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Underdog

Wood Burning Stove

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Does anybody have any recommendations, thoughts, experiences and/or  tips on acquiring a new and/or used wood stove including which brand to get, etc.?

Thanks!

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1 hour ago, Underdog said:

Does anybody have any recommendations, thoughts, experiences and/or  tips on acquiring a new and/or used wood stove including which brand to get, etc.?

Thanks!

i've been running a napoleon stove insert for about 6 years now. i had expected more burn time out of it. it was rated for up to 9 hours, but i've never gotten more than about 6 or 6.5. it does however keep my house(right around 1k square feet) at a comfy 80f when it's in the teens outside. it's also cut my heating oil consumption more than in half.

 that all said, i've been looking for something that'll give me same heat output, but longe burns. blazeking seems to be winning my favor, and i'll be looking into them this spring when prices hopefully drop.

 

 for wood, i mostly burn oak and poplar. someone had given me a few pieces of cherry wood. i generally gather my wood from the curb when people have had trees taken down, then cut and split it myself. it's work....but it's also exercise, and the benefits are more than worth the extra effort to do this.

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I bought one of these towards the end of 2020. https://www.lowes.com/pd/Summers-Heat-2000-sq-ft-Wood-Burning-Stove/999918844

It throws a lot of heat - to the point that I have to open a window or two if it's above 32F outside but when it's hot I burn no propane at all. I use the forced air system to pump the warm air from the living room around to the rest of the house. My place is approx. 1200 sq. feet.

If I fill it up at 11pm and set the damper after the logs have caught, the embers will be are still hot enough at 7am to catch fresh, dry logs without messing about with trying to relight it. It is not throwing much heat by then so I'm grateful for the propane furnace kicking in just before I get out of bed.

My usual propane auto-delivery is 150-180 gallons. Last delivery was 27 gal!

What I particularly like about this stove is the very large window in the front. It makes for a nice feature in the living room. It also has an automatic damper so when you add fresh wood, you can set the damper to half or full closed and then rotate the handle to open it back up, held by a bi-metallic strip. When the stove gets to full heat the damper is released to whatever you had set it to so the burn slows down and doesn't overheat the stove or the chimney.

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We have a jotul.   Thats the only thing i heat my house with.  2200 sq ft.  I do keep the thermostat around 62.  Just in case its an extremely cold night.  Like tonight.  But usually my house keeps right around 72 all winter long. I mostly burn ash because thats the majority of the dead trees in nj.  Ill go through maybe 6 cords a year.  

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I have a Vermont Castings stove.  It will heat the whole house keeping it around 70 degrees even if the outside temperature is below zero.  I've had the stove for over 20 years and use about 2 cords during the winter.

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13 hours ago, dilbert1967 said:

I have a Vermont Castings stove.  It will heat the whole house keeping it around 70 degrees even if the outside temperature is below zero.  I've had the stove for over 20 years and use about 2 cords during the winter.

I was looking at a Vermont Castings Encore or Defiant.  They seem to be required to have catalytic converters.   I will have to investigate what is legal, especially since  I was considering finding an older, used stove.  I definitely will have to check into the local codes as  I would imagine a permit is necessary.   I want to use my existing fireplace chimney with the stove out on the floor.  The ambience of glass doors so you can see the fire would be a plus as well.  Good suggestion, Mr. Stu.  I will have to checkout Lowes options and since I don't have any usable hardwood it might be better to wait until the end of the season.    

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13 minutes ago, Underdog said:

I was looking at a Vermont Castings Encore or Defiant.  They seem to be required to have catalytic converters.   I will have to investigate what is legal, especially since  I was considering finding an older, used stove.  I definitely will have to check into the local codes as  I would imagine a permit is necessary.   I want to use my existing fireplace chimney with the stove out on the floor.  The ambience of glass doors so you can see the fire would be a plus as well.  Good suggestion, Mr. Stu.  I will have to checkout Lowes options and since I don't have any usable hardwood it might be better to wait until the end of the season.    

I have the Aspen 1920 model.  I had a choice between the catalytic converter and a second burn chamber submodel.  I chose the second burn chamber because the catalytic converter requires maintenance and eventually replacing the converter.  After an hour or so, if you look at the chimney outside, you can't tell I'm burning until you see the heat coming off the chimney.  No smoke is visible.

When I had it installed, the code inspector was more concerned with the hearth construction than the smoke the unit produced.

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1 hour ago, dilbert1967 said:

I have the Aspen 1920 model.  I had a choice between the catalytic converter and a second burn chamber submodel.  I chose the second burn chamber because the catalytic converter requires maintenance and eventually replacing the converter.  After an hour or so, if you look at the chimney outside, you can't tell I'm burning until you see the heat coming off the chimney.  No smoke is visible.

When I had it installed, the code inspector was more concerned with the hearth construction than the smoke the unit produced.

how long does the catalyst last, and what type of maintenance does it need? how often? mine's one of the secondary air types...but as i mentioned, i don't get more than 6'ish hours average.....

