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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Posts
    3,971

    Arrow Wood Stove Home Heat thread

    Soaring home heating costs have me in the market for alternative home heat sources.

    I started looking at Harman Stove Co. on a lead from a friend.
    http://harmanstoves.com/

    What's the collectives experience with various brands?

    I'd also like to be able to burn coal during those extra nasty cold spells.

    I've used a antique cylinder stove all my life and know that thing will go on to outlive me by many generations to come. I'd like something new that will burn for the next one or two hundred years.

    What are your thoughts on the "electric gizmos" attached to run some of these things (fan, curcuit boards...)? Looks like something I want to steer clear of - besides, what happens when the power goes out?

    Not too interested in pellets cause I got a whole national forest nearby that needs thinin - but go ahead and post about them.

    The guy that sells 'em thinks there'll be a shortage on them soon with the costs for standard home heating going through the roof lately. Make sense to me.

    Lets hear about what you got. Brands, types, pros, cons and everything in between.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    coneville
    Posts
    62
    we moved into our house & had a pellet stove. Hated it. loud, dusty, high maintenance (it was even a fairly good one). had the house fill up with smoke a few times. most importantly: no power = no heat. alternative is electric baseboard. apparently we bitched about it quite a lot, as a bunch of our friends got together and bought us a Vermont Castings Dutchwest wood burner for a wedding present (props to lemonboy!)
    http://www.vermontcastings.com/conte...ils.cfm?id=309
    i had to rebuild the hearth and do some other mods to install it, but we have been warm and toasty ever since. i can close it down at night, and just open it up, give it air and wood in the morning and have fire again. It could heat a house quite a bit larger than ours. and sometimes we are overheated.

    Re pellets, i think they will be readily available for quite some time, as i believe the FS is contracting to have beetle kill forests pelletized. & i do like the fact that you'd be using essentially a waste product for heat. but i still prefer wood burners. in fact if it came down to a choice, i'd probably put gas log in before pellet (quiet, clean, easy).
    on the sidewalk, sunday morning, lies a body oozin' life

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2006
    Location
    Carbondale
    Posts
    698
    Since the pine beetles are supplying plenty of wood we installed one of these:
    http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/woo...s?product_id=3
    The soapstone keeps it from getting crazy hot by storing heat that it later releases for hours. Nicely made, not cheap.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Location
    The land of Genesee Cream Ale and homemade pierogies!
    Posts
    1,995
    For your reading pleasure: http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/

    Harmon was highly thought of for a long, long time. Sometime Last year they sold themselves to some other company, cash crunch or something like that. There was concern the quality or support/parts availability would suffer. Then I stopped following it in detail. So it's like a mystery hanging out there. Let me know what you find out.

    I know this, whether you burn wood pellets or coal or whatever, the quality of the stove and its ability to burn the fuel you choose to use makes all the difference between good experience and bad experience.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Location
    On a genuine ol' fashioned authentic steam powered aereoplane
    Posts
    15,486
    Ha. My dad has been in the heating oil distribution business since the 70s.....and he has always heated his home with wood 80-100% of the time.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Dystopia
    Posts
    17,603
    http://www.staywarmnh.org/fuelprices.htm

    http://www.nhclimateaudit.org/calculators.php

    good analysis of various costs of each type of fuel - the latter one is a custom calculator you can use.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands, WA.
    Posts
    1,144
    I have one of these http://www.hearthstonestoves.com/woo...?product_id=20 and it works great. It's my only source of heat and burns from Sept to June. It takes a while to warm things back up in the winter if I go away for a few days but it will burn all night If I throw a couple rounds in there before I go to bed. I had a Vermont Castings stove before this but had to replace it because it started to crumble inside. I have friends who have stoves 50+ years old that burn everyday and still look good, I think the V.C. stove just had poor quality cast iron.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Apr 2004
    Location
    Southeast New York
    Posts
    10,122
    I've been thinking insert. Good idea/bad idea? I'm not sure I like the idea of a freestanding woodstove in the middle of the living room with 2 dogs and 2 kids.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Planning an exit
    Posts
    5,779
    Pacific Energy wood stove insert in the basement with another (different brand?) purchased for the main level. Any recco's are welcome to heat about 1200 square feet. We have a fan on ours and I'd recommend them. I'd just buy a simple wood stove if you live where fire wood is fairly easy or cheaper to obtain. I guess the fan is electric but I can't think of an extended period of time when I've not had power.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Posts
    1,322
    2nded on the Vermont Castings Dutchwest & thatís one hell of a wedding present.

    We have the same stove in the ski house & it heats great. Side load is nice too. At home I have a Regency Hearth Heater which works real well too. Basically a fireplace insert that sticks out & sits on the hearth like a stove so you get radiant heat too. Not fancy @ all, but heats the majority of the house very comfortably.

    It would be a good option for you Gravitylover.

    http://www.regency-fire.com/Wood/Inserts/index.php

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Dec 2003
    Location
    Nhampshire
    Posts
    7,160
    My dad has a Jotl that's been a tank for years, and even includes a cat converter, drying racks etc.

