Wood Stove for 576 Sq Ft House

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artsymom

New Member
Sep 30, 2021
4
South Carolina
My husband and I live in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house with our teenage son. Our house is 24 feet X 24 feet and it is 576 square feet (vinyl sided, six years old, is sealed tight, and holds in heat pretty well). We have electric heat, but we have been talking about getting a wood stove for a couple of years to help reduce our electric bill and so that we will also have a way of heating our house if the power were to go out. I feel like having such a small house has sort of complicated our shopping for a wood stove. I don't want something that is going to roast us like turkeys, but I'd like to have something to keep us warm through the night. We live in upstate South Carolina, so our winters are pretty mild. It isn't often in the winter time that we get into the teens or single digits. It definitely happens, but that isn't consistent. Does anyone have any suggestions on what size or type wood stove we should get? I would really appreciate the advice and suggestions. I'm also including a diagram of the shape and layout of our house in case it helps. Thank you!

house.jpg
 

artsymom

New Member
Sep 30, 2021
4
South Carolina
My husband and I live in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house with our teenage son. Our house is 24 feet X 24 feet and it is 576 square feet (vinyl sided, six years old, is sealed tight, and holds in heat pretty well). We have electric heat, but we have been talking about getting a wood stove for a couple of years to help reduce our electric bill and so that we will also have a way of heating our house if the power were to go out. I feel like having such a small house has sort of complicated our shopping for a wood stove. I don't want something that is going to roast us like turkeys, but I'd like to have something to keep us warm through the night. We live in upstate South Carolina, so our winters are pretty mild. It isn't often in the winter time that we get into the teens or single digits. It definitely happens, but that isn't consistent. Does anyone have any suggestions on what size or type wood stove we should get? I would really appreciate the advice and suggestions. I'm also including a diagram of the shape and layout of our house in case it helps. Thank you!

View attachment 282523
Oh, and it's a single story home with 8 ft ceilings throughout.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,660
South Puget Sound, WA
A small efficient stove will do the job. I wouldn't go over 1.5 cu ft. Is the 26% tax credit on high efficiency stove important?
The other factor will be what is sold in the area. Is there a Morso, Jotul or Vermont Castings dealer there?
Also important is the budget. If it is tight then the True North TN10 might be a good fit. Note that some of these smaller stoves only take a 12" piece of wood. Is that a concern? If so, there are stoves like the Morso 2b or 7110, the Jotul 602 or the VC Aspen C3 that can take longer 16" sticks.
 
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EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,503
SE North Carolina
My husband and I live in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house with our teenage son. Our house is 24 feet X 24 feet and it is 576 square feet (vinyl sided, six years old, is sealed tight, and holds in heat pretty well). We have electric heat, but we have been talking about getting a wood stove for a couple of years to help reduce our electric bill and so that we will also have a way of heating our house if the power were to go out. I feel like having such a small house has sort of complicated our shopping for a wood stove. I don't want something that is going to roast us like turkeys, but I'd like to have something to keep us warm through the night. We live in upstate South Carolina, so our winters are pretty mild. It isn't often in the winter time that we get into the teens or single digits. It definitely happens, but that isn't consistent. Does anyone have any suggestions on what size or type wood stove we should get? I would really appreciate the advice and suggestions. I'm also including a diagram of the shape and layout of our house in case it helps. Thank you!

View attachment 282523
As a fellow southern burner I’m just going to chime in by saying that it probably won’t save you much money. A 1.7 cu ft Jotul F400 cost me about 6000$ three years ago to have professionally installed. My math, in our 3000 sq ft home with 16 seer heatpump (that is quite useless when temps drop below 30), came out that I spend 200-400$ a year on heat. Now with the stove the house is much warmer. One really cold week can really up my power bill when my 10KW resistive heating strips kick on.

Nothing in the size range you need (that won’t roast you out) will burn through the night. I can load at 11 pm and have coals to relight at 6am on a really good burn. I call that an overnight burn but there is no real real coming off the stove for that’s few hours.

sealed tight, and holds in heat pretty well).
This is great from an energy standpoint but will complicate stoves. They need air and that air has to come into the house. You can install and outside air kit (OAK) but it means your stove needs to be next to an exterior wall. I think the spot on your diagram the best spot. Depending on construction OAK may or may not be possible in that location. Other makeup air solutions exist so that’s not deal breaker just be aware of it.
Stoves do not put off even heat. They cycle they get hot (really hot) then cool off. Your space is well sealed and insulated will heat up quickly which is good but to hot might not be. But will hold the heat well. I would be thinking about smaller(short) hotter fires rather than king over night burns.

