Welcome to NESR! Most features of this site require registration, including replying to threads, sending private messages, starting new threads, and uploading files. Click here to register.

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 60

Wood heat

  1. #1
    Back on 2 wheels yay StrayNut's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    NW Boston burbs
    Posts
    355

    Wood heat


    I'm guessing a fair number of people here have some kind of wood heat.

    We're thinking about getting a wood stove or wood stove insert to sit in, or in front of, our fireplace and vent up the chimney. The fireplace is only 26" tall so that limits our choices a bit. It would be great to find something that has >=75% HHV efficiency so it would qualify for the 26% tax credit, but that further limits options. The house is around 1800 sq ft, but we have a gas furnace and don't plan on wood being the main heat source for the whole house just for coziness/supplement/emergency backup. So it doesn't need to be big, and we're not looking to spend a crazy amount either.

    What brand/model do you have, how do you like it, how does it work, what's the maintenance and operation like, any tips or mistakes to avoid... Anything you have time to tell me would be much appreciated!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  2. #2
    (4) Try not to be a dick. PurplePackage's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2020
    Location
    Chelmsford, MA
    Posts
    553

    Re: Wood heat

    its a lot of work to do it right and make code. see the first 10 seconds here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgGAGRSIsjw

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  3. #3
    Lifer jimmycapp's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2008
    Location
    NW CT
    Posts
    1,479

    Re: Wood heat

    I bought a used hearthstone heritage I/II. Can't remember but it's from the 80's. I like the more even heat from the thick stones, though I would go with a bigger firebox next time. I can get it to 8hrs and have some coals left, but it's not putting much heat out at that point. Make sure you have a side door on the stove, much cleaner to load. Ash pan is nice to easily clear ash in between cleanings. I'll typically get on the roof with a brush in Jan/Feb, when we get a nice day, and quickly clean out the chimney. My house is one floor, 1675 square feet, and easily heats the whole house, quickly. The room the stove is in has 14" ceiling (A frame style) so it doesn't overheat the room too bad. Wood is a lot of work but it sure heats nicely. We're in the process of replacing our 1965 oil furnace with a heatpump/propane backup. I typically burn less than one tank of oil (last year only used half a 330 tank) and about 4 chord of wood.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  4. #4
    Super Adventurer SRTie4k's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Dublin, NH
    Age
    37
    Posts
    5,232

    Re: Wood heat

    We bought a Pacific Energy Vista insert last winter. It's pretty small, but unfortunately due to our small fireplace size it is the only one that would fit without doing major masonry work. Despite it's size, if we load it up and get a really good fire going, in our 1250sq/ft house it will put out so much heat we have to open the slider door. The other plus side about the Pacific Energy lines are that they don't have cats, so they are pretty easy to start while still EPA 2020 certified.

    We have run it without power (i.e. without fans) and it still kept the house hot enough to have to open some windows.

    Very happy with the quality and price of these stoves. I would probably have opted for a slightly larger one, like the Neo 2.5 or the Super if I had a big enough fireplace (and bigger house).

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by SRTie4k; 10-21-21 at 09:42 AM.
    2015 KTM 1290 Super Adventure
    2017 Honda CRF250L Rally

  5. #5
    BMW track whore e30addict's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    I93/495
    Age
    45
    Posts
    7,898

    Re: Wood heat

    Why not a pellet insert or stove. Lot less work and quicker to fire up if you want cozy? Biggest down downside to them I can see are power outages but that can be solved with a generator if need be.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    2012 Tiger 800 XC

  6. #6
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Farmington, NH
    Age
    69
    Posts
    15,062

    Re: Wood heat

    I didn't go the wood stove route, I have a wood burning central heat FHA furnace, uses same plenum & ductwork as my oil burning FHA furnace

    with furnace, in basement, wood never comes into living area, I have a "wood room" where I stack up to 5 cord. it becomes a thermal mass that stores heat

    both furnaces are 35+ years old, plan on ripping all that out in the near future, and putting in FHW radiant heat, possibly an outdoor furnace

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    RandyO
    IBA#9560
    A man with a gun is a citizen
    A man without a gun is a subject

  7. #7
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Seacoast NH
    Posts
    17,612

    Re: Wood heat

    I installed a Regency Hampton almost 10 years ago. I believe it is this unit.
    I love it. I have no space anywhere else in the house for a stove and really wanted one. The fireplace design was/is supposedly good ("Rumford fireplace"). But when ever we set a fire in it I swear the room got colder!
    I shopped for a while and really wanted the cast-iron look like the wood stoves we had when I was a kid. There were a lot of formed steel stoves on the market that I gather are more of a west-coast look. The unit we settled on is a steel box with cast dressings on the front. I think it looks great.

