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My head is spinning

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Burnbaby, Dec 10, 2012.

  1. Burnbaby

    Burnbaby Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    Southern nh
    I'm going on a year now of information overload. Since my wife doesn't want to hear it, I'll let you guys suffer. Here it is: pellet or wood? If wood cat or no cat or maybe ebt maybe even ebt v2? Steel, cast or soapstone? Insert or free standing? Convection or radiant? Recommended sq ft do I go bigger and fry or go smaller and wish I went bigger? Stacking wood in single row, double, criss cross, or maybe a wood shed. Moisture content, seasoned wood, green wood, or kiln dried. What the heck, i just want fire. One dealer tells me one thing and another dealer tells me something totally different. This is a major purchase for me and would like to drastically reduce my oil bill. A few things about my situation: my house is a typical ranch with a addition on the back, overhead view looks like a T. Front door leads to dining room (220 sq ft), 8ft doorway to kitchen( 220 sq ft), 8 ft doorway to addition ( 350sq ft). These 3 rooms are all in a row, with the bedrooms down a hall off of dining room. The stove will go all the way in back of addition where we have a fireplace big enough for any insert or free standing. I want a wood stove and I would burn at least nights and weekends maybe more if wife and I get the hang of it. A few stoves I was looking at
    Pe summit Insert: to big? Build smaller fire in it? What about shoulder season?
    Hearthstone clydesdale :more even heat, won't blast us out of addition, is it enough stove, I won't be burning full time stones need to heat up.
    Regency i3100: I just don't know
    Maybe even a pellet stove , a whole lot easier
    You guys are the pros if you ask me I just don't trust dealers? I'm open to all suggestions you can even tell me to stop whinning and pay the oil man.

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  2. milleo

    milleo Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 8, 2011
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    Loc:
    Maine
    Research this forum then research some more, you will find the answers....
  3. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Take a deep breath it will be ok ;)

    What you burn is really a lifestyle choice ! Pellets, wood and coal all have there upsides and down sides. I use wood because it is abundant and does not need to be made into pellets and coal varies too much in price for my tastes. Cat is a good way to go as well as tube my reason for tube is simple it throws out the heat and it was the right price at the right time. If a cat had been in its place for the price we would have had a cat stove. They both serve the purpose ! That said if you want good soft heat and long heat life look at soapstone or cast steel is also very good but is more intense heat. Personally I have had steel and though we loved it it would be hard to go back now that we have a steel stove wrapped in cast it is a soft heat and so comfortable for us. I think you should look into Woodstock Soapstone or Englander neither of them will steer you wrong and have long solid dependable reputations. You need good dry wood with any EPA stove preferably 2 years split stacked in the wind and sun ( wind is more important ). Do you have a fireplace ? What is the exact square footage of your home ?

    Pete
    Backwoods Savage and milleo like this.
  4. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Sorry you got my head spinning now ;lol

    Ok to continue dealers can be terrible and it is hard to find an honest one at times. We have a good one now and love them but it was after a couple of really bad ones. The best thing to do is ask around and see who others have used and see who has been in business the longest. They don't stay in business by being scammers and liars ! You can also skip the dealer with Woodstock & Englander which are great stoves and companies ! We have an oversized stove which is not a big deal because in that case you just burn a hotter small fire. On really cold days you will be glad you have the extra space to kick the heat up !

    Pete

    http://www.woodstove.com

    http://www.englanderstoves.com
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  5. ridemgis

    ridemgis Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2012
    Messages:
    207
    Loc:
    South Kingstown, Rhode Island
    Those questions drove me crazy too! And I find that I'm pretty darn pleased with the choice I made for my 1400 sq-ft 100 yr old home. They'll all warm you in a way that's so much nicer than a gas/oil/electric system.
  6. Waulie

    Waulie Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    1,010
    Loc:
    Nothern Lower Michigan
    It will work out. Certainly the first decision you need to make is pellets or wood. While it would be a no brainer for me, only you can answer that. Do you have any access to wood? Do you like working outside? Do you take pride in enjoying the concrete results for your own hard work? If yes, then wood is the answer. If no to the last two than you may want to consider pellets. I wouldn't necessarily let no easy access to wood scare you away as many have learned to be very effective scroungers and you can still save a ton of money even if you buy wood. But, if you are just as happy writing a check and keeping warm then pellets may be better. To really get the value (both money and enjoyment) from heating with wood, you need to put in a LOT of work. With pellets, you still need to muscle several tons of weight around but otherwise it is much easier.

