Yet another "Help me buy a stove" thread

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New Member
Jul 3, 2022
Hello! So I'll get right to the situation we've got:
2000 sqft, bad insulation but good setup for whole-house convection. In northern MN so it gets COLD!
Currently heating with an old VC Resolute Defiant that came with the house. It's got the combustion box in it, and it's a pile for sure. Fragile pieces and constantly needs rebuilding. It can heat the house until it get to about 0 out, and then the furnace kicks in. Additionally it's super annoying that it only takes 16 inch logs at a time and can really only do a 5 hour max burn.

I've been eying up a Blaze King Princess or King. Either way we're going to want the stove pipe redone as ours is gettin' dodgy, but the added price for an 8 inch is rather significant. I got quoted 10k installed for the King and they're gonna' give me a few more quotes too, since that price hurt a bit to see. In that quote around ~5k was for the stove itself, 1500 labor, 3500 stove pipe

Any other stoves you all recommend? I've been eying up the Englander 32-NC which looked rather nice or also possibly an Ideal Steel. Heck even a Lopi Liberty has a really big firebox in it. I'm feeling a bit paralyzed by choice! All in all, I really want something that's going to burn overnight and not break the bank completely. It sucks adding wood to the VC every couple of hours.

...That said, I'm a bit skeptical of a super long burn providing the heat output that we need when it gets to -30 or worse.

Thank you much!
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The BK King will provide good steady warmth, but the heat will still come on when it's very cold unless the insulation and sealing are improved. For top-end heat, the Englander 32-NC or the Drolet Austral/Legend/Myriad III will put out a lot more BTUs per hour if the goal is deep cold heating.
Thanks, that's what I'm thinkin' too. So like... Additionally our HVAC situation in the house is in major need of overhaul; we've been getting by with it but the furnace is aging and the ducts are under the house and super leaky. Gonna take some major planning and design to rebuild it correctly. My hope is that we can get a stove we can rely on for primary heat while we plan out how we're going to essentially rebuild the system. The VC would do the trick if someone was up all night with it, but lol no. I'm really eying up the Englander, or hey maybe the Drolet HT-3000. It'd be ideal if we had something we knew would do the trick by itself.
I'm just north of you in manitoba and we are cold here as in a drafty cottage on lake winnipeg and I have the osburn 3300.very pleased with it.keeps the wiener dog warm.i think the drolet myriad 3 is comparable and quite a better cheaper price wise.

Yet another "Help me buy a stove" thread
Welcome to the Forums!!! Always nice to see another Sistah here ;)

You won't regret a bigger firebox than you think you need. You can always build a smaller fire in a bigger box, but not a bigger fire in a smaller box !
Thanks for the welcome!

Yeah, I'm really liking the Drolet HT-3000 the more I look at it. Being able to put at least 18 inch logs in it is a hard requirement for me, I cut a decent bit of our wood and the VC drives me crazy; it fits MAYBE a 16 inch log with some tetris logic applied. 22" logs would be amazing and I don't think you can really beat 3.5 cu. ft. for $1799. It's non-catalytic, but honestly that might even be preferable. As long as I can mostly keep a fire through the night I'll be happy.

I love the top-loading and looks of the VC, but virtually nothing else about it. That said I'll prolly put it either on the other side of the house or upstairs just for a backup on those really cold days.
According to SBI, the Drolet HT3000 qualifies for the 26% tax credit if installed this year.
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According to SBI, the Drolet HT3000 qualifies for the 26% tax credit if installed this year.
Indeed, and moreso it seems that you can add up your chimney and install costs even if they weren't in the same purchase; that was originally a thing I thought would limit me to local dealers but it seems that's not the case
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I love my Woodstock stove (I have a Fireview), so if you like the look an Ideal Steel could be a good option, or possibly their Progress Hybrid.
Congratulations. The HT3000 will be a strong heater. It has side shielding so it won't be as radiant from the sides as the old Defiant or the Drolet Austral, but it will provide great heating and you will delight in the nice light show through the window.
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Allow yourself some learning time for the new stove. It will burn differently than the Defiant. This thread goes over what to expect and when to turn down the air. If there isn't a stovepipe thermometer already in place I strongly recommend getting one. It really helps with knowing when to turn down the air for better and longer secondary combustion.

Thanks, I'll read through that! I completely redid the chimney yesterday as it was 40 years old and unsafe upon closer inspection; I put in a damper and think I'll get a chimney thermometer as well. I've seen a lot about that top-down approach, it's different than i'm used to but it makes a lot of sense.

Given that it's in a corner and the heat more than anything needs to project straight away from it, I think the side shielding will do good by us. The walls got really hot with the old stove!
Good for you. I think you are going to really enjoy the new stove.

You are right about the corner walls getting hot. We had a cast iron Jotul in the corner and even though the clearances generously exceeded the requirements, the walls still got quite hot. This is not an issue at all with the replacement convective stove.

Did you get the blower option? Depending on the floor layout, this can be nice for moving the heat on very cold days.
Yeah I did opt for the blower as well as the thermostat to turn it on automatically. I figure if I blow the cold air toward it from the other room it should provide a really nice convective circuit; every room in the house is no more than two doors away from the stove and the upstairs even has a big open area for heat to flow through. I might cut a couple of vents in the upstairs offices so they can let the cold travel through the big opening, I think it'll help a lot.

I really appreciate the help with this project! There's so much information out there with stoves that it's easy to get mired in the details. I'm feeling really good with the ultimate price for everything though. Between a total replacement of the chimney and stovepipe with Duravent and the stove itself, I'm coming in at right around $3k and feeling pretty good about the heating prospects we'll get from the setup. Beats the heck out of the ~$10k the place in town wanted for a blaze king.