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Trip to the stove store has me second guessing...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Oilsandswrench, Sep 16, 2013.

  1. Oilsandswrench

    Oilsandswrench New Member

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    Hey folks! I've been checking this place out for some time now and have learned a lot so I thank you for that. Now for my situation...

    Through my research and findings I have come to understand that a Pacific Energy Summit would be the best choice for my newly purchased home. I've been looking forward to this purchase all summer and today was going to be the big day... Until a salesman told me he gets better and faster heat from a PE super series or the PE alderlea. He said many of his customers have returned their summits in exchange for these two options as they "throw" the heat better.

    His analogy was that if you were to thermo gun all three side by side the summit would certainly put off the most heat but because it didn't actually project and circulate the heat as well as the other two PE models many people were let down by the performance. So because of this he stated that many of his customers say they can feel the heat further than the summit. Needless to say I am troubled. Everything I have read here has said the summit is a strong purchase for large homes (2500+ sqf) and that most were happy with their choice. I don't want to discredit the salesman as he was quite understanding and not once did I feel he was trying to push a sale, secondly this guy has been owned this store for 30+ years so his words carry weight. I figure return to the kind folks here and bounce some ideas so I can pull the trigger on a stove before we get into the cold white stuff.

    Below I've attached some pics so you get an idea of what I'm working with for the unfinished room it will sit in and the upper level I'm hoping to assist in heating. The stove will sit where the dog kennel currently resides. As you can see the stairs will be the cold air return and I plan on installing a direct vent above the stove to assist in circulating the air between floors.

    I should also mention the salesman saw these exact pictures and recommended the stove be installed on the main level, but for now for plug and play as well as cosmetic reasons - wife - the stove will remain on the lower level.

    Any suggestions as to what stove or other ideas to maximize the stove of choice would be greatly appreciated.

    Cheers





    image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg image.jpg
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 17, 2013

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  2. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    I have a Summit insert, and it heats 2666sf just fine.
    I do have a nice open layout, which does help, along with a ceiling fan and nice convective loop that flows well.
    Bottom line, the Summit has a larger firebox, and will hold more fuel. More fuel = more btu's = more heat output per load.
    I don't think the Super would handle the load the Summit does.
    The Alderlea comes in 3 sizes, T4, T5 & T6. The T6. They are all a steel stove with cast iron mounted on the outside. The T6, the larger of the 3, is same size as the Summit with same everything accept the cast iron.
    PapaDave likes this.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to hearth.com. That is a lovely home you have. Based on what I see and what you've said it seems like you are on the right track. PE stoves are all convective and in this case that is what you want. It's going to be harder to heat the home from the basement room but the open staircase will help. The T6 looks like a good fit here and the Summit would do the job fine too.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
    PapaDave likes this.
  4. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    I agree with Hogwildz: Larger stove means more wood that goes in there which means more heat that goes out. What I can imagine is that the Summit will take longer to heat up thus some people may be disappointed to light the stove and an hour later it is still not cozy warm in the house. If you plan on keeping the stove going most of the time it will not be an issue for you. Plus, for a house of your size and with that cathedral ceiling you will need to go large. The Super will be undersized for your needs.

    Congrats to your new, great-looking home! :)
  5. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Except for the "circulate the heat" part, I think what he may be talking about is that, for a given level of BTU output, the smaller surface area of a smaller stove is going to be hotter than the surface of a larger stove. So, if you were trying to warm your bones by the fire, a smaller stove might feel warmer than a larger stove giving off the exact same amount of BTU's to the house. However, the larger fuel capacity of the larger stove would give you more total BTU's to warm the house, regardless of the stove temp.

    This reminds me of some owners of the extra large Blaze King, who were initially disappointed by the lack of heat they felt from the stove. They complained on here, and were asked what their house temp was. "Um, ~ 73°F," they replied, realizing they didn't really have a problem. So. . .I think the moral of the story may be that a smaller stove cranking might make a better foot warmer, but it's not going to have the output required to heat a large house in a cold climate. . .unless you reload it very frequently.

    That said about the generic case, I suspect that in the PE line, the 2-cu-ft Super firebox may well be a better burner than the 3-cu-ft Summit firebox. Apparently, the Super does just fine without the Summit's EBT gizmo, the design of which has been revised to work better. It may generally be true that it's easier to get a good controlled burn with a smaller firebox, but if you need the BTU's, you need a larger firebox. . .unless you like loading the stove 6x /day.==c

    Me too. I would go with the Summit / Alderlea T6. :)
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  6. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Your not going to notice a difference in those stoves.

    I am not sure the logic your sales guy is using unless he has an overstock of the stoves he is pushing.

    The specs on all the stoves are almost the same.

