Wood Heater Opinions

ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 118 ✭✭
Looking for knowledge of wood heaters/cookstoves. Trying to find a efficient non-catalitic stove that can be used sparatically as a cooktop for cast iron cookware. What are ya'll using, and would you buy it again? This is a new construction home, 24'x32' ,12/12 vaulted ceiling, and sprayfoam insulated 6" in ceiling, 6" in walls, 4" in floor.
8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.

Comments

  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,879 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    I put in a US Woodstove model 2000, air tight, with combustion air drawn in from outside of the house. You will want a stove with outside air drawn in I think since it sounds like you have a very tight construction. I heat a 900square foot tin can(mobile home) with it and it does okay, I am comfortable in the back bedroom down to about 10 degrees outside then move into the couch, but it is a barely 4" walls(poorly insulated) mobile and the back bedroom is 30 feet away from the stove. Tractor Supply had the best deal on this stove at around $500 and I purchased mine on the end of winter clearance for $350 and they stored it for me until I was ready to put it in in Sept!

    I have done some cooking on it with a cast iron fry pan, leaving it on for a while before starting, I more often would cook soup, chili, or stew and let it simmer/boil, typically it will boil if I let the stove get hotter than I normally like to leave it, then I'll shut down the air and it will simmer nicely. Not sure if you will want to fry things, likely the pan reaches just above boiling, grilled cheese took a while as I recall, made eggs a couple times left pan on stove for 20 minutes covered then buttered up and cooked a couple eggs.

    It's a nice stove, I've been happy with it, has good reviews, I've loaded it and left for my 11-14hours away and always had coals, though I shut down the dampener.

    Pictures of my install are in this thread, scroll down the page a ways...

    Forgot to mention, they are likely to have this at your store, even though it's not in their on line catalog, ask the store manager if he has one or can track one down, they have pretty good reviews if you can find a way to read Tractor Supplies reviews of this stove.
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,250 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    Is the function more for heat, or cooking ? (or using the cookstove exemption to get a wood burner in the house?) Cooking on wood in the summer will really get the place toasty.

    We installed a Masonry Heater, and have had 2 nice winters from it. And it preheats via thermosiphon, 80 gallons of water to about 90F before it goes to the tankless heater.

    http://www.tempcast.com/ nice IR heat, the brick work is about 105F
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

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  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    Photowhit wrote: »
    You will want a stove with outside air drawn in I think since it sounds like you have a very tight construction.

    This is very important! When you turn on the bathroom or kitchen exhaust fans, you don't want the replacement air to be sucked down the chimney into the house.

    Do you also plan on using propane to cook with? If so, make sure you have several windows open (or very good air exchanger)... unvented propane ovens and stovetop burners can add a lot of exhaust (including humidity) to a tightly constructed home.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Ks SolarKs Solar Solar Expert Posts: 47 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    Both nice setups. If I had a forever house,if there is such a thing:) I would love to have a masonry stove.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,138 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    this is our baby, a few minutes in the morning takes the chill, if you can call it that, off and voila, coffee.
    Wife loves it... it is the primary heat on the main floor

    http://www.mealtimestoves.on.ca/item/pioneer-maid.html
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 118 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    Looking for a noncatalytic Wood heater, that may also be used as a cook top in the winter. We will have a propane stove for summer cooking, just figured if we're heating home with wood may as well use heater as a cooktop also.
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • westbranchwestbranch Solar Expert Posts: 5,138 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    look at some of their models on that site, all very efficient ... but why not catalytic? BTW ours is NOT catalytic
     
    KID #51B  4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM
    CL#29032 FW 2126/ 2073/ 2133 175A E-Panel WBjr, 3 x 4s 140W to 24V 900Ah C&D AGM 
    Cotek ST1500W 24V Inverter,OmniCharge 3024,
    2 x Cisco WRT54GL i/c DD-WRT Rtr & Bridge,
    Eu3/2/1000i Gens, 1680W & E-Panel/WBjr to come, CL #647 asleep
    West Chilcotin, BC, Canada
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,879 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    In general, I don't think wood stoves made for heating, will get tremendously hot, I wouldn't expect to fry things, it takes a long time to do a grilled cheese sandwich and eggs takes prep and a good while to cook... The reason the 'cooktop' type can cook is they are just a vaguely controlled burn, with air coming in every where and hard to dampen, so the get hotter burn quicker and lots of heat goes up the chimney. When in my tiny camper, I had a small, air tight but less efficient wood stove. I use to sorta bake bread in it, with a cardboard surrounded by aluminum insulated cap. took about 1 1/2 hours for a 1lb loaf and I had to have the windows open...
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,250 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    westbranch wrote: »
    ..... but why not catalytic? BTW ours is NOT catalytic

    Cats go bad, either after a burn with contaminated newspaper (but nobody will tell your what bad paper/ink is) or after 7-10 years of use, and to replace the $100+ cat, you have to destroy the stove.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • Dave AngeliniDave Angelini Solar Expert Posts: 4,443 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    mike95490 wrote: »
    Cats go bad, either after a burn with contaminated newspaper (but nobody will tell your what bad paper/ink is) or after 7-10 years of use, and to replace the $100+ cat, you have to destroy the stove.

