Wood stoves

A while back we promised you a post on wood stoves. We really love wood fire and required some kind of fire feature in the house. At first we were looking at masonry stoves, but discovered they don’t work well with super-insulated, net-zero houses. Not to mention that they are extremely big and heavy, and we have very limited space. So we started looking at small, high-efficiency, European-style wood stoves. Beautiful, but even the smallest ate up too much space in clearance requirements to fit into our small house design, so we began looking into fireplace insert options to save a few more inches. At this point we started running into problems with its location near the stair, and found our energy consultants were dead set against wood stoves in this type of house for reasons related to overheating and ventilation. We knew they would be, but had hoped they could find some way to make it work. In the end we found a wood stove wouldn’t be efficient or cost-effective… Our two biggest criteria when deciding what goes into the house. It was a very hard decision (over 2 years in the making) but we’ve come to the realization that a wood stove is not in the cards for this house. We will however, have a patio fire pit, and reserve the right to maybe add an interior fireplace at a later date.

3 Responses to “Wood stoves”

  1. 1 Marjorie Dybec 2-July-2010 at 12:02 am

    I love RAIS woodstoves. And I love the onion bulb woodstoves that hang from the ceiling, too. But alas we have a Vermont Castings, the smallest they manufacture. Problem is, it requires a 14″ or smaller log. Of course, no bloke who cuts logs for living will waste their time on a 12″ log. They cut 16″ as their smallest length. So we end up with half a cord of wood we can’t jam into our stove. Other problem in winter is that it won’t burn all night long. Since we can only ever fit one or maybe 2 small logs into our woodstove, we get about 4 or 5 hours out of it…which means its cold cinders by morning. 😦

    Woodstoves, while quintessentially obligatory in cottages, are dusty, dirty things. If you can heat the joint without a woodstove, I say do it.

  2. 2 W Smith 18-November-2013 at 3:30 pm

    Just started reading your blog … lots of similarities with our building experience, so I’ll add when I see something I can’t resist … EXACTLY the same experience with our wood stove Masonry -> Wood Stove -> European Modern Wood Stove -> Nothing due to overheating and expense … we told ourselves we’d even build a sauna that is heated by a wood furnace (The Finns make them), so keep that as an option

    • 3 Larry 23-November-2013 at 8:26 am

      @Smith Thanks for the comments! As for the wood stove, we’ve been dreaming up a semi-detached (thermally decoupled) sun room with a wood stove, linked to the house by a mudroom. If needed in an emergency, we could fire it up, open the door to the house and turn on a fan to blow warm air from the sun space into the house.

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