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Which stove should I buy?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by willjayc, Aug 6, 2012.

  1. willjayc

    willjayc New Member

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    We are putting a wood stove in the basement of the house we bought and the more we try to research the further we get from a decision.

    The House:

    Is 1150 sq ft upstairs and down (2300 sq ft floor area) with a basement walkout. It is a newer log home located in central Ontario, Canada. Cold long winters.

    We were originally looking into a Napoleon wood stove as they are made locally but were put on to Pacific Energy (also made in Canada) and highly recommended by a few people. We have come across a few of these stoves for sale used and are considering them.

    We have a chance to buy a used Pacific Energy Super 27 that is 15 years old with a brand new blower and baffle for $1000 (enamel finish, gold door)

    or a

    Pacific Energy Summit that is one year old for $1800

    The Super 27 says it heats up to 2000 sq ft and the Summit up to 3000 sq ft.

    We have FAO heat but want to heat with wood as much as possible and want as long a burn time as possible.

    Any advice/ other brands to consider/ advice about used stoves? The cheaper the better but we will pay for the "right" stove new or used.

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  2. RIDGERUNNER30

    RIDGERUNNER30 Member

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    Welcome to the forum, They will be a alot of people that will chime in and help with good advice. The super 27 wood stove you found for $1000 seems a bit high for a stove that is 15 years old and also had the baffle replace. I recently got a quote for my dad on super 27 all black model with legs for $1600 and that was shipped to the house. With your square footage and your cold climate you will want a big fire box at least 3cubic feet, There is a another stove model you might also want to look at is the osborn wood stoves, I think they are made in canada also and have good reviews from members that are using them. They are some online retailers selling the osborn brand and offer free shipping. one site that comes to mind is www.woodlanddirect.com.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    +1, this sounds like a job for at least a 3 cu ft stove unless the plan is revised and the stove is installed on the main floor.

    Basement heating is often less satisfactory, especially if the basement is not well sealed and fully insulated. In your home, how would the heat get up from the basement to the main floor?
  4. willjayc

    willjayc New Member

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    Wow, thanks so much for the warm welcome and quick advice. I thought the super 27 was expensive as well but their justification was that it had a brand new in box blower ($300 at our local dealer) and they spent the extra on the enamel/gold combo.

    As for the basement location, we have a very open concept house, essentially a large rec room downstairs with a large great room/kitchen upstairs and one bed and bath off of the main rooms on each floor. There is a large stairwell in the center of the house to (hopefully) let the hot air rise upstairs.

    I will check out woodlanddirect.com hopefully they ship to Canada!
  5. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    +2
    My local dealer has a Super 27 for ~$1600. I don't remember the details but it had legs and a blower
    And welcome:)
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  7. willjayc

    willjayc New Member

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    Good selection at woodlanddirect.com but shipping to Canada seems to be on average $1000. The Timber Ridge stove won't work because of the clearances. I plan on a corner set up and ideally no more than a 10" clearance which seems reasonable with the Napoleon/Regency/Pacific Energy stoves. I think that 1 year old Summit stove at $1800 with a blower and no tax might warrant an offer. Anyone know what the Summit typically retails at? Can't get a price today as it's a holiday.
  8. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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  9. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    If I were you, I'd be looking at the biggest SBI stoves, unless you are going for a specific look. Drolet, Enerzone, and Osburn. They are good stoves.
  10. Dirt Devil

    Dirt Devil New Member

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    I just picked up a one year old PE Summit with legs and ash pan, no blower for $1600 so that is in the range. PE is also running rebates on their stoves right now so you might get a new one for a little more than the $1800. Just my .02:cool:
  11. willjayc

    willjayc New Member

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    Went into a nearby dealer today to check out some pricing and I think we made a decision to go with the Alderlea T5. I took a set of old Blueprints in to show him the house layout and he thinks that the Super series stoves would be adequate. FYI, dealer price for this stove is $2400 cdn with a $300 rebate offer right now. He said he didn't think we'd need a fan but offered to let us borrow a loaner fan for a week in the winter to see if we wanted to buy one....nice of him! Also recommended against an OAK but I hear so many people saying to put one in. We have an HRV system in the house to exchange air. Should I go without the OAK? I find way more people for them than against them.
  12. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    How well insulated is the basement? With a very tight house you may need an oak in a basement, but it can be retrofitted if necessary.

    What is the current source of central heating and what is it's size?
  14. certified106

    certified106 Minister of Fire

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    I would spring for the blower on the PE stove. It makes quite a difference if you want/need to get the heat out of it fast as well as helping with heat distribution. With an HRV system I would be prepared to add an OAK if it requires it. You could always run it without one and then hook one up temporarily through a window to try it out and see if it makes a difference.
  15. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    I posted a link recently to a great article on OAK's. I'll try to find it and repost. It shows how little a stove really draws, versus the average leakage of a house, and concludes that OAK's are only really needed in smaller houses or exceptionally tight houses. Based on your description of your house, you may be a candidate, but I wouldn't rush out to install one until you've done some running and testing.

    Get that stove installed and run it a season. Put a screen in one of your windows, and experiment with cracking it a few inches while the stove is running. You'll quickly determine your need for an OAK.

