Advice on which wood stove to buy

jfowler10

New Member
Feb 13, 2021
17
Burke, VA
kennyp2339
Wow that's a lot of new stuff to consider! The house is on a mountain so fuel oil or propane has to be trucked up and stored. Would you still recommend oil? I have zero experience with it. A neighbor has ductless splits in their upstairs bedrooms so I could look into that for some rooms. I agree on the ranch! Did you see my draft floor plan? Everything we need is on the main floor. Someone commented that the master bathroom won't get much heat so do you have any recommendations for that area?
 

GENECOP

Minister of Fire
Jan 31, 2014
726
Ny
We just installed two AC split systems with heat pumps..They now offer Hyper Heat which is a game changer in terms of operating temps in colder climates..It was never an option for primary heat in the Northeast, but it is now..
They are a little pricey but as backup to wood burning, if I was building new again, I would have 2 or 3 split systems designed into my plan, you can even have multiple zones off one unit..Although I have read about some software issues as the operating system we set up was Kummo I think.
I have been on a few Geothermal jobs, I don’t know much about it, but for heating I remember customers talking about the electric expense to run the pumps, the house I’m thinking off was also about 6000 SQFT on the water..
 
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jfowler10

New Member
Feb 13, 2021
17
Burke, VA
We just installed two AC split systems with heat pumps..They now offer Hyper Heat which is a game changer in terms of operating temps in colder climates..It was never an option for primary heat in the Northeast, but it is now..
They are a little pricey but as backup to wood burning, if I was building new again, I would have 2 or 3 split systems designed into my plan, you can even have multiple zones off one unit..Although I have read about some software issues as the operating system we set up was Kummo I think.
I have been on a few Geothermal jobs, I don’t know much about it, but for heating I remember customers talking about the electric expense to run the pumps, the house I’m thinking off was also about 6000 SQFT on the water..
We want to do the wood stove on the main floor and maybe a less expensive one in the basement but maybe not...?? Where would you put ductless split in this floor plan and would we not need central heat/AC if we did that?
 

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IowaRSFBurner

Member
Dec 27, 2017
47
Pella, Iowa
If you think about what the system is doing, taking 55 degree heat from the ground temps and bringing it into the heat exchanger to heat the home. But, it has to be warmed up to temperature because let's face it, I don't keep my house at 55 degrees. The energy consumed to make heat is greater than the energy consumed to alternatively cool the house in the summer. Additionally, once you get below say 20 degrees, then then system doesn't really keep up and would have to switch to electric resistance heat which is really expensive. I have never done the cost of operation of heating this house with the geo versus what the cost would be from a propane furnace to truly understand if one is better. I based my decision on just the sheer shock of a 400 dollar electric bill the first month I lived there. It is reported that geothermal is more efficient that a propane forced air system, maybe it would cost way more for propane. I just know that I was able to knock 250 dollars out of my bill by burning regularly. KennyP has probably one of the best ideas I have heard if you truly want to have the most efficient system as possible. It allows zoned control where you want heat, the wood stove to take the rooms that you use up to the temp you want and the bigger picture backup system to support if power goes out or gone.
 

GENECOP

Minister of Fire
Jan 31, 2014
726
Ny
We want to do the wood stove on the main floor and maybe a less expensive one in the basement but maybe not...?? Where would you put ductless split in this floor plan and would we not need central heat/AC if we did that?
You have to have a local HVAC guy design your system, there are many factors, the basics are , SQFT , floor plan, insulation values, window and door locations Etc..Also, the split systems are two part systems, compressor needs to be located outside, the unit itself will get mounted to a wall, you want to avoid long runs of copper running long distances between the two parts..
Then there is the ducting, if you are going to use a single system and split zones, you must run ductwork to accomplish that..The floor plan you showed me would probably require 2 systems on each floor...
The ability to zone areas, coupled with the relatively low operating costs, justifies some of the upfront costs.
 
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John Galt

Member
Oct 22, 2019
97
W Montana
Your floorpan is similar to what we are currently building. I'll give you my thoughts as to why we designed and purchased what we did. I designed the house to be able to live on the main level and never go down to the walk out basement unless we wanted to. It has a very open public area on the main level and a master tucked away far from the stove. We will heat exclusively with wood but have a propane furnace as back up. Our previous house had a secondary burn style stove that needed reloading every four hours, was undersized for the house, and required building and lighting a new fire every morning which made getting out of bed uncomfortable. My stove requirements were to have a long burn and put out lots of heat. I went with Blaze King - King. The thermostat was the deciding factor over Woodstock. Aesthetics was far down the list but we both like the big black box stove style so it worked out nicely.

