Is a BK Sirocco 30.L right for me?

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irharry

New Member
Jul 2, 2018
4
New Zealand
The thread title says it all! My bottom line is I’ll shell out extra $$ for a BK if I can be confident I’ll see a 15% reduction in the electricity/wood I use, I’m looking for advice on whether that’s realistic.

I'm a newbie to this forum, also a newbie to BK's, but I’m not a newbie to fires in general. I'm not trying to get help on whether BK's are good fires, some dozen hours of reading (including 25 pages of pure gold here on Hearth.com discussing Trev's King last year!) convince me they're great fires, and for many people they're probably the best fire. But I'm a unique snowflake like everyone else :)

I'll try and convert NZ speak/metrics to America talk. Please bear with me if I get any conversions wrong!

My house;
  • It’s a wooden 20's Villa, approx. 1300 down, 700 up (converting from my m2 to your ft2).
  • When the new fire goes in I'll have full mid spec underfloor insulation with a windwash barrier
  • I have full mid-high spec ceiling insulation
  • I have partial, low spec wall insulation
  • The house is largely single glazed, it’s as drafty as you expect a house of its age to be.
  • I have additional heating capable of putting out up to 40,000 BTU's/hour (again converting from our KwH to your BTU's). It can operate on low quite efficiently.
  • I want to burn approx. 7 months of the year, minimum temp we get down to is about 20F (-5C) and that's rare.
  • Ideally I want a fire I can bank for 10+ hours overnight and during the work day
Weird New Zealand factors;
  • We have strict emissions and efficiency criteria but our government doesn't trust the EPA so a company here in NZ has to pay a boatload of money to get a fire tested here in NZ before it can be sold and installed. Companies will only pay the money to get it done if they think there’s enough of a market here to warrant the investment. And we're a small market! That means many great fires (including the BK King) can't be used because no company thinks they can sell enough to make it worthwhile getting it certified. We’ve only been able to install the Sirrocco for a few years
  • I only have access to a moderate amount of free wood on my half acre and wood is pricey here. I typically burn 3 cord a year, 1 I cut myself and 2 I buy. Low BTU softwood is ~$220 a cord, high BTU hardwood is $400+
  • Secondary Burn and Cat models are rare. Less than a dozen fires available here have some form of one or the other. No other reburn/Cat model suits the aesthetic of our lounge so my wife has ruled them out.
My criteria;
  • Basically money. I’m willing to pay more for a Cat/reburn but only if I can be reasonably sure that I’ll get the money back. Given my house and alternative heating above, I’ll need to see somewhere around a 15% reduction in the firewood/electricity I use to keep my house at a comfortable 70F (21C) through the 7 months I’ll be burning.
  • Whatever I install will be to code/specs, it will have a straight ~25 ft flu, I will capture heat for the first 3-4ft only.
So geek me up!! What additional info do you need? What do people recommend?
 
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Alpine1

Feeling the Heat
Apr 27, 2017
401
Eastern Alps, Italy
Welcome to the forum. I’ll go with metrics since we both understand each other!
I own a BK Ashford 30 (exactly the same stove as a Sirocco 30, they only differ in appearance) and, like you, I burn 7 months a year. My house is 95 sq meters, at 1.200 meters altitude on the Eastern Alps. With my previous insert I burned 50 kgs of Norway spruce per day (on average) with the BK I lowered it to 32 kg per day.
I have double panel windows, a mediocre insulation of the roof and none for the walls. Temps reached -19 C this past January but I did not have to change my reloading schedule that much: 16 kg in the morning, 16 kg in the afternoon.
House always between 19 and 21 C
In shoulder season I get 24 h burn on a single load , always burning softwood only (that’s all we have!).
Other members will give better and more detailed advice for sure.
 

irharry

New Member
Jul 2, 2018
4
New Zealand
With my previous insert I burned 50 kgs of Norway spruce per day (on average) with the BK I lowered it to 32 kg per day.
.
Thanks Alpine - that's helpful. Our house/location is quite different but my fire choice is similar. My current fire is an insert (Metro Eco Smart Insert), and my likely choices at the moment are either the Sirocco or a Masport LE4000 Insert - so your experience seems relevant. a 30+% reduction in firewood is impressive....
 
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irharry

New Member
Jul 2, 2018
4
New Zealand
Being in NZ, have you considered a Kent?
Hi Jan, yes we have. A Kent Aspiring with legs is on the shortlist. The price difference is ~NZ$2200, so one consideration is whether the BK is good enough to make up that cost difference, and the second thing is no Kent will stay in overnight. That's a big downside.
 
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Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,974
South Jersey
Hi Jan, yes we have. A Kent Aspiring with legs is on the shortlist. The price difference is ~NZ$2200, so one consideration is whether the BK is good enough to make up that cost difference, and the second thing is no Kent will stay in overnight. That's a big downside.

I was able to do overnight burns (Oak from midnight till 7) in a Kent Tilefire.
 

irharry

New Member
Jul 2, 2018
4
New Zealand
I was able to do overnight burns (Oak from midnight till 7) in a Kent Tilefire.

Gotcha - makes sense. Based on that I ass/um/e I could get similar using blue gum, but 7 hours is less than I'm hoping for. I'm not trying to pooh-pooh the Kents or your advice (which is appreciated!) but a 10+ hour burn is on my want list. Not a hard and fast criteria but it would help. My wife and I are often upstairs in bed from 830pm-630am, and we are also away at work for 10 hours 3-5 days a week. So 7 hours is not quite enough.

I think if we do go the Kent direction it will be a $$ based compromise where we sacrifice convenience for a lower up front cost. That's a compromise I'll face with basically any fire in NZ except the BK though (well there's one other fire that will burn 10+ but my wife hates the look so ruled it out).
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,974
South Jersey
Gotcha - makes sense. Based on that I ass/um/e I could get similar using blue gum, but 7 hours is less than I'm hoping for. I'm not trying to pooh-pooh the Kents or your advice (which is appreciated!) but a 10+ hour burn is on my want list. Not a hard and fast criteria but it would help. My wife and I are often upstairs in bed from 830pm-630am, and we are also away at work for 10 hours 3-5 days a week. So 7 hours is not quite enough.
I understand. I have not tried any longer than 7 hours as we are late sleepers. I think 9hrs would push it.
 
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