Recommendations for a wood or pellet stove for a 480 sq. ft. house? - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 12 Old 08-25-2010, 06:06 PM - Thread Starter
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Does anyone have recommendations for either a wood or a pellet stove that would be good for a 480 square ft house like this one?:

From the plan it doesn't appear to have central air/heat, but a wood stove is included in the plan for the living room. With the size I'm assuming that one of those window air conditioning units would be enough to keep it cool in the summer. I was just wanting input on wood and pellet stoves. Which do you think is better? Any brands in particular? Maybe a combo unit? Thanks in advance!

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#2 of 12 Old 08-25-2010, 06:13 PM
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You know, I don't have a recommendation. Researching wood stoves really made my head spin.

I will say that we went to and spent some time doing research on the forums there, and the forum members, who are all obsessed with wood stoves, helped us pick a stove that was perfect for our situation. Good luck!

We really like out Jotul brand stove. The one we have would be too big for your place, but they make a variety of sizes and they are good quality.
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#3 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 10:54 AM
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I'd goto a store that sells them and talk to them first of all and see whats recommended. Then I'd go online and research their suggestions and see if any others pop up in relation to them.
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#4 of 12 Old 08-26-2010, 01:18 PM
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I also like the Jotul woodstoves. This is the one we have. It is very small but heats really well. It is rated for up to 800 sq ft but it heat our 1400 sq ft house! Also we got the tax credit from our state which ended up covering the cost.
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#5 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 01:09 AM
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I don't remember the brand of the wood stove we had, but I have looked at jotul before and I love their stoves. I would never buy a pellet stove. I prefer traditional wood stoves that do not rely on processed wood products to work. Some of them also require electricity and I don't want to be freezing because the power went out. IME many wood stove stores push pellet stoves because they then make money selling you the fuel so I would not just buy what a store recommends. Do your homework, know what fuel is readily available to you locally ( we always found people selling dried and split cord wood locally that would deliver but my husband also harvested off of our land)
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#6 of 12 Old 08-27-2010, 07:43 PM
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I spent a significant amount of time looking for a wood stove for my home. While visiting any stores in person, I also always asked about a summer cabin I have that is only 320 sq ft. Nowhere did I find a stove small enough for it, everything was rated at 600 sq ft or larger and would be way too much stove for such a small space. We were told that gas (propane in our case) would be best because the temperature would be controllable, and with a good sized tank would not need to be filled all winter. I would prefer wood, and am in no hurry to install anything right now, but we might just end up installing a gas stove some day.

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#7 of 12 Old 08-31-2010, 10:56 AM
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For a small building in a moderately temperate climate, I would consider building a rocket mass heater., although getting permission from your code official might be tough depending on the local enforcement climate. Rocket stoves burn very cleanly on the same principle as masonry stoves (for example, but don't burn a large load of wood at once.

We love our pellet stove, which we got because we currently live in town and retrofitting our house for a woodstove would have been prohibitively expensive. We buy locally-produced pellets and feel like we have a much smaller footprint that we would if we were buying oil like 75% of Mainers. BUT I don't like being dependent on electricity, and we will put a cordwood burning stove in the house we build in the next couple years. We will probably go with a Finnish stove, but it will be in a 10,000+ heating degree day climate in the UP of Michigan.

I would probably not use a metal stove to burn cordwood unless I had a lot of thermal mass around the stove. To burn cleanly, you have to burn hot, which heats up the house quickly, but without thermal mass, most of the heat is soon lost when the fire goes out. My in-laws have built a giant brick hearth around their metal stove that really helps mitigate those swings, but you can avoid the issue altogether by just using a stove that has built-in mass.
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#8 of 12 Old 11-22-2010, 08:23 PM
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We have a Jotul F 3CB. It says it heats up to 1,300 ft. Well, we have about a 400 sq. foot cob house and it heats our place really well. If you follow the instructions and tend the fire it doesn't overheat our place which is pretty amazing b/c the cob is way more insulated than a traditional home. We love our wood stove. 

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#9 of 12 Old 11-24-2010, 04:32 AM
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Unlikely to be of the quality of the others,but I came across a stove listed at harbor freight for $200.

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#10 of 12 Old 11-28-2010, 04:01 PM
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My husband works at a wood stove store and right off the top of his head he said the Jotul F 602 CB is the highest quality wood stove made to heat that square footage.  I see there is already a link to it from Farmer Mama.

I love Edward and we love our Libby (8/07) waterbirth.jpg and 'Nana' (05/09 )h20homebirth.gif and Eowyn (11/11) waterbirth.jpg  We are having a blast bfinfant.giffemalesling.GIFfamilybed1.gifcd.gif and homeschool.gif.

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#11 of 12 Old 12-01-2010, 02:01 AM - Thread Starter
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I've been gone for a while since I posted this!  I just want to thank everyone for all your recommendations! smile.gif

treehugger.gifWAH and homeschooling mom to my two boys: E (9) and E (7) 

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#12 of 12 Old 12-07-2010, 11:53 AM
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If you're interested in an all purpose (heating, cooking, baking) stove, check out Vermont Bun baker  


I think this stove is really cool, a little pricy, but for what you get it seems alright. If I had a small cabin I would really consider a stove like this. 

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