Suggestions on Wood Stove

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kodadog

New Member
Jan 20, 2024
20
Cattaraugus County, NY
Hi,
New member. Been poking around the forum for awhile.
We moved into a 1300 sq ft ranch home without a basement and am really looking for suggestions on a good brand/model wood stove for next season. I see so many options that it's really mind blowing and paralyzing to decide which way to go.
Currently using an anthracite stoker but can't stand the fan noise and just using up the coal left with the house. Simple but coal is also $500/ton now. We have a 14ft 6" run of a double wall chimney straight up through the roof. We have an oil boiler(Ugh) that is very old and I'm not looking to use it much if any at all.
We have access to ash and beech firewood seasoned for almost 2 yrs and plenty more to come.
We also have a VC Encore 2040 2n1 6" flu available to us that was my fathers. I don't remember how well it burned for him and have read about them being difficult. The catalyst is in very good shape though.
We tend to be away from the house for work about 9 hrs a day and I need to know I'm coming home to warmth. Current and common weather here is lots of snow/wind/and temps below zero. We live south of Buffalo in higher elevations of 2000 ft.
Would like to have a simple clean tending of a wood stove. Wood is not new to me as I always had to tend the wood furnace monster we had in the basement growing up.
Thank you for your time
 
If the Encore is free and the refractory is still in good condition along with the cat then it doesn't hurt to try it out for a season or two.
If looking for new, what's the budget?
 
I thought about that with the encore. The refractory is in good condition. My budget is 2-3k. I just don't want to hear about it if the stove doesn't keep the house warm especially when my wife gets home before me.
 
A Blaze King or Kuma stove should do the trick, but they will cost more. They qualify for the tax credit if you can take it in the following year.
 
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My understanding is the encore catalytic is hard to keep active. I've heard of the blaze king being the cream of the crop. Kuma stoves I haven't heard much about. PE I have seen here and there. The main dealers here are quadra fire and hearthstone. I'm not against having one shipped in. My old neighbor has one and loves it but he is retired and fiddles with it all day.
 
If you’re looking for anthracite heat consistency without hearing a blower, then the Blaze King is your best choice as it has a thermostat. Get the blower model Princess and don’t look back. You probably won’t need the blower (quiet on low) but it’s there if you need it, just like adding a stove pipe damper…it’s there if you need it.

Nothing is more comparable to an anthracite burner than a Blaze King. I burn a hand fed Hitzer anthracite stove myself. You’ll love rarely taking out ash also as the Princess and King models have huge deep fireboxes…larger than any other stoves.

Kuma builds a great stove.

Woodstock Soapstone Stove Company…which you order factory direct. Their service is top notch, but you’ll rarely need it. Nice soft heat like with an anthracite stove too. Beautiful stoves. Paladian, Keystone, or better yet, the Fireview model.

Endless other models too. Look to SBI brands as well (Drolet, Osburn, Century, etc.). They’re well built, great service. Buck is another that is under the radar so-to-speak. PE makes good stoves too. I believe BeGreen has a PE.
 
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Being east of the great lakes, you'll want a great long burning stove. My vote is the BK princess, and not because I desire one.
Hoytman hit the nail dead on... with his whole post actually.

After you get your choice of heater. Button up your house. ROI will be ten fold.
 
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We have a 14ft 6" run of a double wall chimney straight up through the roof. We have an oil boiler(Ugh) that is very old and I'm not looking to use it much if any at all.
Is it DW inside and class A through the roof? Since you have the 6" chimney already and it's good why wouldn't you install the free stove? You can always spend money, it's real easy. I've had my Encore for decades, it's a love hate relationship at times but I'm warm.
 
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Is it DW inside and class A through the roof? Since you have the 6" chimney already and it's good why wouldn't you install the free stove? You can always spend money, it's real easy. I've had my Encore for decades, it's a love hate relationship at times but I'm warm.
It is DW and class A through the roof. Ventis all fuell 304L. How easy is it to keep your catalyst engaged? or does yours not have one?
 
Is your home properly insulated and airsealed?

I'm asking because it's cold where you are, and there are folks saying that a BK can't match the top output of a similar firebox of a tube stove.

On the other hand, it is my experience that a BK with its very consistent, regulated heat output does not need to be run at max output because it doesn't let the temps drop. That is my personal experience tho, and others' experience is a bit different, sometimes.

For a 1300 sq ft single floor home you'll need to think about air flow; are the corners of the home going to be heated? - a bit, but less than closer to the stove. Ranch floor plans are not ideal for space heaters.

BK does allow to simply set it on a 12 hr (or 24 hr) reloading schedule - at an output less than max. Ideal for folks away from home.

But any stove with a good sized firebox should be able to get 10+ hrs. Some of those may not be able to be dialed down as much as the BK, though - which is ideal when it's 40 F out. (Unless you have a heat pump for such weather.)

They are above your price range though. So I'd second begreens suggestion to work with the one you have and save a bit more in the mean time. For a Princess or 30.2 model the flue size will be the same 6".
 
Is your home properly insulated and airsealed?

I'm asking because it's cold where you are, and there are folks saying that a BK can't match the top output of a similar firebox of a tube stove.



