Introduction and various questions

  • 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.

WellAdjusted

New Member
Feb 16, 2020
4
Eastern PA
Hello stove experts,

My fiance and I are in the market for a wood burning stove and have a number of questions. Our situation is as follows:

The space we are looking to heat is a ~1000 sq. ft. 2 story house. The stove will be situated in the main living area, which is roughly ~500 square feet. The second floor is lofted above this area with a large (~50 square foot) opening between the first and second floors. We are in Eastern PA and are planning on using the wood stove as our primary heat source, supplemented by electric baseboard.

The previous owners had some sort of stove (either propane or pellet) so all the holes in walls and ceilings are already there. There is some chimney pipe still installed as well, but we will be replacing this.

Ideally, we would like to keep the total cost of the stove, chimney pipe (roughly ~20 feet, penetrating one wall, one floor, and ceiling with two 90 bends) , and install (we will be hiring this out) around $4000, although quotes we've received have been over this. More on that in a bit.

Aesthetics of the stove are a primary concern. Our house has more modern styling, so we are trying to avoid the more "classic" ornate wood stove styles in favor of the more modern, clean lined models. Models we have liked are as follows:

Englander Tranquility:

17-VL_2048x2048.jpg


Morso 8140:
8140_frit_insolus_1620282826.jpg


Scan 60:
detail.jpg


Green Mountain 40:
4636572704.png


Our questions are as follows:

1) Given the size of our home/heating requirements and aesthetic considerations, is there a model of wood stove we're overlooking?

2) A local dealer has a floor model Morso 8148 (the 8140 with an extra high pedestal) discounted from ~2800 to 2k. Aesthetically this is something we like, but the stated 12 inch maximum log size is a little concerning given that we would want the stove to provide heat overnight and still have embers left in the morning. One thing I had considered was the possibility of loading in logs vertically instead of horizontally. Is this possible/advisable?

3) We've received estimates from two dealers now and both have been higher than what we were expecting. One was for ~$4600 just for installation and pipe. The other was from the dealer with the Morso and was for ~$5300 including the stove. We don't really have a sense for what the norm is as far as a full installation goes--is this just what it costs? ~$5300 is a lot to shell out, but if this is a steal then is something we could do.

4) With the new 2020 EPA regs coming into force, we've been considering just waiting until April or so before making a purchase on the assumption that dealers will be more eager to get rid of non-compliant models. Is this likely to be the case, or are there other options available to dealers we aren't aware of (manufacturer/federal buybacks, scrapping for a tax writeoff, etc.)?


Thanks in advance for any advice you fine folks have to offer.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,548
South Puget Sound, WA
Some of these stoves are becoming rare as inventory dwindles before the May date for the 2020 EPA regs. For primary heat I would be looking for something in the 1.6 to 2.0 cu ft range. The Morso 2110 is a more practical stove. 12" wood is a pain. We have one person here that has been running the Green Mountain 40 and likes it. Take a look at the Osburn Inspire 2000 and the Blaze King Chinook too.
 

ManitobaSky

Member
Nov 20, 2013
50
Manitoba, Canada
The Blaze King Boxer would be an other option. Also if you are installing all new pipe and chimney a straight vertical run would be preferable over one with 90’s in it.
 

spudman99

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2018
348
Yardley, PA
I say this often to new introductions. Get your wood now (like in March/April) cut, split and covered for next year. You will not regret that. Should be plenty of ash in your area, and if in full sun with some wind, might get down to 20% by Nov for use. Cherry or pine are alternatives that can get you decent wood for your new stove.

My understanding is that the selection of non-compliant stoves is pretty thin right now. Sort of like trying to get an end of the car year bargain from a dealer. Maybe the car exists but not in the color or options you want. I would focus on the style you like and forget trying to snag a smoking deal. Install costs seem on the high side but we are not there to see the difficulties. Are you handy and can do some of that work yourself? Installing a Class A chimney is not super difficult with the right tools and an uncomplicated layout. Also installation costs may be cheaper in June when the companies are less busy.

Get your wood ready now for next year. It is almost too late already to source wood as there is only 1 summer and now only 8-9 months till next burning season.
 

WellAdjusted

New Member
Feb 16, 2020
4
Eastern PA
Thanks for the replies.

The Morso 2110 is a more practical stove. 12" wood is a pain. We have one person here that has been running the Green Mountain 40 and likes it. Take a look at the Osburn Inspire 2000 and the Blaze King Chinook too.

The Morso 2110 is a little too far in classical styling direction for our space. The Inspire and Chinook look good for us, but bring up another issue that I forgot to mention in my original post--depth.
Space is at a premium for us, particularly the depth of the stove. Anything 20 inches or greater is a no-go for us, and even that is really not preferable. The Inspire at ~24" and the Chinook at ~30" are too deep for us, which really is unfortunate--I really like the look of the Osburn.

The more thought I devote to this the more I am drawn to the Green Mountain 40. It works for us aesthetically and in terms of its dimensions, and we don't have to deal with the pressure of committing before May as it's already 2020 compliant. I was initially a little off put by the fact that it uses a catalytic combustor, but this is something I guess I could get used to.

The Blaze King Boxer would be an other option. Also if you are installing all new pipe and chimney a straight vertical run would be preferable over one with 90’s in it.

The Boxer has the same issue with depth as the other Blaze King model for us, unfortunately.

