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Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Todd, Jan 19, 2006.

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  1. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    NY Soapstone--that is great that no special hearth requirements are needed to achieve a high R value. Makes for an easier installation...

    Rhonemas-- in terms of BTUs, the Fireview and Homestead look pretty comparable (55,000 vs. 50,000). What you said about the usefulness of extremely low air settings is a good point. So would you argue that the extra 2-4 hours of "burn time" afforded by the Fireview may not equate to a significant amount of increased heat output?

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  2. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    True - the stove comes with a bottom heat shield and the area directly under the stove stays remarkably cool. However, I should mention that directly in front of the stove, the floor gets very hot. It is very hard to stand on it barefoot when you are running the stove at upper end of the allowable temperatures. This is true for both the 8" of sheet metal/cement board/slate tile that is required past the front, as well as the next 4-8" of wood floor beyond that. Assume that it will be uncomfortably hot to bare feet at least 12-16" in front of the stove if you run it hard.

    I was told that if you can hold your hand to the surface, then it is far below the point where you have to worry about the wood degrading to charcoal. I think the danger point for ongoing temperature exposure is something like 190 whereas most humans are not able to hold their hand on a surface much over 120-130. (not 100% sure on these numbers...)

    For our install, we really didn't have enough room to add much beyond the minimum tile without it looking strange, so this works great for us... just figured you might want to know. In fact, it was uncommon to find a stove with such a short hearth requirement in front of the stove - most have doors that push you back to the 16" minimum requirement.

    On a slightly unrelated topic, if you wanted to build some type of heat battery thermal mass into your hearth to further help store and radiate heat out later after your fire dies down, this area would be a good place to start :)

    -Colin
  3. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    So since there is no door in front, only 8" of hearth is required in front of the stove? Do you find it at all difficult to get the firebox nice and full since you only have a side door? On my Waterford Ashling I could always load more through the front door than the side door. Perhaps the Fireview's side door is large enough so this isn't a problem??

    Did you have a non-cat stove prior to your Fireview? If so, just wondering how much trouble you find operating the cat to be (i.e., waiting for the stove to get hot enough to engage the cat, etc.)?
  4. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    Right - not having a front door makes the difference. And as a result, you need the 16" on the side where the door is located.

    I probably have the worst configuration possible for loading, and it's not a problem - I have a wall that is only 20" away from the door. Still, it is quite easy to load, and if anything, I don't think I'd go back to a front door model - I feel more confident knocking coals around to pack in more wood in due to the smaller door opening - things can't come back out on you as easily. The door is still plenty big enough to fit good sized rounds in for overnight, and I don't have trouble packing it full.

    I suspect top loading would also be even better for wood loading, for the same reasons outlined above. However, I think this is part of the reason some of the VC catalysts are buried in places that are very hard to get at - no room in top because of the wood loading option. The Woodstock catalyst is easily accessed through the top lid.

    In another house, I used a home depot generic stove (rental, while our house was under construction) - it was a non-cat. It was so bad in so many ways that I can't even begin to compare fairly - it is easier to use this stove in every way.

    -Colin
  5. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks, NY Soapstone. Up until now I have been looking primarily at the Hearthstone stoves as I thought a catalyst might be a pain, as well as dimish any sort of nice flame to look at. I'll have to consider the Woodstock stoves, however. I just wish they made one that put out more than 55,000 BTUs.
  6. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    The Fireview rated for a 900-1600 square foot home? What is that, a 900 square foot teepee?

    I have a Keystone and it can easily roast me out of my 1600 square foot rancher.

    My last steel stove, a Regency 3100 was rated at 80,000 BTU. To get that, you burnt the hell out of the thing, and it delivered. My Woodstock is rated at much less but provides a WAY more even heat and a more comfortable home.

    Don't let the BTU numbers fool you.
  7. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Sandor-- is your stove centrally located in your ranch?
  8. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Not exactly. The important thing is to keep it burning and everything warm so the house evens out. When I come home after a few days, and the house is cold, it takes a full day for the heat to travel around, so maintaining a constant burn is key.

    I wake up this morning, and the room the stove is in is 72 deg. The furthest bedrooms are 67. Stove temp of 200. Enough red coals to get it going with ease.

    Yesterday, I came home after being gone for 3 days. The house was COLD. Started burning at 7am yesterday, and it took until 8 last night for the heat to move around to the outer rooms.
  9. cbrodsky

    cbrodsky Member

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    I would second everything Sandor has stated. This is essentially identical to the performance we get.

    We are heating somewhere around 2000-2200 SF (house details described earlier) running the stove at an average surface temp of about 500. I would say that we have similar temperature variation through the house, about two degrees cooler. Our oil heat rarely comes on under this configuration. If the temperature gets into single digits, the oil will run a bit to help when we're not around to maintain the stove at higher 600 degree surface temps with higher burn rates. (limit is 650 surface temp to avoid overfiring) I would also agree that if you come to a completely cold house, it will take you some time to get it back to temperature. That's even true with our oil baseboard heat. If it didn't take a while to recover, then your heating system is probably oversized.

    For an uninsulated vacation cabin, 900 SF might very well be the right rating, and if you had no backup heat, 1600 SF is probably going to get fairly chilly those nights that might get into low single digits and you don't load the stove every few hours.

    Again, I'd stress comparing the size of the firebox as the best metric. With a larger box, you can either burn longer while away or burn more total wood faster and hotter than a smaller firebox. The BTU ratings are much less relevant.

    -Colin
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