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Wondering what size woodstove would be appropriate for our old farmhouse

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by AmazingGraceDairy, Aug 16, 2011.

?

which woodstove would work best in our house?

  1. Lopi Leyden

    9.1%
  2. Harman Oakwood

    36.4%
  3. Quadra Fire Isle Royal

    27.3%
  4. Hearthstone Equinox

    27.3%
  5. Hearthstone Heritage

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  6. Herthstone Bennington

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
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  1. AmazingGraceDairy

    AmazingGraceDairy New Member

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    The flue is 27.5 inches on center from the floor. It is 35 inches on center away from the window and other possible combustible materials.

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  2. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I'd stay away from the Leyden. It's a good looking stove but like other down draft stoves they have a refactory package in the back that has been known not to last very long and expensive to replace.

    I'd look into these 2 stoves, Jotul Rangeley, Hearthstone Bennington. They would make the rear flue connection and have both convective and radiant heat with blower options.
  3. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Some random thoughts . . .

    You've come to the right place to explore the various options that you and your husband have . . . folks here tend to really think things out and think of ways that would work for each individual.

    Some key points worth repeating: Pine is fine (to burn . . . as long as it is seasoned) . . . seasoned wood = better burning with more heat, easier ignition and less creosote -- burning unseasoned wood is like putting gasoline in your car and adding a few gallons of water . . . using a fan blowing towards the woodstove works very well as it sets up a "current" of air with the cooler air at the floor level being pushed towards the woodstove which heats the cool air -- the heated air rises and flows out to fill the vacant area left by the cooler air which was blown towards the stove -- crazy, but it works very well to move the heat throughout the whole house.

    Ash pan . . . don't believe all the nay-sayers . . . I like my ash pan and find it quite useful. I don't know if it is a "must have", but then again to each their own . . . I might not think a stove should look good whereas another person might think that is very important . . . or a person might think having a larger viewing window is more important than a longer burn time . . . different features for different creatures . . . if you or your husband think an ash pan is important, so be it. As others have said though, you can still remove ash without the fire dying out completely.

    Serious time here . . . you're running a farm . . . so you and your husband are most likely quite busy . . . however, you really need to make time to at least check your chimney . . . and most folks should clean it at least once a year. I would hate to see anyone's life-long dreams go up in smoke because they couldn't take out a half hour or pay $100 or so to hire a chimney sweep to check and clean the chimney. Me . . . I actually go overboard and check and clean my chimney every month during burning season since it is easy for me and I can do it from the ground . . . but most folks would be good checking it at the start and mid-way through the burning season. This is a major concern . . . I know time may be in short supply and you may have a bazillion things to do . . . but this truly is one of those things you need to be serious about if you heat with wood.

    Clean chimneys . . . a lot depends on the wood you burn. Garbage in, garbage out . . . at least until it gets to the chimney at which point the lower temps brought on by burning unseasoned or semi-seasoned wood cause creosote to form on the chimney walls. Besides burning unseasoned wood and running the woodstove too cool (probably not a problem based on your description of a glowing red stove pipe) burning with a new EPA stove with either a cat or secondary burner will help reduce creosote deposits . . . but only if you burn at the right temps and burn good wood.

    Tricky, not owning the house outright . . . but as others have said you can work with what you've got . . . you just may need to build a hearth or fiddle around a bit to make the connections work. Speaking of the hearth, don't forget to take this into consideration . . . some stoves only require ember protection while other stoves may require a pretty thick hearth to meet the insulation value underneath the stove . . . and don't worry about the weight of the hearth . . . the weight of the stove should be a lot more than the hearth would weigh . . . but if the weight on the floor is an issue it would behoove you to beef up the floor underneath with some jack posts perhaps.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    OK, that's much better. That height should work ok for either stove's flue outlet. Do you have a Jotul dealer in the area?
  5. KevinG

    KevinG Member

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    You say the farm house is drafty but that the walls were insulated and window replaced 10-ish years ago. But is there insulation in the attic?

    We moved into a farmhouse a year ago with solid brick walls (R-value of 2.8 roughly) and new replacement windows. We froze. Then we discovered that there was zero insulation in the attic! About $1,200 to have someone come out and blow 6-8" insulation under the attic floorboards. It helped a great deal. Heating only with a Fireview downstairs, the upstairs stayed about 5 deg warmer. You'd be amazed at how much warmer 63 deg feels compared to 58 deg!

    My next project is to insulate and air-block the basement ceiling. The downstairs floors are really cold and I think it's due to cold air seeping through from the unheated basement. There are just log beams in the basement of varying widths so I'm not quite certain how to do it. Spray foam would be awesome but really expensive.
  6. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    If cash is your issue, the Englander is the best solution.

    Too many times a lot of money is spent on a "look" of a
    certain stove, where a more generic version would have been
    just fine. It sounds like to me your stove will be more of an
    "appliance" than a "fixture". I know, I made that mistake in the
    past. Spent a lot of money on a fancy cast-iron appearance, but got
    poor performance. A cheap steel stove ended up replacing it, and it
    worked just fine. Also, as other have stated, ash trays are a liability.
    We also burn 24/7, and ash trays were a hinderance. Now we just take
    a scoop out here & there, when needed (actually less mess).