Regarding the pipe, we're somewhat beholden to how the previous owner laid it out due to the location of the holes in the walls and ceiling. There's also no way to run pipe vertically up from the room where the stove will be located without passing through what's essentially the center of our bedroom.
I guess it would be possible to change the location of the stove in the main living area so the pipe runs up a corner and build an enclosure for it on the second floor, but that necessitates closing all of the old holes in the walls and ceiling and opening up some new ones, including a new room penetration, so in terms of cost I expect we're going to be about the same and we lose some bedroom space.

I say this often to new introductions. Get your wood now (like in March/April) cut, split and covered for next year. You will not regret that. Should be plenty of ash in your area, and if in full sun with some wind, might get down to 20% by Nov for use. Cherry or pine are alternatives that can get you decent wood for your new stove.

My understanding is that the selection of non-compliant stoves is pretty thin right now. Sort of like trying to get an end of the car year bargain from a dealer. Maybe the car exists but not in the color or options you want. I would focus on the style you like and forget trying to snag a smoking deal. Install costs seem on the high side but we are not there to see the difficulties. Are you handy and can do some of that work yourself? Installing a Class A chimney is not super difficult with the right tools and an uncomplicated layout. Also installation costs may be cheaper in June when the companies are less busy.

Get your wood ready now for next year. It is almost too late already to source wood as there is only 1 summer and now only 8-9 months till next burning season.

We're on 3/4 of an acre that's almost exclusively tulip poplar, so that's what we'll be burning, supplemented with oak or another wood that burns a little longer (my understanding is that poplar burns hot, but fast). We actually already took down a ~140 monster that was right over the house that I need to start splitting.

As far as installation goes, our homeowners insurance requires that any stove be installed professionally to maintain coverage, so even if I were up to doing it myself (a big if) it would cause a number of complications if we ever had to make a claim, so it's not an option we're seriously considering.

We'll be heading over to the dealer later to let them know we're not interested in the Morso floor model and to see if they have any discounts or sales during the summer.

Thanks again for all the advice.
 

ShawnLiNY

Member
Dec 13, 2018
223
Ny
Eastern pa you may want to consider a coal stove ( this will provide round the clock heating while only tending the stove every 12 hrs or so )
 
  • Like
Reactions: mark cline

ManitobaSky

Member
Nov 20, 2013
50
Manitoba, Canada
If space is an issue be sure you keep a close eye on clearances when picking your stove, picking a smaller stove doesn’t help if you need double the clearance around it for a safe install. @Nigel459 is the member here with the GM 40, looks promising and is getting good burn times from it.
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
OP,

I'm traveling in NY this week headed to KOP by Thursday....yesterday we visited 4 dealers and each had some Step 1 stoves remaining. (Must be sold by May 15th) This applies to both wood and pellet heaters. I might suggest you look at some Italian made, very low clearance required pellet stoves. These take little space, are very very nice looking.

They are being sold at $1500 nation wide to liquidate before May 15th. The retail was well over $3 until a few months ago. I have seen them on displays in showrooms and dealers can still order them. They have a great reputation as good quality products.

Otherwise....have a great day.
 
  • Like
Reactions: ShawnLiNY

WellAdjusted

New Member
Feb 16, 2020
4
Eastern PA
Thanks again for the additional replies.

Given our access to an abundance of wood, we're really only interested in wood burning stoves.

Clearances are definitely something we've been focused on. One of the appealing things about the Morso is that it only needs two inches to a back wall when installed with double wall pipe. The Green Mountain 40 needs 7 with double wall pipe and the included heat shield, but it's slightly shallower so when all is said and done it only comes out two inches further.

We went and spoke to the dealer yesterday and they offered an extra 15% off the venting if we went with the Morso. Clearly they are motivated to get it off the floor, but doing yet additional research has only reinforced my conclusion that the GM 40 is what we want. Reading the Morso manual top to bottom and finding that they explicitly recommend against burning the stove overnight was the final nail in the coffin--maybe with some creative loading and use of long-burning wood we could manage to have enough coals in the morning to get it going again without rekindling, but given that we are planning to be in this house with this stove for the long haul I'd rather not set myself up for decades of finnicky wood burning.

Our local dealer only had the GM 60 model on the floor, so we drove to their sister store 30 miles north in the Poconos to take a look at the 40. Was worth the trip as it received the fiance Aesthetic Seal of Approval.

We will probably be making our purchase this month as Hearthstone is running a promotion through the 28th knocking $250 off the list price, although we likely won't be installing it until the spring.

Now to purchase a maul and start splitting some wood for next winter...
 

mark cline

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2012
704
Cattaraugus, NY
Is there a ceiling fan in the space where the loft is? You would be able to control the temperature of the bedrooms by how much you leave the door open.
 

WellAdjusted

New Member
Feb 16, 2020
4
Eastern PA
There is a ceiling fan over the lofted space, but there's no door to speak of--the second floor is totally open except for the bathroom and a closet. We're debating whether to add a small baseboard heater on the second floor to supplement the eventual wood heat, but given that we don't know how much heat the stove is going to provide we haven't pulled the trigger yet.
 

mark cline

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2012
704
Cattaraugus, NY
My thought was the bedroom being too warm, depending on how much the stove is used . Warm air rises, if it’s too warm, you have no way to control the heat. You will learn as time goes on .
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
534
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
...doing yet additional research has only reinforced my conclusion that the GM 40 is what we want.

Buy what you want...saving $500 or more on a stove that you don't want is a false economy. You'll be interacting with the stove every cold day for the next 10 years. Make sure it's the one you want.

And as a point of reference, I paid $220 for a CSIA certified installer to install my insert about a month ago (including liner and block-off plate). You will probably find better pricing a month or two from now, and it sounds like you may not even have seasoned wood on hand...so buy the stove you want and get it installed in the spring.