Help me decide which wood stove to buy, Ashford, Fireview, or Absolute Steel

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rijim

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2009
250
RI
I had similar requirements except I had a corner install which made the Ashford 30.2 the only real option. I’m looking forward to a 24 hr burn time. I’ve been to the Woodstock factory, super nice people, I hear nothing but good comments about the Fireview. Good luck with your decision.
 

Rearscreen

Minister of Fire
Dec 21, 2014
755
Vermont
I went to Saudi Arabia (for the 4th friggin time) but the 4th time was for a different reason. I was working for a company that evaluated heat losses in American buildings to save energy. I had a discussion sitting with the executive who hired me while sitting at an airport lounge I asked him why I was more comfortable in my current domicile that was temperature variant from room to room rather than the previous house that was incredibly air tight, efficient and even. I was surprised at the answer, he said basically, that they are finding out that temperature differences from room to room are actually more comfortable because they emulate nature.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,309
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
25k is high??

I’d call it pretty hefty, in fact I did call it that.

You have to realize that this is a constant btu need to keep his house warm. None of this fake peak output or heating up a cold house. Luckily, the stoves he has chosen have very steady outputs during their burn cycles that can accommodate the heat loss within their output range.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,930
Long Island NY
I had similar requirements except I had a corner install which made the Ashford 30.2 the only real option. I’m looking forward to a 24 hr burn time. I’ve been to the Woodstock factory, super nice people, I hear nothing but good comments about the Fireview. Good luck with your decision.

I can tell you the 24 hrs works if your chimney is good enough. But it really only is "achieved" when it's not mid-winter cold, because then you simply have to run it on a 12 (or shorter, depending) hr cycles because an 11000 and change BTU output is not enough to keep your (whole) home warm when it's properly cold outside - at least for me (again, depending insulation, stove placement etc).
 

BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
I had a discussion sitting with the executive who hired me while sitting at an airport lounge I asked him why I was more comfortable in my current domicile that was temperature variant from room to room rather than the previous house that was incredibly air tight, efficient and even. I was surprised at the answer, he said basically, that they are finding out that temperature differences from room to room are actually more comfortable because they emulate nature.

These two things are not mutually exclusive, as your post seems to insinuate. I am in super-energy efficient homes dozens of times per week, and many of them have separate heating and cooling zones for every room. This is even easier to achieve if all walls, floors and ceilings are insulated (i.e. interior and partitions), which is also standard issue in the homes I see.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
I’d call it pretty hefty, in fact I did call it that.

You have to realize that this is a constant btu need to keep his house warm. None of this fake peak output or heating up a cold house. Luckily, the stoves he has chosen have very steady outputs during their burn cycles that can accommodate the heat loss within their output range.
Hefty, but certainly not unthinkable. Our old farmhouse needed more than that when temps drop into the teens. We had a pellet stove and the Jotul F602 running almost constantly to keep the place heated. It's a bit better now since the remodel, but with a lot of glass area I have to push the T6 when it drops below 20º. Fortunately, these days are rare.
 
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moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,842
Iowa
Assuming the existing chimney is masonry you should have it inspected by a pro. Also look at each stove models clearance to combustibles requirements. You can do a rough layout on the floor with masking tape or cardboard representing the proposed stove and the hearth footprint as it will occupy your space. Might be a eye opener!
Lots of things to consider here. Take your time. Each of the stove makes/models you are considering have happy users. I am partial to the BK's and have a 20 series Sirocco in my home that is very capable.
The variable speed BK blowers are super quiet and make a huge difference in heat transfer when in use at my place. Wouldn't have a BK without them myself.
 

From Away

New Member
Jul 2, 2021
37
Central Maine
Assuming the existing chimney is masonry you should have it inspected by a pro. Also look at each stove models clearance to combustibles requirements. You can do a rough layout on the floor with masking tape or cardboard representing the proposed stove and the hearth footprint as it will occupy your space. Might be a eye opener!
Lots of things to consider here. Take your time. Each of the stove makes/models you are considering have happy users. I am partial to the BK's and have a 20 series Sirocco in my home that is very capable.
The variable speed BK blowers are super quiet and make a huge difference in heat transfer when in use at my place. Wouldn't have a BK without them myself.

I appreciate everyone's help, advise, and feedback. As a matter of fact, I have a guy coming at 11 a.m. tomorrow to clean and inspect the chimney. I also did exactly that, I laid out tape on the floor of different colors representing each stove, and you are right, what an eye opener.
I do have a question though as far as putting the stove right in front of the chimney. Since it is a masonry chimney and also has brick face on it in the living room, do I really have to worry that much about the space behind the stove? They are non combustible. And there is nothing around it combustible. Because of the chimney, the stove would be out 21.5 inches from the wall.

Thanks again for all the comments!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
The clearances are to combustibles. If the stove is on the living room side of the chimney then it looks like it could be close to it.
 

