Greetings, An Introduction...

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Greetings, I’m new here, been an occasional lurker on and off for a couple years.

An introduction…I’m a Pacific Northwester, living in suburban Portland, OR. Been burning a wood stove for supplemental heat over 20 years. I purchased my first wood stove, a Lopi Endeavor, in 1999. I loved the Endeavor and wish I would have kept it when I sold that house. I don’t think I had the best burn times or performance from my Lopi the first few years, perhaps my novice fault. I was also buying my wood back then, which was perhaps not always seasoned as well as the sellers swore it was, imagine that. Still impressed by the build quality and my experience with the Endeavor, especially when used with seasoned wood. Fast forward a few years and I combined houses with my now spouse about a decade ago. Our house came with 1987 Avalon stove placed in a brick alcove built specifically for a wood stove. The Avalon is I believe a 901 on a pedestal. It’s an insert which can be installed as a fireplace insert, with legs or on a pedestal. The 901 is also an early generation EPA stove with a single (sometimes visibly working) secondary reburn tube at the top of the burn box near the brick baffle. Depending on what’s available I now cut and season my own mix of Pacific Northwest doug fir, coastal range silver fir, maple and oak. I’m fortunate enough to have room to season my wood for two plus years before burning it. What a difference seasoned wood makes in the stove. I currently have two cord of doug fir needing to be split and placed on seasoning racked.

So, what brings me here?...My spouse is now retired and keeps the wood heat going most days while I’m still at work during the week. Our supplemental wood heat has increased to over half of our heat. Stove goes all weekend long as well. We’re getting close to 4.0 to 4.5 cord of usage annually. Our 901 is built like any standard Travis Industries battle tank and performing as well as can be expected for a 36 year old fireplace insert on a pedestal. I’ve maintained fire bricks, baffle blanket, seals and kept it going. As well as the 901 is still working there are more efficient stove designs today. The 2023 biomass tax credit is a pretty big carrot for us to make an upgrade with something more efficient. We’re also venting up a 9” x 13” tile chimney, about 13’ tall. A 6” stainless liner as part of a upgrade. I’m thinking that the chimney liner may also help with stove efficiency and improve draft. Our house is single story 1800 square ft. the Avalon does a good job keeping us warm. Windows are updated and insulate well. Wall insulation is also good.

I’ll be continuing to research our upgrade options and may ask questions, were not in an urgent hurry. Looks like most qualifying biomass tax credit stoves are catalytic varieties, which would be a learning curve for us. Not ruling out catalytics, but have a desire to keep things as simple as possible with a proven design. Stoves we’re considering (including catalytic) at this point are Lopi Evergreen, Kuma Tamarack/Aspen and Hearthstone Mansfield. Still need to actually go to local shops and have a look. I’m hoping that Lopi perhaps looks into the Endeavor for an engineering change to help it achieve another single percentage point of efficiency to qualify it for the tax credit. I’m willing to wait for that, but not too long as I believe upgrading sooner will make more efficient use of our seasoned wood.

Thanks for your time

Welcome. One thing to consider when looking at new stoves is how they load. The 901 is an E/W loader. Stoves like the Endeavor have a squarish firebox that allows N/S and E/W loading. After working with both shaped fireboxes, I am sold on the deeper firebox design. It really improves loading options without worrying about a log rolling up against the door glass. Another stove to look at for a square firebox is the Pacific Energy Super. Neither the Endeavor or PE Super qualify for the tax credit at this point but both are great stoves. Both are one percent away from qualifying for the arbitrary 75% HHV rule.

Some other good stoves to consider are the Blaze King Sirocco 30.2 or the Princess 32. These are thermostatically regulated stoves so don't worry about the larger firebox. It's just a bigger gas tank for longer burn times.

How large of an area is the stove heating?
be green:

1800 Square ft single story. Hearth room and chimney is inconveniently located in back corner of the house. This is not changeable and seems to work fine as-is. Natural convection seems to keep the house warm.

As to the Endeavor N/S loading, it's one more thing I liked so well about it. The PE Super, another Pacific Northwest product, was initially on my list to go look at, but with it not meeting the 75% HHV for the tax credit is kind of falling off my list along with the Endeavor. I'll have to take a look at the Blaze King. I'm not familiar with thermostatically regulated stoves, I'm learning something new to consider already, thank you.
A cat stove will add a layer of complexity to operation and maintenance but some offer better low and slow burning. The thermostatic BK stoves do this best. The Woodstock Fireview and Keystone are also worth checking out.
I had the opportunity to check out the BK Scirocco 30 and their instructional videos online during my lunch. Great videos, very informative. Looks like a great product, but safe access to the air control knob located in the back corner looks like a possible issue with my alcove situation. I think the same goes for the similar location for the hearthstone Mansfield’s cat control lever. I’ll have to still take a look at local retailers to verify. I like the Kuma and Lopi controls in the front of the stove much better.