    And, modern design of air tight wood heaters can be done well without having to use a catalyst.
    "we go where power lines don't" Sierra Mountains near Mariposa/Yosemite CA
     http://members.sti.net/offgridsolar/
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  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 118 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    http://www.englanderstoves.com/13-nc.html
    That is the stove I'm looking at, 75% efficiency with 2.4 g of particulate per hour of emissions. Also has auxiliary cold air inlet, for tightly built homes. Under $900 shipped to my home
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,879 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    http://www.englanderstoves.com/13-nc.html
    Under $900 shipped to my home

    Looks nice, is this through Home Depot? they can't do better than $900 or does that include tax? How close is the nearest home Depot? $650 and you will often need to have the extra height to go into the door, always easier to go down rather than up! Surprised The US 2000 I have is so much more expensive at Home Depot. Be sure it comes with a blower, nothing at Home Depot says anything about a blower and the link you provided says 'now includes blower'. The comparison chart(I compared yours to mine) doesn't say blower but does say warranty on electrical, so I' assume so...(you know what that means) only big difference I saw was 18" vs 20" logs, I find it hard enough to cut down to 20" sometimes...lol
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • vtmapsvtmaps Solar Expert Posts: 3,738 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    http://www.englanderstoves.com/13-nc.html
    That is the stove I'm looking at, 75% efficiency with 2.4 g of particulate per hour of emissions. Also has auxiliary cold air inlet, for tightly built homes. Under $900 shipped to my home

    I have heated exclusively with wood for 37 years. I've used half a dozen different stoves. I hate ash drawers. If you have an ash drawer, it means you have grates. If you have grates, it means the stove won't hold the coals for very long. Not a problem if you only fire it up once a day, but if you want hot coals in the morning to start the fire up again, there is nothing like a bed of ashes to hold the coals.

    There is a soapstone stove company near where I live. One of their models comes with or without a catalytic burner. The only difference between the two stoves (besides the catalyst) is that the non-catalytic has no fiberglass gasket on the door. That means it is not airtight and doesn't need a catalyst (EPA rules). A lot of folks around here buy that stove ($500 cheaper) and put a gasket on the door to make it airtight.

    As far as I know, most non-catalytic woodstoves are not airtight. I believe that it is possible to make an airtight stove that doesn't need a catalyst, but the reason for the EPA rules is that most folks oversize their stoves and then smoulder their (often damp) wood which, in the absence of a catalyst, makes for much pollution.

    --vtMaps
    4 X 235watt Samsung, Midnite ePanel, Outback VFX3524 FM60 & mate, 4 Interstate L16, trimetric, Honda eu2000i
  • Organic FarmerOrganic Farmer Solar Expert Posts: 128 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    vtmaps wrote: »
    ... As far as I know, most non-catalytic woodstoves are not airtight. I believe that it is possible to make an airtight stove that doesn't need a catalyst, but the reason for the EPA rules is that most folks oversize their stoves and then smoulder their (often damp) wood which, in the absence of a catalyst, makes for much pollution.

    I can see that.

    Our woodstove is way over-sized. But it was cheap. Our stove heats water, that circulates to a thermal-bank. It seems to make sense for us, to store the heat and slowly distribute it out to the radiant floor.

