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Zone 1 (Maine) Stove Sizing

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by bobforsaken, Jun 8, 2010.

  1. bobforsaken

    bobforsaken Member

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    I'm looking into choosing a stove for my primary heat source. (paying for it is another matter) I'm most likely going Cast Iron (though I may want to go Soapstone if it helps my cause/concerns)

    My home is about 1800 Square feet (average insulation) with about 800 of that square footage down a long hallway (upstairs)with its own heat source in a room above the garage (pellet stove) So the main home that the wood stove would be heating is about 1000 SF with the stove being in a 600 SF room (400SF upstairs before the hallway)

    So in Maine, with a room size of 600 SF (where we spend most of our time) and a total heating area of 1000-1300 SF (sharing the hallway heating with the pellet stove), what size stove should I be looking at?

    I was interested in the Alderlea T4(56000 BTU), but I keep reading posts about how that stove is too small for Cold climes... so I started looking at the T5 (72000 BTU)

    I'm also looking at Jotul Castine (55000 BTU) and the Oslo (70000 BTU) But I'd be concerned that I would get cooked out of the room with the stove.


    I also hear that soapstone can make the heat more "gentle" and allow for a bigger stove to not be so oppressive. (Looking at Hearthstone Heritage or Phoenix and still trying to convince my wife to fall in love with one of the Woodstock stoves)


    Does this question really depend on the stove or is there a blanket answer of "You need XXXXX BTU for your home"


    Thanks,

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  2. daryl

    daryl Feeling the Heat

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    Almost any medium size stove should fit the bill.The T5 also is a gentle heater it is a steel sove with a cast iron jacket around it.You can always crack open a window or a door if it starts to get to hot in that room. Or just keep a smaller fire going when you are in that area.
  3. bobforsaken

    bobforsaken Member

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    Thanks Resiburner...

    .. What would constitute medium stove? 50,000 - 65,000 BTU's? Or more like 40,000 - 55000 BTU's?
  4. daryl

    daryl Feeling the Heat

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    About a 2 cubic foot firebox give or take.
  5. ansehnlich1

    ansehnlich1 Minister of Fire

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    Go with the Oslo, or another stove that is known to be able to keep a good bed of coals overnight.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds like a Pacific Energy Alderlea T5 or Hearthstone Heritage (or Phoenix) would get the job done well. Did the Keystone or Palladian option get tabled?
  7. bobforsaken

    bobforsaken Member

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    Yes.. Over-ruled by the wife... :( She doesn't like the "Indian flair" of the fireview.. and wasn't crazy about the other Woodstock Stoves.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Sounds very much like my wife who doesn't like soapstone stoves. Also nixed the Hearthstone Mansfield cuz she didn't like the feet. :roll:

    The Alderlea is pretty good looking and definitely a soft heat stove. They just started offering an enameled version as well. But for looks, the Oslo is the beauty, especially in blue-black enamel. However, it really is best as a side loader and that may create clearance issues for the alcove. There is also the Quadrafire Cumberland Gap and Hearthstone Shelburne in this class of stoves.
  9. bobforsaken

    bobforsaken Member

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    She likes the Hearthstone Phoenix... and barring some particular reason (poor reviews) then that is probably what we'll get.. eventually. I'd prefer the side-load of the Heritage, but the "boxy-look" is not my wife's favorite. I'll be reading up on the Phoenix. I would prefer soapstone.. so for me, its worth paying $2500 for a Phoenix if I'm going to pay $2300 for a T5 or Castine or 1900 or 2000 for a smaller stove
  10. firefighterjake

    firefighterjake Minister of Fire

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    Random thoughts . . .

