Concerned future hearthstone owner

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066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
Good afternoon everyone, first post here! I have read the forum on and off over the years but I am at a point that I must make a decision soon. A little background, i am building my house (I’m a carpenter so I should be finished in the next 10 years or so lol) it’s a small house 1,300 sq ft. 900sq ft on the 1st level where the stove is and then the loft. It is completely off grid, solar and wind powered. Wood is my only heat source. I have two stoves, one for cooking (a wrought iron range home comfort cook stove) and then my primary heating stove (currently an old Earth stove that’s had many hot fires in it from long before I was alive) we have been living in my house here in central Missouri for 4 years now. At first it was just the shell of the house, no insulation at all. Made for some cold mornings but we have progressed. Now my roof is almost fully insulated (r30 rockwool) and will be completely insulated by next winter. And hopefully all exterior walls will be insulated the following year also with rockwool.

Sorry for all the back story but I thought I would fill you in with all the details. Now on to the stove. So September of 2020 we ordered a hearthstone Mansfield stove to replace the earth stove. We also purchased all the stainless steel double wall insulated pipe, the parts and pieces to go through the second story floor and out the roof. I connected the earth stove to that chimney and have been using it since then with no problems. Thankfully since hearthstone has just now gotten into production with the 2020 updated Mansfield.

I chose the hearthstone for the looks (our home comfort cook stove is grey/white speckled enamel and sits on the other side of our living room/kitchen) and the people where we were looking didn’t really have any negative things to say about it. And honestly I took them at their word. But I ran across hearthstones Facebook page and all the negative reviews about their new 2020 stoves. Coming from the earth stove this was a bit of a shock. I have been around non epa wood stoves my entire life. How in the world does a stove not burn? This is a bit of a foreign concept to me. My earth stove will eat anything I throw in it. Water soaked rotten garbage covered in snow will still make some heat…. Now I am digging through all these threads about the new epa stoves and I’m seriously seriously reconsidering my choice. I have a welder and would have no problem rebuilding my old stove to keep burning whatever I run across vs the new finicky stoves 😳… am I totally off base? Are these new stoves as bad as they seem? And if you had to have a stove that could never shut down from something broken, would it be the Mansfield? Because if I have no stove, that’s frozen water lines, an angry spouse, ect lol. Thank you In advance for reading this, I apologize for the length.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,376
South Puget Sound, WA
Truth be told we don't know how the new Mansfield will work out and probably won't until they are out in the field and put through a winter or two of operation. Hearthstone has added a catalyst to their new stoves and that increases complexity. You definitely will not be able to toss in some funky, damp wood into it. Modern stoves want fully seasoned wood to burn well. Actually, the old Earthstove does too. It will take some poor wood on a hot coal bed but that will increase smoke up the flue, creosote, and decrease heat. Water doesn't burn.

If you haven't put the money down, you might consider a simpler stove. There are several that will do the job well. And with all the insulation and sealing you may be fine with a smaller stove.
 
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EatenByLimestone

Super Moderator
Staff member
I'd put your wood up ASAP for the next couple winters. New stoves like dry wood, and it takes time to dry. You want at least 2 years seasoning for most woods.

That said, after the wood, I'd focus on insulating your house and more importantly air sealing. Rockwool is best used as insulation and not as an air filter.
 

066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
Truth be told we don't know how the new Mansfield will work out and probably won't until they are out in the field and put through a winter or two of operation. Hearthstone has added a catalyst to their new stoves and that increases complexity. You definitely will not be able to toss in some funky, damp wood into it. Modern stoves want fully seasoned wood to burn well. Actually, the old Earthstove does too. It will take some poor wood on a hot coal bed but that will increase smoke up the flue, creosote, and decrease heat. Water doesn't burn.

If you haven't put the money down, you might consider a simpler stove. There are several that will do the job well. And with all the insulation and sealing you may be fine with a smaller stove.
I think after seeing what I’m seeing I believe you are right. Hearthstone’s track record is certainly less than stellar on the new stoves, and for me to be a Guinea pig for a brand new released model doesn’t sound like fun. And the more I think about soap stone and cast iron the more I think I’d do better with a steel stove. I know how to take care of my tools but there are times things just happen when you’re loading wood.
 

066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
Cancel your order. There is finesse and counterintuitive operation using a cat stove.
That will be on the list first thing Monday morning. I’m okay with a little finesse and I don’t burn junk wood all the time, im slowly building up my supply. But with building a house/barns and cutting all the lumber myself plus a full time job getting two years ahead of the game, at least at this point in my life is going to be difficult.
 

066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
I'd put your wood up ASAP for the next couple winters. New stoves like dry wood, and it takes time to dry. You want at least 2 years seasoning for most woods.

That said, after the wood, I'd focus on insulating your house and more importantly air sealing. Rockwool is best used as insulation and not as an air filter.
I go through a lot of wood with my old stove and lack of insulation. Typically 8-10 cords. So I was really excited for the new stove when they said i would burn 30-50% less wood. But I just don’t know if it’s worth it for all the hassle. I simply don’t have the time to sit around for an hour waiting on the stove to take off with the door cracked. And to not be able to just manually control everything. My old stove, open the damper, open the air inlet if there’s any sort of coals rake them together throw some wood in and in 5 at the most 10 minutes it’s up and running.

