Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Wood Stoves and home heating

Kate, over at The Manic Gardener, asked me about my wood stove. She lives in Montana so heating is something of an issue. She is looking at upgrading her stove to a Tulikivi, which is supposed to be super efficient, but rather expensive. She was wondering what kind of stove we used that has to be fed in the middle of the night.

We use a small partially sealed Vogelzang wood stove. It is quite efficient for its size, but doesn't have a large enough fire box or sufficient air flow controls to allow me to bank it up for the night and have it last. For us the stove is a temporary solution. We are planning on installing an indoor wood furnace linked to a sub-floor radiant heat system in the downstairs and radiators in the upstairs. The furnace will also provide all our hot water during the heating season, and can be linked to the shop and the greenhouse if so we desire. The wood stove is just filling the gap until the furnace project is done. It is a pretty good stove for that purpose. We got it on clearance for less than $200. It didn't require any structural changes to the house to install it, and we will use it in our cottage when we don't need it in the house. We also have a fireplace in the living room. With the doors closed it is quite efficient. It is not intended to be the primary heat source, rather it is a supplement and an aesthetic addition to the space. I need fire in my life, and this will give me a relaxing place to have it. I know there are super efficient wood stoves out there that will hold their fire all night. I'd be interested in hearing what others use and how they like their stoves.
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