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Newbie Needs HELP Picking Wood Stove For New House

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by JohnnyRingo2007, Apr 19, 2013.

  1. JohnnyRingo2007

    JohnnyRingo2007 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
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    Loc:
    Central Illinois
    I am really new to most of this so I am seeking some good advise which this seems to be a good place to get it. My story is a little confusing so I will describe it the best I can. My wife and I are building a house/garage/pavilion to live in for the next 10-15 years or so until we save enough money to build the house we(she) really wants. What we are building now is- garage is 30 x 34 and the house is 34 x 34 plus I am installing trusses that have the room already built into them so as we have children we can add on upstairs as we go. We also are building a 16 x 34 pavilion onto the end of the house so we have a nice place to hang out and look at our future pond and the pavilion is basicly an extension of the roof which will also have the trusses with the room already built in and the trusses above the garage are the same way. So basicly i have an upstairs that is 16 feet wide and runs the whole length of the building/pavilion (80 feet total). I was originally going with an outside wood boiler with radiant heat in the concrete floors but i have read that they are wood hogs and when the power goes out, they are helpless unless a generator is involved. I want to go with a LARGE stove like the Hearthstone Equinox on the main floor but i dont know if the heat will get to the upstairs well enough. The upstairs part that is directly above our 34 x 34 living quarters, i dont worry about. I worry about our master bedroom above the pavilion and the living quarters above the garage. I dont know if they will get enough heat or if these stoves actually put our enough heat in the first place because i have never been around one. My dad had an old school wood stove in our basement growing up and it worked great but it had ducts and none of these blaze king or hearthstone stoves can be hooked up to ducts. I was wondering if anyone had any kind of experiences like mine and what you did and if you liked it? Do people heat their homes all winter with these stoves or are they mostly for looks and an occasional burn? Should i put in electric water boiler/radiant heat in floor back-up in case the wood stove has issues? I greatly appreciate any help i can get from some experienced burners! If this doesnt make sense let me know and i will try to describe it better. Thanks.

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  2. lumbering on

    lumbering on Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    New York
    I was drooling over that Equinox in a show room the other day.

    Anyway, I am far from an expert, and better opinions will be given, but my upstairs hallway is way hotter than my downstairs. Heat has no problem working its way up the stairwell. And I only burned in the evenings.

    But read on in the forum, whole houses are being heated for the entire winter.

    Floor plans and stairway location may help sort thru your situation.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    South Puget Sound, WA
    Welcome to the forum. It's a matter of how tightly sealed and insulated the structure is and how well heat can circulate. If you plan carefully on the core structure, and there is a large open convection path from the stove area to upstairs, then there should be little problem with heating the whole space with a wood stove. Attention to detail will pay off here. There should be a thermal break surrounding the entire building envelope. This include the slab floor if there is one. The Equinox should be up to the job, though it's not the only option.

    Can you post a sketch floorplan with dimensions of what you are planning? It will be easier to discuss when we can see what you are visualizing.
  4. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    4,072
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    The Equinox should do a fine job as a whole house heater. Most people that buy the BK King or the Equinox are using them to heat the whole house. But as BG said, it really depends on where the stove is located and if air is able to circulate well.
    Good choice on skipping the Outdoor boiler, they are wood hogs. We have put in a few stoves lately for folks that have OWB's, They are trying to cut wood consumption by not starting the boiler until mid winter. Also, the in floor heat is not good in the Spring and Fall, once that concrete is hot, it's hot! They end up with a house thats 90 degrees on a nice sunny day.

    I always ask OWB users how much wood they use each season. In this area it's never less than 20 ricks, or app. 7 cords each season. In my "very typical" floorplan, 2200 sq. ft., we use about 6 ricks, or 2 cords. If one stove doesn't do the trick, you could add another and still use less wood, by far. Shoot, leave the windows open and run two stoves, you'll come out ahead in the end! :p
  5. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    1) Yes, you should have a secondary backup central heat source that is automatic and thermostatic. Sometimes you can't operate the woostove because you have to leave the home for an extended period, sometimes you get sick or injured, sometimes you run out of wood, and for insurance many companies require a non-manual form of heat. I think it would be foolish to pour the slab without installing the relatively cheap pex for radiant heat. You can use a conventional (non-wood) boiler of your choice. This system will be about ideal for a backup to wood heat and will also serve well to keep the garage above freezing when you move into the big house. Right now I am pressure testing the 1800 LF of pex radiant floor tubing I installed in my 1800SF pole barn, it's been holding 90 psi for three days!

