Stove Replacement

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Chris1927

Member
Feb 15, 2016
96
Massachusetts
I am going to be replacing my Woodstock Absolute Steel. I am considering a Drolet Austral iii, but I have a few things I’m considering and would like some help.

First, from what I can see, the Drolet stoves have a 5 inch direct air intake port. My house is currently set up with a 4 inch direct air intake. I would like to avoid drilling thru my hearth and making a bigger hole. I’m not completely convinced that I need direct air. I have an HRV system. When I’ve run my Absolute with vs. without direct air, or when I’ve cracked a window, I can’t tell that the stove runs differently. But then again, in the back of my mind, I think of the time long ago when my old Vermont Castings Defiant suddenly “blew up”, don’t remember if I had the HRV running or not at the time.

Anyway. I’m guessing the answer is no, but can I use a 5 inch to 4 inch reducer with the Drolet to fit my current direct air intake setup? I’m assuming the stove wouldn’t get the proper amount of air?

Secondly, I’m thinking about sizing. My Absolute is rated to heat up to 1800 sq. ft. I have a 3200 sq. ft. house and was able to heat it with my Absolute completely when the outside temps were highs in the 30’s and lows in the 20’s, and maybe even a little bit colder. But, it wouldn’t keep up in extreme cold. The Drolet Austral iii is rated to heat up to 2300 sq. ft. Do people think it would do a good job even in temps in the teens and single digits?

Should I be looking at other stoves? I’m looking for noncatayltic. And I’m looking for entry level stoves in price ($1500-$2000)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
The Austral III is a big stove. It should do the job. It is a strongly radiant stove with no side shielding. That means larger clearances. If this is an issue, the same firebox is in the Drolet Myriad III and Legend III, but with side shielding. The heat output is the same, but the stove more convective and less radiant, particularly on the sides. The Drolet HT3000 is another good big stove to consider in this price range. These stoves will cruise at a higher temp than the AS and have a blower option for better heat circulation. With a bigger firebox and higher operating temp it should get the job done. You may need a key damper if draft is strong. Drolet stoves breathe fairly easily.

RE: Outside air. If the run is short, reducing it to 4" should be ok. The AC01341 outside air kit is expensive. This is another reason to look at the HT3000 which has a much simpler and less expensive OAK. With a little fabrication you could make your own for this stove using a 4" duct takeoff.
 

Chris1927

Member
Feb 15, 2016
96
Massachusetts
Thank you. That gives me plenty of other options to consider. Side clearances are not a major issue here, but I would rather the heat get directed more forward than to the side, so I’ll be looking closer at those other stoves you mentioned.

Good to know I can probably go from. 4 inch into the 5 inch duct going j to the stove. My run is short. Probably about 4 feet. 6 at the very most, but I think more like 4. I have three 90 degree turns though. It’s a rigid duct. I may change it to semi rigid. Maybe the turns will be more gradual that way. Also, I have a hood on the vent cap and of course screening. Is the hood an issue, would it reduce air flow?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Consider using flexible aluminum dryer duct to reduce resistance in the turns. The hood if properly sized shouldn't be a major restriction.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Semirigid may not improve the flow much because of the corrugation that adds quite some impedance to the airflow due to the turbulence it engenders. I'd leave it alone.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Every mechanical joint also adds a degree of turbulence too due to the corrugations and smaller diameter of the crimped connections. If using the flex duct softens 90º turns to 45s then it will make a bigger difference.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Correct. But 4-6 ft of corrugated straight pipe is a lot of corrugated wall to flow past.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Correct. But 4-6 ft of corrugated straight pipe is a lot of corrugated wall to flow past.
Done all the time for wood stoves, and even longer runs.
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
When turned down, stoves don’t move much air at all. They could be fed through a 1” hose and have excess capacity.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Yes, but the point is that going with a smaller diameter than the stove mfg recommends AND from smooth wall to corrugated wall is two impedance increasing actions.

And I don't think a "it'll still run fine when running low" is the right way to think about it.

Sure there is a chance this will work, but is it worth a try? To me that depends on how much of a pain it would be to get this hose thru the stone etc.
 

Chris1927

Member
Feb 15, 2016
96
Massachusetts
I was just going to say that the stove would probably get enough air either way.
In fact, I’m wondering whether I even need an OAK at all. I was reading a manual for a Drolet stove that doesn’t offer a fresh air kit. Can’t remember the model. In the manual, (paraphrasing) it said that the best source of air for a wood stove is from the room that it is in. That in most cases, even when houses are really tightly built they usually have enough air leakage to feed the stove. The only thing that might create negative pressure would be a really strong exhaust fan. And that using an OAK can be quite variable on windy days. I e burned stoves in my house with and without and I don’t think I see a difference.
I think I’ll keep the OAK set up so that I can connect it if I need to, and make sure I buy a model that has the option for an outside air kit. But not connect one unless I find I need it.
 