    Do note that opening a window (or installing an OAK) on the leeward side of a house can actually cause the opposite effect, pulling a vacuum on the house instead of pressurizing it. This is one of the strongest arguments against installing a typical OAK, unless it can be installed on a side of the house that's always toward the wind.
  16. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I'd be looking at the biggest, longest burning stove I could find. Blaze King stoves are reknown for long burn times but they are expensive. I'd look at Blaze King, maybe a big woodstock catalytic stove, or other big cat stoves. I think long burn times are the most important feature for any wood stove, particularly one in the basement where it will be out of sight and you might not enjoy loading as much as you would with a stove in the main living area.

    You should have your firewood already seasoned for this winter. All newer stoves will require well seasoned wood, which means wood that is split and stacked in a good location for about two years.
  17. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Too bad there isn't a 4.0 cuft thermo controlled cat stove on the market with curb appeal. Sounds like just the place to use one.>>
    BrowningBAR and Joful like this.
  18. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    If the fan is running downstairs and you're upstairs, you won't hear the fan, much.
  19. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Those PE Alderlea stoves are beautiful. I think you would be better with the T6 though due to the increased firebox size?? not positive on this.

    If you're in Central Ontario would you be burning mostly pine and spruce? If so you may want to consider blaze kings. They seem to really shine with softwoods.
  20. willjayc

    willjayc New Member

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    When I was searching for a wood stove in 2012 I found this forum so helpful so I wanted to post an update/review of our Alderlea T5 in hope that it helps others.

    The Alderlea T5 wood stove is used as our primary source of heat and is located in our large rec room in our walkout basement. We have about 1150 sq ft up and 1150sq ft down of living space and an external chimney. Our house is a 4" cedar Panabode log home so R value is less than typical homes but our thermal mass seems to make up for it. Nothing but a central stairway linking the two floors but it is an open concept house with few rooms and larger spaces. We started using the stove in early October so about 4.5 months so far and been using it full time since early December. It seems to heat the house well enough. It doesn't get the whole house "Hot" but it keeps it warm enough to be comfortable upstairs but the far bedroom and far away entrance area are a little chilly. It can be quite warm to downright hot downstairs in the rec room though which is nice to escape to if one is cold.

    The stove typically holds about 3-4 large pieces of wood and if set on low this will last quite a long time. Usually if I put in wood at 10 pm and turn it to low I have enough coals to start the fire easily the next morning around 6am. If the stove is run on med or high though this probably cuts the burn time in half. Typically I put two large logs in every 3 hours if I am home. We also have central heat (forced air oil) that we keep set at about 16C (61F). If it is a really cold evening the furnace sometimes comes on and some mornings it is on even though the wood stove is running. If I got up to stock the fire in the middle of the night and kept it on med or high I doubt the furnace would come on at all. We have just recently put in an automated thermostat so we can have the house up to 20C (70F) when we get out of bed. We had a bout of cold weather in the -20 to -30C range (-4F to-22F) and the wood stove had to be kept on med-high to keep the oil furnace from coming on.

    So far we've burned about 3 cord of mostly Red Oak with a small amount of Hard Maple, White Ash and Beech and used about 1/3 of a tank of oil or 300L (80 US gal.). I expect to use another 1-2 cord this winter and doubt that I will burn much more than another 150L (40 gal) of oil.

    We have an ecofan that sits on top of the stove and run our upstairs ceiling fans but have no other means of circulating the air.

    We have had really no issues with the stove except from day one the door handle was very hard to operate as the catch did not align properly. Looks like a manufacturing error and when the stove is hot and the metal expands you have to really jerk the door to get it open. This has resulted in moving the stove several inches from jerking the door. Which periodically had to e slid back into it's proper position. The dealer was very rude when I inquired about the issue and a possible fix and just wanted to pass the blame instead of offering help or solutions. I removed the door catch and filed some metal off and was able to get some adjustment out of it. It is still awkward but it doesn't move the stove anymore Otherwise the stove has performed as expected.

    My complaints with the stove would be that the burn chamber is not very high and my wood is split large. It is like a puzzle trying to fit enough wood in for the night. I suppose I could split it smaller but I do not find the door opening and the chamber height large enough for my liking I also have troubles fitting in the wood as I tend to catch the metal tabs that hold in the firebricks when I load then I have to fiddle around with a poker usually to get the wood all the way back. It says you can put in 18" wood as well but I find 16" wood is much easier to get in properly. The glass stays fairly clean but I do clean it every 2 weeks or so just to keep it looking nice. The dealer talked about how he cleaned his display model A5 once a year but by how clean it was I think he was lying or didn't burn much wood.

    I would recommend the stove but if I did it again I would have to consider going with the Alderlea T6.
  21. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you did pretty dang good! Thanks for the update.
  22. aansorge

    aansorge Minister of Fire

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    Most modern stoves run best on the low setting. I would avoid the high setting as you can overheat the stove.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    You can tweak the latch for a better operation. Open the door and place a large screwdriver in the V-notch of the latch receiver on the stove body. Gently pry outward. Careful, a little goes a long way here. Test the door latch again. You don't want it sloppy, but it should not be hard to open. Sounds like you may need to split your biggest splits in half. The T5 is most comfortable with 4-6" splits.

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