Grandma Bear 1 Plus Month Recap

Frankdozer

Member
Aug 31, 2016
97
Maine
Here is my 1 plus month recap of using Grandma Bear. It does a great job heating my house. I do need to use the ceiling fan to even out the temperature in the dining, kitchen and living room. It has a hard time holding a fire overnight unless I pack it to the max. But most of all it eats tremendous amounts of wood. I burn exclusively oak and birch. After the heating season is over I will probably calculate the cost of a modern stove with less cords vs Grandma with more cords.
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
It should more than hold a fire overnight. Is there a baffle sized to the chimney correctly? I heated with a factory Goldilocks which has a smaller firebox for over 25 years and had coal piles I needed to burn off during the day after burning 24/7.

That stove does have a baffle and 6 inch outlet and 6 inch insulated chimney.

A newer stove is going to require an insulated 6 inch chimney and have a baffle. Put those improvements to this stove and you have a comparison.

Any creosote formation? What flue damper position are you normally running? A turn or less on the dampers overnight? Clean door seals?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
Here is my 1 plus month recap of using Grandma Bear. It does a great job heating my house. I do need to use the ceiling fan to even out the temperature in the dining, kitchen and living room. It has a hard time holding a fire overnight unless I pack it to the max. But most of all it eats tremendous amounts of wood. I burn exclusively oak and birch. After the heating season is over I will probably calculate the cost of a modern stove with less cords vs Grandma with more cords.
Believe me as someone who has run multiple old stoves and multiple new ones you will be much happier with a modern stove. The only thing the old ones have on new stuff is peak btu output. But that peak is short lived.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
It should more than hold a fire overnight. Is there a baffle sized to the chimney correctly? I heated with a factory Goldilocks which has a smaller firebox for over 25 years and had coal piles I needed to burn off during the day after burning 24/7.

That stove does have a baffle and 6 inch outlet and 6 inch insulated chimney.

A newer stove is going to require an insulated 6 inch chimney and have a baffle. Put those improvements to this stove and you have a comparison.

Any creosote formation? What flue damper position are you normally running? A turn or less on the dampers overnight? Clean door seals?
Yes some require 6" some require 8" but most say it is fine to run through a code compliant 8x8. And yes they will work better insulated but that is not a requirement of any stove
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
A modern stove for approx. 1400 square feet
There are tons of options to do that. I would be looking at 2.5 to 3 cuft stoves. Do some research about cat vs noncat
 

coaly

Fisher Moderator
Staff member
Dec 22, 2007
4,053
NE PA
If you were looking for better fuel economy, a Mama Bear with 6 inch would have been the choice and give up the fire viewing capability of the Grandma. That comes with the price of a liner if you don’t have a 6 inch flue. Yes, you can use 8 inch, but for fuel economy you want 6 inch insulated to be able to turn it back overnight without excessive cooling of the flue. Your stove was built as a freestanding fireplace that sacrifices economy for open door burning. You should still have a fire in the morning unless there is no baffle, 8 inch all the way and too much air.

My Mama Bear with 6 insulated Dura- Vent has plenty of charred wood to pull ahead in the morning and coals to take right off. Same heating capacity as what you have. I prefer the narrow deep models with larger tops that can’t roll
out the door loading front to back. Air also goes between logs for quicker starts. Tried both, that’s just my favorite.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,118
central pa
If you were looking for better fuel economy, a Mama Bear with 6 inch would have been the choice and give up the fire viewing capability of the Grandma. That comes with the price of a liner if you don’t have a 6 inch flue. Yes, you can use 8 inch, but for fuel economy you want 6 inch insulated to be able to turn it back overnight without excessive cooling of the flue. Your stove was built as a freestanding fireplace that sacrifices economy for open door burning. You should still have a fire in the morning unless there is no baffle, 8 inch all the way and too much air.

My Mama Bear with 6 insulated Dura- Vent has plenty of charred wood to pull ahead in the morning and coals to take right off. Same heating capacity as what you have. I prefer the narrow deep models with larger tops that can’t roll
out the door loading front to back. Air also goes between logs for quicker starts. Tried both, that’s just my favorite.
Or he could get a modern stove with a glass door that stays clean to see the fire. And it would give far better fuel economy than any fisher if sized and run properly.
 

Piney

Member
Nov 29, 2015
59
Frozen North
Our grandma heats our 2000 sq ft vaulted ceilings rancher and last winter it was -50 here. When it’s below -40 I burn part of the day in a second stove. I think if this wasn’t a sprawling rancher it would be different. I will say that the baffle and a chimney damper (when doors are closed) is key. We have a couple mama bears in storage but I never get around to swapping though I’m curious about wood consumption. Plus the 8” insulated chimney is already in so...