New wood stove install

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Given the astronomical $7800 quote from the one place, and still not having an estimate from the very first place that came out, I decided to go to the local Amish dealer who is also a professional installer.

Very glad I did.

Osburn 3500 (not the smaller 3300 I was talked into) installed is $5780.10. He has everything in stock and is booked a month out.

He ALSO happens to be a Blaze King dealer, and has a Blaze King Princess in stock as well, but would add $700 to the total.

IIRC, Blaze King has quite a good reputation, but then again, so does Osburn.

Osburn 3500 vs Blaze King Princess? That $700 could go toward fixing my leaking barn roof which was going to be next year's project, but it may be worth investing in the stove if there's a good enough reason to.

I've been here quite some time off and on and have learned a plethora of information from you all, so I highly value your opinions on this. :)

Can you share the name of the dealer? I’m looking for a princess!
Can you share the name of the dealer? I’m looking for a princess!

They're in Northern Michigan, not sure if that'll be help to you
You might be able to lose the gate around the stove sooner than you think. I don’t have kids but have dogs. They seem to know that being too close to the stove is a not fun. The kids will almost undoubtedly have the same understanding.
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Hey guys,

I used to be an active member of hearth many years ago, house was fired by an old dinosaur basement wood furnace. A few years ago we had to get rid of it (liner was cracked in numerous spots) and it simply wasn't worth keeping around anymore.

We've been a few years without wood heat and with propane rates skyrocketing, I intend to install a new wood stove on the main level in the living room, along with new chimney. Unfortunately, our existing 30' masonry chimney is clay lined and external, and would cost too much to line and is impossible to retrofit for a wood stove. (Wood stove would be in the bathroom lol)

House is 2 floors, living room and one bedroom downstairs, 2 bedrooms upstairs, 1700 sqft, wood stove would be in the living room. Northern Michigan winters, home is moderately insulated. Chimney would go through the wall and have a 4 foot horizontal run before going up and out, 10-15 feet. I'll likely be using dual wall insulated chimney pipe I have on hand provided I can and it still meets code requirements unless there's a really good reason to go to uninsulated triple wall. Its Duravent, Class A, meets all qualifications on paper, but galvanized outside though which I found surprising with stainless internal. Duravent still makes it though in galvanized, but I'm wondering if the insurance company will have a cow. Going through floors of the house and roof is not an option.

I'm trying to stay as budget friendly as I can while also getting a decent unit. I had initially intended on getting a Drolet, but unfortunately both big box dealers here that sell them have gone from "Out of Stock" to "Unavailable". Unfortunately I can't afford an Osburn, Jotul, or Vermont Castings. I suppose if I had to, I could order a Drolet online, something like the HT-3000) looks good.

That unfortunately leaves me with only a few "budget friendly" choices locally. The Englander NC-32(?) Seen here:

Or the larger yet Vogelzang VG3200.

Unfortunately neither of these are 75% efficient (70 and 71) , so I don't think I'd be able to get the tax credit for either.

I know the old Englander NC-20 used to get high reviews here with the older pre-2020 models, but not sure about the 2020+ models, and if this particular model is the newer NC-20 I remember learning about.

Vogelzang used to years ago have some quality issues in the past, but this particular stove has great reviews online. It is probably more than I need, but I'd rather oversize than undersize with the cold winters we have.

Alternatively, I could potentially order a Drolet HT-3000 online as there seems to be plenty of places offering free shipping and it looks like it might qualify for the tax credit, but that's a huge online purchase, and it's 525lbs, which means I may need to install another floor support in the basement.

What are your thoughts on which route to take? Thanks!
Vogelzang Bad. Go with the Drolet. best bang for the buck I've seen
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Vogelzang Bad. Go with the Drolet. best bang for the buck I've seen

Went with the Osburn 3500. Essentially the Drolet HT-3000.

I am quite impressed so far, but haven't played with it in the prolonged cold yet to make sure it can keep up with heating the house. I assume at claiming 3000 sqft it will, but we'll have to see.
Up to 3,000 sq ft. Heating 3,000 sq ft in MI is quite different than heating the same area in Georgia.
Up to 3,000 sq ft. Heating 3,000 sq ft in MI is quite different than heating the same area in Georgia.

My house is only 1700-1800sqft, so if it can't heat that in northern MI, I'm gonna be pretty bummed. That's a big investment to not do what I need it to do. After running it a few times, I'm glad I didn't go with the 3300 which the one company insisted would be "better" for me. I have no problem having a room being 92 and cracking the windows and pushing the heat to the rest of the house with fans if I'm able, so there's no such thing as too big, only too small. ;lol
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If the wood is good and dry, it should work out well. The HT3000 is a solid, big heater. Take advantage of the cooler weather to get familiar with burning techniques.
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Got about 25-30 fires or so in it so far (mornings and evenings generally) and I'm pretty impressed overall. It's got a few minor nuances, but overall I'm extremely impressed with it so far. I may consider doubling up on the firebrick in shoulder season to simply make my firebox smaller. Compared to my old unit, the firebox is tiny, but I do feel like the firebox in this thing is BIG. To take the chill out of the air in the morning is easily 6-7 pieces of wood.. I load N/S, and can easily lay 5-6 four-five inch diameter rounds along the bottom.

I also see why people recommend using splits more in the EPA units. My manual recommends it too. It gives more surface area for flames to lick and spread to when starting, etc. Rounds burn good, but occasionally I'll see one fully charcoaled still round not really doing much of anything anymore until I hit it with the poker and break it up into coals. Probably 2/3 of what I have are small diameter rounds unfortunately right now, but I think I'll be okay even with my lack of splits. I've made up for it by making smaller splits on my kindling cracker to go between them.

Right now running shoulder season on a mix of 50/50 pine and ash (or oak) I'm getting about 5-6 hour burn times running at about 50% air. I normally don't choke it down past 50% until after the first cycle of wood and I've got a good bed of coals established. Everything I'm using is 20% or less MC, but none of my piles are covered except the one on my deck that holds half a face. I've got a wood rack right next to the stove that's always full to make sure the stove is drying whatever surface moisture it may contain on it's next load.

Blower kicks on as intended, works well. Accidently gotten the main room to 81 when it was 30 out, so that's promising, and I actually had to choke the fire out because it was rocking and rolling a little too much for comfort. Lol. We've been using a combination of a box fan and ceiling fan to move the air around the house. When it was 81 in the main room, the coldest room in the house was 75. Not bad.

Surprisingly enough, I don't get much of a bed of coals left in the morning, and everything is ash. It burns clean, and I've not gotten a single piece of charcoal over the size of my fist at the end of a burn. This may change as I'm doing larger "right before bed" night loads, and start getting more into my hardwoods.

I've cleaned the fire glass for the first time this morning, and noticed I get some "soot wispies" occasionally that hang down from the top of the door area is (there's an air/smoke bypass there I believe?) and my friend who runs his Pleasant Hearth said these are common.

The fresh air intake likes an ash pan at 50% capacity or less.

Everything pretty much checks out and I like it quite a bit. I probably could have gotten away with a 3300 after all, but not a huge deal.

The only thing left to do is to install the flue thermometer through the insulated flue so I can better monitor my temps. That's probably something on the agenda this week to do.
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