    Our woodstove is a Vogelzang and it is NOT a good option for cooking though.
  • inetdoginetdog Solar Expert Posts: 3,123 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    vtmaps wrote: »
    As far as I know, most non-catalytic woodstoves are not airtight. I believe that it is possible to make an airtight stove that doesn't need a catalyst, but the reason for the EPA rules is that most folks oversize their stoves and then smoulder their (often damp) wood which, in the absence of a catalyst, makes for much pollution.
    For that matter, even with a catalyst the pollution will be horrible if they do not initially fire the stove hot enough to bring the catalyst to working temperature....
    SMA SB 3000, old BP panels.
  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    I have been heating with wood for 30 years in my 1600 sq ft house located in NY, I burn 3-4 cords of wood every winter depending on how cold of a winter we have. Replaced my catalytic stove 3 years ago with a Yotul Oslo non catalytic, it has an optional griddle top available for cooking. This is a great stove compared to the old catalytic stove, the cats only lasted 2 years before needing replacement at $100 + a pop.
    The cat has to operate in a window of temperatures to burn cleanly, to low and it would smoke, too high and you can damage the cat. My chimney with the new wood stove has much less creosote when I clean it. The Oslo has air bars over the wood that allow the stove to burn clean instead of a catalytic.
    There are lots of non catalytic wood stoves available that meet the EPA standards available in cast iron, soapstone, or steel, stick with one of them.
  • Organic FarmerOrganic Farmer Solar Expert Posts: 128 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    LucMan -
    A 1600 sq ft house that burns 3-4 cords of wood every winter, sounds like a lot of wood.

    Replacing a cat every 2 years is a high maintenance routine.

    Plus if it can only works within a certain window of temperatures

    Makes me have to ask, is there a benefit to one of these?
  • LucManLucMan Solar Expert Posts: 226 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    LucMan -
    A 1600 sq ft house that burns 3-4 cords of wood every winter, sounds like a lot of wood.

    Replacing a cat every 2 years is a high maintenance routine.

    Plus if it can only works within a certain window of temperatures

    Makes me have to ask, is there a benefit to one of these?

    I would like to burn less wood but that would mean burning oil! It's bad enough that even with my 64 sq ft of solar thermal panels I use 75 gallons for hot water a year. It's cold and cloudy here in NY!
    The house has R30 ceilings and R19 walls so it's fairly well insulated, but we have lots of windows.

    Yes lower emissions.
    But if the cat is not working, or working improperly the emissions are extremely high and the heat output of the stove is much lower than if it is working properly. To much stove sitting for me! The most important reason I replaced the stove was that it was a top loader, so unless you had a real hot fire going or only coals left you would get smoke in the house when loading wood.
    When we first got the stove it came with a cat made by Corning. That and first replacement corning cat lasted much longer, then Corning stopped suppling replacement cats and the new replacements lasted 2 years -no prorated warranty. The Corning cats were warrantied for 5 years ( prorated).
  • Organic FarmerOrganic Farmer Solar Expert Posts: 128 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    LucMan wrote: »
    I would like to burn less wood but that would mean burning oil!

    These are not your only options. :)


    ... It's bad enough that even with my 64 sq ft of solar thermal panels I use 75 gallons for hot water a year. It's cold and cloudy here in NY!

    Much of NY is also in the Snow-belt [down wind from the Great Lakes] so you do tend to get much deeper dumps of snow than we get in Maine, and your snow piles up faster.

    Here we will normally see one snow storm per week, followed by 5 - 6 days of clear sunny skies.

    Region makes a big difference. :)


    ... The house has R30 ceilings and R19 walls so it's fairly well insulated, but we have lots of windows.

    R60 here, with thirteen big windows [6' wide X 3' tall] and twelve small windows [3' X 3']. We get a lot of solar-gain from our windows. If we do not provide any heat, I do not think that our house will drop below 50F.

    With enough insulation and proper windows, it is possible to achieve Passive Solar heated homes in New England. I know of a few along the coast, that have done such.


    ... Yes lower emissions.
    But if the cat is not working, or working improperly the emissions are extremely high and the heat output of the stove is much lower than if it is working properly. To much stove sitting for me! The most important reason I replaced the stove was that it was a top loader, so unless you had a real hot fire going or only coals left you would get smoke in the house when loading wood.
    When we first got the stove it came with a cat made by Corning. That and first replacement corning cat lasted much longer, then Corning stopped suppling replacement cats and the new replacements lasted 2 years -no prorated warranty. The Corning cats were warrantied for 5 years ( prorated).

    Such are the normal problems / issues with catalytic stoves. :(

    Getting smoke in the house at any time, is a big turn-off for me. :(

    It is usually a good sign that the stove-pipe was not properly designed for making a strong draft. We have used a cast-iron cookstove before. Each piece of those units are loose fitted and smoke can puff out through every joint. But so long as the exhaust is drawing [drafting] the interior of the stove is a negative air pressure, so smoke should never puff out into the home. :)

    I do not mind loading our stove up, for a big fire at about sunset. As the heat is mostly stored in our thermal-bank anyway and serves to keep the house toasty until morning. :)

    The same goes for creosote burning. All metal construction, with no combustibles in contact with stove /stove-pipe, and no combustibles within 3'. Means our stove can get red-hot if it wants to, there is no danger from such happening. Every year there are house fires from code violations, either from the builder putting wood framing next to the chimney or home owners putting combustibles too close to stove/stove-pipe.