    Now with a Soap Stone your gonna get a more mild heat over a longer period. But none of those stoves are soapstones.

    Like Hog said its about the load size. There is so much BTU in the Wood and those stoves are really highly efficient so your gonna get over 80% of the heat from the wood you load.

    Focus more on the quality of your wood. If your wood is over 20% moisture your gonna get poor performance out of any of these stoves.

    Get you a moisture meter, they are around $30 at a Lowes.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    +1. The basement area is not large. There is no need for a highly radiant stove that "throws the heat" in that location. Get the Summit if you want a quicker warmup or the Alderlea if you want a softer heat with a little slower warmup. My recommendation would be the Alderlea if you intend to burn 24/7.
  8. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    BeGreen,

    So the Alderlea has more mass as its basically the same steel box with a cast iron skin?

    The added mass makes it store heat much like the added mass of the soapstone?

    There is really no difference in the Super and Summit the look like the identical design just the Summit is the larger size. So really scratching my head about the sales guy. Both have the heat shields on the side.

    The only other advice I would give is the idea BeGreen has mentioned is the fact the Alderlea may be more comfortable to sit by down stairs. The more mass absorbs some of the peaks in the heating cycle and lets the heat off later on.

    As it has been said by many people that flattening out the heating curve on a stove with more mass either from soapstone or just more mass from like have the cast iron extra shell providing more mass that this kind of heat seems to heat the outter reaches of a house better. I dont know if there is scientific data to back that up but I have heard people talk about it. I think it also plays into the heating 24/7 keeps a house more comfortable out at the far ends of the house.
  9. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Yes.
    Alderlea T5 = Super firebox + iron cladding.
    Alderlea T6 = Summit firebox + iron cladding.

    Good place to check out the PE line.
    http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/pacific.htm

    . . .or so the Russians would have us believe.;)

    Summit has the EBT system. Even if the designs were identical, different performance characteristics will be created simply by scaling up the design. The larger surface area will have different heat transfer characteristics. Also, I have a suspicion / pet theory that, with combustion air provided at atmospheric pressure of 14.7psi, a combustion chamber of a particular volume may work best. i.e. 2-cu-ft stoves may burn better than 3-cu-ft stoves. This is just a hunch though.

    EBT
    http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/hoebt.htm
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  10. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Well the EBT System that explains alot to me. That also takes the heat surges or the hottest peak parts of the burn cycle and counters them by closing the air off a little automatically. This then spreads the burn out over a longer period of time. You get longer burn times.

    This explains why the salesman said it doesnt throw the heat out like the Super. But doesnt sound right for the Alderlea.

    As during the really hot parts of the burn cycle the greatest heat transfer occurs as in its the difference in temps from one room to the other that creates like a natural convection. Especially from a lower level to a higher level.

    Its all in how a person likes their heat, some people like the more even comfortable heat and some people like a stove to throw some really good heat at them.

    As far as original poster goes he is putting a vent in to help the heat loop so I think its not going to be a big deal for him which ever stove he goes with but like it was said above the bigger stove is the way to go as he has a pretty large house to heat.

    All the stoves mentioned are highly efficient so with good dry wood its gonna heat his house.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There sounds like a bit of salesmanship here. Convective stoves will not "throw off the heat" like a radiant Jotul F500/F600, VC Defiant, etc.. It is the nature of their jacketed design. For many installations this is a good thing. The Super has a linked secondary control, the Summit has a barometric damper (EBT) on the secondary intake. The Alderlea's heavy cast jacket helps soften the heat on the sides and even out the temp swings in the burn cycle. Our living room doesn't vary more than about 2 degrees throughout the T6's burn cycle. With the Castine we got the more typical 5 degree swing in temp and more radiant heat.
  12. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    As begreen noted. The cast iron jacket actually reduces radiant (quicker heat) and takes a while to get up to temp, but could be better for the larger volume rooms. The blower does help with modulating/controlling the temperatures of the room and stove. And debated in Hearth.com, but I feel it increases effective BTU output.

    Another plus for the jacketed stove is that you can place furniture relatively close to the sides and not get "sunburnt" from the radiant energy.
  13. Tenn Dave

    Tenn Dave Minister of Fire

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    All the stoves you're considering are fine stoves. I would also suggest you broaden your search to include the Woodstock Progress Hybrid stove for its beauty, respectable burn times, second to none customer service, and the confortable heat you get from soapstone. It is probably best to do your own research and come to your own conclusions. No matter which stove you go with discussed here, it is hard to make a mistake. http://www.woodstove.com/
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  14. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    I see what your saying that the stove its self is convection stove. Which stoves can be. I was referring to convection from room to room whole house kind of thing.