    2) My rough calc is that you would be trying to heat 2000 SF of modern construction and this is possible with many woodstoves. That is easy and does not require a stove as big as the equinox. That EQ is pretty but is also exceedingly expensive. We can start naming stoves but you'll have lots of options.

    3) Yes, many of us heat all winter every year with nothing but wood. The right stove can burn 30 hours without being refueled and many stoves offer 12 hour refuel cycles. It is not a stretch to heat with wood using modern stoves.
  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    I've known families that have lived in RV trailers during their home construction but never a family that built a houselike garage and then built a house. Too much wasted construction expense and if the houselike garage is too nice then you'll never build the house. My shop was built to hold my RV and truck attached. 60 feet long and 14 feet tall inside. I have spent the night in the RV while parked in the shop and it is something I could do while building the home.

    Perhaps you would consider building a shop with a small apartment above that could be used by a MIL or even rented out instead of wasting the time and money on a second full sized house that will go to waste.
    fox9988 likes this.
  7. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    27,816
    Loc:
    Michigan
    Welcome to the forum Johnny.

    What you have planned sounds good and you do have many options for stoves. For example, the Woodstock stoves, especially the Progress Hybrid stove and soon to come the Union which will also be a hybrid. One really nice thing about buying from Woodstock is they will give you a six month money-back guarantee. If the stove is not to your liking, you can send it back. In addition, Woodstock is second to none in customer service.

    Highbeam is a nice and very knowledgeable fellow but I have to disagree slightly with his recommendations. For example, the secondary heating system. Yes, it can be nice but is not necessary. In fact, we have not had a secondary heating system for about 35 years now and have never missed it. We also live in a much colder climate than WA and IL. In addition, I've known several folks who have done what you are attempting and all were very happy in the end and certainly not sorry they went the way they did.

    As for getting the heat through the house, I doubt if you'll have any problems. That is one of the great things about radiant heat is that rooms outside the stove room will still get good heat. If not, then there is a little trick to assist in warming the far rooms. That trick is simply moving the cool air. Most folks tend to attempt to blow the warm air into the cool rooms. It does not work well at all. But by placing a small desktop fan on the floor in a hallway or doorway and blowing the cool air (on low speed) into the warm stove room, it will circulate the heat very nicely. I remember when we heard about this I thought it was goofy but had to try it. Wow! It was amazing how much difference it made.

    Good luck.
  8. JohnnyRingo2007

    JohnnyRingo2007 New Member

    Joined:
    Apr 19, 2013
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    Loc:
    Central Illinois
    Thanks for all the input. It makes me a lot more comfortable about buying one of these. Just because they said they could heat over 2000 sf, doesnt mean they really could but from everyones opinion, they should have no problem doing the job. Lots of great options out there. I like that the Blaze King King can go for 40 hours on low without reload. Thats hard for me to imagine but several people on here say its been done. I have tried to find out more about the Woodstock Union but not a whole lot out there that i can find.

    Something i was wondering and havent heard anyone talk about is if these new stoves mess with peoples allergies like the old ones did. My dad's old stove could make the whole basement smell like smoke sometimes and drive my allergies crazy. Does anyone have those problems with the Blaze King King, the Progressive Hybrid, or similar models??
  9. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think your dad's old stove issues are more related to the basement location and negative pressure than to the stove type.
  10. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Johnny, please do not read something into some statements as some others do. Yes, the BK stoves can get some long burn times if that is what you want. However, there is a cost to that just like with any stove. Burn them really slow and they will burn a long time but with very low heat output. Come mid-winter, you will still get some long burn times but do not expect 40 hours. It is really nice if one can get a 12 hour turnaround as that can fit into most people's schedules.

    As for allergies, I would not expect any problems with a modern epa stove unless you neglect the fuel. If you burn poor fuel, then yes, you may have some allergy problems. That is just one of the reasons you need to have next year's wood put up already and better yet, get 3 years ahead and that will put a stop to many problems.
  11. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    southern Indiana
    It's true the Blaze King won't be getting 40 hours on a load in hard winter. Even when they are turned up, they will blow away the competition on burn times.

    In my experience, once the house is up to temperature, the Blaze King would run on medium for 24 hrs. It was pumping out enough heat for my old 2200 square foot ranch. Thats hard to beat!

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