    Originally I liked soapstone . . . and truth be told . . . I still think it looks really sharp . . . which is perhaps one of the reasons I have a nice slab of it sitting on top of my cast iron Oslo . . . call it soapstone envy . . . kind of like those kids who take their Honda Civics and stick those after-market rear spoilers and exhaust cans on them . . . it may look good, but doesn't really do much for the performance (well nix that comment on the Civics with the spoilers looking good. ;) )

    Size does matter . . . I think you would be happier going with the larger of the stoves you mentioned . . . the T-5, Oslo or Heritage/Phoenix would all be decent stoves to look at. My thinking is this . . . in Maine it does tend to get kind of cold in middle of the winter . . . and sometimes there can be a week or two when it is wicked cold. In those times you want to have a stove big enough to do the job since you can always build a large fire in a large stove . . . but if you've got a small stove it's kind of hard to build a large fire in a small stove. Oh sure, you could reloading the fire or really push the smaller stove to get the heat out . . . but in my own opinion the best thing for a stove is to have it on cruise control . . . and not always have it redlining . . . if you go with too small of a stove and are always pushing it for the heat there is a chance you could over-fire it . . . or you could play it safe and not have enough heat in the home. Another advantage of having a stove a bit larger is that it is far easier to get the overnight fires . . . where you load up at night and in the morning still have enough coals to restart the fire.

    On the other hand you can go with too large of a stove . . . and end up paying for more stove than you need . . . and in the process not run the stove as efficiently . . . or spend most of the winter opening and shutting windows to keep the place at a comfortable temp. The goal is to get a stove that can chug along nicely for most of the year without pushing too hard . . . but when those below the donut nights hit you have a stove that has a little bit of extra oomph that can still keep your home warm.

    Woodstock Stoves: I agree with your wife. I keep finding myself looking at the Woodstock stoves on-line . . . yeah, that's me Woodstock that keeps coming back to look at those stoves. I like the concept . . . love the reports of great customer service and good heat . . . but to be honest I just can't bring myself to like the look of the stoves as they just seem a little too ornate for my simple tastes.

    Concerns about being too hot: I honestly believe that if you select the T5, Oslo, Phoenix or similar sized stove that you be happy . . . it should provide enough heat for your home . . . and not be unbearable to hang out in the room with the stove. Yes, that room will be warmer . . . but you get used to the heat and come to really appreciate the heat. I know I have a 280 square foot living room where the stove sits and the temps are normally 70-74 degrees . . . the dining room adjacent to this room is around 66-72 degrees typically. So how is it that I can heat my entire downstairs (minus the mudroom/extra bathroom in the alcove next to the garage) which is 1,200 or so square feet and yet not be driven out of the living room which is only 280 square feet or so while running the Oslo? It's simple . . . it doesn't matter that I don't have the soft, gentle heat from soapstone or the convection properties of the T-5 . . . with this stove (and any stove for that matter) you soon learn to regulate the heat by learning how to operate the stove . . . and you do this most easily by determining what you load into the stove, how much you load into the stove and how often you load the stove.

    What I mean to say is that if I have a damp, rainy chilly day in the Spring or Fall I will not dig out the seasoned sugar maple or oak, load the stove to the gills and keep stoking the fire . . . instead I'll load the stove up halfway perhaps with some softwood slabs, poplar or lower-BTU wood . . . and I'll let the stove fire up and then let it die out . . . unless I'm still not warm enough . . . in which case I'll do another partial load when I'm down to ashes.

    On the otherhand, if it's in middle of January and negative 20 outside you can be sure I'll be loading the stove up with my "good" wood and may not wait for the coals to burn down so low before reloading the stove . . . again, in terms of heat, it's all about knowing how your stove works and loading it with the proper type, size and amount of wood to get the heat you want. Of course, I'm not perfect . . . I'd be lying to you if I didn't say that there have been times when I thought it would continue to be cool say in the Fall . . . and then been surprised to find the afternoon sun has warmed things up . . . but honestly, I don't often have to open the windows to cool down because I've overrheated the place . . . and can only remember maybe a couple of times in my first year of burning when I had to do so in middle of the winter.
  11. Wood Heat Stoves

    Wood Heat Stoves Minister of Fire

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    and the shelburne has tighter alcove clearances if nfpa211 protected surfaces are used

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