    If you do decide on wood, then you can narrow it down. But that really is the question you need to answer first.
    Backwoods Savage and ChadD like this.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    46,729
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    South Puget Sound, WA
    A simple sketch of the floorplan and some pictures will help here. When you say 8' doorway do you mean an 8' wide passage with no door? How many sq ft total in the house?

    Ranches are a little more challenging to heat due to their long stretched out floorplans. This means that the area at the opposite end of the addition is likely to be a lot cooler. If you try to heat it with too large a stove in the addtion, that room will be an oven. One remedy for this is to blow cool air down at floor level from the cool area into the stove room. This works particularly well in some ranch homes.

    So tell us a bit more about the fireplace (opening size and depth), wood availability (it's almost impossible in some areas to get well seasoned wood right now), and your budget.

    Here is your first reading assignment:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/choosing_a_wood_stove
  8. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2011
    Messages:
    187
    Loc:
    Quabbin Woods
    I would settle on what fuel source you want before anything else. Why??
    Well pellets you can just drive to the store and buy.
    Wood? Well that stuff needs to be DRY my man. Don't trust what you read in the paper or on craigslist, or what your buddy Jimbo tells you about 'that guy he knows'. Unless you have seen it stacked for at least a year with your own eyes... its probably going to cause you all sorts of fits in a stove.

    The other answers can be tackled while your wood is drying... :)
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Northern Virginia
    Which ever one you get it will be the wrong one. ;lol

    Just kidding. Actually whichever one you get will be the right one and you will love it. Just get off the dime and get'er done. It's all good and they are all good. Like a guy told me one time. It is like sex. Once you try it you will want to kill yourself for what you have been missing.
  10. rijim

    rijim Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2009
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    Loc:
    RI
    If you have access to a good wood supply that saves a lot of $ over other options; ask this in pellets forum you might get a different opinion. Pellets require electrical and insert usually need fan to get full heat capacity; if you want max heat in power outage then consider free standing wood. If wood and you could see yourself burning full time, consider a CAT stove like the Woodstock or the Blaze King lines. If only nights and weekends an EPA tube type can be had at a lower price and will serve you fine just keep a supply of softer woods for shoulder season.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  11. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    SE MI
    When considering pellets, take into account the required maintenance. Cleaning, augers, blowers, electronics. Not to say that they aren't reliable, just stuff that will need service some day. If it's not something you are able to do yourself, make sure you choose a good dealer.

    We did consider a pellet insert or stove, but ended up with a wood stove. I'm gone a lot for work, and my wife is in charge of heating when I'm not home, and ease of operation was a big factor. But, so was the power issue, as she isn't able to get the generator going by herself.
    mfglickman, ChadD and ScotO like this.
  12. osagebow

    osagebow Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Shenandoah Valley, VA
    I loved my Englander pvdc pellet stove the three years we had it. Fill with pellets, light, forget till morning. Unless the power goes out. Happens a lot here. Had to drag a kero heater out a few times, hated that. Pellet stoves can be rigged to work during power outages.in many cases, but wood is simpler in that regard.

    I have great access to wood, and an old pickup to scrounge. These were the two main factors that allowed our switch to wood to be quickly cost-efficient. Bought a cheap cast stove I'm happy with but would have probably gone with a different stove if i had to do it over again. Heating a 1200 sq ft split foyer from the basement quite well.

    Pete and Waulie's comments are spot-on, I would add that being in control of one's fuel supply is quite a good feeling.
    Good luck!
  13. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    Pellet stoves are nice, matter of fact REALLY nice nowadays, but I wanted something that I could rely on without ANY power source. Not to mention I cut trees as a side job so it's a double benefit for me. I love the fact that I can get free heat (more-or-less) AND get paid cutting it. Works great for us. Not to mention I love the look of a wood fire. And the wife is a GREAT stove tender. She grew up with a woodstove in her parents place, she's a natural at it. I'm a firebug through and through.....;)
    Backwoods Savage and Pallet Pete like this.
  14. Burnbaby

    Burnbaby Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Southern nh
    Thanks for the quick response. I will try to post pics tomorrow, figuring that out should make my head spin more. I'm going with wood. I don't mind buying and scrounging. I will get wood now for next year( I'm considering this a lost year). I'm handy and I like to be in yard, so I don't mind working for it, I love the look of a real fire. I'm work a lot ( electric company, don't hate me) so I just have to learn and then teach wife. Thanks again guys, when I narrow down my search I'm sure i will have more question on that.
    jharkin, rkshed, ScotO and 1 other person like this.
  15. metalsped

    metalsped Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
    Quabbin Woods
    Well I doubt you sit on the board for your utility... so you are safe ;)
    ScotO likes this.
  16. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Good choice! If you haven't already, you need to get together with their tree crew(s). . .get the inside track on the good scrounges. Woohoo! ==c

    Welcome to The Machine. :)
    ScotO likes this.
  17. mking7

    mking7 Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
    West, TX
    I'm in the same boat but maybe a little further out to sea (or am I closer to the shore?). Sometimes I wish I didn't have to research stuff and could just go buy something. Ignorance can be bliss. Every time I have it figured out I learn something that makes me start all over.

