Spend my money! Shopping for a Stove

jaredyates

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
5
Hickory, North Carolina
Hi everyone, I'm new here and have been having a great time reading the threads and articles, and have learned so much. We have lived in 1200 square feet with a Jotul F3 for the past 10 years or so, and we've enjoyed it. The electric heat pump is our primary source, but the little stove was nice for days where we just wanted a lot of heat, and it has also been part of our plan for power outages. I find wood fires to be an important quality of life luxury. I did the installation and we cut our own wood ranging from Poplar to Oak. We live in central North Carolina and while the little Jotul will just about run us out of the small house, we'd like to have more burn time to make it through the night.

Now we're in the process of building a new house and have around 6 months to decide on a new stove. The new house is 1600 square feet total, with about half of that on the first level and half more upstairs. The living spaces are upstairs and the common spaces are downstairs. We'll have the stove on the ground level, which is mostly one open space. The stove will be a prominent feature in the small space so aesthetics will be important to the wife, and a glass door is pretty much a requirement. Our good experience with the Jotul led me to look to the Castine, thinkng that's about as small as we can go and still get an overnight burn. She likes the look of it but is not especially hard to please. We'll use it in the same way, supplemental heating in the winter, plus backup in case we lose electricity. Since the house will be new, we'll have good insulation, and an easy install. For the chimney, I'm thinking double wall to the first floor ceiling, then class A through a framed-in chase all the way up from there. I'd also place value on having a stove that's easy to operate and minimizes opportunities for operator error once it is installed right.

Having all of that, what recommendations do you have for the new house? Does the Castine sound like a good candidate?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,160
South Puget Sound, WA
The Castine may work, but so far it is not listed for future sale because it is not 2020 EPA compliant. The F500 Oslo is. There are numerous other ~2 cu ft stoves that would work in your climate zone. Look at the Hearthstone Shelburne, Hampton H300, PE Alderlea T5 for starters.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,160
South Puget Sound, WA
The Castine is a great stove and in your climate zone should handle the house ok. It doesn't have a large firebox, but with good hardwood you should see 4-6 hr burn times with coals lasting another 2 hrs. If you can't get a Castine, there are other good options.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

mark cline

Minister of Fire
Dec 20, 2012
637
Cattaraugus, NY
I’m not too familiar with the new regulations, but why not use your old Castine to see how it works out. If it’s not big enough , move up to a larger stove the following year. Just my 2 cents.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,776
Southern IN
I’m not too familiar with the new regulations, but why not use your old Castine to see how it works out. If it’s not big enough , move up to a larger stove the following year. Just my 2 cents.
He doesn't have a Castine yet, only an F3 now.
I think a radiant stove would keep the lower level a little warmer by heating objects down there. Heat will rise to the upper level, depending how open it is to the upstairs.
I'm a bit confused by the differentiation between "living areas" upstairs and "common areas" down..
With the insulation and air-sealing you'll have, and the climate, you are probably not gonna need a very big stove. Are cat stoves in the running? If so, this Keystone of ours is a sweet rig, and it's radiant. It has the ash grate, which you may already be spoiled on with the Jotul...?
 
Last edited:
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

jaredyates

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
5
Hickory, North Carolina
We're considering a location that is close to the stairs, so the heat will have a chance to make it up there too. What I was meaning to say about the floor plan is that the dining room, kitchen, and living room are on the first floor, and the bedrooms are on the upper floor. I need to read up about catalytic vs non and check back.
 

CreosoteCowboy

New Member
Jun 1, 2019
44
MN
I doubt you'll get an 8 hour burn out of the Castine. The firebox just holds a few splits.

The Oslo has a great reputation, but I also looked hard at the new 2020 Hearthstone Manchester when I bought my Castine. The enameled Manchester is a great looking stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
301
SE North Carolina
My thoughts as an F400 owner in Wilmington NC. We heat 2000 sq feet of first floor space that is not sealed well and moderately insulated in the attic. The F400 does great. Until it gets really cold. Below 25 F.
I think an F500 would need to be run as low as it could go not to roast you out most of the time, that said wood choice has lots to do with heat output and burn time. Burning poplar and pine I can get a good deep coal bed throw 3 splits on and go to bed and wake up 8 hours later with plenty of coals for a fast relight. The stove top is not hot, never above 160. I like burning for the looks and if that means lighting a fire when it’s 55F outside I’ll do it knowing a good load won’t get the House too hot. I love my F400 and think it would work well for you but you will need to hook up the outside air kit (no matter what stove you choose) given it’s new construction. You will have till sometime in March to purchase the F400 if you can even find one.
I would look at the Pacific Energy T# line. They were on my list last year. It’s not a great time to be stove shopping and if you can’t gains the perfect one waiting another year isn’t the end of the world.

