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Posted By HotCoals,
Dec 1, 2012 at 10:58 AM
Also would you stay with the same secondary type stove if you bought again?
Hard to say since I have never owned a cat. I'm told if you are always pushing your stove hard a cat will be of no real benefit. And if indeed they do use less fuel does that really outweigh the maintenance cost. Questions to ponder.
Probably, but I would research current information on both types before I decided.
Being in relatively mild region, the tube insert we have is sometime too hot for us. I'll love to try the Progress Hybrid or BK though.
It won't let me choose both.
I should have enabled multi choice..but I don't think I can now.
Two of my re-burn stoves don't have tubes. Jotuls. Neither do PE, Napoleon, Harman, VC...
Can't give an honest answer to the question as I have never run a cat stove. Having said that, I have been very pleased with our non cat EPA insert. Pretty sure I would buy it again.
I would like to have a stove that had a switch so i could choose non cat or cat.
Also, to answer this question, it depends. For multiple stoves in one house, I am a firm believer that you need to run cat stoves to maximize your burn cycles.
If you are just running one stove that easily heats your entire home, then a non-cat stove that is appropriately over-sized for your needs will do just fine. The 30 throws heat for a very long time. If I had a really tight 1,500-2,000 sq ft new home with the stove centrally located, I could see the 30 giving me 10-12 hours of heat on a regular basis and keeping the whole house in the 70s.
And for the price that you can get a 30, that seems like a pretty good deal.
I am in the second year of burning my first EPA stove. Now that I have the hang of it I am quite pleased with the performance. I have never operated a CAT stove, but I like as little maintenance as possible, so I guess I will stick with the non-cat.
Burned a non cat first(Lopi Endeavor) and now a cat(BK Princess). I don't think I would ever switch back since the BK stove gives me all the control I could have ever hoped for.(I'd replace the 220-250 dollar cat every year without blinking if I had to) With that said there are a few other non cat stoves I'd love to try out, a PE Summit is at the top of my list.
Caveats: 1) Technically my stove isn't 'EPA', though I've added 4 burn tubes in the rough configuration of the NC30, 2) I have never burned a cat, only watched videos.
For me, a good chunk of stove burning is the ambiance of the fire, otherwise, I'd put in a wood boiler and be done with it. The second thing is having that one spot in the house where you can go...no matter how cold you are... and feel the heat practically radiating 'through' your body. To me, nothing is better when cold than feeling the warmth of the stove 'shining' on your face and hands...just close your eyes and picture a warm tropical island!
I would worry the cat doesn't give the same ambiance...it seems like they have more of a smoldering fire with the cat doing all the hard work. Also, I cut my own wood for 'free' - though in real cost, maybe $10-15 per cord, so even if a cat stove is 20% more efficient than tubes, I would have to burn the cat stove 10+ years to 'save' enough just to break even on replacing the cat. Lastly if a burn tube is damaged or fails (though these stainless ones look like they might last 'forever') I can always go to the scrap yard and get a replacement for a few bucks. I doubt there is a new wood stove cat laying in the scrap, though I have considered what might happen taking a scrap auto CC and punching out the holes a bit bigger for wood stove use.
Well you can turn the air up anytime with a cat stove and watch a nice fire..just saying.
I installed a Vermont Castings cat insert for a good friend of mine, and I've spent many a night sitting in front of it. One thing I really liked about it was the "aurora borealis" effects of burning with the catalytic converter--it's really beautiful. And it really is more efficient, although I'm not sure how much. One thing about the insert is it's not as good a heat source as a free-standing wood stove. A lot of heat is still wasted.
I would probably stick with a "secondary burn" type stove, if I moved and bought a new one. However, if a good deal on a "cat" stove came up...........
What about hybrids? I'll stick with the cats, I like the larger BTU output range and long burns.
I have a friend who has a Sierra with a blown cat and the mfg wants 600 for a replacement. Don't know if thats real but if it is you would be blinking.
I can see the benefits of a cat stove. My harman on the lowest setting when in re-burn mode must put out at least 20-30K btus. It would be nice to dial it down further as its too much in the shoulder season. But then again i could always open a window.
i like the tubes but we had a cat in our old house cat got longer burn times but it needed to be cleaned the tubes don't nead to be cleaned and put out a ton of heat
I really like the flexibility of the cat stove... When its close to zero in the dead of winter I can crank the heat, but also burn low and slow on a 40 degree day using only a couple of splits and not have to do cold restarts.
For the ambiance of the fire though the cat stove is not so great. But when I feel the need i've got two open fireplaces for that. There is no stove that can match the feeling of nothing but a screen between you and a raging fire.
Wow! Pushing the stove hard has nothing to do with the cat and you definitely will still get the benefit. Here's one for you wkpoor. Yesterday we got our stove top to 600+ with only 2 splits!
What about this maintenance cost? In the end it won't cost any more for one than the other. So yes, the benefit of a cat stove will make you a winner no matter what. Also, with our cat stove it gave us the benefit of needing only half the amount of wood we used to burn and we are even heating a larger area, plus we stay much, much warmer.
Holy smakerel!! That is one expensive cat and that has to be an anomaly for sure.
My harman can do that. (Open fire with a screen)
Gee i only paid $650 for My NC30 Brand new. ANd $499 for my country hearth EPA Stove brand new.