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Looking for a classic stove - i think

Post in 'Classic Wood Stove Forums (prior to approx. 1993)' started by Ozzie33, Mar 9, 2011.

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  1. Ozzie33

    Ozzie33 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
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    28
    Loc:
    Montana
    I have been burning wood for 20 years or so. I recently moved from a 1500 sq foot house to a 2800 square foot house and the wood stove can't keep up. My current stove is a very nice fisher clone called a Jack Stove (made in Idaho). I love it but it is too small. I have been looking for a larger stove for several months and I was thinking another pre-EPA stove but now after reading a bunch posts on these forums I am starting to question myself.

    i burn about 10 cords a year to heat a 100 year old house. my stove is installed in the fireplace. I burn wood 24 -7 for 6 months each year. i love the simplicity of my current stove and hope to replace it with something long lasting and very straight forward.

    is the extra expense worth it for a new non-cat stove? would a new stove last as long as, say, an old fisher or earth stove? how much wood saving should one expect?

    thanks for any input.

    Oz

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  2. Mt Ski Bum

    Mt Ski Bum Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2011
    Messages:
    507
    Loc:
    Big Sky, Montana
    First off, welcome to the forums from a fellow Montanan! I'd go with a EPA stove if you're looking for a new stove. The emmissions reductions are huge, as is the reduction in the amount of wood burned. There are many EPA stoves out there that are very high quality & are designed to last for a long time. It is amazing how much heat is lost up the chimney on those old pre-EPA "smoke dragons". EPA stoves are designed to get as much heat out of the wood as possible & minimize the amount that escapes up the chimney. If you like the step-top looks of the Fisher stoves, look at the stoves made by Lopi- namely the Liberty & Endeavor models. They look almost exactly like a modern Fisher stove.
  3. Ozzie33

    Ozzie33 Member

    Joined:
    Mar 9, 2011
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    Loc:
    Montana
    Thanks for the reply! what is "huge savings" on wood use? would you say 10% or 20%?? i could buy new but certainly an older stove would save a few bucks. but if the wood goes further it would be worth it. no shortage of wood of course, just time to go get it.

    hey - ais tech for FWP huh? i bet we know some of the same folks. close one on the Flathead with the quagga last week.

    thanks

    Oz
  4. Mt Ski Bum

    Mt Ski Bum Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Big Sky, Montana
    Honestly, I don't know the numbers off the top of my head- hopefully one of the other forum members will chime in here & have a better idea of the exact savings on a pre-EPA stove vs. a similar EPA stove.

    you know Eileen Ryce & Stacy Schmidt? I know alot of others in the Fisheries division also. :)
    & yea- I'm very glad that Flathead came up negative for the zebras & quaggas- that's the last thing we need in this state!
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,795
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    2800sq ft in a very cold climate is a lot for any one stove to heat, but a big stove will do a good job keeping the core warm. Out in your neck of the woods I would take a look at the Country Canyon ST-310 and maybe an Enerzone 3.4. Or in catalytics, the big Kuma Sequoia and the Blaze King King stoves.

    Over the season, you can expect maybe a 25% reduction in wood consumption when compared to a non-epa stove, if all things are equal. But they rarely are. Some folks report more savings. It depends on the house tighteness and stove location. Winters and trees vary alot. You will also get a huge improvement in the visual lightshow with the new stoves and yes, they should last as long as the Fisher.

    http://www.lennoxhearthproducts.com/products/stoves/canyon-st310/
    http://enerzone-intl.com/product.aspx?CategoId=1&Id=443
    http://kumastoves.com/index.php?dispatch=products.view&product_id=15
    https://www.blazeking.com/EN/wood-king.html
  6. Ozzie33

    Ozzie33 Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Montana
    Thanks for the replies - good thoughts and good info on stoves. several of those i have not looked into. i will continue my research. i like the idea of improved effiecientcy but i did use a cat stove for a hear and that did not work out at all. plus i just read the fisher thread again and that makes me want to get one of those old stoves, fix it up and burn a bunch of wood in it.

    i will keep looking into things. i tend to like old things but i know the wife would like the glass in the door.

    MT ski bum - i do know those guys. i hate to say it but you are in a growth industry.

    thanks
    Oz
  7. sesmith

    sesmith Member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2009
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    203
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Hi Oz,

    If I were looking at buying a new stove, I'd go with a newer EPA stove. It will be more efficient, it will burn cleaner, you can at least still get up to a $300 tax credit on it, and more and more states are starting to legislate against the smokier, older wood stoves. In my case, I cut my own wood and there's really not much financial incentive to save wood, but at the 10 cords of wood you use a year, if someone told me I could cut and haul 2 or 3 cords less a year, it would get my attention.

