Need Recommendation for a free standing stove/fireplace

Discussion in 'Modern EPA Stoves and Fireplaces' started by CurDog, May 17, 2021.

  1. CurDog

    CurDog

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    upstate SC
    Starting a remodel on a house and one item on the list is a free standing wood stove/ fireplace. Only needs to heat about 1200 sq ft.
    What are some reputable brands to look into?

    Thanks


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  2. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Moderator

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2013
    Messages:
    34,202
    Likes Received:
    205,287
    Location:
    Central MI
    Woodstock Soapstone is very hard to beat. Many on this forum have them now and they make both soapstone and steel stoves now too. My choice is the Fireview.
     
    amateur cutter, BCB and Chvymn99 like this.
  3. CoachSchaller

    CoachSchaller

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2014
    Messages:
    668
    Likes Received:
    2,300
    Location:
    Southeast Michigan
    I second Woodstock. I have their Ideal Steel.
     
  4. moresnow

    moresnow

    Joined:
    Feb 5, 2016
    Messages:
    1,154
    Likes Received:
    6,511
    Location:
    Iowa


    Add some pertinent detail to help qualify your stove requirement.

    Is the home well insulated with modern efficient windows? Will it be if not now?

    Will the stove be located centrally? This is most efficient.

    Will the stove be placed on the main floor? Basement?

    Do you plan on installing a new Class A venting system straight up and out? This is the most efficient and forgiving related to stove performance.

    Do you intend to utilize the stove as part time heat to offset your normal heat system? Many of us use our wood stove's 24/7 for the great majority of our heating requirements. Stove selection can be influenced greatly by the answer to this question.

    How long would you (hours) like to go between reloading the stove? If you are out of the home working etc. for 8-12 hrs you will want to look at stoves that can burn easily that long between reloads.

    Be aware that any new make/model stove will be happiest with wood that is correctly seasoned/dry. Do you by chance have a supply set up to feed your new stove?

    A few things to consider! Enjoy the stove hunt. As mentioned already Woodstock has several very efficient well respected models available. In addition I would recommend researching Blaze King stoves as well for the same reasons. There are other's to look into as well .

    Let the fun begin! If you get a moment fill in some of the questions above so the members here can add some of there experience's/knowledge.
     
  5. CurDog

    CurDog

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    upstate SC
    Home is well insulated, windows are older but I’ll probably swap all the windows out within 2yrs anyway.

    Haven’t made a final decision on location yet, right now I’m leaning toward the living room along one of the exterior walls, layout of house prevent a truly central location. Main floor, no basement.

    I’m planning on going straight up the ceiling of the living room and out the roof with the vent stack.

    As of now I’m not planning to use it for primary heat but more “recreational burning” as it’s just something I enjoy in cool/cold weather and definitely having it as backup if I lose power. Depending on how well it heats and burn time per load I may use it more frequently than what I’m initially planning on.
    8-10hr burn time would be nice

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  6. RGrant

    RGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2019
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1,472
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Most people on here tend to recommend the stove that they have, which is kind of a nod in the right direction.
    Modern stoves are pretty well made and while of course there are differences between them, the number one takeaway I have from this website is.... Dry wood is mandatory.
     
  7. billb3

    billb3

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    8,047
    Likes Received:
    41,889
    Location:
    SE Mass
    If you're still in SC, and you can go a wholeWinter without seeing snow you probably don't need a very big stove. Anything over 2 cubic feet will likely cook you out, even on its lowest setting. Small stoves have a tough time going 8 hours.
     
    PA Mountain Man and blacktail like this.
  8. snaple4

    snaple4

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2019
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    US
    Im in Arkansas. We don’t get snow every year and was actually recommended by many to get either a WS ideal steel or BK princess. Those are big stoves. Local shops pushed larger cat and non-cat stoves as well. I’ll update in 5-6 months after I install my new stove to see if it actually cooks me out or not. Not sure if the OP will wait that long though.
     
  9. ReelFaster

    ReelFaster

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2016
    Messages:
    1,890
    Likes Received:
    13,372
    Location:
    S.Jersey
    This might not apply as much to you being more down south but the advice given to me by many folks on this forum is go a little bigger you can always build a smaller fire, open a window, shed some clothes, etc... but if your stove is too small you can't do much about that.
     
  10. billb3

    billb3

    Joined:
    Oct 7, 2013
    Messages:
    8,047
    Likes Received:
    41,889
    Location:
    SE Mass
    Yeah, some HVAC "EXPERTS" have a short-sighted tendency to over build heating and cooling systems to be "safe" and for "worst case scenarios" that never happen. You end up with energy hogs that often don't work any where as well as a proper fit. I've done the "small fire in a big stove" deal. Not a fan. Doesn't make me or anybody else right or wrong. Just another consideration.
     