The basement has a couple of bedrooms and a large room for a pool table. We are putting a stove downstairs, BK - Princess, with the hope that we go downstairs more often if it is warm or that we can start a fire a few hours before heading down. The basement in the previous house was 38 degrees and unused all winter, seemed a waste.

My only concern is getting heat to our master bathroom. We have a second door on the backside so it creates a loop but will have to learn what happens once it is all built. Your set up is more challenging and might require a space heater or nice romantic gas stove by the bathtub.
 
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jfowler10

New Member
Feb 13, 2021
17
Burke, VA
Your floorpan is similar to what we are currently building. I'll give you my thoughts as to why we designed and purchased what we did. I designed the house to be able to live on the main level and never go down to the walk out basement unless we wanted to. It has a very open public area on the main level and a master tucked away far from the stove. We will heat exclusively with wood but have a propane furnace as back up. Our previous house had a secondary burn style stove that needed reloading every four hours, was undersized for the house, and required building and lighting a new fire every morning which made getting out of bed uncomfortable. My stove requirements were to have a long burn and put out lots of heat. I went with Blaze King - King. The thermostat was the deciding factor over Woodstock. Aesthetics was far down the list but we both like the big black box stove style so it worked out nicely.

The basement has a couple of bedrooms and a large room for a pool table. We are putting a stove downstairs, BK - Princess, with the hope that we go downstairs more often if it is warm or that we can start a fire a few hours before heading down. The basement in the previous house was 38 degrees and unused all winter, seemed a waste.

My only concern is getting heat to our master bathroom. We have a second door on the backside so it creates a loop but will have to learn what happens once it is all built. Your set up is more challenging and might require a space heater or nice romantic gas stove by the bathtub.
It sounds like we have similar goals -- going down to basement only when needed or maybe to use that exercise room. Can you tell me how the thermostat works for the Blaze King? I like the look of the Woodstock Progress Hybrid, but a thermostat might outweigh the looks. I am concerned all that glorious heat will go up to the vaulted ceiling and not at all to my bedroom. That's where I was wondering if the ductless units would be a good idea. The propane fireplace might be nice. So many things to consider.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
553
Eastern Long Island NY
If you think about what the system is doing, taking 55 degree heat from the ground temps and bringing it into the heat exchanger to heat the home. But, it has to be warmed up to temperature because let's face it, I don't keep my house at 55 degrees. The energy consumed to make heat is greater than the energy consumed to alternatively cool the house in the summer. Additionally, once you get below say 20 degrees, then then system doesn't really keep up and would have to switch to electric resistance heat which is really expensive. I have never done the cost of operation of heating this house with the geo versus what the cost would be from a propane furnace to truly understand if one is better. I based my decision on just the sheer shock of a 400 dollar electric bill the first month I lived there. It is reported that geothermal is more efficient that a propane forced air system, maybe it would cost way more for propane. I just know that I was able to knock 250 dollars out of my bill by burning regularly. KennyP has probably one of the best ideas I have heard if you truly want to have the most efficient system as possible. It allows zoned control where you want heat, the wood stove to take the rooms that you use up to the temp you want and the bigger picture backup system to support if power goes out or gone.
I may be misunderstanding you, but the point of geo is NOT to "make" heat, but to extract heat from the 55F water under your home. It's like your ac, but in reverse: it cools the water pipes deep into the ground by extracting heat that it transports into your home. Why this works well is because the temps down there never get as cold as the air (heat pump) above ground (tho hyper heat exists now for that too). You know you can run your air heat pump at 55 F outside. Hence you can use geo because it it always 55F 'outside' for that machine.

Apologies if I misread your post.
 

John Galt

Member
Oct 22, 2019
97
W Montana
It sounds like we have similar goals -- going down to basement only when needed or maybe to use that exercise room. Can you tell me how the thermostat works for the Blaze King? I like the look of the Woodstock Progress Hybrid, but a thermostat might outweigh the looks. I am concerned all that glorious heat will go up to the vaulted ceiling and not at all to my bedroom. That's where I was wondering if the ductless units would be a good idea. The propane fireplace might be nice. So many things to consider.
The thermostat is a spring that opens and closes and inlet damper automatically. As the wood is consumed, the thermostat allows more air to the firebox to keep the heat output consistent. If you want it warmer in the house, just turn the dial and it will let in more air and burn the wood hotter. Other brands of stoves that don't have this magical thermostat rely on a manual damper that you will need to adjust to keep a steady temperature.

The Hybrid was the one I was looking at too. It came down to ease of use for us, that outweighed the classy looking soapstone. I wanted to load up the stove once or twice a day and leave it alone. I don't have them installed yet but I'm basing all of that from the people here.

Our ceilings might be 11' tall in the public area. I hope that once that volume gets heated, the rest of the house will heat up and then it'll stay at a comfortable temp.
 
