New wood stove recommendations

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KG19

New Member
May 15, 2022
52
SW Wisconsin
Hey guys,

I’m looking for advice on a new wood stove that I’m planning to buy at some point in the near future (within a year or 2). I’m trying to do some early research and get some recommendations before I reach out to some stores in my area.

So, a bit of background… we moved into a house about 3 years ago with a Wood Pro 2000 (big box store type stove). It does a decent job but isn’t great at heating the house in the coldest part of winter if we have temperatures below about 20 or so.

For a while now I’ve been interested in the Jøtul v3 f500 and the hearthstone heritage. Looking on here I’ve seen a lot of negatives brought up about the Jøtul… not sure about the hearthstone. I like the idea of either cast iron or soapstone as it should provide a slightly more consistent heat than my current steel stove with lots of quick peaks of hot and cold. I’ve also looked a bit into the Pacific Energy Alderlea.

Some details on the house - build in 1920, renovated in 2018 before we moved in. I try to use the stove for about 75% of heating currently, but would like to get closer to 100%. House is slightly over 2,000 sq ft. I’ve attached a picture of the current setup. Hearth measures 45” deep, 56” across the back brick wall to where the wood storage cubby stars (70” all the way across including the cubby). With these dimensions I’m not sure if the Jøtul even has the clearances, but I think with the back wall being brick it makes the clearances ok? If not I won’t even need to consider that one anymore.

Sorry for the really long post, just trying to be detailed in order to get good recommendations. Like I said I lean more towards a cast iron or soapstone stove. Not sure if I even want a cat stove (both Jøtul and heritage have cats) as I work from home and don’t really need the super long burn times. Any recommendations? Anything obvious I’m overlooking? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

IMG_9454.png
 
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Probably going to need a hearth extension for a larger stove. Is there an air gap between the brick and the wall? That would help reduce some rear clearance. You may be able to fit a PE Super which only requires 5” rear clearance but not sure if that’s enough stove for what you want to accomplish.
 
The Jotul F500 V3 has the third lowest particulate emission pollution rate of over 173 stoves on the EPA's website. The cat doesn't make it burn longer, just more efficiently (more heat per pound of wood). The large width (24" ) of the stove makes it great to load long pieces of wood from the side door. Plus, there's no bypass damper to operate...the Cat is always engaged. That's why it has the lowest emissions during the first 1 hour of burn, compared to similar hybrid stoves that don't engage the CAT during the first hour.

Jotul Picture at Home.jpeg
 
The Jotul F500 V3 has the third lowest particulate emission pollution rate of over 173 stoves on the EPA's website. The cat doesn't make it burn longer, just more efficiently (more heat per pound of wood). The large width (24" ) of the stove makes it great to load long pieces of wood from the side door. Plus, there's no bypass damper to operate...the Cat is always engaged. That's why it has the lowest emissions during the first 1 hour of burn, compared to similar hybrid stoves that don't engage the CAT during the first hour.

View attachment 318684
Thats a nice stove on a nice hearth setup!
That's an interesting fact about the F500v3. Although personally I would rate that low on my list of concerns for buying a wood stove.
 
Hey guys,

I’m looking for advice on a new wood stove that I’m planning to buy at some point in the near future (within a year or 2). I’m trying to do some early research and get some recommendations before I reach out to some stores in my area.

So, a bit of background… we moved into a house about 3 years ago with a Wood Pro 2000 (big box store type stove). It does a decent job but isn’t great at heating the house in the coldest part of winter if we have temperatures below about 20 or so.

For a while now I’ve been interested in the Jøtul v3 f500 and the hearthstone heritage. Looking on here I’ve seen a lot of negatives brought up about the Jøtul… not sure about the hearthstone. I like the idea of either cast iron or soapstone as it should provide a slightly more consistent heat than my current steel stove with lots of quick peaks of hot and cold. I’ve also looked a bit into the Pacific Energy Alderlea.

