Regency F3500 or solution 2.3 wood stove

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Life_outdoors

New Member
Sep 12, 2020
9
Canada
Im looking to educated myself abit more on these wood stoves.
I’m currently heating with a outdoor wood boiler (wood doctor) it’s approximately 14 years old and very inefficient.
I’m looking to instal the regency F3500 or the solution 2.3 stove in my basement as my primary heat. My house is approximately 2000 square feet and fairly air tight.
We don’t have access to maple or oak or any hard wood really. White birch is essentially the best I can get. I currently have over 20 cords of dry birch (20 percent moisture or less) . Keep in mind I reside in northern Ontario where -25 degrees Celsius is day to day for our long winters

all that to say, does anyone burn with a regency 3500? From what I’ve read, they’re great stoves but ppl seem to be skeptical of the cat converters.

thanks!
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,854
Iowa
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like I would be looking at large 3 cu. ft. or larger models for your home size, location, duration of cold weather, basement install and wood type.
Are your basement walls insulated/finished? If not you will find that a large portion of the heat made will be gifted back to mother nature directly through the foundation.
Is there a open stairwell between the main floor and basement located centrally for heat transfer?
What type of vent system do you have in mind? Basement installs are somewhat known for potential reverse draft issues. Straight up and out is generally considered the most effective.
I am not well versed on either of the models you are considering. A quick glance at the Regency looked interesting. I believe one of members may have some insight on this model @bholler.
There are many other stove makes and models to research before pulling the trigger. Take a little time to hear from some of our members.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, in non-cat it looks like the larger Enerzone Solution 3.5 would be a better match or the equivalent Drolet HT3000, Osburn 3500.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
Yeah for heating 2000 sq ft from the basement I would go big. What size chimney fo you have?
 

Life_outdoors

New Member
Sep 12, 2020
9
Canada
Welcome to the forum. Sounds like I would be looking at large 3 cu. ft. or larger models for your home size, location, duration of cold weather, basement install and wood type.
Are your basement walls insulated/finished? If not you will find that a large portion of the heat made will be gifted back to mother nature directly through the foundation.
Is there a open stairwell between the main floor and basement located centrally for heat transfer?
What type of vent system do you have in mind? Basement installs are somewhat known for potential reverse draft issues. Straight up and out is generally considered the most effective.
I am not well versed on either of the models you are considering. A quick glance at the Regency looked interesting. I believe one of members may have some insight on this model @bholler.
There are many other stove makes and models to research before pulling the trigger. Take a little time to hear from some of our members.

Thanks for the reply!
yes my basement walls are all insulated. It’s a walk out style basement. I do have a stairwell that will be close to the potential wood stove location. I plan on essentially opening up grill vents from the basement ceiling going up to the main floor. Chimney pipe would go straight up and out
 

Life_outdoors

New Member
Sep 12, 2020
9
Canada
Yes, in non-cat it looks like the larger Enerzone Solution 3.5 would be a better match or the equivalent Drolet HT3000, Osburn 3500.

interesting. are there reasons why non-cat stoves are better? Seems like the cat stoves have longer burn times. And my wife and I would be away from home Monday - Friday for 10 hours a day to the least. I can’t see to find any arguments as to what’s better in terms of a cat or non cat stoves.
Thanks for the reply!!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,668
South Puget Sound, WA
interesting. are there reasons why non-cat stoves are better? Seems like the cat stoves have longer burn times. And my wife and I would be away from home Monday - Friday for 10 hours a day to the least. I can’t see to find any arguments as to what’s better in terms of a cat or non cat stoves.
Thanks for the reply!!
This is not about cat v non-cat. It's about fuel capacity and heat output. The stoves listed in the title are not the same size.
There are many threads here debating non-cat vs cat. It's an annual discussion. There are advantages to each. Search on cat vs non-cat in titles only in this forum for many threads.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,124
07462
You may want to explore the idea of cold air returns vs warm air vents.
The idea is to cut in vents (code complaint) 16"x16" and frame the inside of the vent to the rafter so that a box more or less drops 18" below the floor, this helps guide the denser cold air down below the ceiling were the warm air from the stove will be pooling, naturally the cold air will create a void in the upstairs and the warm air being lighter in nature will fill in the spot the cold air left. Its a semi newer concept with the box idea.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,124
07462
interesting. are there reasons why non-cat stoves are better? Seems like the cat stoves have longer burn times. And my wife and I would be away from home Monday - Friday for 10 hours a day to the least. I can’t see to find any arguments as to what’s better in terms of a cat or non cat stoves.
Thanks for the reply!!
I agree with @begreen, but generally you want to look at the btu output per hour for your case, since the climate is much harsher then mine in NJ, If I was in your shoes I would want a minimum 48k or higher output per hour, now you cant really trust the numbers here, but some will give you a ball park idea.
The regency stoves seem to be pretty good from what I hear, some now use a hybrid tech of both re-burn tubes and a cat (more so for cleaner burning then actual output)
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,226
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
I'm heating 2100 sqft over three levels with a walkout basement, my house is relatively airtight and fairly well insulated as it was built to the 2014 building code. The basement walls are also insulated and my stove is in the basement. I also live in a similar climate as you do and have the same wood available, my stove lived on mostly pine and poplar with a little spruce last winter.