    Luckily folks are patient here as I weed through the info. And I have a stove to burn in the meantime.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hey, quit snoozing. ::-) You haven't bought that stove yet? lol

    Actually waiting until January or Feb. may save some bucks at this point.
    ScotO and mking7 like this.
  19. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Burnbaby.

    You live in southern NH, so you owe it to yourself to take a short drive up to Woodstock. Plan on being there a few hours and you can even watch how the stoves are built. You won't get any high pressure sales either. And don't forget, they make it easy because if you did end up buying the wrong stove or for some reason the stove did not work out, they give you a six month money back guarantee. If you go, tell them Dennis sent you. That will probably get a laugh from them.

    Also be serious. If you burn wood there is no sense in burning only nights and weekends. As for the wife, most stoves are pretty darned easy to operate. My wife does the stove when I'm not around and her problem was always starting a new fire (spring or fall when not burning 24/7). So we started buying Super Cedars from one of the forum members and now she can even do that.

    And on the wood, you definitely want dry wood no matter which stove you buy. Get the wood before you get the stove. If you put off getting the wood until you get the stove, you will not be happy with the results.

    Good luck.
    John_M and ScotO like this.
  20. mfglickman

    mfglickman Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    NW CT
    Agree with Dennis, visit Woodstock and also solicit recommendations for local dealers here (think that has to be via PM, I know folks have asked me via PM where my pellet stove is from).

    Biggest advice, bring your wife with you to look and learn and ask questions. I find my stove really easy to use and unless I do something really, really stupid I trust that it's not going to run away on me.

    I like the pellet stove too and wood just didn't work for its placement in an antique hearth with very short clearances. But for all that it's easy, the first time you spill a half a 40 lb bag of pellets on the floor well, let's just say the kids learned a few new words. This is the kind of thing that happens when my husband is away. ;) I'd rather haul wood at my own pace than have to heft 40 lbs of pellets in a plastic bag...
    ScotO likes this.
  21. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Northern ON
    DON'T do it - and DON'T look at these pics:

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/new-progress-hybrid-installed-pics.100360/

    ;) Seriously, after seeing that PH, in the pics, and then up close and personal, I do believe my head would stop spinning immediately, and I'd have my new stove picked out with no regrets. Disclaimer - there's no experience behind my comment (you'll get all the great what-stove-to-buy advice from others) - I just really really really love the pure beauty of that stove. Really.

    Did I mention - it looks nice?
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Ah, but his house very well may not need that big of a stove. That Progress may roast him out but the Fireview wouldn't.
    ScotO likes this.
  23. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    Northern ON

    +1 for the sanity check. Like I said, my comment based on emotion, not experience. Thanks for keeping me in check. Sorry about that Burnaby - did I mention I really like the Progress....?
    ScotO and Backwoods Savage like this.
  24. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    You just discribed me ;lol. We looked at tons of stoves and I kept finding one we liked better than the last. I drove my wife CRAZY as well as more than a few forum members ;ex We ended up going with price because my wife bless her soul said pick one and be happy already.;lol So I did the easiest thing and picked one she liked that fit the price we had in mind.

    Pete
    ScotO likes this.
  25. Burnbaby

    Burnbaby Member

    Joined:
    May 19, 2011
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    Loc:
    Southern nh
    Ok , I talked to the woodstock people today, very nice. I inquired about the progress hybrid. My main and only concern is I don't want to roast in stove room, been researching all day today on moving heat around the house. I really love the reported long burn times, just need to find more info on wether the heat output is pretty managable. I'm going check my clearances tonight on my hearth. Side note, my fireplace was built 10 years ago it has a raised semi circle hearth, I don't have basement under this addition so I can't see, but I'm assuming that the hearth is supported right???. Anybody know code for that.
    This is where I stand. 70% progress hybrid
    30%. Hearthstone clydesdale.

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