    Function wise it is really easy to live with. After 10 years mine is due for a rebuild (door gasket and fire-bricks) but soldiers on anyway. Just the other day we sparked it up and quickly got the 1st floor into the 70's. (Was 60 before I started it.)

    It is not a cat stove and not super efficient. But it works well enough for my needs. One beef is that it really needs the fan going to work well. When/if we lose power it is way less effective. Our chimney is off the north side of the hose and does a great job of melting snow in that part of the yard. Were I building from scratch I'd build a center-chimney cape. But sometimes you buy the house that is available, not the dream. I often remove parts of the trim in a power outage to try to encourage air circulation, but it is not enough to heat our ~2k sqft home. Especially in the rooms far away from the living room.

    Local wood prices have been pretty high the last few years, even for green wood. I've been trying to get set up to cut some of the wood here on the property, but I am not there yet. Instead I have been buying a ton or two of those compressed sawdust bricks now and then. I just humped 2 tons worth into the basement. Should last us a couple years as we burn infrequently. The bricks are way, way easier to live with than wood as they are cleaner, light crazy easy, and burn very hot. Also almost no ash.

    I usually leave the thermostats at ~65 and use the stove to build off that to make the living room where we spend most of our time more comfortable. We are not using this as our primary heat source by any means. At night I will load up the box with 4-6 bricks and let her slow burn all night. Usually lasts until 4-5 AM and the stove is still warm to the touch when I get up.

    I paid someone to install it but got a bit shafted. They did the chimney liner and the heavy lifting. (The thing is crazy heavy.) But somehow I got left on my own getting the permit and sign-off. My town required a mechanical permit for it and the inspector busted my nuts on the hearth. Book wanted so many inches from the firebox opening and because the stove bumps out from the existing fireplace I was now under that. I was pretty annoyed. Fortunately I found some cheap tiles that went nicely with the existing brick hearth, laid those in extending the hearth. Inspector came back and was satisfied and it doesn't look too bad.

    If you have an existing fireplace that is anywhere near modern then I can't imagine you'd have much trouble meeting code. The book says (or said) that the space needs to be lined with x-inches of non-combustible material. It doesn't say it has to be a concrete pad or massive marble slab (or BOTH like that video). IIRC you can buy pre-fab pads for standalone stoves from most stove shops.

    Wood heat-dsc_0139-jpeg

    My father told me I was a fool for buying that, insisted I just wasn't setting the flue in the fireplace right, all that. He had a heatilator style fireplace with built in airflow cavities, but his fireplace was much deeper and less optimal than ours. He has since installed an insert a lot like ours. That tells me something!

    The stainless sleeve in the chimney gives me some peace of mind against chimney fires too.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  8. #8
    Bizarro Zoolander Petorius's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2011
    Location
    Windham NH
    Posts
    2,125

    Re: Wood heat

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    The fireplace design was/is supposedly good ("Rumford fireplace"). But when ever we set a fire in it I swear the room got colder!
    This seems to be a real thing. Lots of articles on the interwebs.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  9. #9
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Posts
    1,126,197

    Re: Wood heat

    We currently have a Lopi Liberty free standing wood stove that handily heats our +/-2500 sq. ft. 2-story. Short story is our house was an old camp with 2x4" exterior walls except for the 800 sq. ft. 2-story addition. It was never meant to be lived in during the winter.

    Before the addition we had a Napoleon that handled the 1600+ sq. ft. just fine.

    Ours is a rather open concept and the upper floor has vaulted ceilings in most of the structure. Ceiling fans are key. We have them just about everywhere we could manage to install one and they're running 24/7 all year long.

    Both stoves were incredible. I love the Lopi Liberty we're currently running. The only maintenance is scooping the ashes out (or vacuuming with the right tools). Every 3-4 years I'll have to replace the door and glass gaskets, but that's as simple as it gets. Twice in the 15 or so years we've been running the Lopi I've had to replace a roll pin that holds the reburn tubes (prevents them from spinning) that directs unburned gasses back into the firebox.

    The Napoleon was a great stove too. It had the pull out ash pan under the stove (in the pedestal), but I didn't like it. There's no way to fully prevent air seeping into the firebox and it left part of the bottom of the firebox exposed to intense heat (hot coals). It never caused a huge problem, but I prefer as much of a sealed unit as possible.

