New Stove recommendations

paulkApril 16, 2008

With oil prices so high I would like to have a stove installed in my basement. We currently have a cheap fireplace on the first floor. Looks better than it works. So the stove would be more of a heat source as opposed to aesthetics. Since I no nothing about stoves, are there well known brands that produce better than others. Or do I look for the latest in new technology?

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What kind of stove?





    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 1:24PM
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I'm going with wood since I have access to a large supply.

    Bookmark   April 16, 2008 at 2:09PM
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OK, my personal likes in woodstoves are

Jotul, Harmon, Lopi, and Napoleon.

All look good, and all have good reputations.

At this point wood stoves for home heating are truly a mature technology and you'll be hard pressed to find one that doesn't work well.

Personally I advise staying away from the catalytic models. New non-cat units are as efficient as cat units, and the cats have to be replaced periodically, sometimes at considerable cost.

Were I putting a woodstove in my home, I'd go with a Jotul simply because I like their styling the best.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 2:02PM
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You're putting this in your basement. Styling probably isn't quite as important, then.

You might want to consider one of the utility style wood stoves like a Wonderwood or an Ashley circulator.

Not nearly as expensive, but very good reputations.


Here's a page from that recommends against putting a woodstove in the basement, unless that's the area you're intending to heat.

A friend of mine has a woodstove in his basement, but he made a heat collector hood with a circulator fan on it and tied it into his heating system.

Rube Goldbergish, but it works well.

    Bookmark   April 17, 2008 at 2:08PM
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kframe19 - thanks for your information which will certainly help with my decision. I was surprised the basement is a poor location. I'm now wondering about replacing my current fire place with an insert. However my wife doesn't like the idea of the mess, so I'm still in limbo.

    Bookmark   April 21, 2008 at 7:22AM
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Just moved into my new house with a Lopi Leyden wood burning stove. Its up on a granite platform and we love it. Top loading/non-catalytic. Easy to operate and burns our old juniper wood just fine. Adaptable to be a top chimney or out the back for a fireplace insert. An ash vac keeps the ash clean up mess to a minimum. I get more mess from putting the old shaggy juniper wood into the top of the stove than from the ash out of the bottom. Another one we considered was the Harmon Oakwood. very similar but we like the eagles in the front of the stove on the lopi. Lopi also makes a Leyden pellet stove. Its been cold this april and it sure beats burning propane in the evening.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 1:38AM
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Go to your local stove shop.
Look around and speak with a professional. Inserts are great and if you get a good vacuum the "mess" is minimal. And watching the fire on a cold snowy evening makes it all worthwhile. We've been known to shut the TV off and found the fire more entertaining than some of the cr*p on TV today.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 7:39AM
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I have two local stores. One exclusively carries Quadra-fire products. The other offers Majestic, Vermont, Regency, Heat N Glo, Heartland, and Heatilator. All of these choices is why I was trying to get some opinions. The only brand I have heard of is Vermont.

    Bookmark   April 22, 2008 at 11:34AM
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STAY AWAY FROM VERMONT CASTINGS! They USED to be the "standard of the industry" but they were sold to Majestic who wanted to convert them into gas stoves. That didn't work as the upper echelon management of VC walked out. They were then sold to a "group of investors". That means the owners know nothing about the industry and just want to make profits. Even stove shops here in VT won't carry them as they have so many service calls. We have 3 stove shops in our area and none will touch VC.

I personally have a Regency. I have the small freestnading unit in my home and it heats it very nicely when it's 30 below outside. I also like the lifetime warranty.

    Bookmark   April 23, 2008 at 7:42AM
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First--put the heat where you are going to reap the most benefit from it.

Take a good hard look at the enviro kodiak insert. the pic on their website does not do it justice, it is actually a beautiful black,,and built with 5/16 steel on top and 1/4" steel on the sides and it really pumps out the heat. and with the shrouds on both side it is as picture perfect as a bay window.