On the other hand, it is my experience that a BK with its very consistent, regulated heat output does not need to be run at max output because it doesn't let the temps drop. That is my personal experience tho, and others' experience is a bit different, sometimes.



For a 1300 sq ft single floor home you'll need to think about air flow; are the corners of the home going to be heated? - a bit, but less than closer to the stove. Ranch floor plans are not ideal for space heaters.



BK does allow to simply set it on a 12 hr (or 24 hr) reloading schedule - at an output less than max. Ideal for folks away from home.



But any stove with a good sized firebox should be able to get 10+ hrs. Some of those may not be able to be dialed down as much as the BK, though - which is ideal when it's 40 F out. (Unless you have a heat pump for such weather.)



They are above your price range though. So I'd second begreens suggestion to work with the one you have and save a bit more in the mean time. For a Princess or 30.2 model the flue size will be the same 6".
Hi,
The house is average for insulation and newer replacement windows. Door frames sealed windows caulked. Right now with the coal stoker the stove room is 75 and the rooms at the other end are 68 which works fine for sleeping anyway. So far I have used 1.5 tons of coal since the beginning of Nov
 
If you find the number of BTUs per ton of coal, an estimate of the efficiency of your coal appliance, and assume 20 million BTUs per cord of wood (with a cord about 0.8 times 128 cubic foot of wood), and an efficiency of a (modern!) wood stove of 70 pct, and how many days your heating season has lasted for that 1.5 ton, then you can figure out through how many cubic foot of wood you would use, on average, per day to reach the same temps.

And that shows you how big of a stove you may need (divide that cubic foot per day by two (BK) or three loads.

That's an order of magnitude estimate.
 
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If you find the number of BTUs per ton of coal, an estimate of the efficiency of your coal appliance, and assume 20 million BTUs per cord of wood (with a cord about 0.8 times 128 cubic foot of wood), and an efficiency of a (modern!) wood stove of 70 pct, and how many days your heating season has lasted for that 1.5 ton, then you can figure out through how many cubic foot of wood you would use, on average, per day to reach the same temps.

And that shows you how big of a stove you may need (divide that cubic foot per day by two (BK) or three loads.

That's an order of magnitude estimate.
Lol
I was just doing that when you replied
 
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You can read my posts and others about cat temps and such at the VC owners section. My cat gets hot just fine and I burn 12 hour burns at low temps. I monitor cat temps and STT.
 
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Ok. That's quite a bit (assuming we're halfway through the burning season.
That's 250 cubic foot.

Say you've been burning since October, so 120 days. That's two cubic foot per day. Let's assume double that for the cold days (and much less for the warmer ones).

4 cubic foot per day suggests the me a 3:cubic foot firebox.would be good..2 will be too small.

(You can also get here by looking at the BTUs needed per day.)

BK princess or 30.2 models (depending on aesthetics that the wife prefers), or as begreen and Eman said other stoves and of which I don't know enough.

How tall would your chimney be? Straight up BKs want at least 15 ft. If you're shorter than that, an easier breathing one might be best. Though output ranges will vary between stoves.
 
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Based on btu's used with 1.5 ton coal, the wood equivalent would be 2.4 cords with 70% efficient stove.
So for $750 of coal your looking at aprox $900 of already seasoned hardwood.
Could you keep your coal burner and add a woodstove?
Pick and choose what you want to burn based on savings and/or heat output?
Coal for backup if it gets extremely cold?
 
Or get free wood...
 
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how many sq ft are you heating with your VC?
1600 sq. ft. one story stove is down one end of the home just outside the master bedroom in the living room. We spend most time in the den at the far end. Use a ceiling fan in the living room that runs if the stove is lit. I've had this stove a long time, I'm not saying it's the best and mine is old technology. But free is free and the reason I probably won't have another stove until this one falls apart is I'm too cheap.
 
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So for $750 of coal your looking at aprox $900 of already seasoned hardwood.
Could you keep your coal burner and add a woodstove?
Pick and choose what you want to burn based on savings and/or heat output?
Coal for backup if it gets extremely cold?
I have thought about that. It would be too expensive to add another chimney and space restriction with a small house. The wood I have available that amount would cost me $450. I have woods to start working on future wood as well. Also the stoker uses quite a bit of electricity. I am thinking about a hand fired to burn both. The good thing is I have time to figure it out.
 
1600 sq. ft. one story stove is down one end of the home just outside the master bedroom in the living room. We spend most time in the den at the far end. Use a ceiling fan in the living room that runs if the stove is lit. I've had this stove a long time, I'm not saying it's the best and mine is old technology. But free is free and the reason I probably won't have another stove until this one falls apart is I'm too cheap.
Being that I am farther north and colder I'm not sure the encore will make it 9hrs on the coldest days. Right now it's 2*F
 
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Going below zero here tonight, 10 right now. I live in the mountains
Hmmm. Ok, got me thinking. The encore has been in a garage so of course started rusting. Not sure where the front handle went. Not stored on the leg or inside of it. Easy to get one though.
I just want to make sure I'm not in a daily battle taking punches from the thing. Been reading the manual and looking on here to get the confidence that it will do what's needed.
 
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