Chris1927

Member
Feb 15, 2016
96
Massachusetts
I didn’t mean for this to turn into a debate about OAK’s and the best way to set them up.
Look, we can compromise. I’ll keep most of the run rigid and the final section flexible.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
I just thought a concern should be voiced so you can make your own, informed, decision.
 

kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
6,541
07462
I dont want to be the debbie downer here but, 3200sq ft is quiet the space to heat from a single point source, when I think of a woodstove I think of a stationary space heater, for smaller places like my house, (1) stove will do the job, extreme cold can be taxing but I can pull through, I couldnt imagine doing a large space without either breaking the space up or having a second stove to carry the extra weight so I dont have to run as high or hard during the burns.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
But he is going from a 2.4 cu ft that did do enough for him to a 3.3 cu ft, and seems willing to top off the need for heat with another system when it gets too cold.

I wonder why the OP wants to change though - possibly other than going away from a cat stove (not sure if there are previous models without a cat, but it is a hybrid/cat stove now) .

Are there trouble with the Ideal Steel? If so, what trouble?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Ah, yes. I have seen that. Didn't link that to this thread.

Ok. Moving on.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, but the point is that going with a smaller diameter than the stove mfg recommends AND from smooth wall to corrugated wall is two impedance increasing actions.

And I don't think a "it'll still run fine when running low" is the right way to think about it.

Sure there is a chance this will work, but is it worth a try? To me that depends on how much of a pain it would be to get this hose thru the stone etc.
The manufacture connector sizing is in part based on the length of the run being unknown so it is oversized to accommodate a larger duct connection for longer runs. This is a non-issue in a 4-6' run.
 
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Chris1927

Member
Feb 15, 2016
96
Massachusetts
So anyway. Aside from the OAK. I’m looking at two Drolet stoves in particular. The Legend iii and the Escape 2100. I’m leaning more toward the Legend iii. I think it’ll do the job. I’m a little worried the Escape 2100 would heat me out/be too much.
Would someone be able to help me understand the convection aspect of the Legend? Is it radiant and convective? I guess I just don’t completely understand convection. Does the Escape 2100 have convective properties too?
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
From the side shielding of the legend iii, it seems more convection based. I.e. most of the heat will be due to air rising up from the stove rather than an intense radiation of infrared.
The latter will still be the case from the front (window).

If you care about feeling the burn of the stove a radiative stove may be best. If you care about what the thermometer in the room tells you, it won't matter.

I think the escape is more radiative.

Caveat: I don't believe much in the differences because the heat output is what matters in heating your home. Not how it puts out the heat.
 

Chris1927

Member
Feb 15, 2016
96
Massachusetts
This may be a dumb question, but I have no experience with a blower. On the Legend, you don’t need to use the blower for the stove to work properly do you? I don’t see myself using the blower much.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
So anyway. Aside from the OAK. I’m looking at two Drolet stoves in particular. The Legend iii and the Escape 2100. I’m leaning more toward the Legend iii. I think it’ll do the job. I’m a little worried the Escape 2100 would heat me out/be too much.
Would someone be able to help me understand the convection aspect of the Legend? Is it radiant and convective? I guess I just don’t completely understand convection. Does the Escape 2100 have convective properties too?
Both stoves will be less radiant than the Austral due to their side shielding. The Legend firebox is .2 cu ft smaller than the Escape 2100, though a bit taller inside. Both are large stoves and serious heaters. Did you mean the 2.4 cu. ft. Escape 1800?
You may not need the blower though it does help circulate the heat better. This is more noticeable on very cold days in areas farther away from the stove. It's also handy for cooling down the stove when it is burning a bit too vigorously.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,141
South Puget Sound, WA
The difference in size between the Escape 2100 and the Legend III is small.
The operator controls the size of the fire and the amount of air it gets. It comes down to a question of preference. Which is more desirable - good heat in the coldest weather or moderate heat with supplementation in the coldest weather?
 

Chris1927

Member
Feb 15, 2016
96
Massachusetts
Good heat in the coldest weather is what I want. So, in the midst of winter at typical winter temps, as long as I can put smaller loads in, get 8 hours between or so and keep the fire going, not having to start from scratch. Then in really cold weather, load it up more, I’m good.