Bigger stove or second stove?

Roadranger

Member
Jan 20, 2016
23
Vermont
So I've been back and forth about a second small wood stove. Currently we have a lopi endeavor in a finished basement. We have probably 1600 finished square feet to heat. It does good until we get weather like we've had the past few weeks. The second stove idea would be just for weather like this to add a little extra heat to the house without having the furnace running. My next idea was to swap the endeavor for something larger. I've come across a couple Hearthstone Mansfield stoves for good prices. One is 850, obviously been used for many years, but is in good perfectly usable condition the way it sits. The other is 1700 and looks brand new. But I've also been looking a lot at the englander nc-30. Clearance where the current stove sits is not a big issue. Upstairs where I've been contemplating a second stove is however. Had my eye on the small century something or another, and the englander nc-17.

Looking for some input on any and all of the stoves. The endeavor I understand is a very good stove. It heats quite well. Burn times seem to be a bit shorter than advertised. But it came with the house. So I'm not really disappointed. I think if I were to have bought this new on my own, I might be a tad bit unhappy.

Thanks in advance.
 

fespo

Minister of Fire
Dec 14, 2005
720
South West burbs of Chicago
I would say go bigger. two stoves are alot of work. Plus when it's get bitter cold like we are having now, I just the gas furnace help out.
 

Jason721

Member
Nov 4, 2017
71
southern indiana
I would say a larger stove...my parents when I was a kid had 2 stoves ....one in the basement other on second level.It wasn't very often they would fire the stove on the second level. when they did I remember mom complaining about the mess upstairs.. anyway a few years later dad upgrade to a bigger stove for the basement and took out the upstairs stove as it was no longer needed..... wow talk about a walk down memory lane....I guess wood stoves do that...lol
 
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Roadranger

Member
Jan 20, 2016
23
Vermont
Any recommendations on a larger stove? It seems the nc30 has really great reviews and people here seem to really like it. Especially for the price.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,599
Indiana
A larger cat stove? Easily run all night and the ability to crank it up to meet your heating needs...
 

DuaeGuttae

Minister of Fire
Oct 26, 2016
641
Texas
I vote for a smaller second stove upstairs. You say that the Endeavor does fine except for a couple of very cold weeks. Loading two stoves is certainly more work, but trying to heat with wood in extremely low temperatures causes everybody to push stoves harder. If it’s really just for extremes, it wouldn’t be constant double loading.

You know how well your heat gets upstairs. You might not have heat distribution problems, but I would think you’d have to overheat the downstairs a lot to heat the far reaches upstairs in frigid weather. Stoves, even big ones, are space heaters. If heat distribution isn’t an issue, maybe it would be easier just to go with a bigger one downstairs.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,597
South Puget Sound, WA
The 30NC and Drolet 2000 are two good options for firebox size increase on a budget. Are the basement walls already well insulated?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
5,234
NE Ohio
I'm a vote for a second stove.
We have a wood furnace in the basement that does the job 98% of the time, but when it can't keep up I fire the Drolet insert in the LR FP...it gives us fire TV, and the two together will heat the place easily to temps at or above our usual target temp without running either one too hard. As most people know, running most modern stoves will make a pile of coals if pushed too hard. Having the two fireboxes allows for a lot of options...I tend to run the insert in the spring and fall when the larger firebox of the furnace would just be too much...and that brings up another point...a larger stove takes more wood to have a "small" fire, they just don't burn well on 3 or 4 sticks, but my little insert stove will. Anyways, having the two together allows for a lot of options as far as load sizes, frequency, times, etc...works well for us...and I don't find it that much extra work running the two together, as we have been the last few weeks, as long as you are loading often enough to not be doing cold starts anyways...
 

SuperJ

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2017
301
St.Jacobs, ON, Canada
If you have a house that makes it hard to move heat or if the stove area is already too hot, two stoves seems smarter if you have the space and money.
Stoves are like wifi access points, you are far better off to have more them (where you need them), than stronger ones.
 