Some details on the house - build in 1920, renovated in 2018 before we moved in. I try to use the stove for about 75% of heating currently, but would like to get closer to 100%. House is slightly over 2,000 sq ft. I’ve attached a picture of the current setup. Hearth measures 45” deep, 56” across the back brick wall to where the wood storage cubby stars (70” all the way across including the cubby). With these dimensions I’m not sure if the Jøtul even has the clearances, but I think with the back wall being brick it makes the clearances ok? If not I won’t even need to consider that one anymore.

Sorry for the really long post, just trying to be detailed in order to get good recommendations. Like I said I lean more towards a cast iron or soapstone stove. Not sure if I even want a cat stove (both Jøtul and heritage have cats) as I work from home and don’t really need the super long burn times. Any recommendations? Anything obvious I’m overlooking? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

View attachment 317133
What's the layout of your house?
all one level is a different story than say two floors with the stove in the middle. If you have a central heating/air system installed, you could probably use the fan built in to circulate the air around to try and even things out with whatever stove you go with.
 
In Canada we grow up with wood stoves in our homes, garages, cottages, cabins, etc., in my neck of the woods we regularly get -20° to -30° and colder sometimes between December 25th and February 25th. I am in my 70's and learned 3 very valuable points over the years.
1- Depending on the area/climate you will be using your wood appliance deduct 20% to 30% from manufactures stated square footage capability. If the manufacture states 3000 sq. ft, then count on 2000 to 2200 as your base line.
2- Get as simple and minimal maintenance stove you can purchase in your area. Which is why in my case I purchased a PE Spectrum Classic nearly 25 years ago.
3- FOLLOW CODE, FOLLOW CODE, FOLLOW CODE. Get a truly certified installer, technician and chimney sweeps to service you regularly.
 
Personally I would get the Pacific Energy T6 Alderlea over the Jotul F500 V3. PE stoves are easy operate and have a reputation for great quality. PE stoves require minimum maintenance which is a big plus.
 
I'd go for whatever is most common in your area. We bought a soapstone stove a few years ago and I've had a hard time learning about it & maintaining it because it's an obscure stove. Everybody we know has a Vermont Castings. I think they're worse quality than our Hearthstone, but that's what I'd get in hindsight.
 
I'd go for whatever is most common in your area. We bought a soapstone stove a few years ago and I've had a hard time learning about it & maintaining it because it's an obscure stove. Everybody we know has a Vermont Castings. I think they're worse quality than our Hearthstone, but that's what I'd get in hindsight.
I was freaking out about our Hearthstone Mansfield after reading some of the soapstone/Hearthstone hate here, after buying. 4th year one superficial crack, house warm. If I get 15 years out of it ill be over the moon. It already paid for itself seeing as our only heat source is wood.
 
I was freaking out about our Hearthstone Mansfield after reading some of the soapstone/Hearthstone hate here, after buying. 4th year one superficial crack, house warm. If I get 15 years out of it ill be over the moon. It already paid for itself seeing as our only heat source is wood.
I had a Hearthstone Heritage and ran it for 6 years full out during winter, no issues whatsoever. It’s still in the same house and going strong is what I hear so that plus another 3 years.
 
No knock against Hearthstone or soapstone per se, but I'll go for whatever my neighbors next time (if there's ever a next time).

Our 1.7cuft Castleton puts out about 1/3 the heat of our neighbor's 1.3cuft VC. He burns wet wood. It's probably my operator error, bad wood, or bad chimney/draft. But there's no way to troubleshoot with him because the stoves are completely different.

Our chimney sweep had never seen a Hearthstone before ours, so he always has to futz with it because he's unfamiliar.

And our local dealers don't know any of the part numbers or what is "normal" behavior, so they have to ask Hearthstone everytime. Hearthstone is slow to respond to the dealers because they're a tiny company up in VT (understandable).

So if doing it all again, I'd 100% pick whatever the local dealers/sweeps/neighbors are familiar with.
 
