Opinions on freestanding stove for low turn down BTUs

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SoIN Chill

New Member
Sep 14, 2021
6
Southern IN
I am looking at direct vent propane freestanding stoves that will be used primarily for occasional ambiance, but can also assist other sources of emergency heat during lengthy power outages. The room is a 450 sq ft living room. Due to room size I have concerns about excessive heat output even when turned down to minimum BTUs. The forced air thermostat is centrally located in the home, which puts it 15ft away from the proposed stove location, but it's around a corner in a connected hallway, so stove heat will not be a direct, but it will filter that direction.

I like the looks of the Regency U39E, but the rated turn down is listed as 30k BTUs for LP, which I assume will run people out of a 450 sq ft room that is already 68 degrees due to the central forced air. Am I correct in this assessment? If I were to turn down the forced air to accommodate the stove, the back portions of the house will get cold and be slow to warm back up after turning off the freestanding, considering the thermostat location. Don't really want to relocate the thermostat due to at most occasional stove use, and the fact the thermostat is mounted in an ideal location when a freestanding is taken out of the equation.

Other stoves I have looked at are the Regency C34 and the Lopi Berkshire/Greenfield. The C34 has a rated turn down of 23k BTUs for LP. It's an improvement in that regard over the U39E, but IMHO not as attractive. The Lopi Berkshire is not a pedestal stove, but at least it's attractive, in part due to the side glass. Its turn down is is rated at 12,600 BTUs, which I assume would be much more agreeable than either of the Regency's in that regard. Surprisingly, the even larger Lopi Greenfield is rated at 7,400 turn down for LP, so it's an option.

There are a variety of smaller dimension stoves that have low turn downs, but the install location will look best with at least a medium size stove.

Thoughts on any of the above (viability, quality, etc) or alternative stoves that may meet my needs? TIA
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,975
South Puget Sound, WA
Several stoves these days have remote thermostats and can run quite low. If the room gets too hot the thermostat turns down the flame. For power outages, look at stoves that don't need power to start. Valor and Jotul make some models that either have a built-in battery backup for the ignitor or a standing pilot. One thing I like about the Lopi is a pretty realistic looking flame. The Greenfield has a full array of user and/or automatic thermostatic operations and power outage backup.
 
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SoIN Chill

New Member
Sep 14, 2021
6
Southern IN
Several stoves these days have remote thermostats and can run quite low. If the room gets too hot the thermostat turns down the flame. For power outages, look at stoves that don't need power to start. Valor and Jotul make some models that either have a built-in battery backup for the ignitor or a standing pilot.
Am I correct that when a stove lists a minimum BTU turn down, that means when turned down either manually or via a thermostat, the stove can only go as low BTU-wise as the listed rating? If that's the case, the U39E puts out considerably more heat turned all the way down than the Omni/Kerosun heaters I use for emergencies. They really crank out the heat and are rated around 24k BTUs. Well below the U39E's minimum rating.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
88,975
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, the low flame on the U39E still puts out more heat. However, it will cycle and turn off the unit if the room heat is over the setting. For a small room the Regency C34 would be a better fit, though it would need to be on a basic UPS for battery backup. Have you looked at the Hampton H15 at your Regency dealer? That is a better fit for this room size and it has built-in battery backup plus thermostatic operation.
 

SoIN Chill

New Member
Sep 14, 2021
6
Southern IN
I have not looked at the H15 yet. Coincidentally, the Regency dealer is coming tomorrow for a site inspection. I wanted to gather as much info in advance so I knew what questions to ask. Seems to be a juggling act of price, BTUs, physical stove size and eyeball appeal. Story of my life. Took me forever to decide what car I wanted to buy the last time around.;lol
 

SoIN Chill

New Member
Sep 14, 2021
6
Southern IN
Thanks. The Jotul 200 might look a little small for where it will be placed. The 300 might work, though. It turns down to 14k. If I can get under a 15k turn down I can probably live with a stove no more often than it will be used for fire viewing purposes. A Napoleon Haliburton (13k bottom end) looks like a possibility as well.
 

SoIN Chill

New Member
Sep 14, 2021
6
Southern IN
Well . . . the Regency employee/owner called shortly after the time he was supposed to arrive to say he failed to schedule my site inspection. Didn't offer a new date, simply said he would call back sometime to schedule another date. He previously said he would come out one time prior to this, but didn't call to schedule that visit. So I called their office to schedule what was supposed to today's appt. Two screw-ups on their part - they just lost a sale.

Spent the time visiting the local Jotul dealer. Had a Sebago running at the time. Turned it down and it wasn't that bad as far as excessive heat near to the stove. Owner said he had one in his approx 400sq ft bedroom and it wasn't too much stove. Getting a price together for me. The 300 Jotul is considerably smaller in dimension.

A Lopi dealer is getting me pricing on the Berkshire (12,600 min BTU). For looks it's in the lead . . . for now anyway. Can't say I know anything about Lopi quality as of yet.
 

Millbilly

Feeling the Heat
Dec 13, 2015
274
02648
I will add that I service all makes and can't speak highly enough of the regency, Hampton, fpi products. Built well. Easy serviceability. Warranty that stands behind their product. I like SIT controls. Just make sure that whoever sells you a stove actually services them. This was a big problem In this industry, before even covid hit. They don't require a ton of service by any means but at some point it will
 

49er

Member
Jan 10, 2011
76
Los Gatos, CA
The Berkshire does look very nice and was on our list when we were shopping for a stove. This could well be a non-issue but I was a little worried about the electronic controls though.

Our stove replaced a wood stove and is the primary heat source for half the house and if it were to fail my wife would not be a happy camper. For that reason we went with the basic Sebago with a standing pilot. I figured I would at least have a fighting chance in repairing it myself.

As Millbilly said, after sales service can be a real problem. If you can't trust your Regency dealer to even show up on time to sell you a stove, imagine what it would be like with a service call.
 

SoIN Chill

New Member
Sep 14, 2021
6
Southern IN
Thanks for the responses. Assuming something gets ordered, I'll tie a bow on the thread and let you know what was purchased. I say ordered because every dealer is telling me end of the year is the earliest to expect delivery of most of their stoves. If you think that's bad, I was speaking with a La-Z-Boy dealer about purchasing a sofa. If you don't like what they have in stock, custom orders are projecting delivery end of Summer or Fall 2022.
 
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