New stove: Should I intentionally undersize?

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Mar 11, 2019
southwest Minnesota
Shopping for a new stove and about to place an order for an Englander when I noticed that heat output on low is about 11K BTUs. Normally that's a good thing, like with my first stove, a US Stove 6041 in an 1887 house that ran at the mid and often highest settings most of the time. But for the last 12 years I've been running an American Energy Systems Magnum 3500 in an 1800 square foot earth sheltered home in Minnesota, and when I zone off the parts of the house I'm not using I'm only heating 600 square feet. So in the shoulder season like now the stove runs half the day, I start it and run it in 3 of the 5 feed settings then cut it back to 1 when the temp is up to 68F and shut it down when the temp reaches 70. Even in the cold of January when I have to run the stove all day it's usually on 1 and occasionally gets bumped up to 2. This works with the old AES Magnum 3500 because it'll throttle down to about 5K BTUs, but a lot of the newer stoves will only throttle down to 10K or more BTUs, and even though they theoretically automaticly shut down and relight themselves such cycling several times a day isn't good for the stove or fuel usage. Seems like most of the newer stoves will only throttle down to about half their peak output, so would it make sense for me to get a smaller new stove with lower peak BTUs to get a low feed output under 10K BTUs so it can run steady without continual startups and shutdowns?


Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
SE North Carolina
Reasoning is sound. I think a programable thermostat car really reduce the cycling. I think a clean burn is important too. Feed rate adjustments can help dial in the burn at what ever setting you run on most.