Help selecting wood stove

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.

alber197

New Member
Mar 5, 2022
41
Wisconsin
Hello, I'm new to the forum but have learned alot of information from everyone browsing as a guest. This post will be long but i want to give as much info as possible. We are looking to purchase a wood stove for our cabin in Northern Wisconsin. It is approximately 1150 square feet, built in 1986 with 2x4 exteriors batt insulation and 1" rigid foam in place of sheathing on the exterior. The living room, dining and kitchen is open with vaulted ceiling with just batt insulation. The rest of the home (bedrooms and bathrooms) has decent to good insulation and ventilation in the attic. The wood stove will be placed centrally located in the middle of home in the main living room. The home is currently heated with a new high efficiency furnace with brand new ductwork (previously heated with only electric baseboard). I am a plumber/gas fitter and installed the new ductwork/furnace after doing a full heat loss calc (about 55k BTU with the unfinished walk out basement). We will continue to use the furnace but would like to supplement as much as possible with wood. We are there approximately 50% time with a goal of moving up there full time within 1-2 years. Design temp was around -20 degree Fahrenheit with some nights/days getting -30 to -35 air temp.

The LR/Dining/Kitchen where the wood stove will be located is long and skinny (11.5'x~35') and about 400-425 square with the entry way. The woodstove will be located on one end of that room in the LR area next to the hallway with the 3 bedrooms. Chimney will go straight up with no offsets right by the peak. We plan to utilize fans to move the air around to heat the bedrooms as much as possible.

The two local dealers have a number of brands. One dealer has vermont castings and quadra-fire and the other has pacific energy, blaze king and hearthstone. One dealer recommended the pacific energy vista but I am concerned about the burn time and feel it may be too small for the really cold days (I did not give him all this info, just room sizes and square footage). We like to keep a cooler house (66-68) and would prefer not to be heated out of the room by the wood stove or have to open windows to cool it down. I was looking at the hearthstone soap stone stoves because of the low temp radiant heat but have had a hard time finding a lot of reviews on that. Some of their stoves seem to have better reviews than others (full soapstone vs green mountain line)

Thanks for bearing with me during this long post. Does anyone have any recommendations? Will the Pacific Energy Vista be a good stove for the space? Because the room is only 11.5' wide we need something with tighter clearances so we can get it as close to the wall as possible (this is another reason the dealer recommended the pacific energy). Lastly, we are new to burning wood but are very handy and will spend the time learning a catalytic stove if it's the best fit. Thank you for your help.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
I agree, in the PE line I would go for the Super. Can you post a sketch of the floorplan. By the description it sounds like locating the stove in the larger living room area would be a better location.
 
  • Like
Reactions: shockman

alber197

New Member
Mar 5, 2022
41
Wisconsin
Thanks for your response. Sorry, my long post may have gotten confusing. It will be in the living room area. Attached is the floor plan with stove location circled.

Screenshot_20220828-211815_Gallery.jpg
 
Last edited:

alber197

New Member
Mar 5, 2022
41
Wisconsin
Also, to try narrow down what we are looking at:
Pacific Energy
Quadrafire Millenium Steel Stoves
Hearthstone Castleton or Heritage

We also like the blaze king stoves but most of cat stoves don't seem to have as tight of clearances and stick out a little further (with the exception if the hearthstone stoves). The room is so narrow and every inch counts for us. The stove will also be fairly close to the seating area so again, we don't want something so hot it's going to heat us out of the room.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
Thanks for your response. Sorry, my long post may have gotten confusing. It will be in the living room area. Attached is the floor plan with stove location circled.

View attachment 298468
Great. That's a good location. The Super will do the job. It can burn a small load cleanly and will provide good burn times when loaded full. The Quad Millenium is also a good workhorse.
 

EatenByLimestone

Super Moderator
Staff member
You may feel more comfortable sitting close with the cast iron cladding on the super, the T5.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,267
Long Island NY
If the goal is to supplement, and if 55k BTU is the highest projected need per hour, wouldn't the Super be too large? The 55k BTU is smack in the middle of its output range (38-72k BTU), meaning that less than half of the tuning capability would be used in the coldest of days, and much, much less in warmer days?

Just a note of caution. I'm willing to be wrong :)

(Maybe my "range" above is not correct? It's "cord wood" and "EPA test fuel". If both are "max" outputs for the different methods, then maybe it's not as bad as it seemed to me.)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
The EPA output range for the Super is 12,518 to 38,177 BTUs. With a full load of hardwood it can put out 72K BTUS, but one would be stoking it frequently. It is a very flexible stove, low maintenance, and a pussycat to run. This is the same firebox that many members are burning in via the PE Spectrum, Alderlea T5, and Pacific insert.
 
  • Like
Reactions: stoveliker

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Also, to try narrow down what we are looking at:
Pacific Energy
Quadrafire Millenium Steel Stoves
Hearthstone Castleton or Heritage

We also like the blaze king stoves but most of cat stoves don't seem to have as tight of clearances and stick out a little further (with the exception if the hearthstone stoves). The room is so narrow and every inch counts for us. The stove will also be fairly close to the seating area so again, we don't want something so hot it's going to heat us out of the room.
Please double check those clearances comment. Some are as low as 6", so I'm not certain where the numbers were seen. (We have some errors on our site pointed out to me by others here..thanks to them we are fixing those,)
 

alber197

New Member
Mar 5, 2022
41
Wisconsin
Please double check those clearances comment. Some are as low as 6", so I'm not certain where the numbers were seen. (We have some errors on our site pointed out to me by others here..thanks to them we are fixing those,)
You are the correct, the Blaze Kings stoves we were interested in are 6.5" clearance but our dealer said Blaze King was the hardest to get right now and taking the longest.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
You are the correct, the Blaze Kings stoves we were interested in are 6.5" clearance but our dealer said Blaze King was the hardest to get right now and taking the longest.
Call around...some dealers order more than others....
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,392
South Puget Sound, WA
If it's any consolation, I drove 45 miles one way to get our Jotul F3CB and 95 miles to get our present PE T6. No regrets.
 

EatenByLimestone

Super Moderator
Staff member
I picked up my T5 about a mile from my house, but drove it 80 miles to my cabin. My Century started life at my house, then moved to my cabin. My first stove a CDW Rocky Mountain was purchased by my cabin, then driven to my house. I never thought transporting stoves was odd.