    We've burned as little as 3-4 cord, but we've gone through 6 cord and run out. There's SO many variables heating with wood that it's impossible for us to pinpoint just exactly how much we use. I normally shoot for 5-6 cord and hope for the best. Usually, we're right around that mark. But that's all moot if you have no intention of it being your main source.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
    Or did you lisp it all hangfisted like a fuckin' flower?

  10. #10
    Burns retinas nhbubba's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Seacoast NH
    Posts
    17,612

    Re: Wood heat

    Ceiling fans is a great point. After I installed the insert I installed a ceiling fan in the living room where the stove lives. HUGE difference summer and winter. Every spring/fall I flip the switch and reverse the fan; suck in the winter, blow in the summer.

    Quote Originally Posted by Petorius View Post
    This seems to be a real thing. Lots of articles on the interwebs.
    Normally I try to just make shit up, mostly for your entertainment.

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  11. #11
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Farmington, NH
    Age
    69
    Posts
    15,062

    Re: Wood heat

    I wish a ceiling fan was an option in my house... lets's just say, not everyone can stand erect in my house, I will be putting a couple in my barn, when I take the suspended ceiling out

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    RandyO
    IBA#9560
    A man with a gun is a citizen
    A man without a gun is a subject

  12. #12
    Lifer
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Location
    holland ma.
    Posts
    1,640

    Re: Wood heat

    I used this one until my wife decided it was too ugly to live with and wanted an insert instead. It would get so hot in my house it would put you sleep in an instant. I would say 1500sq/ft as a minimum size for this beast. I am still upset we downgraded to an insert, it barely heats the house above 70. The model i linked to is based on the legendary all-nighter unit.

    https://www.tractorsupply.com/tsc/pr...lator-us2941eb

    FWIW i had a small fireplace so my insert is tiny. It wasnt the opening size that was my issue even though its small, it was the depth. I think that will be more your limiting factor.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  13. #13
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Posts
    1,126,197

    Re: Wood heat

    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    The fireplace design was/is supposedly good ("Rumford fireplace"). But when ever we set a fire in it I swear the room got colder!
    Quote Originally Posted by Petorius View Post
    This seems to be a real thing. Lots of articles on the interwebs.
    Quote Originally Posted by nhbubba View Post
    Normally I try to just make shit up, mostly for your entertainment.
    Wood fireplaces with chimneys need to draw in cold air. It makes sense that the room would feel colder while lighting it, but is it really? Not much cold air will seep up the chimney once it's lit. But it's drawing cool air from the rest of the room. It's more likely that you now feel a slight breeze giving the impression that it's actually getting colder.

    We don't necessarily need one, but I've always wanted an insert for our fireplace. Besides having the extra source of heat, an insert would seal the exhaust far better than the typical chimney flue/damper while not in use. There's A LOT of heat getting wasted up chimneys while not in use.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
    Or did you lisp it all hangfisted like a fuckin' flower?

  14. #14
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Posts
    1,126,197

    Re: Wood heat

    Ceiling fans aside, try to find a unit with it's own fan/circulator. Those can be a huge help. I'm talking stoves/inserts that use proprietary fans - ones that are made for and can be easily mounted to your unit (yeah, I said it). Those can be a huge help in some situations. Fuck, some stoves even come with auto igniters now. I believe Lopi has a few models available with that option. Just toss in some crumbled newspaper, stack some kindling and build a small fire, hit the magic button, and booya! a 1400 degree probe will get it all going.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
    Or did you lisp it all hangfisted like a fuckin' flower?

  15. #15
    Don't bother me! R7's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2001
    Location
    Yamaha Blvd
    Age
    48
    Posts
    14,148

    Re: Wood heat

    Its not our primary heat source, but we have a Harman stove in our fireplace, which is in the center of the house. Its more than capable of heating our 1,550 sqft house alone, its just not even close to having even heating throughout. We did get a mini fan that operates just by the heat from the stove, which did make a big difference.
    We also have a wood outside boiler for primary heat/hot water in the winter, this is probably our last winter using that system. Lately Ive found more value in my free time doing things I enjoy, rather than cutting, hauling, splitting and stacking wood only to handle it all again in the winter.

