need help selecting a new wood stove

K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
The wife and I had always wanted to have a wood burner in our home and when we moved 2.5 years ago we got our wish! The house we bought had an OLD 1983 Hearthstone HII soapstone stove. We loved it, and do love how the soapstone holds the heat and releases it for hours to come.

That said its old and has many parts on it that have deteriorated internally and would be too expensive to bring to a newer condition. It got us through 2 winters in northern indiana but it burned wood quickly. House was built in 1983. Its partial brick/aluminum siding. house built on a slab. about 1700 sq. ft. typical ranch style. the stove had no problem keeping the whole house warm thanks to using ceiling fans on low and a couple of fans at ground level to keep the air in the house moving around and pushing it toward the stove. i believe the attic and walls are adequately insulated.

we have an all brick hearth that sets the hearth at a diagonal in the room--so most of the chimney is inside the house and comes up through the roof.

we are on a bit of a budget and need to keep the stove cost to around 1000 dollars. i have spent alot of time on this forum since i started using my burner a couple years ago and have learned a lot. so i am hoping for some of your wisdom now in this selection! the goal is to be able to burn wood for as much of the day as possible as theres usually always people home. currently burned it from about 4pm to midnight each day in the winter on about 3 cords of wood per year. i am hoping a new stove will allow me to burn for longer though which the same amount of wood! the hearthstone H2 takes up a lot of the hearth floor space and what we call the fireplace room is smaller than the living room on the other side of the wall. the good thing is the entry between the two rooms is nearest to the wood stove so air flows quickly out of there and into the living room and then down the hall to the bedrooms. the stove is centrally located in the house with the kitchen, laundry room and dining room all on the opposite side from the bedrooms. i hope this is enough information to get the ball rolling.

i have a feeling local dealers might be priced too high so i might be forced to lowes, menards or home depot etc. brands and dont know what brands will be total crap vs decent.
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,271
South Puget Sound, WA
Take a look at the Drolet HT2000 and the Englander 30-NC. They're good stoves that will heat well and won't break the budget.
 

Jan Pijpelink

Minister of Fire
Jan 2, 2015
1,646
South Jersey
We have 2 stoves we are happy with, but if we need a replacement, I will look into the stoves @begreen mentioned, for sure.
 
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K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
was kind of interested in the drolet before asking, but was unsure if it would be too much stove for my house or not. i like the damper controls being on top than on the bottom due to the child surround gate i have to keep up. the hearthstone was rated at like 44k btu....and all these other stoves are rated much higher. i try to remind myself that my hearthstone ran full force until the wood was burned up due to a bad secondary pipe and with no ability to truly dampen down the flame i should be okay with these newer stoves that put me more in control.

i see lowes carries the drolet for 1550--but i cant get it for 1400 and HD carries the englander for 1000........any idea what makes the drolet worth the extra cost?
 

K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
well if i were to choose based on reviews and post on here id definitely go with the drolet. i like that the door sits higher and overall features seem to be a bit better. i think it looks nicer too. actually my wife flat out said no to the 30-nc because it was too ugly in her eyes!! hahaha

that said im too concerned that it wont fit on my hearth properly and just overall stick out too far and too close to the bookshelf.

I am strongly considering the summers heat 50-SHSSW01 --- i guess it is also known as the englander madison---this is the smaller one. once i knew summers heat wasnt just some big box off brand and actually an englander i looked into it more. seems like this is kind of the mid-size box between the englander 13 and 30?

i think i have read most of the threads on here about it now hahaha. i can get it for 810. regular price 899. i wish it were to go on sale before i purchase it but i dont expect it to. we have asked the lowes delivery guys if theyre able to deliver it right to the hearth and they said they can....so that certainly helps as itd just be me. sounds like a lot of places just drop the crate at the end of the driveway and its up to you from there!

any reason to not pull the trigger on this stove?
 