    Kids and animals learn quickly that you don't touch woodstoves, though our cats would set themselves on fire now and again.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    northern BC
    Posts
    27,957
    yeah we got the medium vermont castings in the place we rent which is about 1600sq ft,the stove is dead center in the house ,the pipe goes straight up and exits 3 ft over the highest point of the house and I never seen a stove draw like this one ... super easy to light .The catalytic converter burns super clean when you get it up to 800F ,I go up and run a brush thru every fall but there is no tar ofr soot buildup


    thanx for the links core shot
    Last edited by XXX-er; 07-03-2008 at 12:50 PM.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2004
    Location
    Ten Mile Vistas
    Posts
    3,950
    I have a Federal Airtight by Duchwest that I use as my only source of heat. I went through 5-6 chords this past wood-burning season(Sept.-May). I absolutely love it. Cast iron, airtight stove w/ a catalytic converter. You can really dial it in so that you stoke it up, then close the vents down before you go to bed and there will still be coals left in the morning. Get it raging again in the morning before you leave for the day, then close it down and you'll still have coals left when you get home. There's nothing better than being able to hang out in your living room in your boxers when it's -20F outside.

    FZ- if you go the woodstove route, do yourself a favor and get some pinon pine. It burns longer and hotter than the softer pines and is much cheaper and easier to get than hardwoods like oak. I'll throw some pinon in the stove before going to bed at night.
    Last edited by cmsummit; 07-07-2008 at 12:10 AM.
    Old's Cool.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Golden BC
    Posts
    4,094
    Have a Archgard and its working great so far. Going to put some ventilation in as loft get way to hot.
    Mrs. Dougw- "I can see how one of your relatives could have been killed by an angry mob."

    Quote Originally Posted by ill-advised strategy View Post
    dougW, you motherfucking dirty son of a bitch.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands, WA.
    Posts
    1,144
    The catalytic converter started to crumble after a few years, the internal cast iron began to fall apart not long after. The cast iron turned white and brittle and would fall off in 1 inch pieces, after 2 or 3 years of this the plates inside would no longer stay locked together and would just fall apart if you touched them. I've only seen cast iron do this in salt water cooled boat engines and manifolds and figured someone burned a bunch of driftwood in it at one time (why not, there's an endless supply 20 feet away on the beach), but some friends have used it all the time and never had a problem. I'm happy with the Hearthstone, It needs resealing now but it's been great for years.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    Hakuba
    Posts
    885
    Im leaning towards a VC or a soapstone type of stove. As I own a lodge the soap stone type looks great. I am worried about it going out and then taking 2 hours to heat back up?

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands, WA.
    Posts
    1,144
    I have 20 feet of chimney inside that radiates lots of heat until the soapstone gets hot (it takes at least 2 hours) plus it's sitting on a soapstone base with soapstone on two sides to reflect heat into the room. the cast iron gets hot pretty quickly and gives off enough heat to make it bearable until the rest of the house warms up. In a house with lower ceilings things would warm up much quicker, this is a 2 story timber frame house with a loft and cathedral ceilings, lots of space to warm up before the lower level heats up. It takes at least a day to warm things back up if the stove is out for a few days

  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    Planning an exit
    Posts
    5,779
    To those of you that have soapstone stoves. With a lofted log cabin house would soapstone be a negative if we let the stove heat overnight but generally shut it down while we are at work?

  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan 2006
    Location
    San Juan Islands, WA.
    Posts
    1,144
    Mine burns Sept. till June and only goes out if I'm gone for more than 10 or 12 hours because it takes to long to get the temperature back up. The amount of exposed wood in the house holds the cold as well as it does heat and it's much easier to keep the house warm that way plus I'm not building a fire every night as soon as I come home. With a second heat source it's not a problem (I had a heat pump/woodstove combo in another house that worked great) otherwise the temperature fluctuations are too great.

  20. #20
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    ME
    Posts
    2,020
    Just looked into some Jotul stoves at a local shop. We liked the Jotul F 3B for our purposes.

    Stove: $1521
    Insulated Stainless Steel piping/cap/elbows, etc.: $1400
    Install $850

    Me = Holy crap sticker shock. I didn't realize the piping was so expensive!

    I guess we'll still go with it considering oil here is $4.40 or so a gallon.

    Good luck finding wood though.
    "A local is just a dirtbag who can't get his shit together enough to travel."

    - Owl Chapman

  21. #21
    Join Date
    Apr 2006
    Location
    Tahoe
    Posts
    1,428

    How many cords per year?

    I'm having a small insert installed today. Any ideas how much wood I'll go through in a winter here in Tahoe? I'm burning pine & fir, house is 2400 square feet. I'm not sure if I can heat the whole house with it, so maybe the question is, how much can you run through a small insert in one winter?

    I have 15 cords split and stacked, so supply is not an issue, just trying to plan how much I need to move next to the house once fire season ends.

  22. #22
    Join Date
    May 2008
    Posts
    93
    At the other end of the spectrum are homemade rocket stoves. Just sayin... $100 or so vs $1500.

  23. #23
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Live Free or Die
    Posts
    2,093
    I love Vermont Castings. I grew up with one and now have one in my home. Can't go wrong with it.

  24. #24
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Large Sky
    Posts
    242

    jotul

    Ever since I was walking we had a small to medium sized Jotul heating 1500 square feet. That was well over 20 years ago and it is still chugging with no end in sight. Super tight and we have never had to replace the brick. Well glass broke once but that was human drunk error.

    I like all iron... load it up when you go to bed, wake up and you always have fire. Don't get me wrong I love starting fires but it will get old after the 30th time. God I love wood heat. God I need to move out of my stupid apartment complex.

  25. #25
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    far out
    Posts
    306
    Core Shot: From an Oregon perspective, $500+ a chord is crazy money. Prices have gone up a lot, so I would say $250 for hardwood here if it were split and stacked.

    Stoves/Inserts: Check out Royal and Lopi in addition to the many solid brands mentioned.

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