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Huntindog1

Minister of Fire
Dec 6, 2011
1,879
South Central Indiana
I heat from the basement family room. I have a Drolet Myriad the older version. 3.1 cu foot stove and it throws heat better than alot of the more insulated stoves but has a less efficient rating of like 5.7 grams particulates. They have since redesigned the stove called a Myriad II and it has
more insulated firebox for better emissions. I have an un-insulated basement. I made a family room by building a wall to separate my basement garage. I put in French doors which is a good tool to control heat inn the basement family room. My basement family room is 700 Square feet. up stairs is 1900 square feet. So I heat 2600 total square feet with that stove from the basement. But I get a good heat loop going as there is a vent in the floor from where I took out some duct work which was the old return . I leave the door open for the basement stair well at the other end of the family room. Heat goes up the vent in the floor and cold air travels down my stair well. I can feel it as I walk up the stair well the cool air coming down. Stand over by the vent upstairs and you feel heat rising up thru the vent. I dont use the blower on the stove as it seems to inhibit this natural heat loop I got going.
During cold snaps like we just had I can keep the center of my house at 69 to 70 inn the morning after a long cold night of say -2 degrees F. The outter ends of my house upstairs will be cooler at 2 to 3 degrees cooler. But we like sleeping with it cooler anyways. The key is keeping the stove going to 24/7, Too keep the whole house warm during very cold weather. My ceiling in the basement is exposed and wood floors upstairs so I also get heat radiated up thru the wood floors. I once heated the same setup with a 2.1 cubic foot stove and under 5 degrees made it really hard to keep the house warm. My house is also very well insulated and newer type energy efficient windows.

I would say a 3 cubic foot stove would help you if your getting your heat upstairs but if your not getting the heat upstairs put in a 2nd stove.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
If you’re only going to use the second stove when it gets real cold out, I’d go that route. Running two stoves gives your more flexibility on heating capacity, and better balance or distribution of heat through the house.

However, if you need that firepower on a more frequent basis, then I’d agree with all of the folks who said just go bigger on a single stove. Feeding two stoves multiple times per day is a lot of work, and not cheap.

Of course, if you had cat stoves, you’d be able to go big and feed these stoves just once per day. This makes managing multiple stoves more practical, as I have been demonstrating these last several years.
 
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Roadranger

Member
Jan 20, 2016
23
Vermont
The basement is more or less finished. There are sheetrock walls over the concrete. The only concrete still exposed is the floor, it's painted at this point. Do have plans in the future to put carpet down in the bedrooms and probably wood in the rest. However, the ceiling is also finished, we do have two vents in the floor to allow heat upstairs, as well as no door to the downstairs. But it seems it may be difficult for the heat to still come upstairs. I plan to get a corner fan or two and hope that helps.

As far as wood expense, that's a non issue. I work in forestry, so I can at times get my wood between free to $100 a cord. All I need to do is split it at that point. So cost is not an issue. The work involved may be as I am at work for the VAST majority of the day, so the Mrs has stove duty in the mean time.

So it seems that a cat stove burns significantly longer than non cat stoves like my endeavor? I don't see a lot of cat stoves on the second hand market.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
So it seems that a cat stove burns significantly longer than non cat stoves like my endeavor? I don't see a lot of cat stoves on the second hand market.
Yes, both statements are true. Non-cats must maintain their reburn temperature above 1100F, and so they are limited (by the EPA) in how far they can be turned down. The "low" setting on a non-cat is like "medium" on a cat stove (or any older pre-EPA stove)

With aid of a catalyst, the catalytic stoves can maintain secondary burn down to 500F, and so it's possible to shut them down much farther. This makes longer burn times possible.

There are less cat stoves on the market, and many of them have somewhat outdated aesthetics, so far fewer catalytic stoves are sold. Less new stoves translates to less used stoves.

Another thing to note is that when the EPA dropped the bomb on the stove industry back in the mid-1980's, that they had to meet new emissions standards, most stove companies scrambled to just jam a catalytic combustor into their existing stove designs. Many of these did not work very well at all, and this gave catalytic technology an undeserving bad reputation. Those issues have since been resolved, but if shopping used, you'll still find some of those old beasts floating around out there. They are, generally, to be avoided.

One more thing to note... thanks in no small part to hearth.com, I've seen quite a few people turn up here, catch the cat bug, and swap out their new'ish non-cat for a cat stove. I haven't seen many sell a new'ish cat stove to go back to non-cat. This affects the used market.
 

Roadranger

Member
Jan 20, 2016
23
Vermont
Good to know. I'll have to keep my eyes open. Like I said, the Mrs does most of the wood feeding during the day as I work generally 12 hours +. Are those hearthstone Mansfield's cat stoves? They seem to advertise a long burn time.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Good to know. I'll have to keep my eyes open. Like I said, the Mrs does most of the wood feeding during the day as I work generally 12 hours +. Are those hearthstone Mansfield's cat stoves? They seem to advertise a long burn time.
WIth a cat stove, there’d be no need to load, 12+ hours at a time. They’re downright boring, in that respect.

I run two cat stoves, one gets loaded just once every 24 hours, it never goes out.
 
