On fence BK or Regency or something else? in new to us house

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jdouglas70

New Member
Oct 21, 2021
2
MN
We are getting a new to us house and would like a wood stove to greatly offset propane costs to heat. The house plans are attached. Ranch house built in 2016 and ALL finished propane forced air heat . We need help on wood stove in lower level. We really like to put in NW corner of lower level family room. There is a chase there above the window for a case insert up stairs living room.
1. We want an efficient wood stove but want one that kicks out a lot of heat as well. Long burn times are great but when it is -10 - -30F in MN we really are not thinking about burn time all that much and we have a month where it may see only 0-15F. I read a lot of great things about BK burn times, but I need to know how it throttles up when outside temps below 10F what stove temps are produced in these long burn times? What are these running at 1/2 throttle Normal use or how well are they on the coldest of days of days? Do they kick out a lot of heat if needed? We need a stove for HEAT and may have high as well as low demand. I know nothing on Regency but see a lot of good things on them as well and they offer big boxes as well.
2. Right now considering the BK King 40 or Princess as well as looking at the Regency R3500 or R5200 can anyone tell me what the difference of heat output on these stoves and efficiency in normal 1/2 air will these stoves be a good fit for house which ones will work well?
Any suggestions? What stove right for our house?
Here are plans of house an rear photo of house. because afraid may have to go right outside with pipe. Rearthumbnail.png
 

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,003
Long Island NY
Long burn times are at lower outputs. For a princess, the longest times are near 12000 BTU per hour, if I recall correctly.

That helps in shoulder seasons. Not.much flame though in that mode.

The King has a higher output - you can compare on the BK site.

I am not familiar with how they compare with the regency. I think the regency can put out more per hour, but others will be able to give better feedback on that.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,003
Long Island NY
The 5200 does seem to be able to put out more heat per hour than the King (but comparing data from mfgs is fraught with issues about how testing was done).

Bottom line is that the king can eat 80 lbs of wood, and the regency 90 lbs (at some BTU per pound). Then the question is how fast one can burn that up to get a comparison of the max BTU output (efficiencies, I e. BTUs lost up the chimney will be similar enough to be neglected here).
 

BKVP

Minister of Fire
Coincidence? I was just asked by the Fire Time Magazine to write an article on an important topic...mine might be about Btu's and burn times. I have posted here several times, as some will recall, you cannot compare brochure or website Btu's between brands or models unless they were tested to the same method.

From 1984 until 2015, manufacturers tested with dimensional lumber, called crib testing. Those pieces were separated with nailed on little cleats to provide air passages between each piece. The goal in 1984 was to have a method (called OM7) that removed as many variables as possible so that YOU THE CONSUMER could have what would be more like an apples to apples comparison. I must admit, seldom is it acknowledged that within crib testing there was a variable often overlooked, that being piece size. The firebox volume (FBV) would determine the amount of fuel inserted for each test but also the size of those pieces. So in very large stoves, the load could be all 4 x 4 pieces. In a smaller stove, it could be all 2 x 4's. Medium sized stoves used a mix. So all the surface areas were inconsistent and that too added to the complexity of the method....and being able to compare one stove to another. In a crib fuel test, the test is deemed over when 100% of the fuel load is burned. If you have a stove engineered to compensate for the unmetered nature of cordwood, you can get extended burn times, at all burn rates. If you divide the number of Btu input by the duration of the test run, you get the Btu's per hour. A longer burn therefore projects a lower Btu output for any given test run. Again, this is in lab where we test on dilution tunnels.

Then in 2012, during promulgation of EPA's NSPS, along comes the State of Washington DEQ and they would like to know the emissions for a stove burning Douglas Fir. The New England states couldn't give a rats hind end about emissions test results using Douglas Fir, so they wanted stoves tested with hard wood species, such as oak. Now folks we are adding greater variability so that regulators can tell how a stove more likely than crib testing, burns in the real world. So yes, we are settling in on specific gravity charts and it looks like a variety of maple will become the fuel of choice because some species of maple are available across the continent. The cord wood testing done thus far is know as ASTM3053, which was granted as an Alternative Test Method (ATM) by EPA in 2015. Manufacturers are able to request permission from EPA to test their heaters using this ATM. Initially, EPA made slight modifications to the ATM between manufacturer requests. They have subsequently adhered to most recent ATM and manufacturers test to that. This method permits the test run to be considered over then 80% of the fuel load is consumed. So even if two wood heaters were both loaded with the same amount of fuel, one using cribs and the other using cord wood, you get higher Btu's to report for each test run because the denominator is smaller in the calculation. So 80 lbs x 6,500Btu's/lb = 520,000 Btu's. If you burn 10 hours on high burn rate, you are generating 52,000/lb. However if another stove burns the same 520,000 Btu's in 15 hours, you wind up only 34,667 Btu's/lb.

