Sunday, February 23, 2014

Wood Stoves

We will be buying a wood stove this summer.   I've been doing a lot of research and we narrowed it down to these three:

Made in the USA to be one of the greenest stoves in America, the Encore® FlexBurn™ is unlike any other wood stove on the market today. It adapts to your lifestyle, so you can choose to operate in catalytic or non-catalytic mode.1. Vermont Castings,  Encore:
 $3250 - enamel finish.
Heats up to 1800 sq ft.
Medium sized firebox
27" (W)
25-3/4" (H)
22-3/4" (D)
Burn Time: 12 hours
Converts from catalytic to non-catalytic.
Lower ash pan that swings out from the bottom for clean out.
Top or front load, 22" logs
Small cook top already on - no conversion

Heats up to 1500 sq ft
Medium sized firebox
23.875" (W)
27.625" (H)
25.125" (D)
Burn time:  6 hours 
Front load, 16" logs
Automatic blower
Top lifts off so you can use firebox as cooktop.
Ash pan pulls out like a drawer

Starting at $2089
Heats up to 1500 sq ft
Small size firebox.
25.625" (W)
24.313" (H)
25" (D)
Burn Time:  9 hours
Side or front load, 18" logs
Cooktop under cover
Ash pan swings out?

A couple of weekends ago, in between snowstorms, we went to Economy Fireplace in Ellettsville, Indiana and took a look at them.  Jim Herbst spent a lot of time talking to us and explaining how things work and what all was on the insides of all the stoves we looked at. [Great guy!  Very friendly and knowledgeable.  He gave us a tip on gloves - Go get a pair of welding gloves; they last a lot longer than fireplace gloves.] 

We saw the Vermont Castings Encore up close and personal.  They didn't have the Yosemite, but they had something very similar by Quadra-Fire.  They had the larger Regency H300 instead of the H200, but it's essentially the same stove, just different sizes.  So, we feel like we have enough information to make a final decision sometime here soon.

It was interesting to see how the top load felt as opposed to the side load and front loads.  It was interesting to see the ash pan arrangements.   It was nice to see the finishes.   Prices differ depending on the finish - The Encore price up there is for the enamel finish. The Regency would cost more with the enamel finish and I'm not sure about the Yosemite, since they didn't have that one and I had to pull a price off the internet. 

Which do you guys like best?  


  1. Our stove was one of the best investments we made in our old house even tho we live in the city. Loved it and I miss it. There's no good place to put one in the house I'm in now, but I wish there was. Let us know what you choose.

  2. We have had a Quadra Fire for about sic years now and love it cast iron finish, nothing fancy works great and I can cook on top if I want to. Often have a pot of beans going on rainy days.

  3. They all look nice - I guess it would depend on which room it was going in. If it's a living area then the enamel would be nice. Not sure if it's worth the extra money though? I like the long burn time of the Vermont Castings but boy, it's pricey! We looked into a Vermont Castings for our keeping room but the darn chimney liner installation cost almost as much as the stove! (in our state you can't put a stove in unless there is a liner in your chimney) We ended up not buying one but I've wished that we had. I'm wondering where Patrica puts her pot of beans? Do they cook on top of the stove?

  4. Janice raised a point I wondered about - the cost to install and any regulations re: construction or modification. I guess it would be about the same for all models? I also noticed they give a sq footage vs. cubic footage area. My folks stopped using their enclosed fireplace because firewood was not cheap in their area, and the 18 ft. ceiling in that room meant a lot of heat was wasted over their heads before the lower part of the room got warm, in spite of the blower directing it out into the room. Style-wise, they are all attactive, but I noticed the wood handle on the door of Regency. The wood handle on on theirs eventually dried out and cracked from the heat.

  5. Is the second one the only one that offers a blower motor? Can the others offer it as an add-on? If you're going to heat the room, you'll love how much faster and efficient a blower motor is. For an extra $10, spring for a blower with a temperature sensor. They can turn on when the stove is hot enough, and shut off when the stove goes out (so it doesn't run all night with no fire going). I like either the first or second ones myself. :)


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