peak was our reasoning for oversizing the stove. Chances are we will not be going with the F50 or F55.
  20. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    I heat with an undersized stove 2.12 cu ft for my 1900 sq ft upstairs and 600 sq ft basement family room.
    But I am well insulated.

    My advice is to save back your best wood for the coldest temps.
    Use wood that's not your highest BTU rating for more moderate temps in the winter.
    I always have one stash of wood for those times when old man winter thinks he can kick my butt.

    If you use really dry wood you will be amazed at how much more heat you get out of it.
    Moisture in the wood even if the wood is usable steals some of your BTU's.
    I heated with wood that was like 21% - 22% moisture one year.
    The next year my wood 15% to 18% moisture , I got lots more heat from it.
    The recommended percent moisture is 20% or less but I would shoot for 18% or less if it was me.
    Go buy you a moisture meter at Lowes they are like $29.
  21. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    Picked up a Meter last week and have not tested any of my splits yet. ;em
  22. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Start testing, it will be your newest friend...
  23. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    That stove should work great in there, I would think. Out in front, it will radiate well. Do you have a ceiling fan in the great room? If so, setting it to move air up should work well to break up the temp stratification in the room. Then a small desk fan on the floor in the back, moving cool air to the stove room, should give you pretty even temps throughout the house. Keep us updated....with plenty of pics! :)
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The main thing you will need to do is keep the air moving and from stratifying at the peak. A ceiling fan or two will help a lot. I like to run them in reverse in the winter. That works well to mix the air and start a convective flow without drafts.
    Ceiling-fans_h.jpg
  25. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I ran my ceiling fans in both directions an was cold each time, I have one in front of the insert and one 30ft away in a kitchen, I received bad results, but that may be a later post for me in the future...

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