I have been pretty careful about air sealing, I tyveked my house well, made sure all seams were taped properly and the rock wool is all good and tight. My house has g rib metal all the way around, roof and walls. With being off grid I don’t get the luxury of ac in our house so moisture and mold are certainly concerns in our humid hot summers. So I’ll have drywall on the walls but no vapor barrier like They do in northern climates. Around here all that does is make a spot to trap moisture and mold. I see it on every house that I tear into around here that has an interior vapor barrier. And all those do have ac. I accept that my house isn’t going to be quite as efficient as some modern houses, but that’s okay. I’ll take it to not have mold.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,376
South Puget Sound, WA
I think after seeing what I’m seeing I believe you are right. Hearthstone’s track record is certainly less than stellar on the new stoves, and for me to be a Guinea pig for a brand new released model doesn’t sound like fun. And the more I think about soap stone and cast iron the more I think I’d do better with a steel stove. I know how to take care of my tools but there are times things just happen when you’re loading wood.
Consider getting a cast iron clad stove for the best of both worlds. I am not sure you will need a 3 cu ft stove, but both Jotul and Pacific Energy make cast iron clad steel stoves that have a good track record. This would be the Jotul F45 or F55 and the PE Alderlea T5 or T6 models.
 
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shoot-straight

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2012
771
Kennedyville, MD
I had a hearthstone for 8 years. Sold it and haven't looked back. Function was just ok, customer support sucked- luckily I had bought from a great dealer.
 
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066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
Consider getting a cast iron clad stove for the best of both worlds. I am not sure you will need a 3 cu ft stove, but both Jotul and Pacific Energy make cast iron clad steel stoves that have a good track record. They would be the Jotul F45 or F55 and the PE Alderlea T5 or T6.
I’m really rethinking this whole decision lol. The soapstone was just natural to match my other stove but if soapstone is out then I’m really open to lots of designs. Those two stoves aren’t too bad. I do like the pacific energy with the cook top. I make all sorts of stews and jerky and warm up my dinner on the earth stove. We knew the soap stone wasn’t ideal for this but the plan was a rear exit so the block off plate on top the stove was supposed to give me a little cooking area. Now though I don’t really even mind just a plain simple steel stove. Seeing how delicate the new stoves are is there any stove out there that you could say yes, this stove will be reliably operating in 50 years if properly taken care of? Are there any non compliant stoves to be bought new?
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
I saw people mention blaze king for long burn times, like the look of the bk 40 but i unfortunately just have a 6” flue.
With such a small place a 40 isn’t a good match. No reason for the added expense or the 8” flue when the 32 has nearly the same specs and a 6” flue. Gods call on passing on the HS. Their cat placement is terrible!
 

066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
With such a small place a 40 isn’t a good match. No reason for the added expense or the 8” flue when the 32 has nearly the same specs and a 6” flue. Gods call on passing on the HS. Their cat placement is terrible!
I’m back to the drawing board trying to digest as much information as I can about these new stoves. Everything is so foreign. I thought I knew wood stoves pretty well being around them my entire life but I have 0 experience with epa stoves. It’s so much more complicated than I ever imagined. Everyone around here has outdoor wood boilers. I see people referring to non epa indoor wood stoves as smoke dragons. Lol I thought my stove was pretty good. My cousin heats his shop with a boiler that has a 12” flue! You can see the smoke from a mile away. Mind you this boiler was purchased this year…. How are wood stoves this much more regulated??
 
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066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
BK, Lopi, PE etc all good stoves, obviously match to your needs as mentioned.
I do know the dealer I ordered my stove from has Lopi stoves as well. I didn’t think they were a bad looking stove. Seemed good and thick. How are they on the sensitivity scale as far as wood goes? And what about complexity? Are their any models that stand out above the rest?
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
I do know the dealer I ordered my stove from has Lopi stoves as well. I didn’t think they were a bad looking stove. Seemed good and thick. How are they on the sensitivity scale as far as wood goes? And what about complexity? Are their any models that stand out above the rest?
Lopi makes a solid product. The endeavor, evergreen, and the Liberty are very easy breathing and aren’t real picky about moisture content. Don’t let that be a concern though, it’s very easy to get a year ahead on your wood supply. You’ll be glad you did, with any stove, not just an epa stove.
 
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jalmondale

Member
Dec 16, 2021
140
NY
If you want soapstone plus a cooktop, maybe check out the Woodstock Progress Hybrid? It will still need dry wood, but the company has a good reputation (I have a Fireview that I got this year that's been amazing).
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,548
SE North Carolina
Off grid is a bit unique. Planning on heatpump /ac ? Makes a bit of difference in shoulder season. I like my tube stove and heatpump. I don’t need real low output. When is cool I use the heatpump. Cold my heating needs are cover by the stove. My vote is minisplit and a T5. And really well sealed and insulated.
 

