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VC Resolute BTU rating question

Post in 'Vermont Castings & CDW Dutchwest older Models' started by DougA, Dec 15, 2013.

  1. DougA

    DougA Minister of Fire

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    I've had a Resolute (probably III) for 28 years and the SS chimney is getting close to my comfort zone for safety of it's age. We've got a few extra issues and would like to relocate the stove, replace the chimney and ideally like to add 50% or more BTU since we now have way more fallen hardwood than I will ever burn (plus cost of alternate heat is now crazy expensive). We're looking at a good buy on a 4 yr. old zero clearance airtight fireplace rated at 55K BTU Max but in reality probably is 32K in regular use. The information I have seems to indicate that a good zero clearance fireplace vs. good wood stove is more aesthetic difference rather than performance (BTU).

    The Resolute is rated at 40K BTU but I can't locate anything that says if that is the maximum output or normal operational output. My suspicion is that I'm getting 10K at most out of it due to it being far less efficient than newer EPA approved designs and the current stove is definitely in need of a good overhaul so I'm getting 4 hr. burns now, compared to 6 to 8 hr. burns I got when newer. I'm also trying to guess it's output by comparing the heat I get from a 2.5K electric baseboard heater that is used when I'm too lazy to keep the stove going. A proper re-build is probably not much different in price than the deal on the fireplace, since so many people are getting rid of fireplaces due to insurance problems.

    I need to replace this unit with one that produces more BTU so I do not want to sink a ton of money into a replacement to discover that I'm not getting more heat.

    Yes, I understand that BTU's are very dependent upon type of wood, dryness, etc. but let's skip that and compare based on old design and efficiency and old ratings vs. newer ones since I'll be using identical wood.

    Appreciate comments.

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  2. DougA

    DougA Minister of Fire

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    OK, since nobody has an answer, does anyone have a guess as to typical efficiency of an older VC stove? A new VC Acclaim is closest to a Resolute at 40K max (specs on VC site) and claims a 72% efficiency, I'm guessing a Resolute III must be <50%. That's only a guess based on the amount of smoke that pours out of the chimney compared to new stoves. I am wrong?
    Still trying to do the math on what to buy to replace the old unit, plus bump the thread up in case anyone missed it.
  3. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    hi doug
    how big of a area are you trying to heat? when you were burning the res did you have to burn hot to heat the house or could you burn it med and be ok?
  4. DougA

    DougA Minister of Fire

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    The problem gets complex when heating area is calculated. The immediate room is about 1000' but has a vaulted ceiling of from 10 to 17', so in effect is closer to a normal 2000', then add rooms going off of it, so we're 2,500 give or take. The Resolute heats it fine if the outside temps are at about the freezing mark but even pushing it to the max, has problems at 20 deg colder, then add a wind factor.

    Why I'm so interested in the real BTU rating is that I don't think the stove, even when new, is a whole lot better than the 2.5 KW baseboard heater that produces a little under 10K BTU when on full time. The reality i see is that stoves appear to be grossly overrated on BTUs when I compare them to a baseboard heater that is 100% efficient in theory. In my case, the 2.5 KW baseboard gives me a pretty accurate way to compare BTU's that many people don't have. It's also radiant vs radiant. The electric would be my preference except that it costs an arm and a leg to run.

    I spent some time with another wood heat consultant today and I'm now looking at cu ft capacity of one stove vs another as an added comparison. Not the only, just an extra. The bottom line is that I am going to need to move to the largest and highest stove or fireplace. Just no choice. Then I can run it partly choked or full if needed and not need to turn my electric meter into a spinning wheel.
  5. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    you do have a heat sucker which is that tall ceiling. but once you got to where that ceiling is heated then your ok. if you were to stick with vermont castings i think i would go with the encore if staying with vermont castings. you could burn a defiant on low with a cat converter but i think you might be hot with the defiant. that all depends on the type of winters you have. what state are you in? if you were in mich, or n. maine i'd say the defiant, but if the resolute worked the encore might be your stove
  6. DougA

    DougA Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for the post. I am not looking at a VC. I have heard too many bad things since the company changed hands. Even the dealers I have talked to that sell VC are suggesting other makers as first choice.
    Right now, looking at a PE Summit, an Osburn 2200 or 2400 or a Lennox Grandview 300. The Encore would be way too small for what I need now.

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