  11. snaple4

    snaple4

    Joined:
    Jan 10, 2019
    Messages:
    52
    Likes Received:
    195
    Location:
    US
    I will agree that MANY HVAC people over size equipment. Makes my job harder b/c Mr. Joe Cool over here took 5 min and said a 5 ton 120k btuh system is what is needed but I took 2-8 hours to do a proper load calculation (manual J) and duct design (manual D) and arrived at a 2 ton system...

    However, wood stoves are not like most of the single stage systems we put into a house. The HVAC system is either on or off with little adjustment to output on the fly. All wood stoves made have adjustments to control the output. I dont like building smaller and more frequent fires either; that is why I went with the ideal steel with hopes that it won’t be a common requirement to stay comfortable like a non-cat.
     
  12. CurDog

    CurDog

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    upstate SC
    Anyone have experience with the Vermont Casting “aspen” model?

    seems to be exactly what I’m looking for in both style and function
     
    amateur cutter likes this.
  13. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Messages:
    13,910
    Likes Received:
    86,107
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    VC has a poor reputation, have for quite some time...doubly so for that model.
     
    amateur cutter, Ohio and RGrant like this.
  14. CurDog

    CurDog

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    upstate SC
    Thanks for the feed back


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    amateur cutter likes this.
  15. RGrant

    RGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2019
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1,472
    Location:
    Connecticut
    If the VC Aspen has caught your eye, check out Jotul's 602. I was reading today that it's EPA 2020 compliant so you can buy a new model, or check out the Morso line. I think they look great.
     
    amateur cutter likes this.
  16. CurDog

    CurDog

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    upstate SC
    I was looking at the jotul Greenville model earlier. I like it a lot also


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    Todd and amateur cutter like this.
  17. CurDog

    CurDog

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2016
    Messages:
    133
    Likes Received:
    646
    Location:
    upstate SC
    Elaborate on this please.


    I talked to two dealers today in the upstate of SC, neither of who I have dealt with before

    One recommended the stove and said they would have an order of some coming in around august, another dealer said she’d prefer not to order an Aspen stove.

    Again, keep in mind this isn’t for a primary heat source but recreational burning in the fall/winter when it’s just nice to have a fire and as a backup on the rare occasions I lose power in the winter it would be used to heat about 900sq ft of a 1200 sq ft house


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
    amateur cutter likes this.
  18. brenndatomu

    brenndatomu

    Joined:
    May 29, 2015
    Messages:
    13,910
    Likes Received:
    86,107
    Location:
    NE Ohio
    Well, VC problems as a whole are well documented...and some quick googling of "Vermont Castings Aspen problems" will keep you reading for a while too...mainly on a certain other wood heat site :whistle:
     
    amateur cutter, Ohio and BCB like this.
  19. RGrant

    RGrant

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2019
    Messages:
    287
    Likes Received:
    1,472
    Location:
    Connecticut
    Specific to the Aspen I saw a fairly detailed rebuild on a Reddit page (nearly certain) of a guy who dismantled the stove to see why the burn was always smoldering, and what he found was that an overabundant amount of the refractory cement was used in the production of the stove that primary (can't recall about the secondary off the top of my head) was caked in with cement and was blocking the air delivery. His fix was to completely dismantle the stove, dremel off the cement, re-cement it all back together and reassemble his stove.
    I'm all for DIY fixes when I am in a position to do so, but I think it's ridiculous to need to do that to get a new stove to work properly.
    I additionally saw a review (YouTube) of a VC model by a gentleman up in NW Canada who's stove was running away and had a really negative experience with the stove A) being unable to operate properly as it was intended to be used, B) operating in an unsafe manner due to the manufacturing flaw and C) had a warranty which was worded in such a way that he was SOL due to their manufacturing.

    So design flaws, questionable if not poor QC in production and an administrative portion of the company that doesn't do right by their customers - I wouldn't recommend it to anyone I knew.
    There are a good number of smaller stoves that are out there that are safer and have better customer service.

    But everyone must make their own decisions.
     
    Last edited: Jun 3, 2021
    amateur cutter, Ohio and brenndatomu like this.
  20. Rich L

    Rich L

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2019
    Messages:
    499
    Likes Received:
    2,094
    Location:
    Eastern Mass.
    At least in a soapstone stove you can build a big or medium size fire and when it burns down the soapstone will still radiate heat for some time and keep the home toasty when it's not so cold out.
     
    amateur cutter and brenndatomu like this.