Stove sizing (small house and mild climate)

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New Member
Sep 17, 2021
Hi guys - you are probably tired of this question again and again but I have run my self in circles on the forums.

Here is the situation:

Stove will be in living room 320sqft. opening to kitchen is wide and another 300ft or so. Single story, all bedroom doors lead off from living room.
House is 1950s with fair insulation. Def some batts missing in the crawlspace and couple single pane windows but mild climate in PNW. Average winter temp 40F.

Will mainly be used for heat and ambiance in the evening and let burn out over night. If I don't go in to work and it is cold I might light in the morning, but reloading frequently is not a concern.

Would really like 16" logs

Will I sweat myself out at 85F with any normal stove? I can turn on the hvac fan which has intake in the living room ceiling and let that push some heat if it gets to hot. Would also warm the bedrooms too.

Any recommendations for brands and models? I am open to any brand (is used even possible? )

are catalyst stoves more efficient and therefore hotter and a non-cat would be better? Or is that only for exhaust treatment?

I am suspicious of any model that is sold at bigbox stores - maybe that is invalid. I know there are other supply challenges (Jotul backorder for a year the local dealer said) Dealer also recommended a Kuma - only concern is oversizing in that respect. Looks like a quality stove otherwise.

The rationalist in me thinks I can heat the house for a long time on $4k worth of natural gas, but still I am drawn to hot stove on cold rainy 38 degree night.

thanks for your help


Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Will I sweat myself out at 85F with any normal stove?
Yes, if it's 45º outside and you stoke the stove to a hot fire then feed it again every other hour. But no, if you build an appropriately sized fire for the outdoor temps. Based on the criteria, a small stove will do the job. Look at the Morso 7110. It qualifies for the 26% tax credit,
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Feeling the Heat
Jan 8, 2017
Northeast Georgia
I suggest a small non-cat stove and see if it works for you. Then you can upgrade to a fancier stove in the future if needed.
It sounds like you will only need a stove 3-4 months of the year. Along with cost of the stove, there will also be a cost for the chimney and the wood.
I thought this one was nice looking (I was on-line looking at stoves last month) and it heats 500-1500 sq feet according to the mfr.
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Minister of Fire
Oct 20, 2018
I just have a little Lopi Answer insert. Also available as a stove. Like it a lot.


Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
Eastern Long Island NY
Cat stoves do not run hotter than modern non cats. In fact cats are better at running lower than non cats.

But @begreen s suggestion is a good one.


Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
SE North Carolina
I’d be looking at a Morsoe 2b takes 16” , or smaller if you could compromise on shorter firewood. They are radiant. great to feel the warmth less so if you are in a smaller space and are sitting right next to the stove and it’s ripping. Morso is tax credit eligible. The look good and are good quality. Maybe you could find a used Jotul F100. I knew I wouldn’t get my money back either but I can keep the house warmer and it will probably put off an HVAC upgrade which saves quite a bit.

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Why be afraid of big box stove purchases? No different than buying from Amazon etc. The good stove mfr's sell through them and you can get shipping free, maybe even home delivery depending on where you are. I personally don't believe that marketing through a big box store is any reflection whatsoever on the brand's quality. I believe all stoves are warrantied by the mfr. You can buy direct from a store front, get their advice etc. but that will likely cost you more. JMHO.

Obviously you are from the US. If the Drolet stove meets your EPA criteria for the grant simply buy the model they recommend for your area. That info will be on the Drolet website. One you might consider is the Drolet Spark II, suitable for small spaces. Of course there are oodles of brands to choose from. Good luck.