OK so now that you see how you cannot possibly compare test results and as I have posted many, many times, you have to speak or communicate with actual stove owners. That is the best part of this website and these forums. Do some folks sell a particular brand and therefore stand to benefit, yes. I am clearly one of those persons. But I am not here to sell. I am here to add clarity to subject such as this. So are the dozens of other contributors on these forums.

From 1984 until March 2015, the wood stove industry was judged on bifurcated standards. One for one technology and another for another technology. These bifurcated standards were predicated upon some very old data and once EPA was brought up to date and a sense of clarity prevailed, all wood heaters were and are approved based upon the same standards.

The Federal Reference Method (FRM) EPA is working on with industry is getting closer every day. The 2020 Wood Stove Users Survey that was posted to this site and many other sites, mailing etc., yielded valuable data. That data is going to play a role in the FRM development. This folks is real world.

To the OP, buy whichever stove you like the most. Looks, price, size, consumer input because at the end of the day, all these stoves that are 2020 approved are very, very clean burning and very, very efficient.

BKVP

PS. We don't event test in naturally aspirated chimney systems, like a home. We use dilution tunnels....which would look horrible in your living room.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,003
Long Island NY
So 80 lbs x 6,500Btu's/lb = 520,000 Btu's. If you burn 10 hours on high burn rate, you are generating 52,000/lb. However if another stove burns the same 520,000 Btu's in 15 hours, you wind up only 34,667 Btu's/lb.
I believe that is what my last remark entailed (and that this should be 34,667 Btu's/hr).
PS. We don't event test in naturally aspirated chimney systems, like a home. We use dilution tunnels....which would look horrible in your living room.
Yeah, I hate the diluted stuff (it's 5 o'clock somewhere) ;)
 

jdouglas70

New Member
Oct 21, 2021
2
MN
Hello all thanks for the input. For a moment lets take a deeper dive into BK stoves. Given the house plans an intended use, climate, and cost which BK stove would suffice?
I imagine house is well insulated built in 2016, upper level has cathedral ceilings in the living room and kitchen and vaulted in the master.
-BK King cost more and the 8" pipe will be a cost adder as well
-BK Princess cost less and the 6" pipe will cost less as well
Are there other BK stoves we should consider as well?
which stove would you go with?

I am leaning toward the King, but if the cost is a big factor may lean toward the Princess. Not sure the Princess is enough stove. WE are still waiting on estimates.
Thoughts?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,003
Long Island NY
I can't help on the King vs the rest- though once you go 8", you won't be able to replace the stove with most other stoves without replacing the flue. While a properly set up King should not be needing replacement anytime soon, it's something to keep in mind. Most stoves run on a 6" flue. Make sure your flue is/exceeds minimum requirements. It'll make you much happier.

There are other BK stoves but the difference between the princess and other "30 boxes" is not large. I'd not go for a smaller 20 firebox; gives shorter burn times. The larger the firebox, the longer your burn (for a certain heat setting on the Tstat). While the Princess has slightly better efficiency, you won't notice that in reality. Hence I'd look at (if not the King, I'll let others comment) the princess, the Ashford, the Sirocco, and the Chinook - and choose which one appeals best to [the other half].

FYI, I have a Chinook 30.2.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,415
South Puget Sound, WA
It's a big house and MN gets very cold. Go large.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,415
South Puget Sound, WA
I can't help on the King vs the rest- though once you go 8", you won't be able to replace the stove with most other stoves without replacing the flue.
I'm not following, can you clarify? Many 6" flue outlet stoves will work on an 8" flue, especially if it's straight up.
 

planner steve

Burning Hunk
Dec 24, 2014
102
Northern Idaho
I can't speak to the stoves, but I doubt that the choice is going to make as much difference to your comfort as other decisions you don't mention.
Are you going to try to use your forced air distribution system to distribute the heat from the wood stove? Would be nice if you want to direct the heat to where you want it. We personally like cold bedroom, hot bathroom for example.

How are you going to get combustion air to this woodstove? Assume you are using outside air? I'd want the elevation of the outside air inlet to be the same as air inlet to the stove.