    Wood heat-44d434fc-08dd-49d8-a132-18f8b4db3a69

    3 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Yamaha

    A Big Powerful Sportbike

  16. #16
    Super Moderator TheIglu's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Location
    Royalston, MA
    Age
    41
    Posts
    20,781

    Re: Wood heat

    Blaze King. /thread

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    -Clayton
    2021 KTM Duke 890 R
    2006 Suzuki SV650
    1982 Honda CB750F Super Sport

  17. #17
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Farmington, NH
    Age
    69
    Posts
    15,062

    Re: Wood heat

    is anybody besides me running a barometric damper on their woodburner ?


    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    RandyO
    IBA#9560
    A man with a gun is a citizen
    A man without a gun is a subject

  18. #18
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Posts
    1,126,197

    Re: Wood heat

    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    is anybody besides me running a barometric damper on their woodburner ?

    We tried one when our chimney was all on the outside of our house (before the addition). All it did was draw cool air into the house when the chimney wasn't hot enough to draft properly. It had no effect one way or the other on burn times, etc. What it DID come in handy for was a holder for my heat gun. If the fire went out for whatever reason, I could just put my heat gun in there and crank it on high until the chimney had a good draft. I'd light the fire once smoke was pulled up the chimney from a test piece.

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
    Or did you lisp it all hangfisted like a fuckin' flower?

  19. #19
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Farmington, NH
    Age
    69
    Posts
    15,062

    Re: Wood heat

    they do send inside air up the chimney, that bypasses being sucked thru the fire, and slowing the burn rate down, but remember, mine is in my basement, not in my living area, so it's sucking cooler basement air up the chimney

    the downside is you get more creosote, after I replace my stovepipe, I will try to make a small chimney fire to burn the creosote off, I bet if you dropped a brick in my chimney, it would get stuck in creosote before it made it all the way to the bottom

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    RandyO
    IBA#9560
    A man with a gun is a citizen
    A man without a gun is a subject

  20. #20
    Kosher Assassin Stoneman's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2001
    Location
    Center Barnstead, NH
    Posts
    1,126,197

    Re: Wood heat

    Quote Originally Posted by Stoneman View Post
    We tried one when our chimney was all on the outside of our house (before the addition). All it did was draw cool air into the house when the chimney wasn't hot enough to draft properly. It had no effect one way or the other on burn times, etc. What it DID come in handy for was a holder for my heat gun. If the fire went out for whatever reason, I could just put my heat gun in there and crank it on high until the chimney had a good draft. I'd light the fire once smoke was pulled up the chimney from a test piece.
    Quote Originally Posted by RandyO View Post
    they do send inside air up the chimney, that bypasses being sucked thru the fire, and slowing the burn rate down, but remember, mine is in my basement, not in my living area, so it's sucking cooler basement air up the chimney

    the downside is you get more creosote, after I replace my stovepipe, I will try to make a small chimney fire to burn the creosote off, I bet if you dropped a brick in my chimney, it would get stuck in creosote before it made it all the way to the bottom
    I dunno. It just seemed like a gimmick to me. We also tried one of those fans Mark has on his stove. Didn't do shit. No matter how hot the stovetop got, the thing barely moved. I tried fucking with it to get it to spin more, but it just didn't pan out for us.

    There's times when I'll have to shut the model-specific fan off. Sometimes it blows so efficiently that our bedroom (which is technically behind the stove) won't get heat. Works great for getting the hot air to the rest of the house though!

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Did you grit your teeth and try to look like Clint Fuckin' Eastwood?
    Or did you lisp it all hangfisted like a fuckin' flower?

  21. #21
    Angry Gumball RandyO's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2001
    Location
    Farmington, NH
    Age
    69
    Posts
    15,062

    Re: Wood heat

    I do have an indoor masonry chimney, it creates it's own thermal mass, once it gets warmed up, it was a required item for installation, but my wood furnace is also capable of burning coal (tried a couple bags when I first got it, once you get the coal going, it burns forever, and hotter than a motherfuck) but where do I dispose of coal ash ?

    0 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    RandyO
    IBA#9560
    A man with a gun is a citizen
    A man without a gun is a subject

  22. #22

    Re: Wood heat

    Quote Originally Posted by PurplePackage View Post
    its a lot of work to do it right and make code. see the first 10 seconds here

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QgGAGRSIsjw
    They went overboard on the pad for this, which is certainly better then not doing enough, that stove only needs the equivalent of 2.5" thick clay brick to meet it's listing requirements. They could also get by with a store bought, listed, hearth pad as long as it met the R value. The Woodstock stove they chose to use is one of the few stoves still sold that needs floor protection with an actual R value, hence the pad. Most new stoves only need spark protection so any non-combustible surface works, I've installed some on sheets of glass in the past.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    Last edited by freezinvt; 10-21-21 at 03:54 PM.