Evan
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
248
Humboldt coast, California
Another aspect to consider is how high are the ceilings? Cathedral? That can make a big difference. Will the heat easily rise to the top floor and collect there? Such aspects can be as important as square footage, I've personally discovered after install.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

jaredyates

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
5
Hickory, North Carolina
Thanks for the insights, the house has flat 8-foot ceilings. There is a dealer in PA that is advertising some good prices on a 400 and also an Oslo. Not sure if it is worth the drive, but may be. After reading about the catalyst, my biggest concern is that I'm wanting to simplify operation, to eliminate possible user error. I go out of town for a few days at a time and am not always there to supervise and fix things.
 

Amigo Azul

Member
Jan 15, 2020
38
Saranac Inn
Thanks for the insights, the house has flat 8-foot ceilings. There is a dealer in PA that is advertising some good prices on a 400 and also an Oslo. Not sure if it is worth the drive, but may be. After reading about the catalyst, my biggest concern is that I'm wanting to simplify operation, to eliminate possible user error. I go out of town for a few days at a time and am not always there to supervise and fix things.
The Oslo V3 is one lever simple. There is no bypass just the primary air control in the front it is dead simple to operate. Burns for over 8 hours. There is no need to worry about the cat on the stove as it's a set it forget it stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,160
South Puget Sound, WA
I doubt you'll get an 8 hour burn out of the Castine. The firebox just holds a few splits.

The Oslo has a great reputation, but I also looked hard at the new 2020 Hearthstone Manchester when I bought my Castine. The enameled Manchester is a great looking stove.
It's possible during milder weather or in a well-insulated house when the stove is not being pushed hard. We usually had coals for a restart during shoulder season. In cold weather I was reloading the stove every 4 hrs. in order to keep a hot stovetop. I couldn't put in the Oslo due the side load door needing to be locked in a corner install.

For a well-insulated house in NC, the F400 will do the job. You might need to turn on the supplemental heat a few days of the year, but for most of the time the stove should do well.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

prezes13

Minister of Fire
Jan 12, 2014
927
Connecticut
How about woodstock stoves? Progress hybrid is gorgeous but might be too big. Fire view could work and is a great looking and proven heater. I would also look into a Blaze King stoves especially if you you consider 24/7 burning.
 

jaredyates

New Member
Jan 31, 2020
5
Hickory, North Carolina
I was able to stop into a showroom today and see a 400 next to a 500, and talk to the folks there. Here's some of what I learned from them. The new EPA standards call for lower emission rates, and while the 400 is not compliant, versions of the 500 other than the V3 are also not compliant. The 500 that they had on the floor was the older non-catalytic version. He showed me a video that the Jotul folks put out where they talk about adding the combustor to the V3, and how the combustor has a 20 year warranty/expected life. The video also talked about how it also doesn't require any bypass during starting, which meets our needs for easy operation and also reduces the smoke during the start which is a nice bonus. Oddly, there seems to be no price difference currently between the 500 V2 and V3. His price for a new 500 V3 in matte black was $3009 which seems about right. The V2 enamel one in the picture was "on sale" for 3239. He said that there is a discount of $875 on the 400, but said that a price of $2600 was after the discount. I think he was mistaken about that, since it seems like $2600 is closer to full MSRP on the 400. But if we can get a 400 for $1500, that's quite a bit less than $3000 for a 500, v3 or otherwise.

So one big question is whether we capitalize on the up-front savings and get a non-compliant stove like the discounted 400, or whether we spring for something like the 500 v3 to get better efficiency and more value over the long term, by burning less wood. And putting out less emissions is nice too. Just looking at published burn time numbers, whatever they are worth, our current F3 is 7 hours, the 400 is 8 hours, the old Oslo is 9, and the V3 is 12. If these are a proxy for efficiency, that's a big difference between the new and old Oslo. There's also the possibility that the 500 is too big for the space. So I guess I shouldn't be asking if the 400 is big enough, but rather is the 500 too big?

The Model 45 V2 is an option if we want compliant emissions but smaller size. That and the 602 v2 are the only other stoves currently compliant and offered by Jotul. I wonder if they will expand that line in the coming years or what.
 

