Looking for small stove recommendations

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WesM

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
19
Maryland USA
Hi there, I'm new member, but have been reading these forums for a while. I was planning on getting a VC aspen C3, but unfortunately it seems to be unavailable for now, and I'm not sure when it will be available. I'm currently looking for some other options.

The stove is going to go in my basement to heat about 750sqft of finished space and provide supplemental heat if we lose power. I'm also trying to stay around the $1200 price range.

Models I am looking at right now are;

Drolet Columbia II
US Stove Defender

Any other stoves you would recommend looking at? My wife likes the queen Anne looking feet, so that has narrowed my search a little.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,714
SE North Carolina
If you were wanting the C3 the Jotul 602 is similar stove. I’d chose Drolet over US stove every time. Your price point will limit many options. I just Installed a Drolet insert in my basement and am very pleased. It’s got 24’ of flue and is over-drafting some.

True north TN-20 is another option.

Evan
 
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WesM

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
19
Maryland USA
If you were wanting the C3 the Jotul 602 is similar stove. I’d chose Drolet over US stove every time. Your price point will limit many options. I just Installed a Drolet insert in my basement and am very pleased. It’s got 24’ of flue and is over-drafting some.

True north TN-20 is another option.

Evan

Thanks for the advice. Yes I am definitely leaning towards the Drolet. Did you end up buying direct or did you use one of their online resellers? I cannot seem to find anywhere local to me (Maryland) that sells them. Seems like HD once sold them, but they are all listed as out of stock/unavailable on their website.

I will have about 20' of flue in a stainless lined brick/clay lined chimney.
 
Last edited:

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,714
SE North Carolina
Thanks for the advice. Yes I am definitely leaning towards the Drolet. Did you end up buying direct or did you use one of their online resellers? I cannot seem to find anywhere local to me (Maryland) that sells them. Seems like HD once sold them, but they are all listed as out of stock/unavailable on their website.

I will have about 20' of flue in a stainless lined brick/clay lined chimney.
I ordered from Costco. Baffle arrived broken but it’s not a huge deal. They come and go. Price was like 3-400$ less than direct. If they have something in stock now I’d probably purchase. I put it off a year ago in November and it didn’t come back into stock until June. Then it was in and out for a few weeks. Now it’s just out. .
 

WesM

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
19
Maryland USA
I went ahead and ordered it from myfireplaceproducts. I did not realize they are actually listed on Drolet's website as one of their online retailers. Free shipping too.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,714
SE North Carolina
If you don’t have dry split and stacked for at least 12 months top covered just consider a pallet of bio bricks as part of the install cost. Nothing worse that swearing at your new stove thinking something must be wrong because it can’t burn wood and your significant other questioning your primal fire making skills not to mention your decision making ones.

Glad it was available.
 

enordy

Member
Sep 21, 2009
55
Western CT
I have the Columbia II, also got it at My Fireplace Products - came via LTL freight, brought it into the garage on a pallet jack. Runs like a charm, 14' liner, internal chimney. Nicely heats our 800 sq.ft. main area, and keeps the other side of the house in the mid 60's via convection with a fan blowing the cool air down the hall.

I think you'll like it.
 
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WesM

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
19
Maryland USA
If you don’t have dry split and stacked for at least 12 months top covered just consider a pallet of bio bricks as part of the install cost. Nothing worse that swearing at your new stove thinking something must be wrong because it can’t burn wood and your significant other questioning your primal fire making skills not to mention your decision making ones.

Glad it was available.

Hah! Yea we definitely don't want my primal fire building skills be called into question! Fortunately my dad in law took down two dead (but solid) oaks last year and has had them split and drying. He is selling off the wood, but said I could have as much as I want. I also have a large (60ft tall 28 inch girth) osage orange tree I am taking down in a few weeks that I will split and let dry for a couple years.

I am mainly trying to figure out clearances now. I want to use an existing wood stove hearth area in my finished basement, but the height to ceiling on the hearth platform is 80.5" and the pipe that goes to the chimney is 15" from the ceiling. All of side clearances check out in the manual for 78" height to ceiling. but I thought I needed 18" from the top of the stove pipe to the ceiling for it to be right.

Attached is a pic of what my current setup would look like.

Clearance.PNG
 

WesM

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
19
Maryland USA
I have the Columbia II, also got it at My Fireplace Products - came via LTL freight, brought it into the garage on a pallet jack. Runs like a charm, 14' liner, internal chimney. Nicely heats our 800 sq.ft. main area, and keeps the other side of the house in the mid 60's via convection with a fan blowing the cool air down the hall.

I think you'll like it.

Nice! well good to know someone else has done this before, I was not seeing many reviews of the Columbia II.
 

enordy

Member
Sep 21, 2009
55
Western CT
Nice! well good to know someone else has done this before, I was not seeing many reviews of the Columbia II.

We had an existing open hearth on 2 sides, it was really the best choice to fit in the more confined space.

Its a great little stove, but the key word is little - the firebox is only 2 cu.ft., so there is no overnight burn...plan on reloading every 3-4 hours if you want to burn it around the clock. We use it from bell to bell and the let the furnace take the load at night (set the thermostat to 58-60), last load usually about 10 PM.

That being said, we cut our fuel oil bill by 70%, so its more fits the bill for our situation (space, oil-fired back-up, etc.)

IMG_20200712_184931243.jpg
 

WesM

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
19
Maryland USA
We had an existing open hearth on 2 sides, it was really the best choice to fit in the more confined space.

Its a great little stove, but the key word is little - the firebox is only 2 cu.ft., so there is no overnight burn...plan on reloading every 3-4 hours if you want to burn it around the clock. We use it from bell to bell and the let the furnace take the load at night (set the thermostat to 58-60), last load usually about 10 PM.

That being said, we cut our fuel oil bill by 70%, so its more fits the bill for our situation (space, oil-fired back-up, etc.)

View attachment 285610

Very nice setup, seems like it just fit. I actually have a very efficient heatpump setup, so the stove is more supplemental heat for when it goes below 20f and the aux heat starts kicking on. I also just like the warm heat a wood stove puts off vs the cold heat the heatpump generates. Another reason I wanted the wood stove is if we have a power outage, at least we still have heat and something to cook on in a pinch.
 
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enordy

Member
Sep 21, 2009
55
Western CT
Agreed - the difference in the quality of the heat between our forced air system and the stove is night and day.
 

WesM

New Member
Nov 13, 2021
19
Maryland USA
So I'm wondering if I just goofed. It looks like the Columbia II has a HHV of 70%, does that mean it will not qualify for the federal tax credit? I guess I just assumed since it said it was EPA rated it had met the federal tax credit standard.