BIGChrisNH

Feeling the Heat
Dec 16, 2015
381
New Hampshire
I have an englander 30 and am very happy with it. They make a good product, and the price is right.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,271
South Puget Sound, WA
well if i were to choose based on reviews and post on here id definitely go with the drolet. i like that the door sits higher and overall features seem to be a bit better. i think it looks nicer too. actually my wife flat out said no to the 30-nc because it was too ugly in her eyes!! hahaha

that said im too concerned that it wont fit on my hearth properly and just overall stick out too far and too close to the bookshelf.

I am strongly considering the summers heat 50-SHSSW01 --- i guess it is also known as the englander madison---this is the smaller one. once i knew summers heat wasnt just some big box off brand and actually an englander i looked into it more. seems like this is kind of the mid-size box between the englander 13 and 30?

i think i have read most of the threads on here about it now hahaha. i can get it for 810. regular price 899. i wish it were to go on sale before i purchase it but i dont expect it to. we have asked the lowes delivery guys if theyre able to deliver it right to the hearth and they said they can....so that certainly helps as itd just be me. sounds like a lot of places just drop the crate at the end of the driveway and its up to you from there!

any reason to not pull the trigger on this stove?
The larger 50 SSW02 has had issues but the reports for the Madison are good.
 
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lsucet

Minister of Fire
May 14, 2015
1,573
San Ysidro, New Mexico
well if i were to choose based on reviews and post on here id definitely go with the drolet. i like that the door sits higher and overall features seem to be a bit better. i think it looks nicer too. actually my wife flat out said no to the 30-nc because it was too ugly in her eyes!! hahaha

that said im too concerned that it wont fit on my hearth properly and just overall stick out too far and too close to the bookshelf.

I am strongly considering the summers heat 50-SHSSW01 --- i guess it is also known as the englander madison---this is the smaller one. once i knew summers heat wasnt just some big box off brand and actually an englander i looked into it more. seems like this is kind of the mid-size box between the englander 13 and 30?

i think i have read most of the threads on here about it now hahaha. i can get it for 810. regular price 899. i wish it were to go on sale before i purchase it but i dont expect it to. we have asked the lowes delivery guys if theyre able to deliver it right to the hearth and they said they can....so that certainly helps as itd just be me. sounds like a lot of places just drop the crate at the end of the driveway and its up to you from there!

any reason to not pull the trigger on this stove?
I had a Madison on hearth years ago, I do like it a lot. I still have it and planning to possibly install it in the new barn I am building.
Check AMFM energy website AND CHECK INTO THE FACTORY SECOND AND REFURBISH tab. Good prices there, check it out.
 
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K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
interesting site. looked over it a bit. 675+75 shipping. wish i could see what sort of dings the stove has. i can get the lowes guys to remove my old stove and take it with them.....kind of makes a convergence of benefits--one being employee discount-- with sticking with my local lowes. thank you for the advice. will keep it in mind if anything starts falling through once i actually go to purchase the stove.

cant wait to get a new stove.....though i have spent the past two winters learning how the soapstone stove likes to play ball! haha.

have a huge trailer of wood coming to me saturday to split and stack. you know you have wood burning in your veins when THAT excites you! hahahaha. so far the arsenal includes the fiskars iso core 8lb maul -- awesome tool. and a sun joe hydraulic log splitter---thing actually works really well on logs no wider than 8-10 inches. cost me some physical labor but it works!
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
4,712
Northern NH
The standard warning applies.You may pick a great stove but if you are just getting wood, you will be all set for two years from nowif you can wait that long but this winter will be a very frustrating experience. Plan on having your chimney cleaned several times and difficult operation this winter as you will be burning green wood. If you look around on this site some folks are having great success with a kiln type arrangement to dry the wood faster. Definitely split your wood into small pieces and try to find a source of really dry wood. Compressed sawdust bricks can be a way of getting past this winter.
 
