Recommendation for wood-burning insert for large home with high ceilings and wall of windows

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Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
We have a timber frame home that is approx 3,000 sq ft on the main level. When we built the home, we purchased a Hearthstone Heritage wood stove that sits on the hearth in front of the fireplace opening. I've never liked the look of it and would have preferred an insert but 20 years ago when we built, it didn't seem like we had many options. The room the fireplace sits in has a 24' ceiling and a tall wall of windows opposite the FP. The wood stove size is 55,000 BTU's and says it heats up to 1,900 sq ft. If I sit more than 5' away from it I don't feel much heat. We have ceiling fans pushing the air down but doesn't seem to help.

We would like to purchase a wood-burning insert but really haven't come across much that we feel would do a better job when looking at the specs. We are considering the Regency Hi500, Vermont Castings Montpelier II, and the Osburn 3500. I've been told not to go by BTU's but I just don't understand how I can make comparisons between the inserts then. Regency lists at maximum BTU-78,000, Vermont- 56,000 ( which is what our wood stove is currently) and the Osburn which states 110, 000 BTU's.

Can anyone shed some light on how we should approach the above and if there are other wood burning inserts out there that would provide more heat for our situation? We just don't want to drop another $4,000 if the heating results will not improve. We use all seasoned hardwood. We have 3 local showrooms and none have really provided us with the professional input we are looking for.

Thanks!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,506
South Puget Sound, WA
Ignore the maximum ratings unless the intent is to stoke the stove like a fireman every hour. Look at 3 cu ft inserts like the PE Summit, Osburn 3500. The Regency CI2700 (Hampton HI500) are 2.6 cu ft and the next size down.

Even then, you may be disappointed if there are other factors. A 24ft high ceiling triples the room volume. Add a wall of windows and it could be a serious heating challenge on cold winter days. In this case, the wood stove would only be able to provide supplemental heat. If wood is plentiful and there is a strong desire for heating then a wood-fired furnace or boiler system may be a better solution.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,914
Long Island NY
Also, you note that you use seasoned wood. Can you elaborate? What do you do and how do you *know* it is seasoned?
Burning wood that is too wet is known to result in a much lower heat output (after all, boiling off water takes a lot of energy).

Not doubting you, but it's good to have all input parameters known when one tries to solve a problem.
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
Also, you note that you use seasoned wood. Can you elaborate? What do you do and how do you *know* it is seasoned?
Burning wood that is too wet is known to result in a much lower heat output (after all, boiling off water takes a lot of energy).

Not doubting you, but it's good to have all input parameters known when one tries to solve a problem.
We cut our own wood and use primarily oak and cherry. We cover the top of the piles and let it sit for 2 years before we bring it in. Would you consider that seasoned? Sometimes I think we may be putting in logs that are too big. I was reading it's better to go with smaller logs.
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,840
Iowa
Welcome to Hearth @Scokithom .
Can you post a few pics of your current setup? Sounds nice!
Are you running a insulated stainless liner in a masonry chimney?
Are you using a block off plate?
As mentioned above can you describe your wood seasoning process?
Betting a large insert/stove will do measurably better if equipped with a integral fan/blower. You have a large space. Any unit will produce better in that situation from additional air movement.
My opinion.
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
Ignore the maximum ratings unless the intent is to stoke the stove like a fireman every hour. Look at 3 cu ft inserts like the PE Summit, Osburn 3500. The Regency CI2700 (Hampton HI500) are 2.6 cu ft and the next size down.

Even then, you may be disappointed if there are other factors. A 24ft high ceiling triples the room volume. Add a wall of windows and it could be a serious heating challenge on cold winter days. In this case, the wood stove would only be able to provide supplemental heat. If wood is plentiful and there is a strong desire for heating then a wood-fired furnace or boiler system may be a better solution.
Ignore the maximum ratings unless the intent is to stoke the stove like a fireman every hour. Look at 3 cu ft inserts like the PE Summit, Osburn 3500. The Regency CI2700 (Hampton HI500) are 2.6 cu ft and the next size down.