    And to explain that to people who are not familiar with that terminology. when the stove like the Alderlea is a jacketed stove there is air space between the inner steel stove and the outer cast shell. There is usually openings towards the top or front and there are openings at the bottom. As the stove heats the cooler air under the stove gets sucked up in the area between the inner steel stove and the outer cast jacket shell of the stove. What you get is convection or a natural air flow as the hotter air will rise at the top of stove and pulling the cooler air at the bottom closer to the floor. Thats a convection type stove.

    A stove with a fan is like an artificial convection forcing the air flow and transferring the heat off the stove out into the room.

    Now radiant heat like Begreen mentioned is the heat radiation coming off the stove and the heat radiates to an object and heats objects. Radiant heat is the type that is good for the room your in but an object in another room wont get heated from a stove in the other room by radiant heat.

    But the convection I was talking about was the whole house convection. As the room the stove is in heats up from lets say a purely radiant wood stove. As that room and for example sake the room down stairs heats up the heat will rise naturally and as that heat rises naturally cool air from the upstairs will naturally be pulled down into the basement. This is more of a whole house convection heat.

    This all is splitting hairs the stove your originally wanted will work fine.
    Last edited: Sep 17, 2013
  15. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    He said many of his customers have returned their summits in exchange for these two options
    I can't really imagine someone yanking out a stove they just installed and bringing it back for exchange just like that. I guess I am basically lazy, or the stove really had to be a lemon. I wonder how many is many.
    Welcome, Oilsandwrench!
    I also read so many good things about the Summit, I almost regretted getting the Alderlea (they do make inserts in both models)! But I will be darned if I would rip it out and exchange it unless the Alderlea was junk.
    Get your Summit. It probably would be more effective for your larger home, which is beautiful, by the way!
  16. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    See if the dealer will give you a nice discounted price on one of those "Returned" Summits, and see what he says.
    Then ask him where they all went if so many are returning them?
    Most dealers don't know shat.
  17. Dave A.

    Dave A. Minister of Fire

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    Ran into a too much of that from dealers when I was looking for a new insert to replace my too small Century. Had just about given up on wood and was going to switch to pellet just to get some relief from having to constantly be reloading a stove.

    Then reading about the Summit and some other larger 3cf stoves/inserts with my size house, 2500 sf in mid-atlantic climate, only having to reload 2-3 times a day. Couldn't believe it was possible, and then after reading more threads, decided to get one. That was the easy part. The hard part was getting past the dealer resistance.

    Too many of the local dealers were incredibly dumb:

    1. I won't sell you that size insert, it's too big for your house. (Quad dealer large insert)

    2. You'll burn down your house with a stove that size.

    3. You've got to size it to the room it's in, not the house. (dealer I called and finally hung up on.).

    So far, am very satisfied with the summit insert which was installed in late March. In fact just had a small fire this morning to warm up the house a few degrees, more fun than turning on the propane boiler. The blower system on the summit is great (on low it's barely noticeable but distributes the air very well, two solid blowers--whoosh, 1 on each side, more powerful yet quieter than the Century's rattler.)
  18. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

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    I have had both the super and the summit now, I returned the super for more btu power that I found out I needed when it really got cold out. Both stoves control burn great, but when you really need the btu's the summit kicks harder with less reloading.
    It will also low btu burn like the super, The secret is in the wood - good dry hard stuff ;)
    The T6 is easy on the eyes also. BG is spot on about it being a better 24/7 burner, cast wrapped evens out the temp swing.
    Sounds like that dealer over stocked on mid's
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 18, 2013
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Our local dealer flat out refused to sell me a Summit or T6. Swore it would drive us out of the house. Fortunately Tom Oyen was online here and helped me get the T6. Tom indicated the T5 or Super would also work well for us. With its regulated secondary it has excellent long burn times. The difference being that the 2 cu ft stove would just have to be pushed harder under very cold weather. We have an old farmhouse with way too many large windows retrofitted. I knew that the 1.7 cu ft Castine had to work hard to keep the house warm when temps dropped below 20F. My decision was to go up to the 3 cu ft T6. Tom made picking it up at his store easy. Having gone thru 4 seasons with the stove, it was definitely the right decision. It has been a very good fit for our house.
  20. Oilsandswrench

    Oilsandswrench New Member

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    Gentleman I appreciate you taking the time to post and the thorough explanations. By the sounds of things the Alderlea T6 is going to suit my situation quite well. My next question would be does anyone know of any credible PE dealers on the east coast of Canada? I'm currently in St George NB.

    Thanks again guys, your knowledge on the subject has put my worries to rest.

    Cheers!
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  22. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    I dunno much about the stove choices, but I have to say you have a really nice shack....

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