Jun 26, 2013
119
SouthCoast Region, MA
I vote for a smaller second stove upstairs. [...] but I would think you’d have to overheat the downstairs a lot to heat the far reaches upstairs in frigid weather.
Yup. This.

To get the heat you want on those few extremely bitter days, you're going to have to roast yourself out of the room in the basement with the larger stove. Second stove eliminates that problem. More work, yes, but not really that much, given the usage it will get.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,597
South Puget Sound, WA
Good to know. I'll have to keep my eyes open. Like I said, the Mrs does most of the wood feeding during the day as I work generally 12 hours +. Are those hearthstone Mansfield's cat stoves? They seem to advertise a long burn time.
The Mansfield is a non-cat stove. Good burn times of 8-12 hrs are not uncommon in 3 cu ft non-cat stoves.
 

Roadranger

Member
Jan 20, 2016
23
Vermont
good point about longer burn time with larger firebox.

What would be a good inexpensive option for a second? I've eyed the englander 17vl, and the century sh244(?). My local hardware store has a century in stock for $500. Tractor supply also has a volgelzang defender for a hair over 500. I've not read much good about the volgelzang stoves.

Or any other recommendations in the inexpensive range. Being it won't be a full time burner I don't want to get too much money tie
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,597
South Puget Sound, WA
The Century S244 is a decent value stove. It's made by SBI who also makes Drolet and Osburn. @moresnow has this stove and can tell you more about it. The 17VL is a bit smaller capacity but it would be good as a chill chaser. Some of the new Vogelzangs are too bad. Not sure how they will hold up, but we've had some favorable reports for some of the medium and larger units. @brenndatomu had the Defender. Stay away from the cheapest models like the box stove and the super basic models.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,200
Iowa
Also, I like the drolet HT2000.
Not sure where you are on this potential project. The HT2000 has worked exceptionally for a friend of mine and I would likely pursue one of these over the S244 if you need longer burn times. HT2000 burn time is easily 2X the S244.
If you need something that will pour out the heat but can get rather regular reloads or tending from the wife then the 244 might be the answer. These stoves are small, reasonable, and mine had a good amount of punch for heat output. Be sure to get the blower. Get one off Amazon cheap. I may still have the item #. I was heating a small un-insulated story and a half. 750 sq ft. for what its worth.


Be sure your new stove/pipe location will accommodate a larger stove if you decide to start with a small one. Just my opinion!
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Jul 12, 2006
7,343
Schenectady, NY
I say just run the furnace. No shame in that!
 

Roadranger

Member
Jan 20, 2016
23
Vermont
I say just run the furnace. No shame in that!
For my situation, with an inexpensive enough second stove, and install. I can heat the house on sub zero days far less expensive than I can purchasing propane for the furnace. Plus we enjoy the heat from the wood stove much more than the forced air furnace.

Not sure where you are on this potential project. The HT2000 has worked exceptionally for a friend of mine and I would likely pursue one of these over the S244 if you need longer burn times. HT2000 burn time is easily 2X the S244.
If you need something that will pour out the heat but can get rather regular reloads or tending from the wife then the 244 might be the answer. These stoves are small, reasonable, and mine had a good amount of punch for heat output. Be sure to get the blower. Get one off Amazon cheap. I may still have the item #. I was heating a small un-insulated story and a half. 750 sq ft. for what its worth.


Be sure your new stove/pipe location will accommodate a larger stove if you decide to start with a small one. Just my opinion!
Currently, I am no where with it other than searching for input and opinions lol. The biggest decision makers at this point is cost. How much do we want to spend doing this? Either on a larger stove or additional stove. Location has been of some debate... I want to turn the Mrs cleaning close, which happens to be situated dead center in the up stairs of the house, into an alcove for a stove. It's a very large closet, so with proper non combustible protection, the space will be plenty adequate. The Mrs wants to keep her closet and put the stove on the recently finished what used to be a porch and now a sun room/entry of sorts.

We have the option of a VC resolute acclaim (free) that was only used two seasons then retired to the basement due to the homeowner being too old to fart with firewood anymore. But, I think it will be too big for what we would like to do upstairs, and obviously too small to be the only stove in the house.

I've taken quite a like to PE vista classic. It would look quite nice upstairs in our house.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,200
Iowa
I want to turn the Mrs cleaning close, which happens to be situated dead center in the up stairs of the house, into an alcove for a stove
;lol. Now that's the spirit!
Sorry hun. Sunporch=cleaning closet..... Should work!
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Build a new cleaning closet on the sun porch, and just relocate that stuff?