What's the layout of your house?
all one level is a different story than say two floors with the stove in the middle. If you have a central heating/air system installed, you could probably use the fan built in to circulate the air around to try and even things out with whatever stove you go with.
The house was built in the 1920’s, two story (plus unfinished attic which we plan to finish at some point in the future and unfinished basement). The stove is on the main level, in a pretty central location though the house is not “open concept”. Main level and second story are each about 1000 square feet, and as I mentioned there’s also an unfinished basement and attic which don’t count towards the 2000 sq for living area.

After doing a bunch more reading I’m pretty convinced on the alderlea. I’m now deciding T5 or T6… I’m afraid the T6 might make the stove room way too hot but not sure if the T5 will heat the whole house adequately. I’m in Wisconsin and we get some pretty cold winters (average highs in mid-December - late February are in the teens to twenties. Occasional cold snaps of a week or so straight with below zero high temperatures).
 
The house was built in the 1920’s, two story (plus unfinished attic which we plan to finish at some point in the future and unfinished basement). The stove is on the main level, in a pretty central location though the house is not “open concept”. Main level and second story are each about 1000 square feet, and as I mentioned there’s also an unfinished basement and attic which don’t count towards the 2000 sq for living area.

After doing a bunch more reading I’m pretty convinced on the alderlea. I’m now deciding T5 or T6… I’m afraid the T6 might make the stove room way too hot but not sure if the T5 will heat the whole house adequately. I’m in Wisconsin and we get some pretty cold winters (average highs in mid-December - late February are in the teens to twenties. Occasional cold snaps of a week or so straight with below zero high temperatures).
Hows the insulation? Insulation is the most important thing in older homes. Those homes are all around me, and the difference between an insulated old home and not insulated is shocking. The uninsulated home, you could put two stoves in there and still feel drafty/cold. IMO that's more important than a stove. If it's been recently updated (late 90's onward) then someone may suggest the T6 but dialing it down or working on circulating the air more to avoid overheating the stove room.
 
The house was built in the 1920’s, two story (plus unfinished attic which we plan to finish at some point in the future and unfinished basement). The stove is on the main level, in a pretty central location though the house is not “open concept”. Main level and second story are each about 1000 square feet, and as I mentioned there’s also an unfinished basement and attic which don’t count towards the 2000 sq for living area.

IMO These stoves heat more than they are rated for. I heat 1,900 with a small Vista. Granted I’m in New England not WI and my house is well insulated. If in WI with a 1920’s house I would go with the T6. You can always use less wood on those mild days.
 
Hows the insulation? Insulation is the most important thing in older homes. Those homes are all around me, and the difference between an insulated old home and not insulated is shocking. The uninsulated home, you could put two stoves in there and still feel drafty/cold. IMO that's more important than a stove. If it's been recently updated (late 90's onward) then someone may suggest the T6 but dialing it down or working on circulating the air more to avoid overheating the stove room.
The whole house was remodeled , interior and exterior, in 2018 (two years before we bought it), so I assume they redid the insulation and it doesn’t seem to be drafty. I’ve heard that the alderlea gives off a more “gentle” heat than what my current steel stove does since it has the cast iron jacket so maybe it wouldn’t overpower the stove room? But I’ve also heard it’s better at heater adjacent rooms since it has some convective features with the jacket. So I’m kinda torn between the T5 and T6. Maybe my next step is to contact a local dealer and get quotes, and see what they recommend for the house
 
The whole house was remodeled , interior and exterior, in 2018 (two years before we bought it), so I assume they redid the insulation and it doesn’t seem to be drafty. I’ve heard that the alderlea gives off a more “gentle” heat than what my current steel stove does since it has the cast iron jacket so maybe it wouldn’t overpower the stove room? But I’ve also heard it’s better at heater adjacent rooms since it has some convective features with the jacket. So I’m kinda torn between the T5 and T6. Maybe my next step is to contact a local dealer and get quotes, and see what they recommend for the house
that sounds like a plan. Go get a dealer, and go check out the stove and talk to them. They know your area, your climate, you wood costs etc. We have alot of ranch homes here and 3 story older homes (think farm houses or as you get into the 50/60's, cookie cutter homes). None have good insulation so I see and know of many owners that use boiler heat and/or multiple wood stoves.
There is a newer home near me, they were sick of paying for gas and love wood burning. They installed in the basement and have their dual stage furnace fan running on low all the time. That seems to really help them heat the 2500 sq ft home rather well and rather evenly.
 