  23. #23

    Re: Wood heat

    Quote Originally Posted by StrayNut View Post
    I'm guessing a fair number of people here have some kind of wood heat.

    We're thinking about getting a wood stove or wood stove insert to sit in, or in front of, our fireplace and vent up the chimney. The fireplace is only 26" tall so that limits our choices a bit. It would be great to find something that has >=75% HHV efficiency so it would qualify for the 26% tax credit, but that further limits options. The house is around 1800 sq ft, but we have a gas furnace and don't plan on wood being the main heat source for the whole house – just for coziness/supplement/emergency backup. So it doesn't need to be big, and we're not looking to spend a crazy amount either.

    What brand/model do you have, how do you like it, how does it work, what's the maintenance and operation like, any tips or mistakes to avoid... Anything you have time to tell me would be much appreciated!
    Whether you choose an insert or a hearth stove can depend on what your intent is. If you want something that still looks like a fireplace and will actually help heat a room then an insert is a great option. If you're looking for a source of heat that can also act as a back up heat source if the power goes out then I generally recommend a hearth stove to my customers. Inserts generally utilize a blower to push air around the unit and then into the room. The one big downside to this is that of the power goes out the blower won't run and with more then half the unit buried inside of the fireplace you're limiting it's ability to provide heat.

    Aesthetics can also play a part in the decision. Inserts almost always look better in a fireplace then a hearth stove, which is just a wood stove located on the hearth of a fireplace. Some modern inserts also utilize large door glass to help provide more of the look of an open fire.

    Regardless of which you choose, you'll want to make sure an insulated, stainless steel, chimney liner is used. Almost all the manufacturer's require the use of the liner but some installers will skip the insulation or only run the liner just past the damper in the fireplace and call it good, it isn't.

    In no real order Pacific Energy, Blaze King, Regency, and Napoleon make pretty cost effective stoves. There's others too but these have become the most common in my area. Unless you find something in the higher end stuff (Hearthstone, VT Castings, Woodstock, Jotul, etc.) that really does something for you then don't bother spending the extra money. Jotul is one of the few "premium" brands that I recommend but it's still hard to justify the extra cost, in my opinion. Soapstone does give off heat differently then cast iron or steel, so there's that too.

    A couple other things that can factor into all this is whether your fireplace sits flush with the floor or has a raised hearth, is it a traditional masonry fireplace, a "heatalator" style metal firebox, or a prefab fireplace.

    2 Not allowed! Not allowed!

  24. #24
    Lifer golden chicken's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Fitchburg, MA
    Posts
    1,696

    Re: Wood heat

    Have a Jotul that came with the house in the basement living area, but I don't use it for main heat as we don't spend much time down there. It's more of a novelty for me. The times I have cranked it for a day or two in a row it gets pretty toasty downstairs. It also dries the air, so you might want a humidifier. I think I burn 10-15 of those bundles of firewood you can buy at the grocery store or HD or the gas station in a year. It's not even worth buying a half a cord to me.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!
    What's the difference between a bolt and a screw?
    First you screw, then you bolt.

  25. #25
    Changes come butcher bergs's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2007
    Location
    the humbling river
    Posts
    12,766

    Re: Wood heat

    Quote Originally Posted by StrayNut View Post
    What brand/model do you have, how do you like it, how does it work, what's the maintenance and operation like, any tips or mistakes to avoid... Anything you have time to tell me would be much appreciated!
    We have an ancient Old Mill cast iron stove that heats every bit of our 2500ish sq/ft. I rebricked it several years ago and have replaced the door gaskets once in the 11 yes we've been here.

    Make certain your chimney is proper in every way and check it annually for creosote.

    When you burn, do it for several hours at a time as that will reduce the amount of creosote since the chimney will have time to build temp and burn off as much moisture as possible.

    I'd also recommend a temp gauge on the stove pipe so you have some type of reference of your operating temps. I speak from experience when I say a chimney fire is something you want to avoid.

    Consider a fire extinguisher or 3 if you don't already have one (or 3).

    Finally, having some sort of air movement will help significantly with regards to distributing the heat.

    1 Not allowed! Not allowed!

Page 1 of 3 123 LastLast

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •