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New wood stove guy loves site and has questions

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jojack, Jun 10, 2013.

  1. jojack

    jojack New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2013
    Messages:
    1
    Loc:
    Saskatchewan
    Before I ask my question I would like to say I really appreciate the advice and knowledge on this site. It has helped me move to the point I am at now in my wood stove search.

    My plan: Heat the main floor of a 1500 sq ft house. Will be burning wood from 5pm and final stoking of fire will take place around 11pm. Down stairs will be heated by circulating my furnace fan or baseboard heating( basement used very little so anything around +10c is more then enough. The house is very well insulated, new windows, and 12+ inch walls. I live in Northern Saskachewan which means -15 to -30 C from November untill March. Looking to burn wood to save some money on my forced air electric furnace/enjoyment. Cost of wood is only my time as I live in a area highly wooded area. Will still be running my furnace when temps drop and am away from home.

    The stoves- Im looking at 2 stoves and this is where im having trouble deciding. Im leaning towards drolet because they are quite affordable,it seems like they are well rated on here and other places online, and because my stove will be a secondary source of heat. The two stoves im looking at are the drolet Classic EPA and drolet baltic. Im a concerned about getting the right size. I dont want a undersized stove for the job but at the same time I dont want to have too much stove and be cooked out of my home. Any advice you can give on stoves or anything else would be greatly appreciated. If you feel another stove would be a better move please let me know but keep in mind im on a budget and 1500 is about the max i can spend on a the stove part of my project.

    Thank you

    JJ

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,581
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Welcome JJ. With such a tightly insulated home you may get away with less stove than many of us wood in a warmer climate. 12" walls? How is this built and insulated? Staggered 2x6s? Do you know how many KW your electric furnace is and is it a multi-stage unit?

    To summarize, you want a stove for evenings (and maybe weekends?), that will handle 1500 sq ft. but aren't expecting it to carry the full load when it gets bitter cold. Is that correct? Both stoves will do the job. The Classic sounds like an ok fit if your furnace is 15KW or less. The Baltic will have more reserve capacity for those really cold days and nights. You may need to burn only partial loads of wood in the Baltic as opposed to fuller loads in the Classic during milder weather.
  3. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2012
    Messages:
    1,955
    Loc:
    southern ontario
    I'd suggest rethinking this a bit. Electric heat is pretty expensive, and replacing a lot of it with wood heat will save you a bundle, even the first year. There are MANY stoves made today that will heat for twelve hours quite easily. And many more that will heat for eight hours, and keep coals hot for twelve for an easy relight. If you are planning on burning every night for main floor heat, there is absolutely no reason not to do so on a 24/7 basis. The epa rated stoves are very safe to be running when you are away from home. I'm close to certain you will find yourself wanting to heat 24/7 with wood once you have heated for even a short time. So I would buy a stove that can do that in the first place. Except on the very coldest days of the year, load at 6 AM and 8 PM and you should be good to go. Coldest days you might be loading 5 PM, 11 PM, 7 AM.

    My home in S Ontario has electric baseboard heat. An expensive wood stove paid for itself in under two years.
    A larger home than yours, so my electric bill admittedly would be higher. But you can likely just about eliminate your electric heating bill by getting a stove that will give you twelve hour burns. I don't know how long the Drolet will heat. If not for twelve hours, I'd be looking at stoves that will heat for the twelve hours. I'd get a used more expensive stove if necessary, before getting a less expensive stove that won't heat for twelve hours.

    I'm really quite certain you are going to end up wanting to heat 24/7 with the wood stove. It's ridiculously easy to do.
    raybonz, Backwoods Savage and fox9988 like this.
  4. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 15, 2012
    Messages:
    581
    Loc:
    NW Arkansas
    I agree with rideau. No reason not to get a stove that will burn for at least 8 hrs (12 fits my schedule perfect). Just throw a morning load in and you're a 24/7 burner saving even more $$$$$. Blaze king princes will burn *up to 30 hrs*- at a very low btu output, or :ZZZ for shorter burns.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,581
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Either of his Drolet choices will burn 8+ hrs. depending on how it's loaded. It would be interesting to know what the current electric bills are like and how large the electric furnace is.
  6. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 14, 2007
    Messages:
    27,815
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum jojack.

    There are many stoves that could suit you in your climate. I'm guessing you are in a windy area and that is the reason for the thick walls. We have some 8" thick walls and it is amazing how much difference that insulation makes.

    Also I agree with rideau. I see no good reason why anyone would want to heat but not 24/7. Remember that if you let the stove go cold, that means the first thing you have to do is get the chimney warm. So you might find yourself burning a lot of wood just getting ready to heat the home. For sure I'd think you would want a firebox in excess of 2 cu ft. and there are many stoves to fit that bill. Even our Fireview soapstone stove could possibly heat your home and do it quite well. With the catalyst, that meas a super clean burning stove and one that you can turn down and let it cruise for many hours. We heat 24/7 with it and have no backup furnace nor do we have electric baseboard. We do fine even when the temperature is 0 F or lower.

    Good luck.


    Now, do you have wood put up already? That is an extremely important part of heating; cutting and splitting wood long before you need to burn it. If you try to burn wood that is too green, you will be asking for problems with any stove.

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