What wood stoves do you like? - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

Forum Jump: 
Reply
 
Thread Tools
#61 of 72 Old 12-01-2007, 02:11 AM
 
Maggi315's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2003
Location: Pennsylvania
Posts: 2,345
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I am jumping in onthis thread late, but I am wondering about wood stoves for our family. I grew upwith one in the basement that pretty much heated the whole house. We have afew advertised around here for about 500, which seems a good price, but when we add in the cost of the wood (we can get some free, about 2 cords) and the cost to install, I wonder how much we are actually going to save.

Also, what about the bedrooms? Do they stay warm? I cannot tolerate the cold because of my health right now and keep our bedroom around 65 degrees, so I am worried I would still need to use the electricity for that.

Anyone know what the savings monthly are between electric and woodstove? we only plan on being in this house for the most 2 or 3 more years, so we don't want to shell out a ton of money and have nothing to show in savings, kwim? thanks
Maggi315 is offline  
#62 of 72 Old 12-01-2007, 10:40 PM
 
Gunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: bali, indonesia & north cackalacky
Posts: 3,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we are using our woodstove a lot more this winter than we did last year. it's amazing how warm the house gets. we have about 1600 sq feet, a story and a half. we close the downstairs bedroom and bath b/c we don't use it unless someone stays the night. it heats the upstairs well. we turn our thermostat way down.

our house is passive solar so it helps to absorb and release the heat of the woodstove.

doula mama to my nov 05 and my feb 08 babes who wrap me in love.
Gunter is offline  
#63 of 72 Old 12-04-2007, 04:12 PM
 
TranscendentalMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Heart Chakra
Posts: 2,603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Just wanted to update as we finally purchased our woodstove and are thrilled.

We bought a Pacific Energy Summit. This baby is a beast! It is unreal what it can generate. We have a 2000 sq ft home with high ceilings and its been heating it completely - the HVAC has not kicked on it a week! We are going thru a lot of wood cause its been COLD the last few days. We turn the fan on the HVAC system on and it circulates the air thru the house pretty good. We leave ceiling fans on as well. The bedrooms have been staying around 67-68 and the living area/kitchen 70-71 degrees! HEAVEN! You can set it on slow burn at night and the coals will still be hot in the AM. When we wake up the house has been around 68 degrees.

Anyway, just wanted to highly recommend this stove. There's a whole thread on hearth.com devoted to this stove. Its hard to find dealers on the east coast but we found a guy in Asheville that drove 2 hours for us.

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
TranscendentalMom is offline  
#64 of 72 Old 12-04-2007, 09:26 PM
 
LucyRev's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2003
Location: Tigard, OR
Posts: 2,333
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I just looked at those online. I want a stove so bad to go into our energy suck fireplace and I love the feel of wood heat.

I'm just wondering, why would you pick the summit to heat a 2000 sq ft home? Aren't the summits the largest size, for up to 3000? My home is only 1500, so we could probably use the small or medium sizes. I'm just wondering if the Summit is superior to all the others, or if all the Pacific Energy stoves are as good.
LucyRev is offline  
#65 of 72 Old 12-04-2007, 10:53 PM
 
TranscendentalMom's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Heart Chakra
Posts: 2,603
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by LucyRev View Post
I just looked at those online. I want a stove so bad to go into our energy suck fireplace and I love the feel of wood heat.

I'm just wondering, why would you pick the summit to heat a 2000 sq ft home? Aren't the summits the largest size, for up to 3000? My home is only 1500, so we could probably use the small or medium sizes. I'm just wondering if the Summit is superior to all the others, or if all the Pacific Energy stoves are as good.
Because our home has a very high ceiling in the great room and we have heat problems because of this. I've been told this house may was well be a 3000 sq ft home due to the ceiling height. I don't think the medium one would have done the trick for us but I've heard its a great stove. My dealer said he actually doesn't install many Summits as its more than most people need.

