Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Upgrading the Wood Stove

After a year and a half of service, our Blaze King gave up the ghost. The intense heat that is created by having a constant fire fueled by pine finally caused the welds to split inside the stove. This left us without any ability to damper the fire and caused a tremendous amount of heat loss up the chimney. After doing some research online I stumbled across the Montana Stove Works website. Truthfully, I found a review of their Cera Stove and then had to search for them. Here is the website for those that are curious: http://www.montanastove.com/ The direct link to the Cera stove is here: http://www.montanastove.com/page12.html

The owner/operator is Fred Seton and he's been building Boilers and wood stoves for 30 years. And as a bonus he is in Montana (Troy). After reading through his website, reading the reviews online, and then finally talking with him, Kelly and I decided to spend the $2600 to purchase the Commercial version of his Cera Stove. He claimed that it would put out enough heat to shut off the furnace. That's a pretty tall order here given the size of the place but he insisted that it would not only do it, but that we would have to give up splitting our wood too!! Woohoo!! The stove has a huge firebox and can take 15" diameter logs around 24" long. The firebox isn't iron like we are used to. It is actually framed with iron, and then poured with a concrete type material that they call "ceramic refractory". The end result is that you end up with a firebox that can withstand at least twice the heat of iron and it has a tremendous thermal mass that will continue to radiate heat even after the fire is out. This is exactly why the Vermont Castings Soap Stone stoves are so popular (and expensive). Another benefit of the construction is that the higher firebox temperatures actually prevent creosote buildup due to a more complete combustion. There are a bunch of fancy words that describe this but the end result is that your risk of a chimney fire is much reduced.

Three weeks later the stove showed up. 785 pounds!! Made moving it interesting and getting it up onto the hearth a bit of a chore. Luckily I have a couple of buddies that are always willing to lend a hand. Pete and Bob helped us make quick work of the stove install and in no time, the house was warming up. Fred wasn't kidding either. Before Kelly and I got it figured out we had the upstairs roasting at 77 degrees. The only time our furnace runs now is when it's really cold out and we decide to sleep in too long.

A special thanks to Pete, Sandy, Bob, and Erna for helping with the install and thank you Fred. Your stove has more than delivered on your promise.

Here's the finished product, and the pictures below it show how we got here.

1 comment:

Brian C said...

I want one! Wonder if it will heat my monstrosity!