Even then, you may be disappointed if there are other factors. A 24ft high ceiling triples the room volume. Add a wall of windows and it could be a serious heating challenge on cold winter days. In this case, the wood stove would only be able to provide supplemental heat. If wood is plentiful and there is a strong desire for heating then a wood-fired furnace or boiler system may be a better solution.
At this point, supplemental is what we are looking for. Our house has 2 furnaces with heat pumps. When the temp goes under 30 degrees we are using propane which is hopefully where the wood burner would help control that cost. I looked at the PE Summit but the glass front is really small. Someone also had mentioned the blower on the Osburn 3500 does not sit on anything and can be really loud. Wish I had more options.
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
Welcome to Hearth @Scokithom .
Can you post a few pics of your current setup? Sounds nice!
Are you running a insulated stainless liner in a masonry chimney?
Are you using a block off plate?
As mentioned above can you describe your wood seasoning process?
Betting a large insert/stove will do measurably better if equipped with a integral fan/blower. You have a large space. Any unit will produce better in that situation from additional air movement.
My opinion.
Hopefully the pics I posted will give you a better idea. There is currently a 6" pipe that runs from the Hearthstone Heritage Woodstove that sits on the hearth. I am not sure if there is a block off plate. I'm really curious about this because I keep coming across this in articles. When I look up under, all I can see is insulation stuffed at top of the fireplace opening around the pipe. Our current wood stove has a blower. We can get the overall temp up a few degrees with this stove but it takes a lot of effort to keep it constant. I realize that 8' ceilings and fewer large windows would help but we love our room and views. The timber frame allows for a very open concept. Really appreciate your help!

IMG_9688.jpeg IMG_9689.jpeg IMG_9690.jpeg IMG_9691.jpeg
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,914
Long Island NY
Wow. Nice place! Looks fantastic!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,506
South Puget Sound, WA
It's a gorgeous home and setting. Visually the Heritage looks nice there and the fireplace is stunning, but the stove is seriously undersized for the job. The Mansfield would have done better, but even a 3 cu ft stove is going to have a workout when temps get low.

What is the primary heat for the home?

In retrospect, it would have been better if they built in a modern, 4 cu ft high efficiency zero clearance fireplace into the stonework.. That would have put out more heat and with a heat distribution system, made a notable difference.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,082
central pa
Hopefully the pics I posted will give you a better idea. There is currently a 6" pipe that runs from the Hearthstone Heritage Woodstove that sits on the hearth. I am not sure if there is a block off plate. I'm really curious about this because I keep coming across this in articles. When I look up under, all I can see is insulation stuffed at top of the fireplace opening around the pipe. Our current wood stove has a blower. We can get the overall temp up a few degrees with this stove but it takes a lot of effort to keep it constant. I realize that 8' ceilings and fewer large windows would help but we love our room and views. The timber frame allows for a very open concept. Really appreciate your help!

View attachment 281976 View attachment 281977 View attachment 281978 View attachment 281979
It absolutely is beautiful. But it is going to eat up BTUs like crazy. Can you tell us a bit about how you run your current stove?
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
It absolutely is beautiful. But it is going to eat up BTUs like crazy. Can you tell us a bit about how you run your current stove?
We continually stoke the stove all day, there is a fan on the stove and we also have 2 ceiling fans in the high ceiling that we reverse to push the heat down the walls. The only issue is at night when we don't get up to stoke it and then have to start all over in the morning which is a pain.
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
It's a gorgeous home and setting. Visually the Heritage looks nice there and the fireplace is stunning, but the stove is seriously undersized for the job. The Mansfield would have done better, but even a 3 cu ft stove is going to have a workout when temps get low.

What is the primary heat for the home?

In retrospect, it would have been better if they built in a modern, 4 cu ft high efficiency zero clearance fireplace into the stonework.. That would have put out more heat and with a heat distribution system, made a notable difference.
Initially, I wanted a wood burning fireplace. Realized pretty soon that it sucked the heat out of the house. This was 20 years ago-timbers actually went up on 9/11! Anyhow, we didn't do our research like we should have. It would have been nice if the stove rep would have given us some better options. Hindsight now.

