Yes, It's Another "Which Stove" Thread

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BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
As the title states, I'm going to purchase a new stove in the next month, and have it narrowed down to 4 models at this point.

The contenders:
PE Alderlea T6 (my preference, but backordered, and supposedly not available until 2022)
Lopi Liberty
Regency F5200
Woodstock Ideal Steel

Does anyone know why Lopi discontinued the Cape Cod? That was disappointing to discover.

I have a 1900 square foot ranch with vaulted ceilings and a relatively open floor plan (kitchen, dining and great room are all one big space, about 1200-1300 square feet), with two bedrooms beyond the kitchen. The home is at 8500' in the Colorado Rockies and was built in 2005, so the insulation is reasonably good, but it is a log home, so it won't ever be super tight. I do have a propane-fired forced air furnace for central heat, but the goal will be to heat primarily with wood.

There is currently an old Dutchwest stove installed in the corner of the great room, with about 15-17 feet of total chimney height from top-of-stove to cap. There are two 45's inside before it goes through the ceiling support box. The current location would work with minimal modification for the T6, the Liberty or the IS. The Regency would require a different location to comply with ceiling clearance heights, and if I was going to upgrade the entire chimney system, I would want to go straight up and out, as well as putting the stove in a more central location.

The T6 is the nicest looking of them, but availability is uncertain. The Lopi is the most expensive and least efficient, but probably has the highest quality fit/finish. The Regency is super efficient, huge and surprisingly affordable with the tax credit, but would involve relocating the stove and incurring the extra expense of decommissioning the old chimney, then figuring out what to do with the big, empty raised hearth in the corner.

I like the IS a lot too, but the logistics of getting it out to Colorado, up and into my house, and then installed are pretty daunting. Access to my house isn't great, and any stove is going to need to be carried about 100 feet from the parking area to the front door. I'm going to call Woodstock this morning, but the only way I see that option being viable is if they have an installer in the region who will accept delivery of the stove, bring it to my place, bring it into the house, and install it. I really want and IS, but not badly enough that I want to try to coordinate the delivery or moving of one.

And before someone suggests a BK, I've ruled them out. Fireview is a very important part of the wood heating experience for me, and I think I would be disappointed with the visual display offered by BK stoves, even though I don't find the stoves themselves as aesthetically offensive as some here do.
 
Last edited:

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,230
SE North Carolina
I’d wait for the T6. If that’s not an option I would not be reconfiguring the venting arrangement. If you are going to heat with wood full time one more season without a new stove isn’t that long. I bet PE is trying to get something above the 75% Number to get the tax credit and if I was in charge I would focus on the T6. I have put off a new (second) stove for a year now and I might wait another.
I like the F55 looks

Evan
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,815
South Puget Sound, WA
I would also suggest considering the Jotul F55 if time is of essence or call around to see if there is a T6 in stock within a reasonable distance. I drove 90 miles (one way) to get our T6. Also consider the big Drolets and Osburns.
 

BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
Thank you for the feedback thus far. I do want to get a stove installed before the upcoming winter, as the current Dutchwest would need an overhaul before I would feel comfortable burning it, and I don't really feel like putting the time and money to rebuilding a stove I'll burn for one winter and get rid of.

I sat in the stove shop owner's office while she called her distributors, and after calling 4 different spots from Sacramento to Chicago, they all had between -3 and -6 T6's in their inventory with no ETA for more. I suppose I could ask about a PE Summit as an alternative, but I've seen an unsettling number of comments about that stove's lackluster performance heating up anything except the chimney.

I spoke with Woodstock yesterday and they're 8-10 weeks out on Ideal Steels right now (which I automatically convert to 12-14), but that would still let me get a stove in before winter. The longer burn times are appealing, as is the lower price, even with shipping, but it's tricky to commit to a purchase as big as a stove without seeing it in person first.
 

Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
19,681
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
At longer burn time settings, the IS will be in black box mode with no fire. It is a very BK like burner with decent burn rate control so like the BK it will be able to offer a flame show at higher outputs or a very efficient long burn at the lower outputs.

Big problem with the IS is the archaic hearth insulation requirements. Do you know that your hearth satisfies them? Is there some sort of micor foam layer built in? Woodstock really should improve their design to remove that requirement.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,815
South Puget Sound, WA
PE Summit as an alternative, but I've seen an unsettling number of comments about that stove's lackluster performance heating up anything except the chimney.
The T6 is a Summit with a cast iron jacket instead of a porcelain steel jacket. It's a very good performer. I know of a couple of installations personally and have run one of them. It's a good stove. If someone is sending a lot of heat up the chimney they are running the stove wrong or have a very tall flue and likely need draft restriction via a key damper in the stovepipe. How tall is the current flue system on the Dutchwest? Is it 6"?
 
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BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
I don't love the look of the Summit, but the Classic does look nice in some of the enamel colors.

There is a 6" flue on the DW, it's about 16-17 feet total height from the top of the stove. There are two 45's inside, then it goes through the ceiling support box and transitions to Class A. There's about 7-8 feet above the roofline, with two braces installed, so I could add another couple feet up there without putting any more holes in the roof if needed.

I'll also be swapping the interior single wall for double wall stove pipe.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
92,815
South Puget Sound, WA
Sounds perfect. A close friend has a black Summit classic with the nickel door. They heat exclusively with wood using this stove. It looks good, though I am admitedly biased toward the T6.

How large an area is the stove heating? Have you looked at the Drolet Legend III (Osburn 3300) for comparison? Any Jotul stove dealers in the area?
 

BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
I prefer the look of the T6 too, but the Summit would work with the river rock hearth I have. The dealer I will likely work with (unless I go with an IS) sells PE, Regency, Lopi, and Jotul stoves. The low efficiency numbers on the F55 don't really impress me.

I will post some pictures later this evening, but for now: the home is a 1900 square foot ranch/rambler with 9" log walls. Most of the home has vaulted ceilings (everywhere except the kitchen and bathrooms). The hearth is in the corner of the great room/kitchen area, which is about 30'x40'. There are two bedrooms beyond the kitchen, but the hallway to access them is quite short, so it shouldn't be too difficult to keep them comfortable.

The underfloor and attic insulation is decent, as the home was built in 2005, but I'll be working on tightening those areas up further this fall. That being said, with the walls being log, the house will always be a bit leaky. I'm just hoping I can minimize the stack effect with some well applied closed cell spray foam.
 

Geoff C

Burning Hunk
Oct 29, 2011
147
PA
I wouldn’t sweat efficiency numbers. The difference between 67 and 73 in the real world is probably nothing. Any stove that meets 2020 reqs is going to be plenty efficient.
 

BCC_Burner

Feeling the Heat
Sep 10, 2013
452
Uptown Marble, CO
I need to call/stop by today to get prices, but the Summit is also appealing because it's almost certainly the least expensive of the stoves I've considered, even in the enamel finish. I do wish the window on it was larger though.