Thursday, December 20, 2012

The wood stove delima

In our little house in town we put in a Jotul F100. Calee has fallen in love with the little stove. It has been our primary heat source for the past 3 winters now. This stove is rated at 35,000 BTU max. According to my calculations we will only need around 25,000 BTU to heat the whole house when it is 10 Degrees outside. So technically this stove would probably keep up. The problem is who knows how the achieved the 35,000 BTU. The f100 will probably burn cleanly anywhere from 17,000 to 35,000 BTU. Currently we can set the stove up to just barley have enough coals in the morning to get a fire going fairly easily. That is roughly 8 hours. If we don't do everything just right then there is nothing left in the morning and we have to start from scratch. So we would like to get just a little bit longer burn time. We would also like to have an ash pan.


The other stoves that we are seriously looking at are the Jotul F3 and the Jotul F400. I am worried about over heating the house with the F400. There seem to be very few examples of wood stoves in ICF houses out there. The F3 is rated at 42,000 BTU. So running this stove at half speed would technically keep our house warm on a 10 degree day. The problem is we have more 30-40 degree days than we do 10. So the big question is will the F3 over heat the house too? I don't know. There is only about a $200 difference between the F3 and F400 so that is not really an issue. The clearances are also about the same. Would it work to just build a quick hot fire in either stove? The larger fire box size and longer potential burn time sounds pretty appealing in the F400, but the F3 will still be an improvement of what we have now.

Ultimately this decision may just come down to what ever stove feels right in person.

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