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K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
ive got about a cord and a half to start the winter with fully seasoned. the guy im getting wood from claims to guarantee to only sell wood under 20% moisture and brings a meter with him. the logs have been cut just not split. so im hoping hes not just testing the outside--but rather testing on a fresh cut. situation like this ill cut a bit thinner to dry out quicker if need be. so far in the couple winters ive burned wood ive only gotten one truck load from a guy that wasnt ready to be burned. im trying to finally make this year the year i get two years ahead on my firewood. i just created another big spot to stack firewood. if its not ready to be burned so be it. you cant force wood to burn that doesnt want to....been there done that...hahaha.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,271
South Puget Sound, WA
Don't hope. End grain and outside surface is not an accurate measure. The fact that the wood was unsplit is a red flag unless it was from standing dead trees. The only way to accurately test is to have an ax or maul on hand. Visit the wood seller and before the wood is purchased or unloaded, re-split a couple of the larger pieces and then test with the probes pushed very firmly into the freshly exposed face of the wood.
 

K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
your advice is spot on. the other day i was explaining to my son just how to test wood for moisture %. hes young but already very interested in these kinds of things. so we split some pieces and tested the inside vs outside and i explained why it all matters. ive done a lot of reading on here and elsewhere. i have a lot of respect for my wood stove and chimney. im just behind this year on my wood. a lot of very big yard projects this year....garden keeps me busy all summer too and my wife is pregnant hahaha. yeeeeah. all part of the lifestyle i want though. anyway....im kind of at the mercy of others. dont have a truck and theres only so many people that seem to want to deliver wood where im at. either way the wood will either be for this year or to build year 2 supply. but i get what youre saying. was kind of a let down when he said the wood wasnt split.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,271
South Puget Sound, WA
I hear you and have been there. Keep calling around before it starts getting chilly. Do a google search on seasoned firewood for your area. Most will be tree companies. Just remembered that seasoned can mean 1 week or 1 month to some. Ask when it was split.
 

K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
a huge downside for me is apparently indiana has a law against transporting firewood across county lines because of the emerald ash tree borer. called a bunch of companies and they were all too scared to "break the law". so i rely on random people around me and that pretty much changes yearly. i really doubt transporting wood a few miles down the road is really going to stop the emerald ash bug but oh well. have a few ash trees on property. one being pretty good size and its riddled with small holes from the dumb bug.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,271
South Puget Sound, WA
Ash dries fairly quickly. If you can get some standing dead ash that would be a safer bet. So sorry this noble tree is under attack.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,033
Philadelphia
We are under the same quarantine, which is why most large scale commercial firewood sellers seem to kiln their wood. It’s not to dry the wood, but to kill the pests, and make it legal for highway travel. I get all of my wood free locally, so I honestly know very little about this, other than what I’ve seen posted here and on YouTube while researching firewood processors.
 
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Tennessee.Pilgrim

New Member
Jul 23, 2019
14
Woodlawn, TN
Not sure if you pulled the trigger on a stove yet, but here is my recent experience.
Once I decided on a stove I started calling dealers within a 3 hour drive to see if they had one on hand. I ended finding a dealer in Memphis that had a few stoves that do not meet the 2020 EPA standards. He made me an offer that I couldn’t refuse. I ended up with a much better stove than I could have ever afforded. I actually got it for about 1/2 price.
So my advice is to call around and see what deals you might be able to get from some local dealers or distributors.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,033
Philadelphia
Once I decided on a stove I started calling dealers within a 3 hour drive to see if they had one on hand.
I did the same, and while the dealer from whom I bought still had to order the stoves from BK, I saved about $1100 over the first dealer that quoted me. I fact, price varied by more than $1200 between three local dealers, and I was actually more pleased to do business with the cheaper dealer (more professional), so it was a win-win.
 

