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Wood stove in an ICF house

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by onesojourner, Dec 12, 2012.

  1. onesojourner

    onesojourner Member

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    We are currently in the process of building a new home and all the exterior walls are insulated concrete forms (ICF). Do any of you have any examples of wood stoves being used in this kind of construction? I am worried about putting in a stove that will roast us out with even a small fire. The house is about 3200 sq ft. It is a walk out basement with only one basement wall exposed. There is 2.5 inches of foam on the outside, 8 inches of concrete and 2.5 inches of foam on the inside. The windows are u-.24 and including doors there is about 285 sq ft. Roof will be spray foamed with about 5 inches of open cell. The climate zone is 6b in this area. My initial though was to go with the f400 but now I am wondering if the F3 would keep the space more comfortable. I have designed the hvac system to have return airs up a cathedral ceiling right in front of the stove to help circulate the warmth through the house.

    If any one has put a wood stove in an ICF, SIP or even spray foamed house, I would love to hear the results.

    first floor.PNG 20121207_140558.jpg

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Two things come to mind. First you will want a stove that has an option for an OAK (Outside Air Kit), because of your very tight envelope. Second, you will want something that can go slow and low. Consider the small cat stoves from BK or the new hybrid from Woodstock (and there are others). I am thinking that you will want to stay away from the tube steel/cast stoves. These stoves are typically cyclical in their burn pattern and may roast you out at their peak burn. Soap stone on some of the tube stoves can also tame the cyclical beast.
  3. charly

    charly Guest

    I agree with Jags,,, look into a cat stove that you can really turn down.... A friend built a 2 bedroom apartment off the back off a his garage using ICF's for the whole place, with a crawl space ,, 4 foot high for the mechanicals. Here's what they found out,,, they had radiant heated floors that they never wound up using,,, he said they heated the place with just two tiny space heaters and they ran so little their electric bill was nothing...... basically he said you could heat the place with a match! So I guess that's good news,,, you certainly won't burn much wood.

    I see your using open cell foam on your roof... I believe someone posted on here that open cell foam on a roof could take on moisture causing major mold issues, due to sudden temperature extremes? Closed cell is better dealing with any moisture. We use to have a log home with 8 inch thick sip panels on the roof.. I will tell you what I did read,,,,, ants love the foam. A building inspector noticed the 2 in rigid foam panels against our outside foundation walls and also pointed out that the ants love to eat that stuff. Just a heads up for soil contact,,, maybe they love to just nest in the panels. I guess if you don't have ant's in your area your fine.
  4. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Most people do.:p;lol
    PapaDave likes this.
  5. charly

    charly Guest

    ;lol
  6. onesojourner

    onesojourner Member

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    Thanks guys. I have always shied away from cat stoves. In my mind they just make things more complicated and there are more things to wear out. The wife is not a big fan of the look of the soapstone stoves, and I am not sure I can make any headway on that front. Are there any other cast iron stoves out there other than Jotul, VC and Pacific energy?
  7. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Quadrafire Isle Royale, but being the owner of one, I don't think I would recommend it for your application. It likes to run at about 550-600F and it will do it for several hours. I think it might blast you out the front door.

    Just a side note: The cat stoves of today are a little more refined than the cat stoves of yesteryear.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think you will be ok with the Castine. This is a big space and the Castine will run well with a partial load of fuel. If it starts getting warm, let the stove go out. However, if you wish to heat 24/7 with wood then I would look into the Woodstock Keystone. Regardless of stove, definitely plan on connecting it to an OAK as Jags suggested.

    Other cast iron stoves to consider: Hearthstone Shelburne, Hampton H300, PE Alderlea T4, Quadrafire Yosemite, Napoleon 1600c.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Ya know, you are right. At 3200 sqft if he can get good air movement he might actually want the firepower. For some reason I minimized the size of the home in my head. That is a lot of area to heat, although VERY efficient to heat.
  10. onesojourner

    onesojourner Member

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    Thanks Guys. I am pretty partial to Jotul, but we will see what happens.
  11. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Keep an eye out for new Blaze King cast iron-clad stoves. Supposed to be 2 and 3 cu ft models.

    Don't be afraid of the cat. My stove is stupid simple to run. I would imagine the new ones will be, too.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Something to think about is why you are putting in the stove. What will be it's primary role? Is it for 24/7 heating or a beautiful fire at night to enjoy or power outage security? Or possibly all the above? The reason I bring this up is a small stove may be better if the primary function is the fire view. Conversely, if 24/7 some cat stoves are great burning at a low setting, but the fire is not so exciting to look at, if visible at all .
  13. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    That is a good point. ICF house in MO isn't gonna take much. An evening fire would probably do it most of the time.

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