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Suggestion on Stove Type, Esse?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Matt Andrus, Dec 17, 2012.

  1. Matt Andrus

    Matt Andrus New Member

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    Hello,
    I have been a lurker here for a while, but this is my first time posting. My wife and I are going to be building a house in the spring and we are trying to make a decision on what type of wood stove that we want. Our stove will be our primary heat source in the house and we would like to be able to cook on it periodically as well. We both really like the Esse Ironheart because is has a good size cook top and it has an oven, but my only concern is that it has a pretty small firebox. Can anyone with experience with this stove tell me if it will burn for most of the night? Are there any viable alternatives that we should be looking at? An oven isn't required, but we would like to have a cooktop. Also, a glass door is important to us as well.

    Our house is pretty small. It is 24x40 (960 sq/ft). There is a basement, but the living area is on the same floor as the stove. Here is our floor plan. I tried to design it so that the stove was fairly centered in the house:
    [​IMG]

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  2. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

    Start getting your wood now.
    jjs777_fzr and PapaDave like this.
  3. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    If a wood stove were my only source of heat, I'd be looking at Blaze King. Okay... maybe Woodstock as well. No non-cat would be considered.

    That said, if looking for a cookstove, I've seen none more highly recommended than the Esse Ironheart.
  4. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    I would design the stove into the house so its centrally located and an open floor plan for easy heat flow to all of the house. (Edit: You Already Mentioned that)

    Extra Insulation and good windows. You'll be glad you did. Then you can heat the place easily with a CAT stove that you can turn down low if you need too.

    CAT stove is the way to go with a small place to heat.
  5. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    Start working on your wood supply.
    PapaDave likes this.
  6. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I would select a stove based primarily on burn times. I love to use my wood stove and try to keep it burning whenever I can, but it isn't always convenient to keep my small stove (with correspondingly short burn times) hot. For me the wood stove isn't the only source of heat so I can let the stove go cold when I have a busy day away from home, so it isn't a big deal. On the other hand you want to heat primarily with wood, so burn times will be a big deal. You mention the stove you like has a small firebox. For comparison my 1.6 cubic foot firebox stove burns for maybe 6 hours on a full load, and remains warm for another few hours.

    I'd look at a big cat stove. Such a stove might not be ideal for cooking, but I'd go for convenient heating first, and cooking a distant second.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    paging charly and obidiah to the front counter, Esse question here.
    charly likes this.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How tightly insulated is the house? If very tight you may need only a small stove to heat this 960 sq ft spaces. If the intent is to heat it 24/7 with wood then a small cat stove may be more practical.
    HollowHill likes this.
  9. KodiakII

    KodiakII Feeling the Heat

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    We looked long and hard at the Esse...it is one beautiful unit, but for our purposes where the stove is a full time heater that would be used to cook on when there was no hydro I decided it would be more logical to go with a unit that was more of a heater than a cook stove. The PE T6 was my choice, mainly because of its' burn times, quality, and where it was built. Quite often in the winter when it is running full time I will cook on the top just because it is there and it isn't costing anything for hydro.
  10. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

  11. rijim

    rijim Member

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    Agree with much of the above regarding a CAT; the BK Sirocco would be high on the list. Don't know about cooking but if this is primary heat then a CAT will serve you well especially in the shoulder seasons; plus you can get reasonable burn times even with soft woods.
  12. KodiakII

    KodiakII Feeling the Heat

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    Sorry, A Canadian term short for Hydro electricity. Used to be most of our electricity was generated by water.
  13. Matt Andrus

    Matt Andrus New Member

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    Thank you all for your suggestions. Our house is new construction in northern Wisconsin. It will be insulated pretty tight. I like the look and price of the PE T6, but I am concerned that it is too big for our little house. Can it be run low enough to not roast us out? Or would the T4 or T5 be better suited to our application? We also like the look of the Blaze King Sirocco and Chinook, but are disappointed that they aren't cook stoves.
  14. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    The primary down side of a non-cat is that they can NOT be burned as low and long as an equally sized cat stove. Other than that factor, they're both doing all the same things.

    I think some of the Woodstock cat or hybrid stoves have cooktops, if that's your interest. You can't go wrong with Woodstock, if you can make side loading (and maybe rear flue) work for you.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I was thinking the Alderlea T4, a Quadrafire Yosemite, or a Hampton H200. In cat stoves I would consider a Woodstock Keystone or maybe one of the smallest Blaze Kings (Sirocco20 or Chinook20). The Napoleon 1150P might also fit in here if a dedicated cooktop is going to be frequently used.
  16. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    That's an awesome floorplan for heating with wood. I would recommend you put a vent possibly with an inline or inwall fan in it, under the staircase (behind the stove) blowing warm air into that bedroom #1. Also, another suggestions for you, I too was wanting a "cooking stove". I quickly found that the cooking stoves are much different than the heating stoves, and there are very few, if any built for both really. I ended up buying a Woodstock Progress Hybrid, because it's a great heater, looks great, and has a nice big 3 burner cooktop hidden under the top soapstones. So when not in use, looks like a peice of art, when in use, you have 3 burners to cook a gourmet meal. BUT, if I were building/designing a brand new house and incorporating that "wishlist" into it, I would design in TWO stoves. One right around where you have it, centrally located for heat. Then a 2nd real Kitchen cookstove with cooktops and oven in the kitchen. Now you can fire up the kitchen stove, cook a meal and let the "heating" stove die down a bit (cause your getting enough heat from the kitchen), and when compelte load the heater back up.....