    As far as how much wood you could actually save by using a stove with the newer burn technology, I found myself asking the same question a couple of years ago. Below is a link to a page that Gary Reysa of Build it Solar was nice enough to put up for me (he has a wood stove section as well). In it you can see the effect that adding secondary air injection and a catalyst had on the efficiency of my older pre-EPA stove. It's a pretty impressive example of how the newer burn technology works. So if I were in the market for a stove, I wouldn't waste my time with an older one. I'd just go out and get the best EPA stove I could find to fit my application. Personally, I'd be buying a new Blaze King catalytic to replace mine, but as you can tell from the read below, I really have no reason to replace the thing now :)

    http://www.builditsolar.com/Projects/BioFuel/CatRetrofit/CatRetrofit.htm

    Scott
  8. defiant3

    defiant3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2010
    Messages:
    414
    Loc:
    No. NH
    May I suggest that while a newer stoove may save fuel, it may not be cost effective, especially if you cut your own. A larger steel box type stove (Fisher, All-Nighter etc.) wood cost way less and require NO maintainence. That can't be said of ANY catalytic unit. Also consider finding a place for a second stove! That IS a big space for 1 unit to handle. Thought about a furnace, either wood or pellet? I don't know, but there are a world of options these days, possibly a combination of some of these would present the optimal solution. Best of luck, and Happy Heating!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  9. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
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    661
    Loc:
    Eastern,Ma.
    The best heating stove I ever witness was the old Hearthstone I.Other than that the new Hearthstone Equinox or Blaze King King may work for you in that old house.I would think you'd need a monster of a stove in your cold climate.
  10. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Amanda, OH
    I currently heat 2800sqft with an Elm. You get your cake and east it too with the Elm. Pre EPA design with updated secondary burn and or catylitic . Can be had in 18-38 inch models.
  11. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    1,509
    Loc:
    Templeton, MA
    Hey Oz,
    Welcome. I just switched from burning 7 cords last year in two pre epa stoves last year to burning 3 cords this winter in a newer cat stove to do the same thing. I paid $550 on the rebuilt stove.
    Can you describe the house? Are you heating from the basement? If so, what's the total space including the basement, or is it included in the 2800 sq ft?

    Even if you have to buy brand new, in my eyes it is worth it. Unless you like doing twice the work to heat the same amount of space. In that case the extra expense is not worth it. As far as the stove you need, there's a vast array of stoves available that may be able to tackle the job, as well as add on wood furnaces.
    The Blaze King King is the first one that comes to mind. It seems to be the most popular with people who live in really cold climates such as Alaska. Lots of BK owners report easy operation and long burn times, as well as great heating capacity from their Kings. They are said to be able to last for up to 40 something hours on a low burn (in the shoulder season, I would think.) They are thermostatically controlled so are as close to a set it and forget it as you can get for a wood stove.
    The PE Summit is another big heater that may be up to the task. Hearthstone Equinox, is a soapstone that could work for you. In fact there are so many that may work that you can spend days researching and still find more. The decision is yours. Good luck with your search, my vote goes to an EPA rated, wood and back saving stove!
  12. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    Templeton, MA
    Wow! I didn't read the entire thing , but wow! Cool stuff.
  13. Ozzie33

    Ozzie33 Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Montana
    Great input - i have more research to do! thanks. Scott - good job on retro fitting your stove, i love stuff like that. you guys are a great resource.

    My house is heated from the living room. it is an old farm house with lots of rooms and a cellar, but i cannot access the chimney from the cellar. full second story and large attic. the second story stays warm and the basement seems to stay a constant 58 degrees. i have a propane furnance but i view it as a back up system.

    i used a country flame cat stove for a year and i had problems so that makes me question the new technology. the fisher clone i use has been bullet proof, although it is too small for the new space. i love to cut wood but with 3 kids i would be happy to use less.

    if i step up to a newer stove i would be interested is something that would be low maitenance and long lasting. for instance the toyota preius gets 50mpg but needs $2000 in batteries after 4 or 5 years. so does it still pencil out? probably, but i burn alot of wood and if i need to put in a new cat or something every few years does a more effiecent stove still makes sense? well, i need to do more research.

    Oz
  14. VCBurner

    VCBurner Minister of Fire

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    1,509
    Loc:
    Templeton, MA
    If you decide on a cat, make sure it has a low cost replacement cat. Some cats, like my 6x2 round are only about $125 for the more expensive Stailess Steel Cat that are easier to light. You can get them from Woodstock at this price. Other cats like my Encore can cost as much as $200. But if you operate the stove correctly with DRY wood (the key with EPA stoves!) you can make the cat last well beyond the 6 year expected life at great efficiency. Some report 10+ years with one cat. The older the cat the less efficient it burns up the smoke, it is up to you when it needs to be replaced. You can burn with an old cat for a long time and still outperform an old smoke dragon in efficiency. Cats have come a long way and I feel will continue to improve. The savings in wood are staggering for a six year period. If you cut down from 10 to 7, which is a pretty conservative projection, you'd be saving 18 cords for the life of a cat! Weather you find this cost effective or not is up to you. Non-cat EPA stoves will save you on wood too. But they can also require some, maintenance cost. I vote Blaze King King for you, brand new at around $2000! Finding one used is not easy, people are too happy with them once they are in their homes.

    I'm glad you heat from the main floor. I found this to be the best way to use my stove, heat where you spend the most time. I had mine in the basement originally, with another smaller, non air tight in the upstairs fireplace. It was a lot more work and less heat. All the concrete in the cellar took up most of the heat. From the main floor of your big old house, the main challenge will be getting the heat around to the farthest places in the house. But if your upstairs stays warm, this is a good sign. There are also many, many ways of getting the heat around. Ranging from fans, to inline fans or ducting. Some can be hooked up to thermostats for easy operation. I just use floor fans. Some like doorway fans. The best is probably a combination of both. The best way to achieve a good set up is trial and error. Short of hiring an HVAC specialist. Most of these guys stay away from moving stove heat around. Sounds like heating your house with one stove is doable, though challenging. But with a little furnace back up, very possible!
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