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RustyShackleford

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2009
1,022
NC
I recommend a blaze king. Super happy with mine.
It's silly to get anything else. Honestly. I feel I am qualified to opine so decidedly, as a person who is today heating exclusively with wood for the 45th consecutive winter, who is an engineer, and who has owned 5 different stoves over that time (including the generally well-regarded Dutchwest).
 

Rearscreen

Minister of Fire
Dec 21, 2014
697
Vermont
I am concerned all that glorious heat will go up to the vaulted ceiling and not at all to my bedroom.
It's silly to get anything else.
BK is an excellent stove. Isn't it convective? Heat rises. Progress is radiant with long lasting heat. Radiant doesn't rise. It heats objects around it.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
553
Eastern Long Island NY
BK is an excellent stove. Isn't it convective? Heat rises. Progress is radiant with long lasting heat. Radiant doesn't rise. It heats objects around it.
I don't think that distinction is so large. The floor (i.e. a low place) gets hot with my BK. I get hot when I sit in front of the stove. And the heat rises convectively too. So it does both. Moreover, heated objects heat the air that rises then. And hot air heats the objects around which it swirls. In the end both objects and air will be warm, because the BTUs have emerged from your stove into your room.

All I can say that the BK does provide long lasting heat...
 

RustyShackleford

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2009
1,022
NC
BK is an excellent stove. Isn't it convective? Heat rises. Progress is radiant with long lasting heat. Radiant doesn't rise. It heats objects around it.
It's a false dichotomy. My BK radiates like crazy, I'm experiencing that right now. Heat doesn't actually rise, but hot fluids (liquid and gas) do rise. I guess you get some convective from any radiating body as it heats the air next to it and that rises. The BK (my Princess and King too, I think, not sure which others) have optional side panels that stand off about an inch from the sides, and that reduces the radiant and increases the convection, especially if you install fans. I don't use either the side panels or the fans.
 
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IowaRSFBurner

Member
Dec 27, 2017
47
Pella, Iowa
I may be misunderstanding you, but the point of geo is NOT to "make" heat, but to extract heat from the 55F water under your home. It's like your ac, but in reverse: it cools the water pipes deep into the ground by extracting heat that it transports into your home. Why this works well is because the temps down there never get as cold as the air (heat pump) above ground (tho hyper heat exists now for that too). You know you can run your air heat pump at 55 F outside. Hence you can use geo because it it always 55F 'outside' for that machine.

Apologies if I misread your post.
I don't want to cloud up the post, but I still believe that you have to warm the air. Understanding that you extract heat from the earth, you have to warm the air to a comfortable temperature to distribute throughout the house.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
553
Eastern Long Island NY
I don't want to cloud up the post, but I still believe that you have to warm the air. Understanding that you extract heat from the earth, you have to warm the air to a comfortable temperature to distribute throughout the house.
Absolutely, just as your AC is warming up the outside air that is 100 F in summer (by extracting heat from your 80 F home and expelling it in a 100 F outside, meaning that the air coming out of your heat pump in summer will be warmer than the 100 F air that is going into your heat pump in summer). Hence this is no problem - at all - with current technology.
 
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IowaRSFBurner

Member
Dec 27, 2017
47
Pella, Iowa
My apologies, I don't think I am doing this thread any justice. What I was mainly trying to portray was that heating with my particular Geo system (I have a Geocomfort unit) is significantly more expensive than the cooling. Obviously temperature differentials play a big factor in this as in the summer the temperature delta isn't as significant as the winter. The unit has to run more to keep the house at a comfortable temperature thus driving more cost and the reason why I chose to use firewood to offset that cost. There is some great advice and knowledge here, I appreciate what I have learned throughout this thread as well.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
535
SE North Carolina
I don’t know how much time you have on your hands but I have found these two youtube channels really informative.
First the Essential craftsman. Here is episode 22 he’s up to 105 maybe drywall ing now.

Second and less helpful unless money is no object was Matt risinger the build show.
He was gonna show us how to remodel for like 80k. That turned into a complete demo. So there you go. But his building philosophy is sound and some of the products he pitches are really good ideas.

.

I I’m not sure how you would could layout multiple mini splits with a layout like your. I will say this. We installed DITRA-HEAT electric radiant floor heat in our master bath( got the ideas from Matt above). My Layout similar enough to yours for me to tell you that the bathroom will be COLD if you are just running the stove. Now for 10$ a month the floor is always warm and the bathroom is always 72 degrees. Leave the door open and some heat makes it’s way in the bedroom. My complete amateur recommendation is to do whatever your hvac guy recommends and insist basement it’s own zone and floor heat in the master bath, and you get the highest efficiency heatpump you can.
 
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