Attachments

Amigo Azul

Member
Jan 15, 2020
38
Saranac Inn
I was able to stop into a showroom today and see a 400 next to a 500, and talk to the folks there. Here's some of what I learned from them. The new EPA standards call for lower emission rates, and while the 400 is not compliant, versions of the 500 other than the V3 are also not compliant. The 500 that they had on the floor was the older non-catalytic version. He showed me a video that the Jotul folks put out where they talk about adding the combustor to the V3, and how the combustor has a 20 year warranty/expected life. The video also talked about how it also doesn't require any bypass during starting, which meets our needs for easy operation and also reduces the smoke during the start which is a nice bonus. Oddly, there seems to be no price difference currently between the 500 V2 and V3. His price for a new 500 V3 in matte black was $3009 which seems about right. The V2 enamel one in the picture was "on sale" for 3239. He said that there is a discount of $875 on the 400, but said that a price of $2600 was after the discount. I think he was mistaken about that, since it seems like $2600 is closer to full MSRP on the 400. But if we can get a 400 for $1500, that's quite a bit less than $3000 for a 500, v3 or otherwise.

So one big question is whether we capitalize on the up-front savings and get a non-compliant stove like the discounted 400, or whether we spring for something like the 500 v3 to get better efficiency and more value over the long term, by burning less wood. And putting out less emissions is nice too. Just looking at published burn time numbers, whatever they are worth, our current F3 is 7 hours, the 400 is 8 hours, the old Oslo is 9, and the V3 is 12. If these are a proxy for efficiency, that's a big difference between the new and old Oslo. There's also the possibility that the 500 is too big for the space. So I guess I shouldn't be asking if the 400 is big enough, but rather is the 500 too big?

The Model 45 V2 is an option if we want compliant emissions but smaller size. That and the 602 v2 are the only other stoves currently compliant and offered by Jotul. I wonder if they will expand that line in the coming years or what.
I can say I really like the Oslo V3. I've had it a week this past Wednesday and its a great stove. It lights easy and has really good burns times of ~9 to 10 hours on 16" long splits. I can see if I had 20 to 22" long splits that time would increase as you can have more fuel in the stove with the longer length.

Cut out a piece of card board to the dimensions of both stoves to check the foot print to where your installing it.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,160
South Puget Sound, WA
I went from an F3CB to the F400 and I can tell you they are not closely comparable for burn time, heat output or firebox capacity. The F3CB is a willing little pony, but the F400 will easily outheat it and burn much longer.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

EbS-P

Feeling the Heat
Jan 19, 2019
301
SE North Carolina
I don’t think the efficiency difference of pre 2020 and 2020 compliant stove will really be noticed by the individual user. I don’t know what the difference tween the 500 v2 and v3 but let’s assume the v3 is 5% more efficient and you burn 2 cords a year at 250$ per cord. That’s a 25$ a year efficiency savings over 20 years works out to be 500$. My guess this is about the same efficiency gain if you burned 18% versus 20% moisture content wood. The enamel is purely athletic and the first good chip it get you will hate and stare at it for a month then get over it. My thoughts are there is nor replacement for the F400 so it’s not seeing that great a discount.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,776
Southern IN
I need to read up about catalytic vs non and check back.
The cat will have more maintenance, and might have more gaskets depending which stove you get (bypass, ash door etc.) The non-cat may require more "load management," with smaller loads when you don't need as much heat.
I bet the Woodstock Keystone would handle that place. You can load full, yet burn low if not much heat is needed. You get grated ash-handling but I think you get that with the Jotuls as well. Despite being a cat, the Ks is very easy to run. I've found that with my SIL's new non-cat you have to cut the air at the right time and in the right amount in order to get a slightly lower burn. It doesn't have the output range of a cat stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: jaredyates

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,160
South Puget Sound, WA
I've found that with my SIL's new non-cat you have to cut the air at the right time and in the right amount in order to get a slightly lower burn.
Still learning grasshopper. Temps were milder so I ran the stove at 550º today.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,776
Southern IN
Still learning grasshopper. Temps were milder so I ran the stove at 550º today.
Yeah, that's lower than the 650 I get on a low burn. But to be fair, I've not hopped over much grass yet..she's been running the stove, not me. ==c
It's also possible that your bigger box will distribute the heat more and have a lower temp than the smaller Spectrum box is capable of...remains to be seen.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,160
South Puget Sound, WA
Nah, our nextdoor neighbor has the Spectrum. He has it dialed in nicely too.
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
11,776
Southern IN
Nah, our nextdoor neighbor has the Spectrum. He has it dialed in nicely too.
Have you seen 550 over there, burning clean? I don't doubt that I'll be able to do that, paying attention to what wood I load where in the box..just askin'. I guess he burns Doug Fir as well..?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,160
South Puget Sound, WA
Have you seen 550 over there, burning clean? I don't doubt that I'll be able to do that, paying attention to what wood I load where in the box..just askin'. I guess he burns Doug Fir as well..?
Yes