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Wood vs. Gas Stoves - Radiant Heat Output...

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Peter B., Aug 21, 2013.

  1. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    SW Wisconsin
    After over 25 years heating primarily with wood, health problems force me to give it up this year.

    I'm thinking of replacing the wood stove with a gas stove, but I'm wondering if _any_ gas stove throws radiant heat comparable to a wood stove?

    For reasons I won't go into, I'm thinking of a Blaze King 'Contemporary' model. If someone here has experience with one, I'd be eager to hear about it.

    Thanks Much.

    Peter B.

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  2. The Maine Stove Guy

    The Maine Stove Guy New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2013
    Messages:
    41
    Loc:
    Bangor, Maine
    Peter, I would suggest going to a local heath shop or a friend that has a gas unit and feel what you get for heat when standing in front of a few running stoves. Every stove (both wood and gas) is a combination of both radiant and convective heat. Some stoves are more radiant and some more convective. As a general rule the gas units tend to have an inner firebox and an outer shell, this lends to them being on the more convective side. Depending on how much of the unit is directly exposed (like the glass area for example) you may find that you feel more radiant heat from one unit over another.

    I don't really have any experience with the Blaze King but I'm sure others will be able to speak to their experiences with it.

    Warm Regards,
  3. eclecticcottage

    eclecticcottage Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2011
    Messages:
    1,699
    Loc:
    WNY
    We heat our Old House with gas stoves-one in the living room and one in the bedroom. The bedroom stove has no blower and you can feel the heat come off it. The living room stove heats more space and uses a blower. I prefer the woodstove here at the Cottage, BUT the gas stoves did throw a good amount of heat. While we lived at the Old House, many folks would gravitate to the front of the living room stove, even if the blower hadn't kicked on yet. Our tenants haven't been there while it was cold, so we'll have to see if it "draws" like it did for us. Both our stoves are Lopi-Heritage Bay in the LR and Berkshire in BR.
  4. Heatsource

    Heatsource Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 19, 2011
    Messages:
    729
    Loc:
    Northern CA
    I sell and service the BKI Contemporary, its a good solid stove, great warrantee. Nice burn
  5. Peter B.

    Peter B. Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    453
    Loc:
    SW Wisconsin
    Sorry for letting my own thread 'hang'…

    Thanks to all three of you for your replies.

    Aside from the nature of the heat (radiant vs. convective) I think my biggest reservation is about the relative BTU outputs produced by my old wood stove and any possible gas stove alternative.

    I'm heating a fairly small space. In the same room as the wood stove, I already have a convective wall furnace (30K BTU input). The furnace - hoped to be a replacement for the wood stove - just doesn't do the trick… even running continuously. But the wood stove can still heat the room alone… even beyond my comfort zone.

    Because I won't be able to handle firewood anymore, I'm wanting to replace the wood stove with something that - together with the wall furnace - is sure to keep me warm.

    I don't really have any way but seat of the pants to guess the wood stove's BTU output… but I'm guessing it must be in excess of the wall furnace… regardless of heat 'type'.

    But it's sort of hard for me to believe I need better than 50K BTU (output) to heat three rooms… even in a poorly insulated house.

    Based on this, do any of you have additional thoughts?

    Thanks again for your time.

    Peter B.

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  6. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    9,135
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    The round oak can make a lot of output but unless you stand there and feed it, that output has ups and downs. The gas fireplace/furnace have constant outputs that though lower, can add up to more heat than the round oak. Sort of a tortoise and hare situation.

    Even though a particular gas fireplace can make 50k or whatever, it can be turned down to match your needs. Gas fireplaces can be thermostatic for on/off and you can have variable output. They certainly can make enough heat to warm your house.

    What are you worried about? Being too cold, too hot, buying too much stove, too little? Get a large gas stove to replace that wood heater and turn it down or off if needed.
  7. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    9,226
    Loc:
    Lake Wissota
    Sorry to hear you can't do the wood heat anymore Pete. I was looking around at different gas stoves at all the local shops and they all seem similar to me in that they are mostly convective and you get some radiant heat from the front glass. Maybe look into the Woodstock gas stoves, I think they may be a little more radiant designed than most.

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