"We shape the clay into a pot but it is the emptiness inside that holds whatever we want" Lao Tzu
TranscendentalMom is offline  
#66 of 72 Old 12-05-2007, 10:15 AM
 
Periwinkle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,037
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I everyone. I just wanted to pipe in with an update. I'm going to write a tome, lol, because when I was looking around for wood stoves, I found really detailed posts to be the most helpful. So pardon the rambling....


Quick Background.... We had the Jotul F3 freestanding wood stove installed INTO our fireplace/firebox 2 weeks ago. It is set fully back into the firebox. We had the flue opening insulated/blocked off around the flue liner and the flue liner fully insulated to keep the heat from the stove from going up the massive chimney. But other than that, it's just the stove cranking - there is no fan (which we wanted to avoid), etc. We set it back into the firebox for a combination of aesthetic and safety reasons - we knew this could diminish heat output somewhat as this means the masonry of the firebox/hearth has to heat up; wood stoves that sit out and fully exposed in a room DO heat far more than one in a firebox. But if it stuck out onto the hearth we'd need fireproof pads under it to protect the wood floors and heat deflectors to protect our wood mantel, which were a deal breaker for us given the room, and besides, we really wanted a fire IN the fireplace.

The first few days were somewhat puzzling/disappointing as we had to get the hang of using it. Our house is very old, and it is certainly draftier than a new house. For example, my brother has a newer 2000 sq. ft. house and heats his house exclusively with a modest-size wood stove. In fact, the room where the wood stove is gets uncomfortably warm! But our house is a big, old house and so has proved more difficult to "figure out", heat wise, in general, and this has been true for the wood stove too. Another big heat suck is that attached to the living room (behind the chimney where the wood stove is installed) is an *uninsulated* sun room that has wool w/w carpet but has the original single-pane windows and is very drafty. But one of our main goals was to leave the French doors open on either side of the living room fireplace (which go into the sun room) to allow this room to be heated by the wood stove (we use the sun room as our family room (more on that later)). Needless to say, this has sucked A LOT of the heat power from the stove into this room AND as such, has diminished the resulting heat output into the rest of the house.

So.... first, on aesthetics... it looks phenomenal. Exactly what we wanted. It "fits" well with the old house and looks like it's been there for ages. It also does a great job of filling the oversized hearth/firebox, which previously had just been a big black box, lol. The window in the Jotul is beautiful with arched panes of glass and it has a very large viewing area. The fire is beautiful due to the burning of the secondary gasses. Since we wanted to avoid a catalytic converter, the technology Jotul uses burns the gasses a second time and it makes for a very pretty, brilliant fire.

And on the most important issue of how it works... we have figured out that to get the stove actually, you know, working , we need to have it cranking at that sweet spot temperature of about 500-600 degrees (the reading taken on the outside top of the stove) and going all day. Our hearth is huge - tons of cold masonry - and it really does need to heat up before the heat starts pouring well into the living room. Second, we have insulating shades (double cell honeycomb fabric shades - www.homedecorators.com sells them CHEAP and they're fantastic if anyone has a drafty window problem) and that has helped hold the heat so much I can't even believe it. It is very easy to load and keep going.

At this point, we are going to spend another week seeing how this stove works for us now that we have the insulating shades and have figured out the best way to heat the house (i.e., to keep the wood stove going nice and hot!). It has been doing a really good job of heating and we are using the electric baseboards in the sun room almost not at all compared to having them on from sunup to 10pm (which was sooooo expensive it was sickening) - so it's probably saving us at least $200/month on our electric bill just from that. If we think we can do it without needing a heat deflector, we *may* upgrade to the Jotul Castine, which is the next size up. But we'll just have to see. I'll update again.
Periwinkle is offline  
#67 of 72 Old 12-05-2007, 10:59 PM
 
attachedmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Foothills of western NC
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I have been following, and appreciate the update. We are in the process of installing our Jotul firelight 600 in Ivory. We have a very old, large, drafty dutch colonial with OIL heat! ACKKK We are setting it on the existing hearth w/ a lined stove pipe up the existing chimney. I didn't want it too set back, b/c I want to cook on it occasionally My mom is getting a bunch of cookery stuff for us for xmas The install was today, and as my luck ALWAYS seems to have it they have to come back tom. The stove was 3" to tall : @#*@#! This was all measured previously of course...oh well.
They are bringing the legs to the shop to cut them down as this size model is not avail. w/ shorter legs. And I am so in love with this stove, I am not trading for a diff. one! LOL
I was so looking forward to getting that fire going tonight Luckily, it has been pretty warm here. They are supposed to come back tom. to finish.

