U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 1.5 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
Jump to a detailed profile or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Business Search - 14 Million verified businesses
Search for:  near: 
Reply Start New Thread
 
Unread 04-24-2008, 01:22 AM
 
61 posts, read 449,106 times
Reputation: 83
Default What are the best woodburning stoves?

I'm in the process of buying a small home (890 sq.ft), which comes with a Schrader stove for supplemental heat. From all that I read on-line, Schrader stoves are highly inefficient and not clean burning. Can anyone recommend a quality brand as a replacement? (And one where the fire is visible.) I'm willing to spend up to $1500...but less would be even better!

Frank
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Unread 04-24-2008, 08:26 AM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
10,575 posts, read 21,938,426 times
Reputation: 12412
You have some conflicting parameters. The more efficient wood stoves tightly control the intake air, hence creating a fair amount of smoke in the firebox. That smoke then can be converted into a cleaner burn by use of a catalyst or downdraft through a bed of coals. The problem is that the smoke and type of burn make having glass a problem. It'll soot up quickly and any glass that is sealed to limit air flow can crack from stress. The problem can be lessened to some extent by burning clean, dry high-heat woods like hickory in small charges and a high flame, but in essence, the choice is between watching a fire or having it heat cleanly and efficiently. There are many compromises that attempt to get around this, but the physics remain.

Another issue is the size of your home vs the size and efficiency of your wood stove. Unless the home has minimal insulation, you could be in danger of overheating the space with a large stove.

BTW, chimney and area surrounding the stove. Verify that everything is in good condition and fireproof. If that could use upgrading, I'd put money there first.

You might check out
Hearth.com - Information on Gas Fireplaces, Wood Stoves, Gas Logs, Pellet Stoves, Fireplaces, Chimneys and Hearth Products

A list of EPA approved stoves is here:
http://www.epa.gov/oecaerth/resource...tifiedwood.pdf

Good luck and let us know what you choose.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-24-2008, 03:54 PM
 
61 posts, read 449,106 times
Reputation: 83
Thanks for the info. It sounds like you really know your stuff! I do intend to make certain that the stove, pipes, and surrounding wall areas are absolutely safe...and because the house is so small, I plan to buy a small stove.

I wonder if there are stoves on which you can open the stove door(s) and insert a screen, in order to be able to view the fire. Ever heard of such a thing?

Thanks again.
Frank
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-24-2008, 04:50 PM
 
Location: Somewhere in northern Alabama
10,575 posts, read 21,938,426 times
Reputation: 12412
Quote:
Originally Posted by frbenson View Post
Thanks for the info. It sounds like you really know your stuff! I do intend to make certain that the stove, pipes, and surrounding wall areas are absolutely safe...and because the house is so small, I plan to buy a small stove.

I wonder if there are stoves on which you can open the stove door(s) and insert a screen, in order to be able to view the fire. Ever heard of such a thing?

Thanks again.
Frank
Back in the 1970s I designed a downdraft barrel stove, totally different in concept to the ones you see where the barrel lies on its side. It was super efficient, and on one minus thirty degree night I charged it up pretty good and left the draft open just a mite too much. The temperature in the house got up to a hundred and I had to open the doors and windows, and spray water on and into the barrel to cool things down. (You couldn't do that with a cast stove, you would crack it, and kill yourself with steam blowback.) I had the plans for the stove on a website for a while, but one of the workers of the webhosting company was clipping money by never actually renewing the sites, and I lost the domain.

If you can still find a copy, the "woodburners encyclopedia" gets into the nitty gritty. The limiting factor on efficiency isn't quite where most people expect. The smoke has water vapor, and to get the majority of the heat value of the wood extracted from the waste gas stream, you have to condense out the water and recover the heat of vaporization. In practice, this is never done. People don't like smelly creosote water and the gain isn't enough for most folks to want to pursue it.

You can put a screen in place of the door on many stoves. It eliminates the glass problem, but the stove would then suck air in just like a fireplace, so during that period you would have to forget about efficiency.

That site that I listed has tons of discussions on various stoves. Some are real purdy, some are real pricey. For me, using wood for heat means maximizing convenience, reducing costs, and not worrying too much about esthetics. Tractor Supply has a fairly inexpensive jacketed heater that has thermostatic control and can take good sized logs. Both features are important. I'm eyeing one of those for next heating season if I don't make an outside burner.