    I do not know how far South of me you are, and you have a smaller home, so I was surprised to read that you burn about the same amount of firewood as we burn.

    Plus as you listed, using a Cat stove gives you so many extra hassles and expenses. I am left wondering if there are any benefits.

    Good luck :)
  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 118 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    Just an update, here's what I wound up with. Great reviews & $300 cheaper than the "box stores"
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Timber-Ridge-50-TNC13-Wood-Stove-S-40882-Free-Freight-to-terminal-for-pick-up-/261571054507?pt=US_Heating_Stoves&hash=item3ce6d98bab
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,879 ✭✭✭✭
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • ArkansasoffgridArkansasoffgrid Solar Expert Posts: 118 ✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    No, I seen your post. The home depot in my area doesn't stock it and they wanted to charge me shipping plus tax. This was 649 no shipping no tax������
    8-420AH US Battery L-16s, Midnite Classic 150cc, Whiz Bang Jr, Magnum MS4448PAE inverter/charger,  4590w Canadian Solar panels. Honda EU2000i generator.
  • PhotowhitPhotowhit Solar Expert Posts: 4,879 ✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    I posted my reply mainly for those looking for a wood stove, after you stated "$300 cheaper than the "box stores"". The linked, on line, Home Depot clearly states 'free shipping to store'... I'm sure they will charge tax though!
    Home system 4000 watt (Evergreen) array standing, with 2 Midnite Classic Lites,  Midnite E-panel, Prosine 1800 and Exeltech 1100, 660 ah 24v ForkLift battery. Off grid for @16 of last 17 years. Assorted other systems, and to many panels in the closet to not do more...lol
  • techntrektechntrek Solar Expert Posts: 1,372 ✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions
    LucMan wrote: »
    ...the cats only lasted 2 years before needing replacement at $100 + a pop.

    Were you boiling them 1-2 times per season in a vinegar + water solution? That returns them to normal.
    4.5 kw APC UPS powered by a Prius, 12 kw Generac, Honda EU3000is
  • mike95490mike95490 Solar Expert Posts: 8,250 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    And then there is the new EPA rule for even tighter emissions restrictions for wood burners after Jan 1 2015. Fewer qualified stoves and fewer options.
    Powerfab top of pole PV mount | Listeroid 6/1 w/st5 gen head | XW6048 inverter/chgr | Iota 48V/15A charger | Morningstar 60A MPPT | 48V, 800A NiFe Battery (in series)| 15, Evergreen 205w "12V" PV array on pole | Midnight ePanel | Grundfos 10 SO5-9 with 3 wire Franklin Electric motor (1/2hp 240V 1ph ) on a timer for 3 hr noontime run - Runs off PV ||
    || Midnight Classic 200 | 10, Evergreen 200w in a 160VOC array ||
    || VEC1093 12V Charger | Maha C401 aa/aaa Charger | SureSine | Sunsaver MPPT 15A

    solar: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Solar
    gen: http://tinyurl.com/LMR-Lister ,

  • GrinninGrinnin Solar Expert Posts: 39
    Re: Wood Heater Opinions

    Congrats on finding a deal on your stove. I really enjoy wood heat.
    24'x32' ,12/12 vaulted ceiling, and sprayfoam insulated 6" in ceiling, 6" in walls, 4" in floor.
    You may need to find out how to move hot air from your vaulted ceiling down to your living area. I moved into this building when it was unfinished and had a vaulted ceiling on half of it. After the first winter I extended the half-ceiling to cover the whole first floor and it's much more comfortable. I thought that the placement of my wood stove would set up a convection, but the hot air didn't cooperate.

    I don't know that the EPA can legislate or stove companies can design an operator-proof stove. I have a neighbor who was appalled that my stove (Heartland Sweetheart cookstove) had neither catalyst nor secondary air intake for a secondary burn. But his fancy parlor stove is the one with wet creosote dripping out of the joints in the stovepipe. Each cleaning I find a thin layer of light and flaky soot in mine.

    I usually have to complete my cooking by about 18:00 so the place will cool a bit before bedtime. No way I could bank a fire for overnight and still get to sleep.

    For summer I use a solar cooker when there's sun and eat from the garden when there's not. A solar cooker is hardly economical since the average household uses only 2% of their energy on cooking. Still, when the alternative is building a fire in August . . . .
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