Here is what I've learned over the last year with mine:

A 2.4 cuft firebox is too small to heat my entire house at temps below -25, the stove has to be burnt hard and requires re-loading every 3-4 hours. It's also too small to provide enough heat over the 11 hrs when we are gone to work to keep the furnace from running at anything colder than -15.
After reading the reviews on here of the Cat stoves in particular the BlazeKings I wish I would have looked harder at those. I actually set out to buy a BlazeKing, but that dealer was closed the day and we bought our Osburn instead. I'm happy with our non-cat Osburn, but we traded a little less maintenance and better aesthetics at the cost of shorter burn times and lower efficiency. It works well for supplemental heat, and I figure about 75% of my total heat last winter came from the stove.


As others have already stated I think you need a stove of at least 3 cuft. The Regency F3500 puts you in that range, the Solution 2.3 is too small, it's actually the same firebox I have in my stove.

To add more options I'd also look at:
Pacific Energy Summit
Osburn 3500
Blaze King (Any of the 2.9 cuft firebox models)
Solution 3.3
Solution 3.5

If you'd consider going to 8" chimney, but these may be a little on the large side for warmer days:
Regency F5200
BlazeKing King
 
Last edited:

Life_outdoors

New Member
Sep 12, 2020
9
Canada
I'm heating 2100 sqft over three levels with a walkout basement, my house is relatively airtight and fairly well insulated as it was built to the 2014 building code. The basement walls are also insulated and my stove is in the basement. I also live in a similar climate as you do and have the same wood available, my stove lived on mostly pine and poplar with a little spruce last winter.

Here is what I've learned over the last year with mine:

A 2.4 cuft firebox is too small to heat my entire house at temps below -25, the stove has to be burnt hard and requires re-loading every 3-4 hours. It's also too small to provide enough heat over the 11 hrs when we are gone to work to keep the furnace from running at anything colder than -15.
After reading the reviews on here of the Cat stoves in particular the BlazeKings I wish I would have looked harder at those. I actually set out to buy a BlazeKing, but that dealer was closed the day and we bought our Osburn instead. I'm happy with our non-cat Osburn, but we traded a little less maintenance and better aesthetics at the cost of shorter burn times and lower efficiency. It works well for supplemental heat, and I figure about 75% of my total heat last winter came from the stove.


As others have already stated I think you need a stove of at least 3 cuft. The Regency F3500 puts you in that range, the Solution 2.3 is too small, it's actually the same firebox I have in my stove.

To add more options I'd also look at:
Pacific Energy Summit
Osburn 3500
Blaze King (Any of the 2.9 cuft firebox models)
Solution 3.3
Solution 3.5

If you'd consider going to 8" chimney, but these may be a little on the large side for warmer days:
Regency F5200
BlazeKing King

awesome. Thanks a lot for the feed back. My 2000 sqft includes my walkout basement. House only has 2 levels. I was asking for the regency F5200 and my dealer keeps telling me it would be way too big. But seems like it’s a “better safe than sorry” aspect when it comes to primary heat.
 

Life_outdoors

New Member
Sep 12, 2020
9
Canada
You may want to explore the idea of cold air returns vs warm air vents.
The idea is to cut in vents (code complaint) 16"x16" and frame the inside of the vent to the rafter so that a box more or less drops 18" below the floor, this helps guide the denser cold air down below the ceiling were the warm air from the stove will be pooling, naturally the cold air will create a void in the upstairs and the warm air being lighter in nature will fill in the spot the cold air left. Its a semi newer concept with the box idea.

great idea! Thanks
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
awesome. Thanks a lot for the feed back. My 2000 sqft includes my walkout basement. House only has 2 levels. I was asking for the regency F5200 and my dealer keeps telling me it would be way too big. But seems like it’s a “better safe than sorry” aspect when it comes to primary heat.
Yeah both the 5200 and the bk king have pretty low turndown do I don't think they would be to much. But with a fully insulated basement I don't think you would really need to go that big. Stoves in the 3 cu ft range should do fine. So the 3500 should be ok
 

RSNovi

Feeling the Heat
May 12, 2010
418
Michigan
I tried the basement with my wood stove. I didn't think it worked too well. My basement was well insulated.

Just not that much heat could make it up the stairwell. I attempted fans and everything, but not much success.

In my new house I have the wood stove in the living room and it is so much better.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
I really prefer heating from the basement. Especially for those of us who use our basements as living space there isn't much choice if we want to heat our living space with wood
 

Life_outdoors

New Member
Sep 12, 2020
9
Canada
I really prefer heating from the basement. Especially for those of us who use our basements as living space there isn't much choice if we want to heat our living space with wood

yeah I agree. Our basement has bedrooms as well as living space. Any tips on how to spread the stove heat in the upstairs living area?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,205
central pa
yeah I agree. Our basement has bedrooms as well as living space. Any tips on how to spread the stove heat in the upstairs living area?
When I moved my stairs I left them wide open and that works well for us. But if your stairs are more closed in you need to establish a natural convective loop. You can do this with a combination of the stairs and a passive vent or two. Just be aware fire dampers are required by code most of the time even in passive vents.