T6 sounds like it would be perfect for your setup. I've had my T6 for little over a year and has been fantastic. As others have said, easy, low maintenance stove that just plain works. Looks good and the cast iron that surrounds the metal box holds heat too.

If it feels too warm in the room with the stove, feed it less fuel or crack a window. I'd much rather have it that way then struggling on cold days to keep up. Stove feels too warm on not so cold days? You have options to have it not be as warm. Buy the stove a size down and not have it keep up on really cold days? Well you don't have any alternative options there besides letting the boiler run with it.
 
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Hey guys,

I’m looking for advice on a new wood stove that I’m planning to buy at some point in the near future (within a year or 2). I’m trying to do some early research and get some recommendations before I reach out to some stores in my area.

So, a bit of background… we moved into a house about 3 years ago with a Wood Pro 2000 (big box store type stove). It does a decent job but isn’t great at heating the house in the coldest part of winter if we have temperatures below about 20 or so.

For a while now I’ve been interested in the Jøtul v3 f500 and the hearthstone heritage. Looking on here I’ve seen a lot of negatives brought up about the Jøtul… not sure about the hearthstone. I like the idea of either cast iron or soapstone as it should provide a slightly more consistent heat than my current steel stove with lots of quick peaks of hot and cold. I’ve also looked a bit into the Pacific Energy Alderlea.

Some details on the house - build in 1920, renovated in 2018 before we moved in. I try to use the stove for about 75% of heating currently, but would like to get closer to 100%. House is slightly over 2,000 sq ft. I’ve attached a picture of the current setup. Hearth measures 45” deep, 56” across the back brick wall to where the wood storage cubby stars (70” all the way across including the cubby). With these dimensions I’m not sure if the Jøtul even has the clearances, but I think with the back wall being brick it makes the clearances ok? If not I won’t even need to consider that one anymore.

Sorry for the really long post, just trying to be detailed in order to get good recommendations. Like I said I lean more towards a cast iron or soapstone stove. Not sure if I even want a cat stove (both Jøtul and heritage have cats) as I work from home and don’t really need the super long burn times. Any recommendations? Anything obvious I’m overlooking? Thanks in advance for any feedback.

View attachment 317133
Bought my PE Alderlea T6 in august I have been running it about a month now. I absolutely love this stove. You can't go wrong with it.
 
Nice! What’s your square footage?
1850sqft rancher. With an open concept. The stove is centrally located in the one area with about 1000sqft of room space.
 
T6 sounds like it would be perfect for your setup. I've had my T6 for little over a year and has been fantastic. As others have said, easy, low maintenance stove that just plain works. Looks good and the cast iron that surrounds the metal box holds heat too.

If it feels too warm in the room with the stove, feed it less fuel or crack a window. I'd much rather have it that way then struggling on cold days to keep up. Stove feels too warm on not so cold days? You have options to have it not be as warm. Buy the stove a size down and not have it keep up on really cold days? Well you don't have any alternative options there besides letting the boiler run with it.
That's exactly why I bought the T6. It just works and if its to warm open the window for some fresh air, which I actually enjoy.
 
I also vote the Alderlea series of stove. We got a new T5 this year and love it, 1510 sqft colonial house.
 
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1850sqft rancher. With an open concept. The stove is centrally located in the one area with about 1000sqft of room space.
1850sq ft open concept and you got the T6? That’s definitely what I want then haha. My house is bigger and not open concept, and I live in a considerably colder climate than you in Virginia. I’ve got some free time on Friday so going in to the local dealer to see what they say.
 
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