066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
Lopi makes a solid product. The endeavor, evergreen, and the Liberty are very easy breathing and aren’t real picky about moisture content. Don’t let that be a concern though, it’s very easy to get a year ahead on your wood supply. You’ll be glad you did, with any stove, not just an epa stove.
I was definitely eyeing the liberty. My spouse and I are both gone 12 hours or more per day fairly regularly and I really don’t want to come home to a cold house and dead stove. The measurements of the stove seem to be very similar to the earth stove I have currently. And it does have a 6” flue. In the configuration I had planned I would have a rear exit but my current stove is top exit and it’s not the end of the world. A year ahead on wood supply i an probably close too now. I try to cut double what I can haul and stack the rest in the woods, between that and my slab pile from the sawmill im probably at roughly 5 cords of mixed hardwoods. White ash, red and white oak.
 
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066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
If you want soapstone plus a cooktop, maybe check out the Woodstock Progress Hybrid? It will still need dry wood, but the company has a good reputation (I have a Fireview that I got this year that's been amazing).
I have definitely reconsidered my thoughts on soapstone lol. The look is nice but I think after researching and seeing cracked stone I think an all steel stove is really more what I’m after. I already broke the news about no soapstone to the boss so I think I’m in the clear.
 

066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
Off grid is a bit unique. Planning on heatpump /ac ? Makes a bit of difference in shoulder season. I like my tube stove and heatpump. I don’t need real low output. When is cool I use the heatpump. Cold my heating needs are cover by the stove. My vote is minisplit and a T5. And really well sealed and insulated.
Yeah it has its challenges, but for me the pros outweigh the cons. No plans for heat pump, I have my bedroom insulated separately from the rest of the house and I may eventually do a small mini split. Currently I run a small efficient window unit on the 100+ days to take the edge off but my small system can’t support much. And I am in a completely wooded valley with lots of shade trees around the house so it’s not terrible here most of the summer. Unfortunately it’s just more $$$ and more complexity added to have the niceties. And in the long term that’s just more $$$ in maintenance. With all that being said is it possible to dampen down the new stoves in the shoulder seasons? Or just small hot fires?
 

066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
Off grid is a bit unique. Planning on heatpump /ac ? Makes a bit of difference in shoulder season. I like my tube stove and heatpump. I don’t need real low output. When is cool I use the heatpump. Cold my heating needs are cover by the stove. My vote is minisplit and a T5. And really well sealed and insulated.
Yeah it has its challenges, but for me the pros outweigh the cons. No plans for heat pump, I have my bedroom insulated separately from the rest of the house and I may eventually do a small mini split. Currently I run a small efficient window unit on the 100+ days to take the edge off but my small system can’t support much. And I am in a completely wooded valley with lots of shade trees around the house so it’s not terrible here most of the summer. Unfortunately it’s just more $$$ and more complexity added to have the niceties. And in the long term that’s just more $$$ in maintenance. With all that being said is it possible to dampen down the new stoves in the shoulder seasons? Or just small hot fires
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,244
Long Island NY
In your range of interest for stoves, it'd be small hot fires.

Also cut but not split wood won't dry very well. To get the counter going, you'll have to split, stack off the ground, and preferably top cover.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
20,012
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
I was definitely eyeing the liberty. My spouse and I are both gone 12 hours or more per day fairly regularly and I really don’t want to come home to a cold house and dead stove. The measurements of the stove seem to be very similar to the earth stove I have currently. And it does have a 6” flue. In the configuration I had planned I would have a rear exit but my current stove is top exit and it’s not the end of the world. A year ahead on wood supply i an probably close too now. I try to cut double what I can haul and stack the rest in the woods, between that and my slab pile from the sawmill im probably at roughly 5 cords of mixed hardwoods. White ash, red and white oak.
Good move skipping soapstone. I had one and other than looks, regretted choosing it for a stove material.

Does anybody with a lopi liberty actually get 12 hour burns? It’s a big stove and will make a ton of heat if you load it fully. Coming home after a 12 hour shift to a warm home and hot stove is a challenge for most stoves.
 
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066logger

New Member
Mar 12, 2022
37
Missouri
In your range of interest for stoves, it'd be small hot fires.

Also cut but not split wood won't dry very well. To get the counter going, you'll have to split, stack off the ground, and preferably top cover.
Lol I see where you’re going with this…. Truth be told everything I have ever known is to go overkill on a stove so if it does get super cold you have a reserve. And to be honest I really can’t afford to finish my house for at least two more years. So I just know I’m going to have some time where I’m going to have a far from optimal heating situation. Maybe I should just keep what I have for another two years and deal with the 10 cords a year. And once I finish everything then go stove shopping.

The wood in my slab pile is sawn off edges of logs, so it’s effectively split. Although my knowledge of logs says 80% of the moisture is lost through the ends of the log and that’s why it’s important to paint the ends of logs to minimize checking. Imagining a log as a bunch of straws all stacked together. But regardless, there’s probably 3 cord in that pile, and then anything I cut I split that’s big enough. Typically the logs go to my sawmill so a lot of the wood I cut for firewood is tops, 6” diameter average I would say. Do you split wood down that small?
 
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