From Away

New Member
Jul 2, 2021
37
Central Maine
First, I wanted to say thanks for all the help, recommendations, and information given on your own setups. This has been a big help to me. Before I make my final decision, I wanted to ask if anyone thought I should be looking outside of the Woodstock or Blaze King lineup. My wife likes the looks of the Hearthstones the best, but I am not sold on going that route. I also like the hybrid design the best, but could just as easily just go with a cat stove. Any more recommendations before I pull the trigger on a stove?
 

bikedennis

New Member
Jun 21, 2021
47
Nor Cal
Hearthstones are loved by many and I was very interested but kept reading about poor CS and defective door hinges. I emailed them asking if there had been a redesign on the hinges. No response. That did it for me. I placed an order with WS.
 

Rearscreen

Minister of Fire
Dec 21, 2014
755
Vermont
I owned a Mansfield and previous to that a slightly smaller Hearthstone model, both bought new, I loved them both and aside from the usual glass going black I had no problems ever. I was about to buy another, but would not fit in the hearth. With stubby leg option, the Progress fit right in. I did purchase it kicking and screaming as I was skeptical about catalytic converters. Let's just say, if I had to buy another stove, it would be another Woodstock hands down. The glass never gets black. (Avitar shows Lilly, and the stove in it's second home so I ditched the stubby legs.)
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,309
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
First, I wanted to say thanks for all the help, recommendations, and information given on your own setups. This has been a big help to me. Before I make my final decision, I wanted to ask if anyone thought I should be looking outside of the Woodstock or Blaze King lineup. My wife likes the looks of the Hearthstones the best, but I am not sold on going that route. I also like the hybrid design the best, but could just as easily just go with a cat stove. Any more recommendations before I pull the trigger on a stove?

Hybrids are cat stoves. So with the better, and time proven, designs from Woodstock you get the cat stove benefits plus a little extra flame show from the air jets when you want to run it hot.

You can certainly get a lovely flame show from a non hybrid cat stove when you want to run it hot too.

I owned a hearthstone heritage for about 30 cords and the stove looked great with that mirror polished soapstone but the hinges and latches were not designed to last or be replaced. It was a decorative stove with a short design life. Efficiency was low. It did look sharp though and kept us warm.
 

From Away

New Member
Jul 2, 2021
37
Central Maine
Once again, I appreciate everyone's help. I decided I wanted to go with a Woodstock based upon the reviews, and that I actually like the idea of going directly to the manufacturer for my needs. I really don't like dealing with dealers for anything. But anyway, I decided Woodstock was the way I was going to go. I found a Keystone "locally" that I thought was priced well. It needs some cleaning up, but it fits our living space real nice. I know with this I lose the long burn times I was hoping for, but in reality we are around the house enough to keep it loaded up and going. I also thought, for the price, this would be a good way to find out what our heating needs are and what our expectations will be in the dead of winter. So, hopefully this little Keystone will give me a better idea of what I may need, or hopefully, I may find out it is all I need. Thanks for all the help, I really enjoy this site and am learning alot!
 

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
The Keystone is a great stove and one of the best looking of their soapstone models IMO. It will have a decent burn time, especially in mild weather when the stove is not being pushed hard for heat. Go through the stove components (bypass, combuster, gaskets, etc. and make sure all is in good working order. There is a small oddity in that it requires a 7" flue. What will the stove be connecting to, a preexisting chimney or a complete new flue system?
 

From Away

New Member
Jul 2, 2021
37
Central Maine
The Keystone is a great stove and one of the best looking of their soapstone models IMO. It will have a decent burn time, especially in mild weather when the stove is not being pushed hard for heat. Go through the stove components (bypass, combuster, gaskets, etc. and make sure all is in good working order. There is a small oddity in that it requires a 7" flue. What will the stove be connecting to, a preexisting chimney or a complete new flue system?

The stove will be connecting to an existing chimney, 6" flue. I saw on Woodstock's site that it is acceptable to reduce it to 6". Thanks for the heads up on what to be looking at and going over. I really like the looks of the Keystone myself.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,567
South Puget Sound, WA
The Keystone is a great stove and one of the best looking of their soapstone models IMO. It will have a decent burn time, especially in mild weather when the stove is not being pushed hard for heat. Go through the stove components (bypass, combuster, gaskets, etcTheir is a small oddity in that it requires a 7" flue.
The stove will be connecting to an existing chimney, 6" flue. I saw on Woodstock's site that it is acceptable to reduce it to 6". Thanks for the heads up on what to be looking at and going over. I really like the looks of the Keystone myself.
They need to put that in the manual which in some cases is all that an inspector or insurance company will go by. Maybe email them for verification so that you have it in writing from their tech support staff.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,309
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
The keystone is a great looking stove, all cat, long track record, and I've never read of an unhappy owner. This is one of the stoves that "made" woodstock.

I agree on not wanting to deal with a middle man dealer.