Our primary heat is forced air-propane. We're just looking for the best supplemental heat possible. I just don't know if it's going to be much better than the Hearthstone heritage freestanding we have now. Thanks for your insight!
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,082
central pa
We continually stoke the stove all day, there is a fan on the stove and we also have 2 ceiling fans in the high ceiling that we reverse to push the heat down the walls. The only issue is at night when we don't get up to stoke it and then have to start all over in the morning which is a pain.
That may be part of the problem. Stoves like these work best and produce the most heat by loading it full. Get it up to an appropriate temp then shut the air back. That is when you get good secondary combustion going which increases firebox temp and reduces exhaust temp.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,506
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, hindsight is 20 20 vision as they say. It really is a great looking setup, so you will need to work with what you have. An extra cubic foot of capacity will help and so will the blower on the insert. If there is an additional 3000 sq ft basement and wood is plentiful, then a big stove downstairs or a wood furnace tapped into the propane system ductwork would help.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,506
South Puget Sound, WA
That may be part of the problem. Stoves like these work best and produce the most heat by loading it full. Get it up to an appropriate temp then shut the air back. That is when you get good secondary combustion going which increases firebox temp and reduces exhaust temp.
Good point! Still, based on Highbeam's experience and years of flue and stove data, it seems like the Heritage sends a lot of heat up the flue even when running properly. It's a good looker, but not all that efficient.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,082
central pa
Good point! Still, based on Highbeam's experience and years of flue and stove data, it seems like the Heritage sends a lot of heat up the flue even when running properly. It's a good looker, but not all that efficient.
I agree I don't think it's the best choice for this application. But it may be able to work much better. And any stove run incorrectly isn't going to yield great results
 

RockyMtnGriz

Burning Hunk
Apr 19, 2019
123
SW Montana
Beautiful home! Living in a home with high vaulted ceilings myself, I look at that and say, "ooof, that's going to be tough to heat!" You've pretty much the same height and volume situation I have, except I have a upper floor I live on, and a lower floor I normally don't even try to heat beyond 45, and I have 3 wood burners in my place. I typically only use the wood furnace, but there's days I use all 3.

Your lounging space is equivalent to being on the floor of a medium sized gym, and gyms need BIG heaters. Worse, it looks like half of it is on the opposite side of the masonry from the stove - so you can't even make up for the cool air by getting a lot of radiant heat on that side.

You're in need of a bigger stove, or some other solution, and I'm not qualified to comment on that, but I would definitely encourage you to consider the moisture of your wood unless you're absolutely sure about it. You should feel some real radiant heat coming off of that stove, even if you can't heat all of that air. Depending on the weather, shading, and whatnot of your site, wood seasoned two years may well not be dry, especially if it started as green oak. If you're not certain, use a moisture meter, or at least use my pretty reliable field method of splitting a piece, then bending the little slivers and splinters away from the piece. If they bend and want to stay attached instead of being very brittle and snapping cleanly off, it's probably too wet. A little bit of moisture really makes a huge difference in delivered heat.

You mention feeding too large of pieces of wood, and that also makes me think about moisture, because it's really difficult to get the center of a large log dry. I generally consider anything over 5" in diameter to be very suspect, and my wood and weather is probably far more suited to drying than yours.

I would also encourage you to think as much about your chimney flue as you do about your woodstove as you make this change. There's so many things that can be wrong about a masonry flue, and they may even be the cause or a contributing factor to your current problem. Unless you have an insulated liner in your chimney that is the same size as the pipe on the stove you're using or going to be using, you should be doing some very serious investigating there. There's a ton of stuff on flues and liners on this site you should at least browse through if this situation might apply to you.
 
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armanidog

Feeling the Heat
Jan 8, 2017
356
Northeast Georgia
It looks like you have a ceiling fan, you may want to install some more. Otherwise the upper loft will be hot and the room will be cool.
How much do you spend on propane?
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
That may be part of the problem. Stoves like these work best and produce the most heat by loading it full. Get it up to an appropriate temp then shut the air back. That is when you get good secondary combustion going which increases firebox temp and reduces exhaust temp.
Thanks! I will try this method.
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
Beautiful home! Living in a home with high vaulted ceilings myself, I look at that and say, "ooof, that's going to be tough to heat!" You've pretty much the same height and volume situation I have, except I have a upper floor I live on, and a lower floor I normally don't even try to heat beyond 45, and I have 3 wood burners in my place. I typically only use the wood furnace, but there's days I use all 3.

Your lounging space is equivalent to being on the floor of a medium sized gym, and gyms need BIG heaters. Worse, it looks like half of it is on the opposite side of the masonry from the stove - so you can't even make up for the cool air by getting a lot of radiant heat on that side.

