Help choosing a stove for a leaky old house

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SasWalk

New Member
Apr 21, 2022
2
PNW
Hello! New to the forum and looking for some advice from all the experts out there.

I am looking to add a new wood stove to my 100 year old, poorly insulated house. I have minimal insulation in the attic, which I am planning to improve about the same time I install a stove. Also planning on adding insulation under the floors in the crawlspace. Otherwise, the house has no insulation in the wall, and I don't plan on adding any at any point soon. The house is about 1400 square, 2 stories and relatively sectioned off. The main space I think I can realistically heat with a wood stove is downstairs and is 3 rooms separated by large cased openings. The downstairs is about 800 sq ft. The stove location will be on the Southwest exterior wall. Our low temps during the winter are roughly high 20s to high 30s normally. On a handful of nights it might get into the high teens to low 20s. High temps are usually in the 40s. Currently, we struggle to keep the house above 65 with baseboard-only heat on the cold days.

I have not owned a wood stove before, but have used one on occasions in various rustic vacation cabins.

I would like a cast iron stove that qualifies for the current tax credit. However, I am torn between a small stove for the small space, and a larger stove to compensate for the draftiness of the house.

Stoves I'm looking at:
Morso 2B Standard
Morso 7110 B
VC Aspen C3
VC Intrepid Flexburn
Blaze King Ashford 20.2
Hearthstone Shelburne
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,188
South Puget Sound, WA
Most of the stoves listed are small which will mean a short burn time. You could go larger in our area. A bigger stove won't need to be run with a full load unless it gets cold, but when it gets below freezing the walls will suck the heat out of the room. Consider looking at 1.5 to 2.0 cu ft stoves for this reason. The Shelburne is this size and so is the Ashford. There are several others. I am partial to N/S loaders. One can load them fuller without the risk of a log rolling up against the glass. It sounds like you are looking for a more classic-styled look. The Ashford fits that bill. In non-cat, the PE Alderlea T5 is worth a gander too.

Regardless, any modern stove is going to need to have fully seasoned firewood in order to burn well. You can still season doug fir if you get it asap and stack it top covered.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,417
SE North Carolina
If you want to supplement with wood heat or try and heat 100% with wood? Small stoves will have you up in the middle of the night to reload. I’m going to second the PE T5 and say Ashford might be a good fit but I’d probably go for the big 30 box. Almost same low output but it has a bigger fuel tank.
 

SasWalk

New Member
Apr 21, 2022
2
PNW
Thank you begreen and EbS-P for setting my mind at ease about going with a bigger stove. I was worried a bigger stove would run us out of the room, as my wife and I like a cooler house. I would like to heat as close to 100% with wood as possible, but don't mind supplementing a bit with other heat sources when and where necessary.

The PE Alderlea T5 seems like a great choice, but I would like to take advantage of the current tax credit, and this stove doesn't seem to qualify. The Ashford is a compelling choice. What are your opinions on the quality of the Hearthstone Shelburne? I have read more negative reviews of this stove than the PE and Ashford.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
If you want to heat nearly 100 pct with wood but are ok to supplement a bit, think about whether you want to supplement in the coldest few days when a stove might just not be enough, or during the shoulder seasons when a stove may be either too hot or have larger temperature swings with intermittent fires.

The BK can do shoulder season loads very evenly (it turns down well), and the PE may be slightly higher in max output mid winter.

Also in shoulder seasons you won't see much flames in the BK.

Yes, if you have enough space and want a BK, take the 30.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,188
South Puget Sound, WA
Thank you begreen and EbS-P for setting my mind at ease about going with a bigger stove. I was worried a bigger stove would run us out of the room, as my wife and I like a cooler house. I would like to heat as close to 100% with wood as possible, but don't mind supplementing a bit with other heat sources when and where necessary.

The PE Alderlea T5 seems like a great choice, but I would like to take advantage of the current tax credit, and this stove doesn't seem to qualify. The Ashford is a compelling choice. What are your opinions on the quality of the Hearthstone Shelburne? I have read more negative reviews of this stove than the PE and Ashford.
I would probably recommend the Ashford over the Shelburne. The newly designed Shelburne Hybrid is new on the market and getting mixed reviews. BK has many more years of developing cat technology and the stove is thermostatically regulated so it runs like an appliance for the most part. It's on the 3d generation of this stove.
 
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