Small vs Medium stove based on ???

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Florida Cracker

New Member
Jul 30, 2016
i am looking to purchase one of two Lopi stoves, the 1250 or the Evergreen. The 1250 is considered small and the Evergreen considered medium. I'm fine with the 1250, but the Evergreen had more features (ash pan, bypass, and better tolerances). AND, by its design, the Evergreen wall tolerances are 12" to sidewall where the Lopi ('smaller' stove) tolerances are wider (18")....which is exactly what I would have with the 1250....nothing to spare. SO, trying to see if I would have a 'too big' stove if I wanted BOTH to have extra room for side tolerance and features, I looked at the BTUs listed by Lopi. The smaller 1250 shows 67,000 BTUs and the Evergreen shows 72,000, only a 7% increase. So, is there really a major difference in output? Am I missing something? The Evergreen would have a better safety factor. The firebox in the Evergreen is taller, so you could stack more in there, but I don't need to do that nor want to do it. I live in North Fla, so extreme cold is not an issue. Nor will we burn this a lot (like some of you guys who burn 24 hours), but we do want to be comfortable when we are burning. The heater will be in a 300 ft2 sunroom with French doors to a larger area about 500+, which then adjoins to the rest of the house. So, if we turn in the central it will move some of the heat to rest of the house. Can the BTUs be the major factor when determining output?
I think BTU output are a made up maximum best number, not qualified by anyone other than the stove manufactured. I don't know those stoves, but if it's the same manufacture they sound similar. How do the cubic size of the fire box compare? There are limits, trying to run a small stove to hot all the time, where you need a bigger stove. Conversely running a huge stove with small burns can be problematic.

I think the sunroom would be a poor location for a stove. You need the stove in the house. a stove is a space heater. And pumping sunroom heat at room temperature doesn't work well. It cools before it gets there. Hot air systems pump 130 degree air, as well as circulating air back with return ducts.
Being that your in Florida I'm assuming you have less demand for heat than up north. You might be surprised if your area doesn't get too cold that a smaller stove will work nicely.

I'm not an expert. My stoves fairly small and I think the max rating is 55,000BTU (if memory serves me right ) but I can say that's only when the firebox is full and I've got a hot fire. It starts to drop off every half hour. Peaks and valleys in heating with a small wood stove.

That said I'm way up north. It's common to have weeks where the temps outside are minus 15 or colder. My little stove heats most of my small 3 bedroom house keeping it in the 70s usually
It seems that a smaller stove is more of a pita, ash needs to be emptied more, smaller loads = less coals for restarts, max burn times <5 hrs and so on. But being that your from Florida it may work for you, since temps in the 40's are the common lows, 20's down there mean historic cold up north. Why not do just (1) stove and make it the medium sized one then go from there.
Seeing that you are in Fl where the heat requirement is lower, either stove i'd think would do the job. Looking at the two stoves, the Evergreen has a bigger firebox, so longer burn times would be a benefit. But heat-wise, either should do nicely for you.
Well, I'll go out on a limb here with most of the others on this forum and just flat out say that you don't want the medium-sized stove. The Lopi 1250 will do quite nicely for you in your climate with the size area you indicated you have, unless you have a horribly insulated house. I don't know why anyone would want to consider a medium-sized stove of any brand in your kind of climate unless you literally want your house to be 80 degrees every time you have a fire.

Keep in mind that the BTU rating is the peak output, not the sustained output. You'll will get those BTUs for longer out of the medium-sized stove. But the simple reality is that you don't need those kind of BTUs for a sustained period of time in your climate anyways.
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