Start shopping. I would suggest looking at Morso stoves. Look at the clearance diagrams and put a
Cardboard or tape on the floor marking out stove location and clearance requirements. Budget aside is like 3142 or the 6143

New stoves need really dry wood. Almost nothing you buy will be dry enough. It takes 9 months for me to dry pine and poplar. Two years for oak. If you are buying wood it probably won’t save you any money and then there are the tools you need to get your own.

Just some thoughts

Evan
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
1,853
Iowa
My husband and I live in a small 2 bedroom, 1 bath house with our teenage son. Our house is 24 feet X 24 feet and it is 576 square feet (vinyl sided, six years old, is sealed tight, and holds in heat pretty well). We have electric heat, but we have been talking about getting a wood stove for a couple of years to help reduce our electric bill and so that we will also have a way of heating our house if the power were to go out. I feel like having such a small house has sort of complicated our shopping for a wood stove. I don't want something that is going to roast us like turkeys, but I'd like to have something to keep us warm through the night. We live in upstate South Carolina, so our winters are pretty mild. It isn't often in the winter time that we get into the teens or single digits. It definitely happens, but that isn't consistent. Does anyone have any suggestions on what size or type wood stove we should get? I would really appreciate the advice and suggestions. I'm also including a diagram of the shape and layout of our house in case it helps. Thank you!

View attachment 282523
Welcome to Hearth. Your pictured stove location looks good for being centrally located. My home is only slightly larger and I get by with my small stove located in the outside corner of my living room (lower left in your drawing). You could get by doing this as well in my opinion. The beauty of a small home!
Is the house built on a concrete slab? Basement? Crawl space under it?
As mentioned already, dry wood is really, really important for any modern stove to function correctly. With very few exceptions almost all advertised firewood for sale is not seasoned properly.
Are you planning on purchasing and installing the stove, venting and floor protection/hearth yourself? Lots to consider. Enjoy the shopping part!
 

Woody Stover

Minister of Fire
Dec 25, 2010
12,277
Southern IN
With a tight house like that, you probably won't usually need an overnight burn; Just burn a small load so you don't roast out, and the house should retain enough heat to get you through the night after the fire burns out, especially in your warm climate. A smaller stove will burn these short loads more efficiently. It will get up to temp faster, and will be burning clean sooner than a bigger stove would.
 

artsymom

New Member
Sep 30, 2021
4
South Carolina
Thank you everyone for your advice and input! I'm going to show all this to my husband to look over as well. We appreciate your time responding!
 

artsymom

New Member
Sep 30, 2021
4
South Carolina
I have one other question. From your experience, how does a wood stove affect the humidity in your home? Does it add to the humidity levels, reduce it, or is there no change at all? I'm just curious, because we have to run a dehumidifier nonstop in the winter time and I'm wondering if it will alter the humidity levels.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,503
SE North Carolina
I have one other question. From your experience, how does a wood stove affect the humidity in your home? Does it add to the humidity levels, reduce it, or is there no change at all? I'm just curious, because we have to run a dehumidifier nonstop in the winter time and I'm wondering if it will alter the humidity levels.
Wood stoves don’t dry the air they pull in outside air which is most places is drier than the inside air in the winter. I have not seen any difference in humidity. If I needed to run my dehumidifier in the winter I still do ( wet week with lots of rain). I run mine less in the winter. And now much less since I added a heat pump water heater in the basement. 1000 sq ft basement I can dump 3 gallons a week Unless we get a really dry high pressure system for a week Then I don’t need to run them.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
2,023
Long Island NY
One addition to the post above (no drying, pulling in outside air): a stove that warms up the air by definition decreases the relative humidity (if no humidity is added from e.g. outside air).

I.e., come home to a 55 F home from a vacation. Relative humidity is 45%. Start wood stove, temperature climbs to 75 F. As a result the relative humidity in the home decreases (because 75 F air can hold more water than 55 F air, but none was added, the relative (to max!) humidity decreases).

However, if you use a heatpump now to heat, which does not suck in air from outside, AND if you heat with a stove up to the same temperature AND your outside air contains less (in weight per volume) water than your inside air in winter, then you will decrease your humidity inside. Simply by blowing out air through the chimney and sucking in drier air from outside.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,660
South Puget Sound, WA
With your mild winters you might consider a ductless heat pump too.
Agreed, and it might cost less than a woodstove installation if self-installed. Plus it would provide air conditioning in the sumer. However, the objective is power outage heat, so that would still need to be covered. If the outages are infrequent in the winter and not extended, then a Mr. Buddy or a generator would be worth considering.