Is this the right stove for me?

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blamus

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
17
Boulder CO
I'll second the recommendations for Drolet and Osburn stoves. Most (if not all) of them are non-cat, so like has been discussed, the flame visuals are better. They hold up well and have a good reputation for build quality and longevity. Also, they are easy to buy parts for straight from the manufacturer.

Check out the Osburn Matrix stove - it has a more modern look which seems to match what you would like. It costs around $3000, but if you wanted to burn more often than just occasionally you could potentially recoup some money with less heat pump runtime.
I actually like the matrix alot. My top choice for a no tax credit stove is the drolet deco II, its the only stove in the 1k+ price range that has the modern look I like. The matrix has a similar look, if even more upscale, and since its bigger, 3k makes sense. It would be my top choice if it was >75% HHV. But its 69% which is rather low. I'm looking at the 3k mark for tax credit qualified stoves, but closer to 1k for non tax credit stoves. They both come out to about 4k after installation. But there really aren't many (or any) good looking (subjective) contemporary choices around 3k thats 75%HHV. Both the BK Boxer and Ideal steel have a very unfinished, almost prototype look to it. That's not the kind of contemporary or vibe I'm going for! This is actually really strange for me, I'm an engineer and I very rarely make life choices with this much weight on looks. That includes my car. Always function first. But with this stove, its athletics is almost the function itself. Feel strange to care this much about looks. Thats usually my sister's department (she's an architect).
 

blamus

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
17
Boulder CO
In regards to the firebox size, I would look for a stove that you can load N/S (i.e. the cut ends of the splits facing the door) - or allows both E/W and N/S.

N/S loading is easier, and it's easier to stuff the box as full as possible (longest burns).
If you can do both, you also have the option to slow the burn a little by going E/W.

My point of view on this is that you'll be reloading the stove every day. Not having to reach in to put a first split E/W in the back of the stove (over hot coals), but just being able to stick them in N/S is a major convenience.

Not to say that E/W loading can't be done nicely (see the exceedingly well-stuffed boxes of @Caw elsewhere by using rectangular splits) - all I am saying that I have done both, E/W and N/S. I would never buy a stove that can't do N/S (if I have a choice - sometimes, especially with inserts, choice in dimensions is limited).
This, really breaks my heart. loading N/S means a deep stove, one that sticks out alot, taking up real estate! And, also means relatively small window. I'm more and more realizing that really I'm looking for a piece of decoration more than a heating appliance, and that breaks my heart. Because that's not how I think normally. I wish there's a functional piece of decoration. One that looks great in my space and heats decently well. But I get it, I like the euro style low profile design, which by definition means small and useless.

Next time around I'm going to have to design the house around the stove, so it can be big, and suit the space well. Too late now!
 
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fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,308
Massachusetts
if i'm not mistaken you said that the room is 1000 square feet. now count the Hight of the ceiling and the rooms off the balcony. you also say that the electricity goes out quite a bit because your in the mountains. if you are going to have to use that stove for heat why not get something like the lopi that you said would pass for looks and is a large stove. it would really be bad if your lights went out and being in the mountains might be awhile before it's turned back on that you get a smaller stove because it looks better but even if the stove is run hot can't heat the space in a pinch. also if you have to run the stove on high all the time there is a chance you could warp something. then you would pull the stove out because it is not cutting it heat wise to put in a different stove so you would be spending more money buying two stoves than buying something that works the first time. another bonus is with the size of that room with a tall ceiling that room will be more forgiving to not heat you out of the room so a bigger stove is what you should be looking at. if you are thinking of running a generator for heat, a large house with electric heat will mean you will need a very large generator. like one of my customers with geothermal heat pumps he would need a 40,000 watt generator to run the heat pumps and 2.5 horse well pump for the heat and drinking water
 

jalmondale

Member
Dec 16, 2021
113
NY
This, really breaks my heart. loading N/S means a deep stove, one that sticks out alot, taking up real estate! And, also means relatively small window. I'm more and more realizing that really I'm looking for a piece of decoration more than a heating appliance, and that breaks my heart. Because that's not how I think normally. I wish there's a functional piece of decoration. One that looks great in my space and heats decently well. But I get it, I like the euro style low profile design, which by definition means small and useless.

Next time around I'm going to have to design the house around the stove, so it can be big, and suit the space well. Too late now!
Side-loading might be a good option - the stove is still deep with respect to the loading door, but not the viewing window. My side-loading stove is actually able to have shorter clearances in front, so the whole stove plus hearth sticks out less than it would with a traditional east-west frontloading stove.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,398
SE North Carolina
I actually like the matrix alot. My top choice for a no tax credit stove is the drolet deco II, its the only stove in the 1k+ price range that has the modern look I like. The matrix has a similar look, if even more upscale, and since its bigger, 3k makes sense. It would be my top choice if it was >75% HHV. But its 69% which is rather low. I'm looking at the 3k mark for tax credit qualified stoves, but closer to 1k for non tax credit stoves. They both come out to about 4k after installation. But there really aren't many (or any) good looking (subjective) contemporary choices around 3k thats 75%HHV. Both the BK Boxer and Ideal steel have a very unfinished, almost prototype look to it. That's not the kind of contemporary or vibe I'm going for! This is actually really strange for me, I'm an engineer and I very rarely make life choices with this much weight on looks. That includes my car. Always function first. But with this stove, its athletics is almost the function itself. Feel strange to care this much about looks. Thats usually my sister's department (she's an architect).
Deco ii is to small in my opinion. That room is big with lots of glass. You will be feeding it every 3 hours when it’s cold out and still will be wishing you were warmer.

What was your design temp for the manual J? 18k btus, I just have a funny feeling about that. Once the wind picks up and temps drop below zero and if you lose power I have a hard time seeing a 1.8 cu ft stove keeping up.
 
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gfirob

Member
Dec 7, 2014
27
Rochester, Vt
I live in Vermont and use wood heat for about six months of the year. We have two wood stoves, both Jotuls. What strikes me is first that with big open and high spaces, a lot of that heat is going to be up where it is not helping you, so you will need some kind of ceiling fans. But with interior decoration being a major or foreground consideration, you might consider how much bark fragments, splinters and general wood dirt fire wood brings into your house and the astonishing amount of ash that gets deposited on every surface. Wood heat means a dirty house, no way around it. You might consider a cast iron gas stove, something whose style is in keeping with your interior. Some would say that being very literal about modern vs traditional style misses out on the contrast that these to things bring to each other and it can be quite effective. The Charles Eames house (Eames being the most recognized American modern designer) whose extremely modern house is very famous, mixed his modern furniture with all kinds of tribal artifacts and other non modern objects.
 

blamus

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
17
Boulder CO
Deco ii is to small in my opinion. That room is big with lots of glass. You will be feeding it every 3 hours when it’s cold out and still will be wishing you were warmer.

What was your design temp for the manual J? 18k btus, I just have a funny feeling about that. Once the wind picks up and temps drop below zero and if you lose power I have a hard time seeing a 1.8 cu ft stove keeping up.
Its a very open floor plan with livingroom/kitchen/dinning/staircase all in the same space with no wall separation. Floor sqft of the mentioned space is 1000sqft. The living room portion of this, i.e. 500sqft is a double height space @ about 18' tall. And indeed, LOTs of south facing glazing. The room by room manual J shows 18kbtuh heat load for this space. I believe that's the peak load. The total conditioned area of the house is 3200sqft, 33500cuft, with heating "equipment load" of 56kBtuh and total cooling equipment load of 44kBtuh.

The open staircase is also opened to the mudroom below, as well as a den above (common area for the bedrooms above). So if we want to include those 2 areas, add another 500sqft of floor area. These 2 spaces have a combined heating load of about 7kBtuh according to my manual J. So in theory, adding up all the connected areas on all 3 floors, we have about 25kBtuh of peak heat load. I'm neck deep in trying to figure out heatpump sizing and distribution over at greenbuildingadviser forums right now.

And in response to the comment above about power outage, yes, it would be nice if the woodstove can be an effective backup heat source, though power outages does not happen as often as it sounds - id say about 2-3 days a year from when they have had to work on the powerlines/transformers. And they have always scheduled that during the summer.

I do understand the bigger the better for the stove. But its really hard to integrate a large/XL stove into contemporary architecture. All contemporary stove designs I have found, have tiny fireboxes. It makes sense, they are all from Europe, and European spaces are often smaller, much better insulated, and they don't often use the stove for heating anyway. Ironically fireplaces are easier to integrate into modern builds - if you had planned for it in the first place. At this point, my freestanding wood stove (and TV) are more like afterthoughts. Thats my oversight when I was designing the house......

There is a different option for stove placement - so far I've been talking about putting the stove in the (SW) corner of the living room. One option that I'm also considering is putting it against the N wall. This is sketched in (with wood storage below) in one of the photos I posted. If I go with that location, I can fit a larger stove - as wide as I want, as deep as a fridge (30 or so inches deep including rear clearance), which is not that deep either! But at that location I can go as wide as I want. That location would mean the stove is in the background relative to the seating.
 
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blamus

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
17
Boulder CO
Ive uploaded the floor plan for clarification. The numbers are heating/cooling loads from my manual J

BTW I looked up Eames' works and I see living rooms layouts not too different from mine. Definitely a bit more midcentury modern than what I have here. I do like it though.
 

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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,398
SE North Carolina
Its a very open floor plan with livingroom/kitchen/dinning/staircase all in the same space with no wall separation. Floor sqft of the mentioned space is 1000sqft. The living room portion of this, i.e. 500sqft is a double height space @ about 18' tall. And indeed, LOTs of south facing glazing. The room by room manual J shows 18kbtuh heat load for this space. I believe that's the peak load. The total conditioned area of the house is 3200sqft, 33500cuft, with heating "equipment load" of 56kBtuh and total cooling equipment load of 44kBtuh.

The open staircase is also opened to the mudroom below, as well as a den above (common area for the bedrooms above). So if we want to include those 2 areas, add another 500sqft of floor area. These 2 spaces have a combined heating load of about 7kBtuh according to my manual J. So in theory, adding up all the connected areas on all 3 floors, we have about 25kBtuh of peak heat load. I'm neck deep in trying to figure out heatpump sizing and distribution over at greenbuildingadviser forums right now.

And in response to the comment above about power outage, yes, it would be nice if the woodstove can be an effective backup heat source, though power outages does not happen as often as it sounds - id say about 2-3 days a year from when they have had to work on the powerlines/transformers. And they have always scheduled that during the summer.

I do understand the bigger the better for the stove. But its really hard to integrate a large/XL stove into contemporary architecture. All contemporary stove designs I have found, have tiny fireboxes. It makes sense, they are all from Europe, and European spaces are often smaller, much better insulated, and they don't often use the stove for heating anyway. Ironically fireplaces are easier to integrate into modern builds - if you had planned for it in the first place. At this point, my freestanding wood stove (and TV) are more like afterthoughts. Thats my oversight when I was designing the house......

There is a different option for stove placement - so far I've been talking about putting the stove in the (SW) corner of the living room. One option that I'm also considering is putting it against the N wall. This is sketched in (with wood storage below) in one of the photos I posted. If I go with that location, I can fit a larger stove - as wide as I want, as deep as a fridge (30 or so inches deep including rear clearance), which is not that deep either! But at that location I can go as wide as I want. That location would mean the stove is in the background relative to the seating.
18k for the space makes much more sense.

Did you look at the PE neo 2.5?

 

blamus

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
17
Boulder CO
18k for the space makes much more sense.

Did you look at the PE neo 2.5?

I like the Neo 2.5, Just checked pricing with local dealer, $3200, about what I expected. But again, not >75%HHV ☹️☹️☹️
I'm going to think hard on the Green Mountain 60, Regency F3500, Napoleon S30, Chinook 30.2, Boxer 24. These are all around the $3-4k price level that qualifies for the tax credit - which is worth about $1800 including install etc. Its significant!
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,398
SE North Carolina
I like the Neo 2.5, Just checked pricing with local dealer, $3200, about what I expected. But again, not >75%HHV ☹️☹️☹️
I'm going to think hard on the Green Mountain 60, Regency F3500, Napoleon S30, Chinook 30.2, Boxer 24. These are all around the $3-4k price level that qualifies for the tax credit - which is worth about $1800 including install etc. Its significant!
Word around here is that PE will be resting and could have a tax credit eligible models with a year.

If those the GM 60 might not make my list. Others seem to have pretty solid reputations, with Chinook getting my vote.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,308
Massachusetts
what ever you decide on don't run it at it's max all the time you will burn it out. my stove is rated at 60000 btu my house has 66000 btu in baseboard. if i ran my stove at full rated max i'm sure i would have had problems by now and my stove is built like a tank. it's 44 years old and it's heating my house just fine at 6 degrees out. what does your winter temp usually at this time of year?
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Word around here is that PE will be resting and could have a tax credit eligible models with a year.

If those the GM 60 might not make my list. Others seem to have pretty solid reputations, with Chinook getting my vote.
Most of the PE models now test at 74% HHV. Close enough to the arbitrary 75% that small changes could be enough.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,398
SE North Carolina
My Manual J design temp is 7F,
That agrees with my 10 year old data table for Fort Collins 99% value. Think about it another way. During the statistical average year you will spend between 24-48 hours below design temp this is the Climatological 50 year mean. If you get any deviations from the mean which always happens the 99% design temp calculations are under sized.

I just like to bring this up to think about as extremes are occurring more frequently.

Just thoughts

Edit…. Just checked we dropped to a low 9 degrees below design temp for here last night. House was cold warming up though.
 

blamus

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
17
Boulder CO
That agrees with my 10 year old data table for Fort Collins 99% value. Think about it another way. During the statistical average year you will spend between 24-48 hours below design temp this is the Climatological 50 year mean. If you get any deviations from the mean which always happens the 99% design temp calculations are under sized.

I just like to bring this up to think about as extremes are occurring more frequently.

Just thoughts

Edit…. Just checked we dropped to a low 9 degrees below design temp for here last night. House was cold warming up though.
Yes, Foco is basically the same weather. I don't feel the winters have been colder, or the coldest days have been colder or for longer, but the summers and falls have definitely been hotter and hotter for longer. I used to now need air conditioning in CO, no, its a must in the summer with so many heat waves, heat domes, you name it. I guess we have had a few polar vortex too. But it does feel like everything is getting warmer in general.
 
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blamus

New Member
Jan 25, 2022
17
Boulder CO
So, the Napoleon S30 is one of the only "bigger" stoves that I kind of like the look of - for its neutrality. Maybe a bit vanilla, but kind of handsome, and it has a big firebox. actually, the stove is HUUUUUUGE. Couldn't find anyone talking about it on here. I assume its too big for most people? Would this be too big for me? I was going for a smaller stove for its low profile, minimal look. But if I'm going accept a bigger stove and make it the focus, I might as well make it BIG! And BE the focus. I don't know, just a thought. Of course, the S20/25 probably is more of the right size, but S30 is the only one with >75%HHV.
 

fbelec

Minister of Fire
Nov 23, 2005
3,308
Massachusetts
that looks like a great stove that has a chance to work that room. i have a friend that had open floor plan family room dining room kitchen with a 12 ceiling and a family room with a 16 to 20 foot ceiling with large rooms off of a balcony. he had a hearthstone heritage woodstove he would run it hard and it would never seem like it was running. the only way you would know it's running is by the roaring fire inside it and the heat if you went near it.