I badly need advice on stove size.

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Cimonak

New Member
May 12, 2017
5
Bryson, QC
We bought a house seven years ago and there was a wood stove in the living room. It's a Hearthstone Phoenix. The previous owner was mostly using it as an interior decoration and didn't do much heating with it. We decided to heat the house with it and did. Seven years later, all stones are cracked and when it gets really cold outside, we live in western Quebec, we have to run it with the damper fully open and refill it every hour to get it to maintain the house at a comfortable temperature. That tells me that, for what we want to do with it, the stove is too small.

Here is a floor plan of the first floor of our house.

first floor.jpg

The house was built in 1997 and is well insulated. The location of the stove is really not ideal but we won't change it. It gets hot in the room where the stove is located but it's manageable. The first floor is 1100 sqft and the second floor as well. The second floor gets heated over the course of the day through the vent and staircase. It remains colder upstairs but with all the room doors open, still comfortable.

Now for the advice I need. The Phoenix is rated at 55000 BTU/h. We are looking at two possible replacements : the Pacific Energy Super 27 (72000 BTU/hr) or the Summit (99000 BTU/hr). I know those numbers don't mean much in reality but it is a way to compare stoves. Average BTU/hr will be greater for the Summit than for the Super 27.

I tried calculating the output we need for the first floor considering the loss to the second floor based on info from here http://www.stovefittersmanual.co.uk/articles/what-size-wood-burning-stove-for-my-room/ and I get about 53000 BTU/h. I also used another calculator, like this one : http://www.thewoodburnercompany.co.uk/stove-size-calculator, and I also get around 50000 BTU/h. So I figured I would need an average output of about 50000 BTU/hr. Based on this : https://chimneysweeponline.com/wscompf.htm the Summit is the way to go.

However, I just spoke to a salesman this morning and he told me that if I go with the Summit on my first floor, we won't be able to stay in the living room and we might even need to open windows because it will get too hot on the whole floor. Also, most retailers say that the summit is good for 2000 to 3000 sqft. From my calculations, it would be pretty well suited for my 1100 sqft first floor.

As you can see, I've done my homework but I'm more confused that ever.

Is the Super 27 still too small for what we need?
Is the Summit too big?
Can I buy the Summit and build small fires in it or does it have to be loaded quite a bit to burn clean?
The firebox is the Summit is 3 cu.ft. and the one on the Super 27 2 cu.ft. If I fill the Summit's firebox 2/3 full, will it give the same outpout as the Super 27?

What do I do?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,580
South Puget Sound, WA
Welcome. In this case I'd recommend the Summit. We were in the same situation deciding what to do for our house several years ago. We put in a Jotul Castine (approx. 1.7 cu ft) and heated for 3 yrs. with it. For most heating it did well, but when temps dropped into the teens I was stoking the stove very frequently, like every 2 hrs. because our old house has way too much glass area. We upgraded to the 3 cu ft Alderlea T6 (same firebox as the Summit) and have been very pleased with the improvement. The Summit firebox is pretty flexible at burning a small burn of 4 splits vs a full load at high output. We have a friend heating a 1600 sq ft up north in the colder part of the state and their house doesn't overheat. If you like the slower more even heat of the Phoenix then I would look at the Alderlea T6 too. I have been impressed at how nicely this design evens out temperature swing.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I'd vote for the Summit/T6 also. I run the T5 in my cabin and am super impressed by it. If you find the stove room heating up too much, I'd direct a fan toward it from a cooler room.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,150
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
The phoenix is a very attractive stove. I ran a heritage for several years. The hearthstones work as advertised but are not very efficient. You would see an improvement with the super sized PE but in your shoes, I would opt for the larger summit sized PE. You can always burn a smaller fire in a larger stove and/or wait between firings if the house gets too hot with an oversized stove.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,580
South Puget Sound, WA
We've been burning in the T6 for the past day with temps between 43F and 53F. House has stayed very consistently comfortable by just burning smaller 3-4 split fires at a lower stove top temp.
 

Cimonak

New Member
May 12, 2017
5
Bryson, QC
Thanks for the replies. Four replies, all votes for the Summit. We went that way.

We just purchased a PE Alderlea T6.

We prefer the Cast Iron finish of the T6 over the steel of the Summit.

Thanks again!!!!
 
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EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
I think you'll be happy with your choice! We'll need pics after you get it installed!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,580
South Puget Sound, WA
Congratulations. The next important thing will be getting a supply of dry wood. Modern stoves really want dry wood to burn optimally. This can be a challenge if buying wood. Insist on wood that has been split and stacked for at least a full year if buying seasoned wood and don't be afraid to check the moisture content of a few splits before accepting the load.
 

Cimonak

New Member
May 12, 2017
5
Bryson, QC
Congratulations. The next important thing will be getting a supply of dry wood. Modern stoves really want dry wood to burn optimally. This can be a challenge if buying wood. Insist on wood that has been split and stacked for at least a full year if buying seasoned wood and don't be afraid to check the moisture content of a few splits before accepting the load.
I built a 16' x 32' shed a few years ago and this fall we'll start burning wood that we bought in the spring of 2015. It's been split and then stacked neatly for more than two years. It should be dry enough!!!!

By the way begreen, and this might not be the right place for my question but, I read somewhere on this forum that you disabled the EBT on your Alderlea. Is that true? I've burned a few logs already and I'm not sure my EBT is working right. Do you have the EBT or the EBT2 ?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,580
South Puget Sound, WA
EBT1. My Alderlea is one of the first off the line. The EBT2 is a big improvement and a much better design.
 

Cimonak

New Member
May 12, 2017
5
Bryson, QC
EBT1. My Alderlea is one of the first off the line. The EBT2 is a big improvement and a much better design.
Thanks for the info. On paper I'm sure you are right but I think I found a flaw in EBT2 or maybe mine is faulty. I don't know. Anyway, I don't want to go too much off topic here so I'll start a new thread about EBT2. I sure hope you'll comment.
 

Seasoned Oak

Minister of Fire
Oct 17, 2008
7,217
Eastern Central PA
Some times i dont think the small sub compact 2cu ft stove were meant for 24 /7 burning. My small 2 cu ft stove does a great job in a 600 sq ft apt. but it wont do an overnight burn very well. Seems good for about 5 to 7 hours of real heat. OK for an auxiliary back up heat.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,580
South Puget Sound, WA
What is the EBT you speak of on the T6 and would it also include the T5??
The T5 is based on the Super27 firebox. No EBT, instead it has a coupled secondary air control which is simple and quite effective at extending burn times. The EBT is on PE's larger fireboxes like the Neo 2.5, T6 and Summit.
 
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