Fooling with short sticks and having to split nearly everything to fit a tiny firebox isn't for me. Mr. Chainsaw, meet Mr. Trash Tree. Anything under 10" in diameter doesn't get split. Anything larger than that gets cut into 8" long sections and then either crosscut, or allowed to dry and semisplit naturally, then get whacked apart. It ain't pretty, but splitting wood used to be easier than sawing by hand or chopping, which is why it was done. Now, using a chainsaw and making a few extra cuts is faster and easier. And starting wood fires like the boy scouts with tinder and kindling and coaxing? Mr. Wood, meet Mr. Propane Torch.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-24-2008, 07:31 PM
 
4,287 posts, read 9,313,198 times
Reputation: 3650
Regardless of what brand of stove you end up with, if you plan on buying your firewood rather than cutting it yourself, make sure you get a firebox that will handle a 16" piece. Most commercial suppliers cut at 14" - 16" and will charge through the nose for custom cut shorter lengths.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-25-2008, 01:29 AM
 
61 posts, read 449,106 times
Reputation: 83
Default Harry and Cornerguy

The information you've provided has been very helpful, and much appreciated.

Safety and reliability are my main concerns - followed by efficiency; an alternative source of heat during electric outages; and the aesthetic appeal of an open fire. I'm not overly concerned about saving heaps of money on my electric bills. I live in Tennessee, and our winters are not, as a rule, all that long or harsh.

With all that in mind, the Jotul F3 CB looks like it could be what I'm looking for...though probably a bit on the pricey side. As little as I know about wood-burning stoves, even I'm familiar with Jotul stoves. This particular stove has a glass door, but also offers an optional screen...and it accommodates logs up to 18" in length.

Thanks boys,
Frank
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-25-2008, 06:04 AM
 
Location: On the plateau, TN
13,511 posts, read 6,496,378 times
Reputation: 8473
Frbenson, just use well season and dry firewood. I'm cutting and splitting for the winter after next now.....
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-25-2008, 07:16 AM
 
524 posts, read 1,547,968 times
Reputation: 451
We have and use every day a Jotul to heat the house. FANTASTIC stove-really works well and our model can be burned all day and into the night without worries of cracking. Some stoves you can only burn up to a certain amount of hours.....we see many great, new stoves in the dump with cracks in them-second-homeowner burned in them too long!!

I say spend the money on Jotul. Ours has the screen which is nice in warmer weather when you just want a cozy, and when it is -10 the sucker starts fasts, burns well and really heats the house well. The 18" log length is also great-the firewoods guys love us becuase it is easy. I would also suggust getting a log splitter-we use it to make kindling out of some of the big, green logs-goes fast and makes for a quick, easy start in the morning!
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-25-2008, 09:25 AM
 
Location: ARK-KIN-SAW
3,427 posts, read 6,139,989 times
Reputation: 1520
Id recommend an ashley, my parents have had one for 25 years and my inlaws longer than that.

United States Stove Company
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Unread 04-05-2011, 12:58 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,439 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by frbenson View Post
I'm in the process of buying a small home (890 sq.ft), which comes with a Schrader stove for supplemental heat. From all that I read on-line, Schrader stoves are highly inefficient and not clean burning. Can anyone recommend a quality brand as a replacement? (And one where the fire is visible.) I'm willing to spend up to $1500...but less would be even better!

Frank

Frank,

I've had several Shraders in my lifetime. The last one is still in the house I bought over 30 years ago......even though I don't live there anymore. Works great! I would kill for a Schrader stove again. Don't believe what you read. I hate the new "effecient" stoves. They're a royal pain. Where are you? I want that Schrader stove! I'm serious. The Schrader, Fisher, Earth Stove,...and stoves of that era were wonderful. The new ones just tick me off. I had a beautiful Vermont Castings. If you banked it for the night, it often belched out smoke because of the build up of pressure. Made me so mad. Now I have a Regency. The worst stove I've ever had!

JNellie
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:


Over $74,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > House
Similar Threads

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2014, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25 - Top