Helping a friend shop for a stove

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xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,447
Lackawaxen PA
As a long time, weekend, full time wood burner / wood processor. I purchased and installed my Oslo, some 22 years ago, You would think I could easily explain all the issues. I'm sure I can but....... would like some advice of what you would suggest.

Here's the situation. She is a single woman living alone. Her son with his wife and kids built out her basement, making a apartment for getaway weekends. The basement is a precast concrete out of the ground. The 12 / 12 gable roof has 12" overhangs on all sides. The chimney install will have to deal with those issues. For a few years now the wood heat has been a discussion between all of us. I've explained installation issues, cleaning issues

I've explained and suggest a pellet stove just because of the through the wall chimney, no wood to gather. Easy peasey.

But she and her son are now thinking wood stove. She stopped in a major wood stove here and said they are real expansive. It's real stove installer, with Jotul stoves. Bought mine there. She wants me to help shop for a cheap stove.

If it was me I would buy the best I could afford and instal it myself. She did ask a carpenter that did the basement if he would do the stove. He said he needed to be certified. Any one know if that's true in PA?

So any stove suggestions? And where to buy in North east PA.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,620
South Puget Sound, WA
My first concern with a basement install is negative pressure. Is there a radon fan installed?

For a stove, Drolet would be my first choice in bargain stoves. How large of an area would the stove be heating and do they have some cords of firewood already fully seasoned?
 
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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,617
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Drolet, as begreen mentioned. The internals on them are the same as the more expensive Osburn and Enerzone models with the exception of the baffle. Drolet uses a vermiculite baffle, Osburn uses C-Cast. Cheap sub $200 upgrade once the baffle needs replacing to save 50% on the stove.

Otherwise Pacfic Energy has/had a budget brand, I'd consider that one too.
 

xman23

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2008
2,447
Lackawaxen PA
My first concern with a basement install is negative pressure. Is there a radon fan installed?

For a stove, Drolet would be my first choice in bargain stoves. How large of an area would the stove be heating and do they have some cords of firewood already fully seasoned?
Thanks guys for the help. I can use all the new idea's I can get.

The basement is above ground, so seams like it would have less and maybe different issues from a in ground basement. Yea should do a radon test.

I'll research Drolet stoves, and where to purchase.

The house is a 28' by 36' cathedral ceiling chalet. In the basement they created a few bedrooms and a living room. I don't even think a bath and kitchen. About 2/3 of the foot print of the house. Her son, helps her out with a lot of the cost of the house. She is full time here and her few sons and brothers family's come for ski weekends. So they built the basement apartment. If it were me a few pieces of baseboard electric heat and your done. And of course maintaining seasoned wood is always a problem. But they know I help with that.
 

GrumpyDad

Member
Feb 23, 2022
232
Champion, PA
Thanks guys for the help. I can use all the new idea's I can get.

The basement is above ground, so seams like it would have less and maybe different issues from a in ground basement. Yea should do a radon test.

I'll research Drolet stoves, and where to purchase.

The house is a 28' by 36' cathedral ceiling chalet. In the basement they created a few bedrooms and a living room. I don't even think a bath and kitchen. About 2/3 of the foot print of the house. Her son, helps her out with a lot of the cost of the house. She is full time here and her few sons and brothers family's come for ski weekends. So they built the basement apartment. If it were me a few pieces of baseboard electric heat and your done. And of course maintaining seasoned wood is always a problem. But they know I help with that.
Ask their reasoning for a wood burning stove vs pellet? They may believe they are opting for that traditional fire look of a fireplace. Which is cool when you come back from skiing and have hot chocolate or adult beverages in hand. But will they really be happy with the results of a wood burning stove? Are they prepared to haul wood back and forth? Where would they keep the wood? Where would they keep the pellets? Wood stacked indoors looks a heck of a lot better than 50 bags of pellets :).

The lady may enjoy the heat that is produced, and may want to utilize it to heat her home from down up. But is she going to want to mess with wood? She will more likely turn away from wood vs pellet stoves which in the research I did long ago it seems pellet is the way to go for a more appliance like experience vs wood which is more of an art than a science.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,035
SE North Carolina
Thanks guys for the help. I can use all the new idea's I can get.

The basement is above ground, so seams like it would have less and maybe different issues from a in ground basement. Yea should do a radon test.

I'll research Drolet stoves, and where to purchase.

The house is a 28' by 36' cathedral ceiling chalet. In the basement they created a few bedrooms and a living room. I don't even think a bath and kitchen. About 2/3 of the foot print of the house. Her son, helps her out with a lot of the cost of the house. She is full time here and her few sons and brothers family's come for ski weekends. So they built the basement apartment. If it were me a few pieces of baseboard electric heat and your done. And of course maintaining seasoned wood is always a problem. But they know I help with that.
How much do think they would burn a season? Getting someone on board for wood heating is one thing but if they never fully embrace it that’s another.
A cheap Drolet and cheap mini split maybe a good combination. Knowing the mini split is 2-3 times cheaper than baseboard electric and even more when during shoulder season it really might make a big enough dent that a cord a winter would be enough wood. Just thoughts.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
94,620
South Puget Sound, WA
They should have some baseboard or wall heaters down there if the basement is unheated. That will keep it from getting too dank and will prevent pipe freezes.
Otherwise Pacfic Energy has/had a budget brand, I'd consider that one too.
That would be the True North line. The TN20 is a 2 cu ft stove, N/S loading. It might work out well.
 
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