    Also, were you aware that US Stoves sells the "Wonderwood".
    It is pretty much a re-make on the old Ashley (probably just as
    inefficient).
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Rob,
    Their wall thimble is 27" center from the floor so a top venting stove won't work. Moving the thimble looks like a pain. Kind a dumb how manufactures of steel stove don't have rear venting stoves anymore. There's only one that I know of and the OP may want to look into it.

    http://www.buckstove.com/wood/model261.html
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Browning, I apologize for missing what you posted in the above quote. I have no idea why you seem to have the idea that only you know what a house is like as you've posted like this before. I will assure you that I do know, perhaps better than you, just what the old farmhouses are like because we've lived in more than one. One we did some remodeling in and what we found for insulation was occasionally there were some old newspapers stuck in some crack. And yes, I have compared our house with the old farm house many times.....because it's like an old farmhouse, or was until we remodeled it this summer.
  9. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Let's stay focused on the OP's issues, shall we? Rick
  10. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    OK, fine.

    This is where the Cast-Iron camp often has the advantage
    over the Steel stoves. Quite a few cast irons have a selection
    between top or rear exit (especially the Jotuls).
  11. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    There are a couple "hybrid" stoves on the market now with steel fireboxes and a cast iron "shell" of sorts. Why choose when you can have both? I know the Jotul Rangeley and the Pacific Energy Alderlea stoves are designed this way. Just looking at the photos, I don't think the Alderlea stoves (T4, T5, and T6) can rear vent like the Rangeley or other Jotuls can. Question is, is the Rangeley enough stove to fulfill their needs? The height is right as is the config.
  12. AmazingGraceDairy

    AmazingGraceDairy New Member

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    I have really appreciated everyone's imput thus far. It has given us a lot to thiink on. I appreciate that everyone has a different opinion about the ash drawer, which I didn't expect, but it takes all kinds to make the world go round. Having said that, there isn't much point in discussing it, because my husband has tended stoves with the ash drawer and without it and he prefers the ash drawer.

    So far in our research of stoves and not having a chance to go and look at any yet (hopefully in two days), my husband favors the Leyden, because he really likes the idea of that top loading feature. The Ashely was a side loader and his dad has a front loader and a side loader and the idea of not having to struggle situating the wood while in a squatting position sounds appealing to him. I am not sure the Leyden will be big enough for the house.

    I saw a Jotul F 600 that someone is selling privately in our area. It was only used one burning season, and although I don't relish the thought of not knowing exactly what I might be getting, it looks tempting. I am almost wondering if the Jotul F 600 would be too big for the house and roast us out. Just something we have pondered. Some others that I have been looking at more seriously as well are: the Jotul Rangler, The Quadra Fire Isle Royal--I like the firebox size and the heat efficiancy, though the price is creeping up there, the Harman Oakwood (though the price is creeping up a little high on that one as well). I haven't found prices for the Bennington or the Jotuls, but the Jotuls probably impress me the most so far with their heat efficiancy. Vermont Castings scares me with the negative ratings it has been getting as of late and were it that they were making recorded and noted steps towards improvement, I don't think I am willing to consider them. I like the idea of the catalytic stoves, and the Fireview impresses me some, but I am concerned the firebox is too small. I forget where I read it, but remember someone saying that the size of the firebox and the burn efficiancy are two big indicators of what kind of heat you will get out of a stove, and that makes sense to me. I know that the soapstove throws in an extra "x" factor that blurrs that line of thought a little bit. I have no interest in going back to something like the Ashley. Stoves have made a lot of improvements since then, and I would like to get the most use out of each piece of wood and not send as many emissions out the chimney if I can. I would like to keep moving forward and not do the same thing over and over and expecting different results.
    So that is where we are at so far.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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  14. AmazingGraceDairy

    AmazingGraceDairy New Member

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    That is a pretty neat little stove. I just looked at it. Have you heard anything about the quality of the Buck Stove brands?
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Good stoves based on the reviews around here. I've never read a negative thing about them on theses boards.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Nope, Buck makes a good solid stove too. The 261 is not a top loader, but it should do the job and is likely less expensive.
  17. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    You might be right about the convection vs radiant. Too bad she can't top vent as she'd have a lot more options available. I'm still concerned that a mid-size stove like the Rangeley or Bennington might be too small.
  18. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Rangeley is supposed to be medium-large at about 2.5 cu ft no?
  19. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    I've never seen one but have heard they are well built and great heaters. I think it would also be a few hundred less than a cast iron stove.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    Based on the way Jotul described it, I thought the stove was a bit smaller than the Oslo. And I don't think the Oslo has a 2.5 cu. ft fire box. Maybe I'm wrong.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It depends on how high it's filled. If loaded to the 10" level it holds 2.3 cu ft. But we all like to push it once in a while so I was letting it rise to 2.5 cu ft assuming that some splits are higher. If loaded to the gills <not recommended> it has a theoretical limit of 3.2 cu ft.

    jrcurto posted the firebox dimensions here:

    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/64251/P44/#766646
  22. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Dairymaid, the Leyden is the stove we would have purchased if we had not bought the Fireview. I know they had a problem for a while but I believe that has been taken care of and you would not go wrong with it. Your husband indeed would love that top loader after tending the Ashley as that always seemed almost clumsy for loading when we had it. I have more than one scar from burns received thanks to that stove.

    Good luck to you however you decide to go.
  23. Rich L

    Rich L Minister of Fire

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    Well your uncontrollable draft needs to be dealt with.These new stoves
    all except the Blaze Kings can only be shut down but so much and not enough to deal with very strong drafts.A pipe damper will give some control however my pipe damper for my Liberty won't shut it down enough for me to extend the burn like I'd like to.I'm thinking about covering up the intake somewhat with heat tape to see if I can cut down the air.The Liberty gives off plenty heat for my drafty home I just need to slow down the burn.I think the Leyden will be too small for your home and it would be hell to find that out when it's 10 below.The liberty will heat your place however unless the burn can be slowed you'll probably get about 7 hours of good heat.
  24. MasterMech

    MasterMech Guest

    The Rangeley has a much larger firebox than the Oslo. Saw them both side by side on the showroom floor.
  25. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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