Jennifer, Homeschooling mama to Julianna 1996,
Noah born at home 2002, Elijah waterborne at home 2004,: and Isabella: waterborne at home 2007
attachedmama is offline  
#68 of 72 Old 12-07-2007, 12:15 PM
 
Gunter's Avatar
 
Join Date: May 2005
Location: bali, indonesia & north cackalacky
Posts: 3,108
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
I forget to say that the brand we have is Resolute.

It looks like there is some cracking around the lowest seam of the exhaust pipe. what would you use to patch it up and is this a big problem?

doula mama to my nov 05 and my feb 08 babes who wrap me in love.
Gunter is offline  
#69 of 72 Old 12-07-2007, 12:24 PM
 
attachedmama's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Foothills of western NC
Posts: 104
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
subbing :

Jennifer, Homeschooling mama to Julianna 1996,
Noah born at home 2002, Elijah waterborne at home 2004,: and Isabella: waterborne at home 2007
attachedmama is offline  
#70 of 72 Old 12-08-2007, 03:23 AM
 
hilaryj's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Astoria, OR
Posts: 34
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
we live on the oregon coast and just survived a week without heat or electricity due to a major storm and power outage.
Living without electricity was ok, but lack of heat was horrible especially with kids. It has really got us thinking about installing a free standing wood stove. I am looking for suggestions for a free standing wood stove for a small one level house. We have a small 906 sq foot house built in the 20's with minimal insulation and old drafty windows. I would really like a stove which doubled for heat and cooking/re-heating.
hilaryj is offline  
#71 of 72 Old 12-08-2007, 03:24 PM
 
Periwinkle's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 9,037
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Hi Hilary,

First, I would suggest doing a lot of online research (including reading this thread - it's loaded with info and links!) because it's good to know a lot more about the brands out there before selecting one, and the features of the wood stove you'll need to meet your own specific needs.

I would absolutely turn you away from a stove with a catalytic converter because of the difficulty starting a fire and its penchant for clogging and breaking down, and from a stove with an electric fan. I would also turn you away from a fireplace insert (needs electricity to run efficiently) or a pellet stove (if you can't burn actual wood, you can't be truly "off the grid"). I would also turn you away from getting an enamel finish as everything I've read and seen myself says they just don't hold up and chip very easily with use - so go with the matte black (it will look better in an old house anyway).

Because I don't want to be one of those annoying people who ONLY says "do the research yourself" I'll provide an actual brand/model recommendation....

If I were you, I'd get a "Jotul F-118 CB Black Bear".

http://www.jotul.com/en-us/wwwjotulu...CB-Black-Bear/

Here's why:

* It's a Jotul. Made in Norway. Terrific brand, terrific track record. Gorgeous design.
* It will heat up to 1600 sq. ft. This may seem like overkill, but if your house is old and cold and drafty, in my experience you need higher BTU to keep up.
* It handles logs up to 24". This makes it a lot easier to get free firewood, as firewood can be hard to find in <16" log lengths (the next size down only takes up to 16"). Depending on your yard, it will also allow you to use your own wood more easily for the same reason (i.e., less chopping!!).
* It has a good-sized cookplate.
* It allows top, side, and rear installation which means total flexibility as to where you put it.
* It is small and won't overcrowd a small house. The clearances (e.g., clearance to combustibles) is a lot lower than a square stove.
* It will look like it's always been in your house - classic Jotul design in the matte black finish.
* It's non-catalytic clean-burn technology produces a lovely looking fire (because the secondary smoke is then burned, so it's a brilliant lovely fire) AND it won't break down and clog and snuff out your fire when it's 20 degrees outside and you're freezing and trying to fiddle with an ultra-finicky catalytic system while your screaming children and a grumpy dp look on in desperation.