I know because I just bought the big one and couldn`t be happier. You do know of course that you will have to get the chimney stainless steel liner to bring it up to code.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 1:53AM
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What good is the Kodiak if there's nobody local to service it if necessary? Who knows enough about it to install it correctly?

That's a main problem. You get many people telling you what to buy as that's what they have. But you need a LOCAL support system. And you need somebody that knows the stove inside and out.

And you also need to have the correct size for your application. Don't just buy the largest size unless you live in zone 3 or you have a large open space to heat. (no walls). Otherwise you'll have the windows open all the time or you'll have a "cold" fire which means creosote buildup. That's why I got the SMALL unit to heat my home. It cost the least and is sized to the job.

    Bookmark   May 8, 2008 at 7:57AM
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Wonderwood or an Ashley circulator.
a word about these stoves they are not EPA certified. They do not meet their efficiency rating. They skirt this regulation of having more than a 35 to 1 air ratio which is not conducive to long burning fires or generating heat back to the living space without real good air control ,one risk dealing with runaway overfired stoves stoves.

It amazes me people diss Vermont castings quality and recommend Jotul or Harman. Do they know Vermont castings cast the stoves for Jotul and Harman Thats right Jotul now subcontracts their casting from Vermont castings.

If cat converters failed like indicated here, not many cars would run properly. Most of the opinions are from owners that never operated a cat stove. I own and opperate two cat stoves. I like the long easilly controlled even heat they produce Cat technology has advanced quite a bit over the years now they are made with stainless steel cores much more durable and can continue firing down to 300 degrees normal smoke needs over 1000 to burn particulate My cat stoves will start burning it at 300 degrees and continue burning it. All that smoke particulate being burned produces cleaner burning and more usable heat to the living space. Yes over time the cat will need replacing To me I am willing to alot $30 a year to replace. I burn less wood. The cat helps extend a longer productive burn time and I have little ash to sweep out of my chimney No creosote build up means safer burning and tells me The stove is operating efficiently. Are they for everbody no ? but they are a viable alternative

    Bookmark   May 9, 2008 at 11:22PM
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I wasn't aware that they were casting for Jotul. But the local dealers here still won't touch VC. Maybe, just maybe they are coming back from the horror show Majestic put them through. But they have to prove it. And that'll happen by looking at the quality of Jotul down the road, not just in the near future.

    Bookmark   May 10, 2008 at 8:41AM
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I also have two cat. stoves and they are not difficult to operate or maintain. You will get good use from the combustors IF you don't used your stove for a disposal and you burn good quality hardwood.

We never burn painted wood or refuse. And we average 4-5 yrs. between combustors.

    Bookmark   May 12, 2008 at 4:53PM
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Heating from the basement won't be as effective as heating from the room you're in, but you can do it. Most people will leave a door open to help with convection, sometimes with a box fan at the threshold.

IMO, if it doesn't matter what it looks like, look into Blaze King. I think they are ugly as all get out, but they are good heaters with long burn times. Just watch flue sizes, I think the King has an 8" flue where the others use 6". It can effect costs.

We heat our home with a Lopi Republic 1750 (tube aka reburn/secondary burn stove). Real life burn time can be up to 10 hours, but I'd say 8 is more realistic.

I really don't think a cat stove is that much more expensive or difficult to maintain than a tube stove, although I've never had a cat stove. I think you'll find the cat stove to be more easily controlled once you learn how, whereas most overfires seem to come from tube stoves (been there, done that). If I were to have a stove outside of my living area I'd want one with the longest burn time and BK is up there for that.

If you plan to do this, get working on cutting, splitting and stacking. You'll want at least a year of dry time after the wood is cut/split/stacked (CSS) and the longer the better, especially hardwoods (oak can take several years to season).

There's a lot of great folks that can give you personal experiance with various stoves and set ups on too.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2013 at 10:19AM
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