Just moved and looking to switch from pellet to wood

Status
Not open for further replies.

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
Hey guys, been off this site for awhile, but just moved and I'm looking to get a stove. Thru research and advice from here, I had bought a Enviro M55 pellet stove for my old house and was very pleased with it. So I was thinking of sticking with Enviro since I thought their quality seemed very good. I was looking at the Enviro Boston 1700. I am heating a 3200 sq ft ranch home. The room its going in is 26x29. Ive attached a pic of the fireplace. What are your thoughts on the Enviro Boston stove? I probably won't be using the stove as a main source of heat. Haven't decided yet. I always used to shut my pellet stove off at night. I have propane in the new house instead of oil so that's a plus.

Also, the place that quoted the stove wants to use a flex accordion style liner. I want a smooth walled liner, not something with creases where ash can cake up. He said they have (for more money) a flex smooth walled liner he can get. Ever hear of that? Thanks! Chris
 

Attachments

Last edited:

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
I would get a bigger firebox and go catalytic for that sqft. A blaze king insert sounds like a good option.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
The 1700 is a good insert but probably undersized for 3200 sqft in CT unless the insulation is really good. If you want to attempt relying mostly/exclusively on wood heat you should go bigger. However, ranches often have a difficult layout. Do you have a rough sketch of the floorplan that you could post with the location of the fireplace?

How is your wood supply?
 

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
Thanks for the reply. The enviro website says it heats 3,000 sq ft so I thought it would be sufficient. My floor plan is very open so the heat should travel. The house is only 9 years old and was built custom. The insulation and heat retention is good. Here is a rough floor plan. My wood supply shouldn't be a problem. I usually get wood delivered every year for my out door fire pit. I am going to up my order this season. Next season I should have quite a bit of my own since I am taking quite a few trees around my house.
 

Attachments

Last edited:

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
The enviro website says it heats 3,000 sq ft so I thought it would be sufficient.
Maybe in FL but unlikely in CT.
My floor plan is very open so the heat should travel. The house is only 9 years old and was built custom. The insulation and heat retention is good. Here is a rough floor plan.
That's a good central location for the fireplace. With a well insulated home you can probably heat everything with one insert/stove. Are the 3200 sqft just the floor shown or do they also include a basement?

What are the dimensions of the fireplace and the depth of the hearth? You should also check the height of the mantel from the hearth to make sure you have enough clearance for the unit you are choosing. Large inserts with a 3 cu ft firebox are: Osburn 2400, Pacific Energy Summit, Quadrafire 5100i, Regency i3100, Lopi Freedom and Large Flush Hybrid (also available from Avalon and FireplaceXtraordinaire with different outside designs). If you can fit an insulated 8" liner down the flue the Kuma Sequoia and Buck 91 or 94 would be additional options. A stove would also look great in that fireplace if it is large enough but for that knowing the dimensions of the fireplace would help tremendously.
My wood supply shouldn't be a problem. I usually get wood delivered every year for my out door fire pit. I am going to up my order this season. Next season I should have quite a bit of my own since I am taking quite a few trees around my house.
Unfortunately, firewood is not like pellets. You cannot order it today and expect it to be at your doorsteps ready to burn (unless it is kiln-dried and even then I would confirm with a moisture meter). Wood needs to be dried to less than 20% internal moisture. That means stacking the split wood in a sunny and windy location for one to three years depending on the wood species and drying conditions. What you order now you should stack in your yard and maybe it will be burnable 14 months from now. Since you burned pellets so far you may consider compressed wood logs (e. g. Envi-blocks, BioBricks etc.) to get you through this winter. Those will cost you ~$300 per ton.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: Seanm

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
The 3200 sq ft is all on one floor. The dimensions of the fireplace opening is 461/2 inches (towards the front), 21in deep (to the front of the stone), 32 1/2 inches high. The hearth is 2 feet wide.
The fireplace walls do slant in as you can see from the pic i posted at the beginning of the thread. I'm aware of getting seasoned wood. The wood I've been buying the past few seasons has been seasoned for a couple years. The trees I'm cutting down I will allow to season accordingly.
 

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
Grisu, your Florida joke was funny, but I'd like to know why you think that? The dealer I had spoke to here in CT said it would be a great stove for my home. Are the specs on the Enviro just not true and the dealer isn't sharing that with me? Or do you just feel the stoves you listed are better brands? Thanks!
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
I think this mostly has to do with burn time. A 2.5cuft stove will barely get you through the night. You may have to wake up and reload or wake up to a chilled house with little coals to reload on.

Yes it will heat your house but for how long?

Also, with that kind of stove there is a more peaked burn cycle. A large catalytic stove would give you long consistent heat.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Highbeam

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
JA800L thank you for the response. Do you have an opinion on what the dealer was saying on the insert? I always thought a smooth walled solid pipe was the best. This dealer said it would be "way to difficult" to install. I questioned that and said its a ranch! Cant be more than a 25 ft straight shot down. I guess I don't see the difficulty.
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
Well, I have a ranch too so I'll give you my scenario. There is absolutely no way a rigid pipe would have fit down my chimney. They could barely get a flexible liner down mine. Whoever built my chimney did not build it to put a liner in so it is very curvy. What are the internal dimensions of the chimney? That will make a big difference as to your options.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I paid the extra $ for Duravent smooth wall flex. Good stuff, if your installer doesn't compromise the inner tube with screw penetrations. The one down side to smooth walk flex (other than a little extra care in handling) is that the inner tube can un-spiral if damaged.
 

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
Yeah thats what he said he would install if I really wanted it and paid the extra $. I'm not sure what the dimensions are to be honest. The chimney is huge tho. It would fit, I can look up there thru the flu damper. Flex is prob a better option tho to get thru the damper. its narrow there
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
You may have to ovalize it to get through the damper. Are you going to insulate the liner?
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Ovalizing smooth-wall flex may lead to failure. If you need to ovalize, I'd probably stick with standard flex. Call Duravent and talk with their tech's. They've very friendly and helpful.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Grisu, your Florida joke was funny, but I'd like to know why you think that? The dealer I had spoke to here in CT said it would be a great stove for my home. Are the specs on the Enviro just not true and the dealer isn't sharing that with me? Or do you just feel the stoves you listed are better brands? Thanks!
JA600L pretty much answered your question already and my comment was certainly no knock on the Boston. By all accounts here it seems to be a great stove/insert. However, there are only that many BTU in a cu ft of wood. Thus, the bigger the firebox that larger the potential heating ability of a stove. In this chart you can see how firebox size correlates with average BTU per hour in heat output: https://chimneysweeponline.com/wscomp8.htm If you are confident in the energy efficiency of your home you can try the Boston. But be prepared that maybe during real cold spells it will proof insufficient and you may need to run your furnace/boiler to supplement. Some people want to never turn on their alternative heating system, start to push the stove too hard and overfire it on a regular basis. If you will be mindful of the eventual limitations of the Boston it will certainly be a good heater most of the time. You could also look at the fuel consumption of the previous owners (if you have those numbers) and calculate from there what is the heating load of your home.

The 3200 sq ft is all on one floor. The dimensions of the fireplace opening is 461/2 inches (towards the front), 21in deep (to the front of the stone), 32 1/2 inches high. The hearth is 2 feet wide.
2 ft wide means deep? Then a rear-vented stove in that fireplace will be possible and some top vents will fit, too. You could forego the installation of an oversized surround then that you will need for most inserts and expand your selection. Plus, you could probably skip the blower. Just a few large stove models: Jotul F55 (rear-vent and possibly also top vent, frontloader), Jotul F600 (ditto but better as side-loader), Hearthstone Manchester (as F600), Hearthstone Mansfield (top vent, frontloader), Woodstock Progress Hybrid (top or rear vent, dedicated sideloader), Woodstock Ideal Steel (top or rear vent, frontloader), Pacific Energy T6 (top vent, frontloader), Quadrafire Explorer 3 (front or top loading, rear vent, maybe top vent, will be close)

A frontloader could be pushed back as far as possible into the fireplace while with a sideloader you want to make sure that you still have access to the loading door. I concentrated on cast iron and soapstone stoves since you seem to like the design of the Boston. The Woodstock stoves are catalytic which means a slightly more efficient burn, longer burn times (on low), and more consistent and regulated heat output. They only sell factory direct but are located in Lebanon, NH, not too far from you. For all models the mantel height will be critical. You will probably need to check the manual and inquire with the company if with a heat shield over those stoves you could reduce the clearance to the mantel.

Make sure to also have a block-off plate installed, preferably with some Roxul insulation on top: https://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/make-a-damper-sealing-block-off-plate/ Otherwise, you will be wasting a lot of heat up the chimney.
I'm aware of getting seasoned wood. The wood I've been buying the past few seasons has been seasoned for a couple years.
Sorry if I jumped to early conclusions. It is very unusual that someone has found a firewood dealer that sells truly dry wood. Most of the time wood is advertised as "seasoned" because it has been sitting in logs for a few years but was split only a few weeks before delivery. However, the drying process only really starts once the wood is split. Did you ever split a few pieces in half and tested the center of the fresh surface with a moisture meter? That it seems to burn fine in a fire pit is not really any indication whether it is dry enough for a stove.
 

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
Ok see I thought I would need something with a blower given the room size and to get the heat out. Sorry, but I'm really a newbie here with this stuff. I had to look up the difference of a cat vs non cat stove. This is all new for me.
I was really looking for a insert type stove over a free standing type unit, but after reading some of your suggestions, I just want to get the best I can afford. Like I said I haven't really decided if I'm gonna run the stove 24/7 yet. I never did with my pellet stove. I just used it to supplement my oil bill. I'm so new at this that I don't really know how many cords of wood I would need if I did run it 24/7.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Ok see I thought I would need something with a blower given the room size and to get the heat out.
With an interior fireplace you won't "need" a blower. If you have a proper install with block-off plate the only heat lost will be the one going up the flue; just like a stove. However, some heat will be retained in the fireplace walls and radiate much more slowly into the adjacent rooms. Thus, people may feel at the beginning it does not heat as wells as a stove when in reality it is just heating slower while the total heat output is the same. Nevertheless, I like to recommend a blower with an insert because sometimes it will be helpful to have one when you are in danger of overfiring the insert. With a blower you can try cooling the unit down a bit again. Plus, when you are coming home and want to have it warm a blower will move the heat out faster.

The surround of the Boston is given as 49:1/8" and 30:3/4". It would cover the width but not the height of your fireplace. Has your dealer alerted you to this? The mantel would also need to be about 45" above the hearth; did you check that?
I was really looking for a insert type stove over a free standing type unit, but after reading some of your suggestions, I just want to get the best I can afford.
The best is relative. Both, stoves and inserts, will heat. It is the other stuff like design, customer service, dealer support, budget etc. that often determine the final decision. What budget do you have in mind? If you have a hard time picturing a stove or insert in your fireplace, take a straight shot of your fireplace and photoshop some of the models you like in there and see how that looks.
I'm so new at this that I don't really know how many cords of wood I would need if I did run it 24/7.
If you have the fuel consumption data of the previous owners, we can figure that one out.
 

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
Yes the dealer alerted me to the gap with the Boston and was going to make a "fill plate:. The mantle is 46 1/2 inches from the top of the hearth. so Im good there. I don't have the fuel consumption of the previous owners sorry. The owner got sick and nobody lived in the house for a couple years before I purchased it. Looking at the blaze king free standing cat model. I do not like the way the inserts look. my budget I planned for was about $4500.
 

Bruce P

New Member
Aug 10, 2015
93
Whiting NJ
Hey guys, been off this site for awhile, but just moved and I'm looking to get a stove. Thru research and advice from here, I had bought a Enviro M55 pellet stove for my old house and was very pleased with it. So I was thinking of sticking with Enviro since I thought their quality seemed very good. I was looking at the Enviro Boston 1700. I am heating a 3200 sq ft ranch home. The room its going in is 26x29. Ive attached a pic of the fireplace. What are your thoughts on the Enviro Boston stove? I probably won't be using the stove as a main source of heat. Haven't decided yet. I always used to shut my pellet stove off at night. I have propane in the new house instead of oil so that's a plus.

Also, the place that quoted the stove wants to use a flex accordion style liner. I want a smooth walled liner, not something with creases where ash can cake up. He said they have (for more money) a flex smooth walled liner he can get. Ever hear of that? Thanks! Chris
Think again I have Propane ,it sucks way more the heating oil its the main reason im putting in a wood stove
 

JA600L

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2013
1,271
Lancaster Pennsylvania
Yes the dealer alerted me to the gap with the Boston and was going to make a "fill plate:. The mantle is 46 1/2 inches from the top of the hearth. so Im good there. I don't have the fuel consumption of the previous owners sorry. The owner got sick and nobody lived in the house for a couple years before I purchased it. Looking at the blaze king free standing cat model. I do not like the way the inserts look. my budget I planned for was about $4500.
The Ideal Steel or Progress Hybrid from Woodstock Soapstone are another great option. They are both rear venting. The Blaze King freestanding stoves are only top venting.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
I had to look up the difference of a cat vs non cat stove.
Could've helped you with that one:

Non-cat stove = max burn time of 3 hours per cubic foot of firebox
Cat stove = max burn time of 10 hours per cubic foot of firebox
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,972
South Puget Sound, WA
I would make that MBT 4 hrs per cu ft of firebox. Many see 12 hr burn times with a 3 cu ft stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Ashful and Grisu

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
I would make that MBT 4 hrs per cu ft of firebox. Many see 12 hr burn times with a 3 cu ft stove.
Agreed. I get definitively more than 6 hours from my 2 cu ft PE Super.
Cat stove = max burn time of 10 hours per cubic foot of firebox
Which will equate to about 10,000 BTU/hr. Don't think that will be enough for 3200 sqft most of the time.
Looking at the blaze king free standing cat model. I do not like the way the inserts look.
I think they are too tall. If you want to go cat the Woodstock stoves would be your best option. However, for your large home the difference between cat and non-cat won't be that great unless you will burn mostly in the shoulder season. Any favorites so far other than the Boston insert?
Yes the dealer alerted me to the gap with the Boston and was going to make a "fill plate:
That's why I mentioned a freestanding stove. It won't need such "fixes". Nevertheless, the difference in heating capabilities between insert and stove will be minimal in your case. Choose whichever you like best.
I don't have the fuel consumption of the previous owners sorry. The owner got sick and nobody lived in the house for a couple years before I purchased it.
Bummer.
 

chanlon1974

Member
Nov 15, 2008
148
CT
So Im confused, someone said go with a cat stove and another poster said it wont be enough BTUs?? I plan on burning October thru March
 
Last edited:

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
84,972
South Puget Sound, WA
No worry. Cat stoves can put out the btus. It's just that when they are pressed to put out high btus the difference between them and a non-cat is minor.
 
  • Like
Reactions: Highbeam and Ashful
Status
Not open for further replies.