K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
good advice and i think you have pushed me back to checking out some dealers id otherwise think were out of my price range. and no i havent pulled the trigger yet. wife is due anytime and she doesnt want to purchase one until shes on leave. would be nice to actually see and touch some stoves before we just purchase one online from lowes.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
79,271
South Puget Sound, WA
Understand that this heating season we will be in a transition period working up toward the May 2020 EPA deadline. Some shops will be pushing old stock at a good price, but after inventory is gone they may not have every new model in stock. Some stove lines are ahead of others for 2020 testing and 2020 models. Some will not be continued and unfortunately, some good companies may drop out of wood stove production.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,033
Philadelphia
Ditto. Call around, but you’re already past rock-bottom in the stove dealer’s year, things start getting real busy for them, right about now.
 

K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
haha not what i want to hear. definitely not how i want to go about any of this...just been one of those years. id contemplate squeezing one more year out of my stove if it werent for the ash pan door pin breaking off. theres a retro kit (cost like 400 bucks) for the entire pan/door because apparently they designed the doors so poorly that pins were known to eventually break off. amazing my stove lasted so long!! i think i read it on here that within a couple years they stopped making the ash pans/doors by this design. honestly i can see why....its very hard to get my ash door closed. if theres anything blocking the pan from sliding all the way in--this pretty much includes the air you breathe---its impossible to get the latch over the pin.

on a side note....i added to my wood splitting tools. i have a sun joe manual hydraulic splitter that honestly works great...just not so much for big stuff or for taking out a lot of wood at one time. went over to HD based on reviews and picked up a homelite electric splitter. been splitting some pretty large stuff all week with it and it hasnt skipped a beat.
 

K-Mac

New Member
Aug 8, 2019
56
Decatur, IN
pulled the trigger on the summers heat/englander madison. a huge bonus...went into the stores as opposed to buying online and it was 100 cheaper in their store system than it was online! got it down to 719 from 898. wasnt expecting that. through all my reading on here, especially, i started heavily thinking about my chimney -- clay tile lined masonry thats in perfect condition. got to looking at my book for the hearthstone HII and the manuals of the modern stoves and came to realize if i am to do this right i need to have a liner put down the chimney to bring it down to 6 inch round. i speculate my tile is somewhere around 8x12 -- i dont do heights haha. called a few chimney service companies...one wouldnt even do it unless we bought a stove from them too! incredible. we did settle on a company we felt comfortable with and they will come out once the stove arrives and give estimate/do the work. so we are in business!

we did attempt to go to a fireplace/stove store. outside of the box stores and chimney companies that were dealers of higher priced stoves this was about the only store we could find in our area. ended up talking to the owner and it was a big turn off. he claimed 30 years experience.....but he either was a novice on the products themselves--just a good seller or had checked out long ago--which is what i suspect. he said he was semi-retired but would wander over from his house when things got busy. big house....a bunch of different shops -- fireplace, stoves, spas in big renovated old barns. but the things coming out of his mouth were just wrong. i educated my wife when we left and credited alot to this forum. he said things like any chimney will do so long as its in good condition, that a masonry wall was combustible like any other material and id need a double wall pipe because of it....i said well my pipe goes right through that wall and he stammered around. he said no matter the stove or set up id need 24 inches between the stove and anything else. who knows maybe his lifelong choice was gas stoves or something ......he just clearly had no clue about the technicals and only wanted to sell us a 3600 dollar hearthstone heritage because he listened long enough to know i was replacing an old hearthstone heritage. BEAUTIFUL stove...would love to have it...but couldnt spend that much. i ended up pulling out a manual to one of his stoves and just started pointing to all the inaccurate information as per the manual! sorry...cant buy a stove from a company who doesnt seem to be experts in what theyre selling. wouldnt doubt it that the chimney guys he employs to do the installs might be total experts at what they do.......terrible though that the face and owner of the company easily tanks sales....who knows maybe that was his sales tactic....tell the customer their chimney wont produce a good draft without being relined first and you might lose the sale do to the added cost!

so hopefully by the first part of october i have a new installed stove and im doing my first break in fire!