You're in need of a bigger stove, or some other solution, and I'm not qualified to comment on that, but I would definitely encourage you to consider the moisture of your wood unless you're absolutely sure about it. You should feel some real radiant heat coming off of that stove, even if you can't heat all of that air. Depending on the weather, shading, and whatnot of your site, wood seasoned two years may well not be dry, especially if it started as green oak. If you're not certain, use a moisture meter, or at least use my pretty reliable field method of splitting a piece, then bending the little slivers and splinters away from the piece. If they bend and want to stay attached instead of being very brittle and snapping cleanly off, it's probably too wet. A little bit of moisture really makes a huge difference in delivered heat.

You mention feeding too large of pieces of wood, and that also makes me think about moisture, because it's really difficult to get the center of a large log dry. I generally consider anything over 5" in diameter to be very suspect, and my wood and weather is probably far more suited to drying than yours.

I would also encourage you to think as much about your chimney flue as you do about your woodstove as you make this change. There's so many things that can be wrong about a masonry flue, and they may even be the cause or a contributing factor to your current problem. Unless you have an insulated liner in your chimney that is the same size as the pipe on the stove you're using or going to be using, you should be doing some very serious investigating there. There's a ton of stuff on flues and liners on this site you should at least browse through if this situation might apply to you.
A lot of good advice for me to consider. I have my work cut off. Thanks so much for responding!
 
Last edited:

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
It looks like you have a ceiling fan, you may want to install some more. Otherwise the upper loft will be hot and the room will be cool.
How much do you spend on propane?
It looks like you have a ceiling fan, you may want to install some more. Otherwise the upper loft will be hot and the room will be cool.
How much do you spend on propane?
Depending on how cold we get in Ohio, we may do 1,000 to 1,200 gallons. Last winter wasn't so bad.
 

Scokithom

New Member
Sep 13, 2021
11
Dover, OH
Beautiful home! Living in a home with high vaulted ceilings myself, I look at that and say, "ooof, that's going to be tough to heat!" You've pretty much the same height and volume situation I have, except I have a upper floor I live on, and a lower floor I normally don't even try to heat beyond 45, and I have 3 wood burners in my place. I typically only use the wood furnace, but there's days I use all 3.

Your lounging space is equivalent to being on the floor of a medium sized gym, and gyms need BIG heaters. Worse, it looks like half of it is on the opposite side of the masonry from the stove - so you can't even make up for the cool air by getting a lot of radiant heat on that side.

You're in need of a bigger stove, or some other solution, and I'm not qualified to comment on that, but I would definitely encourage you to consider the moisture of your wood unless you're absolutely sure about it. You should feel some real radiant heat coming off of that stove, even if you can't heat all of that air. Depending on the weather, shading, and whatnot of your site, wood seasoned two years may well not be dry, especially if it started as green oak. If you're not certain, use a moisture meter, or at least use my pretty reliable field method of splitting a piece, then bending the little slivers and splinters away from the piece. If they bend and want to stay attached instead of being very brittle and snapping cleanly off, it's probably too wet. A little bit of moisture really makes a huge difference in delivered heat.

You mention feeding too large of pieces of wood, and that also makes me think about moisture, because it's really difficult to get the center of a large log dry. I generally consider anything over 5" in diameter to be very suspect, and my wood and weather is probably far more suited to drying than yours.

I would also encourage you to think as much about your chimney flue as you do about your woodstove as you make this change. There's so many things that can be wrong about a masonry flue, and they may even be the cause or a contributing factor to your current problem. Unless you have an insulated liner in your chimney that is the same size as the pipe on the stove you're using or going to be using, you should be doing some very serious investigating there. There's a ton of stuff on flues and liners on this site you should at least browse through if this situation might apply to you.
I really appreciate your advice. I have an installer coming soon and I should be able to ask some important questions now after reading everything in this thread. Thanks!
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,840
Iowa
Wow. Impressive domicile ;) You have been advised nicely. @RockyMtnGriz has offered solid advice.

Maybe a few pics of the exterior would be appropriate. For our entertainment.
 

mightytitan9

New Member
Sep 18, 2021
29
Mound City KS
Beautiful place! Sadly that unit is vastly undersized for the space, and from the looks of it the setup was more for cosmetics than actual heat production. Even the largest firebox insert would have trouble in that space, there's just too many places for the heat to escape to. You would likely see some results from a bigger unit and more ceiling fans. However, I honestly don't know if it would be enough to go through the trouble.
 

BrickWork

New Member
Oct 11, 2021
2
Jefferson, Wisconsin
Install a freestanding BlazeKing King 40. Biggest woodbox on the market with some of the best efficiency rating. A free standing stove will throw heat so much better than an insert anyway.