Englander 25-PDV or 25-PDVC for my house?

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Feb 11, 2015
Central CT
Hello everyone,

I've been lurking around on this forum for quiet some time and learning quite a bit. Lots of great info here! I've decided pellet is the way to go for me but the question lingers about how large of a stove I need, so I figure I'd try to solicit some opinions from you knowledgeable folks!

I bought a house about 3 months ago. Unfortunately it has electric baseboard heat. It appears the first owner had a nice masonry chimney built on the side of the house and a VC Vigilant installed. I discovered the fireback is warped and should be replaced. Due to this the damper doesn't close completely now allowing any secondary burns, however, after getting the chimney cleaned, I did use it in "updraft" mode a few times and it does putout pretty good heat but it's a smoke dragon for sure (the neighborhood will be glad to see it go I'm sure). Anyway, I waffled back and forth about fixing the Vig, buying an EPA wood stove (NC 30 probably), or going with a pellet stove. Due to the giant masonry chimney flue (11" x 7", IIRC), both a new wood stove or pellet stove will require an appropriate sized liner to operate properly. We don't have a lot of room for seasoning wood, and while Eco Bricks or similar are an option, I think I, but more importantly my wife, will be happier with the steady and easily controllable heat output of a pellet stove. I'll go with a refurb'd Englander (from AMFM) since I'm pretty handy and my budget doesn't support something like a Harmon.

So now the question of which one... PDV or PDVC. The house is a little under 1700 sq ft split level built in the early 1980s. Insulation is probably okay - fiberglass between the studs and, to my surprise, 1 or 1.5" foam on the outside, and 6" blown insulation in the attic (which needs to be improved eventually). Windows are newer vinyl replacements. The layout is as follows. From a two car garage (not heated) there are five steps up to a roughly 600 sq ft family room/bathroom/foyer. Turn 180 degrees and go up about 8 steps to the 500 sq ft living room/dining room/kitchen area (above the garage). Turn another 180 degrees and go up about 5 steps to about 600 sq ft of bedrooms/bath/hallway. The stove will be located in the family room on the ground level in place of the Vigilant, on the far end under the bedrooms. One of the previous owners cut some not-to-code 5" x 10" or so registers in the floors of the bedrooms. As far as I can tell from my test runs with the Vig, these do nothing for heat movement. I'll probably end up rigging up some fans to help the heat get up the stairs.

The Vig in updraft mode (so not putting out as much heat as it could) will heat the ground floor family room really well (it will hit the low 80s from about 50 degrees in about five hours), but that heat doesn't really move to other areas. We don't use it much since our wood supply consists of a partially rotted, wet third of a cord the previous owner kept on the ground under the deck against the house! A 23K BTU (IIRC) unvented kerosene heater does a pretty good job of heating the living room/dining/kitchen area and the bedrooms if you give it enough time. We keep the electric thermostats set between 45 and 55 except in the bedroom at night where it's set at a princely 65... Last month we paid about $300 for electricity and $100 in kerosene to keep the house uncomfortably cold!! I'm looking forward to using $250/mo or so in pellets to keep the place at 75!

So what would you guys recommend? The PDVC or the additional output of the PDV?

I appreciate your thoughts and opinions!




Nov 21, 2014
I would probably look at the PDV. I have a 1200 square foot house and I have a PDVC. It does quite well to heat my house, but I would think anything above 1500 square feet is really pushing the stove.


Burning Hunk
Jan 2, 2015
Pittstown NY
I just found out I burned $320 in Propain last 31 days, coupled with $80 electric bill. Never had a $400 utility bill in my life.... I couldve burned a ton of pellets for less and been much warmer than 64.... If I didnt have 20" of snow on my roof Id be pushing my pellet vent up instead of working today....

PDVC here, 1600 sq ft, tight house, mucho insulation.


Dec 12, 2011
Pinelands of NJ
I agree with jamespro. You are going to want the extra Btu's the PDV can generate..We use only 1 PDVC when it is above 40F to heat 1600 sqft. Really need the 2 PDVC's running, when it is colder. Amfm is great to deal with BTW, and a good source for that stove.
And Welcome to the Forums!
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Nov 28, 2012
I have a 2006 PDVC, wouldn't do this stove again. I wouldn't mind trying out a model with a little more capacity and bells and whistles however.


Jun 5, 2013
Central NY
You could probably get away with the PDVC but I would go for the PDV. You can allways turn the PDV down if you dont need the extra heat.


Feb 11, 2015
Central CT
Thanks for the comments so far. I'm leaning toward the larger unit but I think my house is right at the cut off... maybe the PDVC will be fine, or maybe not enough. The PDV is only $200 more at AMFM but I don't want to spend $200 more if I don't have to since I need to put about $650 into the chimney liner, or probably double that if I don't do it myself... The liner install seems straightforward but working with heavy stuff right at the edge of the roof doesn't excite me. At all.

Pete Zahria

Minister of Fire
Jan 6, 2014
New Hampster
.The PDV is only $200 more at AMFM but I don't want to spend $200 more if I don't have to...

You will kick yourself in the butt for not spending the extra deuce............
that's less than a buck a day for a year...



Feeling the Heat
Dec 9, 2008
With only 6" of insulation in the attic, go with the PDV. With 1700 sq.ft., go with the PDV. With the odd left and right and up and down turns in your home, go with the PDV. You live in Connecticut, go with the PDV. With the wise advice Dan gave from the previous post, go with the PDV.



Feb 11, 2015
Central CT
Thanks for the replies everyone!

Looks like I'm going with the PDV. You're right, it's the best choice for my place.

Now I have to figure out the liner situation...

Thanks again!!

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