    I would LOVE that scenario! In a power outage you would not even notice the power was out. ;) Just another option for you to think about....
  17. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    PS, what software did you use to draw the floorplan in?
  18. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Wait a minute...

    Have you ever tried keeping up with processing wood for and feeding wood into two stoves for any amount of time, let alone just one stove? By my last count, you have not yet installed your first stove (although congrats on picking up your Woodstock... saw that post this morning!)

    I've been felling, cutting, and processing in double-time, even though I only have one of my two stoves online at the moment, trying to get ahead by a few years in my wood supply. At 15 cords felled processed in one year, I can tell you it's no small job! I can also say that loading the stove first thing each morning, last thing every evening, and at least once in-between, can get very tiring for most folks. Doing the same thing twice over is likely more than most would tolerate.
  19. charly

    charly Guest

    Hello Matt,,, I have owned an Esse for 2 years now,,, the fire box will take up to a 19 inch long split... Yes it will burn over night with the wood box option.. To use it as a primary heater,, yes you could,,, but we also heat with a Woodstock Fireview Cat stove... For your primary heat source I would say to go with the Progress Hybrid with the built in cook top, if you want a cook surface... We do love the Esse ,wouldn't be without it now that we own a cook stove...You will tend the Esse more then a cat stove,,,I would say if you are going to use it a lot for cooking then you'll have the best of both worlds, heat and cooking... it is nice to have a preheated stove top or oven always ready and waiting..... if your are only going to use it for a heater, that's a tough call,,, myself I would look at a cat stove with a cook top. Here's a picture of a typical load of wood the Esse can hold and what you'll be missing;lol

    000_0310.JPG 000_0313.JPG 000_0316.JPG 100_6511.JPG 100_6512.JPG 104_7327.JPG
    HollowHill, Joful and BrowningBAR like this.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I love the look of the Esse stoves. I could never figure out a way to use one that made sense for my needs.
  21. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    I hear ya, points well taken! But two comments: your making the mistake of thinking the 2nd stove would be used all day long.... it is just for cooking once in a while. And, I would have a regular electric or gas cooktop and oven in the kitchen as well. The kitchen stove would only be for supplimental cooking, power outages, and making wood fired pizza for fun... In addtion, I would never heat full time, with a wood stove for the reasons you mention. Mine is for supplimental heat on the cold winter days, take the chill off the cold ocean wind I get slamming into my house and litterally thru my windows when it's cold out, power outages (which I have often since I'm in a woodsy area on the water), and lastly for ambiance of a fire.

    So again, my dream house, would include a wood cooking stove in the kitchen, and a "supplimental" heating stove in the main area. If your designing a brand new house, why not right?
    Joful likes this.
  22. Machria

    Machria Minister of Fire

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    Charly, GREAT pics, thanks! With those 4 splits loaded, what kind of burn time would you get out of it?

    Woodstock should design a similar soapstone cookstove, with a bigger box, a cat and long burn times. That would be very cool!
    charly likes this.
  23. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Good points, Machria.

    BAR: We have plans to install an Esse when we get to our eventual / innevitable kitchen remodel. This kitchen, added to the house in 1894, still had the original wood cookstove in it until 1994. The way the room is arranged now, it's not practical to install a new cookstove... but where there's will, there's a way! Like Machria, we would not keep all three stoves going 24/7... but would still need at least two to keep this cavernous old house warm.
  24. charly

    charly Guest

    I've been feeding two stoves for two years... I found adding a second stove takes some of the burden off one stove,,, so as to not using twice the amount of wood...Lats year before I got the Fireview , burning my Quad 5700 and my Esse I used about 4 + cords... Believe me I use to burn 10-12 in an outdoor boiler years ago,, so 4-5 is nothing... This year with the Fireview cat stove it will be even less. I can let the stoves go for quite a while and all that berm mass continues to heat. The Esse is a big hunk of steel and cast iron...
  25. charly

    charly Guest

    That's funny, I have mentioned that to them. Right now I burning silver maple so she'll go about four hours and then be in the coaling stages, that's with the secondary draft half open...I like to burn it hotter to keep internals clean that surround the oven. Hardwood your can go an easy 6 hours plus... Let's put it this way,, there are always coals to add more wood in the morning. The Esse is not a stove you want to let go out and start cold all the time,,, your heating up a lot of cast iron in the top alone plus all the steel around the oven , etc. You get the stove cast iron top reading 400,,, that baby is pumping out some serious heat.

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