Regardless of which one you choose, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE get a professional to install it and ensure it meets fire code regulations, with a dedicated (and insulated if needed) 6" flue liner. Please get the flue liner cleaned regularly just like any chimney to remove creosote. And please make sure to teach children not to go near it. Involve them with the process so they have a healthy respect for the fact that it's burning hot. I have three kids who are VERY excited to gather sticks in our yard for the fire and know not to go on the hearth (ours is set into our fireplace) and they just don't.

Also, really important - figure out optimal placement for the thing. Whereever you spend the most time in the winter, that's where it should go.

GOOD LUCK!
Periwinkle is offline  
#72 of 72 Old 12-10-2007, 01:49 PM
 
CathMac's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Posts: 4,023
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 0 Post(s)
Quote:
Originally Posted by Periwinkle View Post
...
I would absolutely turn you away from a stove with a catalytic converter because of the difficulty starting a fire and its penchant for clogging and breaking down, and from a stove with an electric fan.

Because I don't want to be one of those annoying people who ONLY says "do the research yourself" I'll provide an actual brand/model recommendation....

If I were you, I'd get a "Jotul F-118 CB Black Bear".

http://www.jotul.com/en-us/wwwjotulu...CB-Black-Bear/

Here's why:

* It's a Jotul. Made in Norway. Terrific brand, terrific track record. Gorgeous design. ... It's non-catalytic clean-burn technology produces a lovely looking fire (because the secondary smoke is then burned, so it's a brilliant lovely fire) AND it won't break down and clog and snuff out your fire when it's 20 degrees outside and you're freezing and trying to fiddle with an ultra-finicky catalytic system while your screaming children and a grumpy dp look on in desperation.
...
Also, really important - figure out optimal placement for the thing. Whereever you spend the most time in the winter, that's where it should go.

GOOD LUCK!
Hilary,

Have you seen this thread?
http://www.mothering.com/discussions...d.php?t=734005

In my post I recommended a site called "Hearthnet". Also, there is a new site, "Hearthtalk".
http://hearthtalk.com/

“Hearthtalk” was started by one or two people that were active participants on “Hearthnet” but had a falling out with the moderators on Hearthnet. I got a lot of good information and support from the members at Hearthet over the months and years (yes years) it took for me to pick a stove. However, the strongest support came from one of the guys that started Hearthnet. Also, he is the driving force behind a “donor program” which is intended to take polluting “pre EPA” “smoke dragons” out of service and replace them with safer, cleaner burning, preferably EPA approved stoves.

You should be able to get good advice at either site if you post the details about your house and heating needs.

It looks like Hearthtalk will also have an environmental emphasis, possibly along the lines of “Living Off the Grid”. It is a newer site and frankly I am hoping that some women here will help establish a feminine presence that is somewhat lacking on Hearthnet. Hearthnet does welcome female members and are not at all condescending or patronizing (except perhaps occasionally but it isn't gender based) but there is a fair amount of what I call "genderalizing" most of it is cute and inoffensive and not much worse than what you may see here when some women are discussing their DHs and yet I am hoping that there is a little less of that on Hearthtalk; or that it is balanced by the "other perspective".

I second Periwinkle's recommendation on a non-catalytic stove but not for quite the same reason. My DH has burned on his mother's "pre EPA" non cat stove and on our EPA catalytic stove. There is a bit of a learning curve with the cat stove as compared to the "pre EPA" non cat stove because of the steps necessary to engage the catalytic converter and get the fire hot enough to burn off the gases which improves emissions and which makes the stove more efficient. The added efficiency comes from burning what would otherwise be waste in the form of pollutants.

Neither DH nor I have ever run an EPA approved non catalytic stove. However, they earned EPA approval by using the stove design (without a catalytic converter) to get that "secondary burn" you need to burn what would otherwise be pollutants. From what I've read this doesn't happen automatically you still need to learn how to run the stove in such a way to make that happen. The advantage in a non-cat stove is that you never have to clean or replace the cat. If you run your stove efficiently and clean it once in awhile you might not need to replace it often.