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3 hours ago, 1LtCAP said:

how long does the catalyst last, and what type of maintenance does it need? how often? mine's one of the secondary air types...but as i mentioned, i don't get more than 6'ish hours average.....

This stove is over 20 years old so in my research back then, I discovered that a catalytic converter could be expected to last 5 years.  Routine maintenance consisted of taking apart the stove and cleaning the converter annually.  When you say you "don't get more than 6'ish hours average"  I take that to mean you fill up the burn box and don't have to add wood for six hours?  If that's the case, and that's what you are looking for, I don't recommend this stove.  Burn time to add wood for this stove is between 30 - 60 minutes.

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https://www.osburn-mfg.com/en/products/wood-stoves/

 

Get an osburn! You wont be sorry!  Made in quebec. Im on year 21 with mine, and i heat almost exclusively with wood. I have not had to replace a single part on this thing. Just gave it a good cleaning and some new firebricks inside. The steel inside is as smooth and good as the day it was new. No catalytic converter; secondardy air burn and those are stainless tubes that are still in perfect shape after all these years..  I cant say enough good about my wood stove.  large viewing glass on my model.

 

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On 1/27/2022 at 9:29 AM, 1LtCAP said:

how long does the catalyst last, and what type of maintenance does it need? how often? mine's one of the secondary air types...but as i mentioned, i don't get more than 6'ish hours average.....

I would imagine that it would also last longer if you are burning seasoned, quality hard wood.  

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1 hour ago, Underdog said:

I would imagine that it would also last longer if you are burning seasoned, quality hard wood.  

That's a good point - if you're going to use wood for heat, get a wood moisture meter. It is invaluable in making sure the wood you plan to burn i ready. If you buy firewood, you will find not everybody who will sell it to you are really on the same page when they say it's "fully seasoned and ready to burn"

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On 1/27/2022 at 12:52 PM, dilbert1967 said:

This stove is over 20 years old so in my research back then, I discovered that a catalytic converter could be expected to last 5 years.  Routine maintenance consisted of taking apart the stove and cleaning the converter annually.  When you say you "don't get more than 6'ish hours average"  I take that to mean you fill up the burn box and don't have to add wood for six hours?  If that's the case, and that's what you are looking for, I don't recommend this stove.  Burn time to add wood for this stove is between 30 - 60 minutes.

when i'm home and awake, i don't mind how often i hafta refill the stove. but i need to be able to fill it when i go to bed, and not have to get up at 3 or 4 in the morning to refill....then refill when i get up for work, and have it stop producing heat before i get home. that's why i need/want the long burn times. i'd like to see if i can make it so that the oil boiler doesn't run at all other than to heat my hot water.

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3 hours ago, Underdog said:

I would imagine that it would also last longer if you are burning seasoned, quality hard wood.  

most of my wood is seasoned well.....last 2 years, i kinda sorta over-seasoned. that i know contributed to short burn times. but...poplar and oak mostly.

 

1 hour ago, Mr.Stu said:

That's a good point - if you're going to use wood for heat, get a wood moisture meter. It is invaluable in making sure the wood you plan to burn i ready. If you buy firewood, you will find not everybody who will sell it to you are really on the same page when they say it's "fully seasoned and ready to burn"

i bought one last year, and that's how i found out i was over-seasoning.

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On 1/28/2022 at 7:20 PM, Underdog said:

I would imagine that it would also last longer if you are burning seasoned, quality hard wood.  

A stoves "life" will be directly related to what its made from, and how well it's maintained to prevent chimney fires and over heating. 

What kills a stove is overheating it, and that comes from either too dry wood, or creosote buildup from wet wood that eventually burns. 

Unfortunately, long gone are the days of a 100% cast iron stove that would last multiple lifetimes when properly used. 

All new stoves are required to have three stage burns cycles, catalytic converters are pretty much standard and THAT has become the weak link in these wood stove Unfortunately. 

We run a regency I2400 insert with a blower, pre catalytic version. I personally clean it out once a year, we're on year 6 and i can't see any noticeable "wear" on it. Newer stoves use replaceable firebrick that line the entire burn chamber and I will probably have to replace them in maybe 20 years of use. 

If I pack this thing, and they do make a larger unit, I can get 8 hours of burn if I use a combination or larger and smaller logs and wood should be around 20% moist or slightly under. I think peoppe misunderstand what what burn rate is, I can load at 7am leave for work and return at 4pm(9hrs), stove is still warm(200f) along with the house, and drop seasoned wood in on coals, close door and be back up to temp in 15 minutes. The key is to clean out the ash every couple days to maximize the space. Once you burn wood at 15% or lower, it just burns to quickly. I now only use 1 year seasoned hard woods. Burning wood below 10% is actually dangerous with new epa stoves because you CANNOT shut them down, and risk a runaway.. you can hear the high pitch whine as the secondary burners suck air through a non adjustable inlet. ask me how I know... luckily I was able to get it under control, but my pipe coming out the back into a double walled liner has some nice purple coloration to it... a bad sign of overheating. 

Get yourself a chimfix, not sure what I would have done without one. 

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