How well is this house insulated? If it has been built fairly recently, you may be surprised at how little heat it takes to keep it warm. What is the BTU rating of your propane furnace? Generally those are grossly oversized but it is something to look at.

How are you going to get wood to this stove? Would be cool to have a firewood pass-through door right close to the stove with an external storage for several days worth of wood that you would ocassionally refill.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
3,003
Long Island NY
It was my understanding that many 6" flue outlet stoves don't perform well on 8" ones (expanding gases, lower temps, draft reduction).
Now "many/most" - are not absolute statements. But, does one limit the choice of replacement once one goes 8", my answer to that would be "yes", given the current market.
 

ToastyRanch

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
57
Coastal Massachusetts
I can't speak to the stoves, but I doubt that the choice is going to make as much difference to your comfort as other decisions you don't mention.
Are you going to try to use your forced air distribution system to distribute the heat from the wood stove? Would be nice if you want to direct the heat to where you want it. We personally like cold bedroom, hot bathroom for example.

How are you going to get combustion air to this woodstove? Assume you are using outside air? I'd want the elevation of the outside air inlet to be the same as air inlet to the stove.

How well is this house insulated? If it has been built fairly recently, you may be surprised at how little heat it takes to keep it warm. What is the BTU rating of your propane furnace? Generally those are grossly oversized but it is something to look at.

How are you going to get wood to this stove? Would be cool to have a firewood pass-through door right close to the stove with an external storage for several days worth of wood that you would ocassionally refill.
Seconding @planner steve about the insulation. As a datapoint for you, our large townhouse 1880 sq ft (neighbors on both side walls to keep warm) built in 2003 used 3 times as much gas as my mom’s 2100 sq ft single family house built in 2018: which has spray foam walls and a ginormous thick blanket of attic insulation. So even if you’re used to heating buildings with construction somewhat on the newer side, you might not be anticipating just how much things have improved with insulation in the last 15-20 years.
 

Nealm66

Minister of Fire
Sep 25, 2020
1,133
Western Washington
Another thing to consider is reloading schedule. The princess is perfect for 12-15 or 24. I’m not sure about the king and it probably depends on wood type but hopefully others will say. I know the princess is perfect for my work schedule but it would be sweet to have the bigger king but might be an awkward reload
 

webfish

Hearth.com LLC
Staff member
Oct 18, 2013
1,639
Minnesota
For comparison sake. I'm in 1800 sqft main level. Live in MN. I have Quadrafire Explorer 3. I hardly ever do full loads anymore. Only really cold nights. Have geothermal but only really use that for the basement also about 1800 sq feet. Not a catalytic and won't get burn times of Bk but I never really need those long burn times. Usually keep the main living area around 75 degrees. I work from home so I just add a log when needed. If we leave for day not a big deal as it heats up fast. Big firebox too.
 

ToastyRanch

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
57
Coastal Massachusetts
For comparison sake. I'm in 1800 sqft main level. Live in MN. I have Quadrafire Explorer 3. I hardly ever do full loads anymore. Only really cold nights. Have geothermal but only really use that for the basement also about 1800 sq feet. Not a catalytic and won't get burn times of Bk but I never really need those long burn times. Usually keep the main living area around 75 degrees. I work from home so I just add a log when needed. If we leave for day not a big deal as it heats up fast. Big firebox too.
@webfish this is somewhat off topic for this thread but it’s surprising to me that you’re not getting more benefits from the geothermal. Can you say a bit more about it? I always thought the slow response to outside fluctuations was the downside, but that it was pretty good at making a lot of heat once it got going.
 

webfish

Hearth.com LLC
Staff member
Oct 18, 2013
1,639
Minnesota
@webfish this is somewhat off topic for this thread but it’s surprising to me that you’re not getting more benefits from the geothermal. Can you say a bit more about it? I always thought the slow response to outside fluctuations was the downside, but that it was pretty good at making a lot of heat once it got going.
It can keep up unless is below zero . Mine is vertical loop . Also it takes much longer to warm up. Not quick like natural gas. I have a dual system that is wirsbo in floor in the basement . Which is great and warm floors are awesome.
The forced air portion is where it doesn’t keep up as well . It does much better at air conditioning and pulls the heat into my hot water heater.
The change to standing wood stove was dramatic. Better , warmer heat . I think most wood burners agree it’s just a different heat. Can get up to temp faster. Also quieter than hearing the geo on and fan.
I still like my geothermal as I don’t have access to natural gas and don’t want propane. The heat portion I don’t seeing going back from the wood stove. It does kick in some mornings when my stove was not fully loaded.