Another advantage of non cat stoves is that you can burn colored paper without worrying about ruining the cat. Supposedly you can burn black and white newsprint in cat stoves but even then there may be the occasional print ad in color but those probably pose a nominal risk to the cat.

My husband was skeptical about the secondary burn and cleaner emissions of a catalytic stove but he did comment on the fact that as compared to his mother's stove there is little or no smoke coming out of our chimney. So the catalytic converter would seem to be doing it's job. And I wouldn't say he was obsessive about learning how to use the various "controls". Based on everything I've read I wouldn't expect the non cat EPA approved stove to be significantly easier to run unless you ignore the secondary burn feature which you need to make either type of stove as efficient as it can be.

I admire the PP for going out on a limb and recommending a particular stove. Jotul is a good name. However, I do know that some Jotuls are not as efficient as their competition.

Also, aside from your specific requirements (house size, open versus closed floor plan, insulation, stove placement, etc.) one of your first considerations should be dealer support. Unlike automobiles where there are dealers almost everywhere and the manufacturer supports the warranty through any dealer, you can only expect the dealer that actually sold you the stove to support it and in the current environment (high fuel costs, increased sales, busy retailers) you had better be local enough that they can service your stove easily.

One of the exceptions to this is Woodstock (they sell Soapstone catalytic stoves) . They sell direct which is probably why they have a generous money back guarantee (it may be 6 months).

If you run into a situation where dealer support is inadequate then you had better be handy. Sometimes you are better of with a less than ideal stove from a really good local dealer than you are with an excellent stove that meets all of your criteria from a distant or poor dealer. Try to get dealer recommendations from friends and neighbors.

Regarding inserts versus free standing stoves. I would have preferred a free standing stove but we didn't have enough room. In a house the size of yours it may be an issue as well. Due to the safety clearances a free standing stove can take up quite a bit of your living space. If you have a fireplace it may make more sense to get an insert. If you do consider inserts look at those with blowers to push the heated air into the room. Otherwise an ordinary fan pointed towards the ceiling at a 45 degree angle can do wonders.

You have a smaller house so if your floor plan is open you may get good heat flow even if your electricity fails. There are least two inserts that don't have to be flush with the fireplace so it is easier for the blowers to get the heat into the room: the Hearthstone Morgan (small/medium) and Clydesdale (medium/large) can extend 5 inches beyond the front of the fireplace. Of course the hearth would need to be 5 inches deeper and the insert would then encroach on the room by 5 additional inches.

I have also heard of people putting freestanding stoves in front or partially recessed into the fireplace. However, you would need a metal shroud or surround to minimize the heat loss up the chimney.

Do not put a wood stove in an uninsulated basement on the theory that heat rises. Concrete is a poor insulator and will suck much of the heat out of the basement. This is especially true for any concrete wall above the frost line and even more true if it is above ground level. I know a lot of people just can’t wrap their minds around this concept (including DH) but I can put my hands on the article that describes the heat transfer principles that explain this, if you are interested. Not that DH believed it when he read it.

This might be true of stone or "rubble" foundations as well, but maybe less so. I'm guessing concrete is "leakier" than stone.

Do not cut heat registers / vents into the floor to allow heat to rise because you are breaking an important fire barrier, which is a tremendous safety issue. In the event of a fire any heat registers/vents are a source of oxygen for the fire in the floor below and provides an easy path for the fire to travel. Giving the people on the floor above less time to get out of the house.

Good luck,
~Cath
CathMac is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Drag and Drop File Upload
Drag files here to attach!
Upload Progress: 0
Options

Register Now

In order to be able to post messages on the Mothering Forums forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.
User Name:
If you do not want to register, fill this field only and the name will be used as user name for your post.
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.
Password:
Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.
Email Address:

Log-in

Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



User Tag List

Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page


Forum Jump: 

Posting Rules  
You may post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are Off