Wood stove exploration

Been researching alternative heating sources the last week or so.
Oil heated water rads are so expensive!

Checked out Gas stoves, pellet stoves, multi-fuel stoves and wood stoves...

- Gas / propane  stoves just don't have enough $ savings to make me want to invest. 

I was almost convinced to get a good Harmen pellet stove... clean, low maintenance, much cheaper than oil......  The one I was looking at has 5 speed settings and an agitator for the ash box that allowed for 6 weeks between cleaning at 24/7 burning.   OK - Cheaper, clean burn, low maintenance...

Did I get it? ....Well... No...The noise of the fan bugged me, THREE electric motors in the thing means moving parts to replace, and the sound of "dropping" pellets just made me think about the mechanics instead of the fire.   I'd just be constantly worrying about the auger jamming or a part failing instead of just enjoying the fire - flames, heat, smell and crackle.   Too much technology for burning wood!
Oh yeah! And the electrical nature means that unless I get some kind of generator and/or UPS backup it's useless if the power goes out.

So I saw this little True North t19 front load, double burn, non-cat stove.  1800 sq feet rated, 6 - 18 hour burn time. It's a plain stove - But nice clean design. And the price is right @ under $1000... I was unable to find any reviews online, but there were a couple of forum threads with discussions about how great this little stove is.
So... As long as insurance doesn't go crazy, and I can find a satisfactory place to keep a cord or 2, I'll deal with the mess of wood.  It just makes more sense for me.  Inspection next week and maybe it will be my birthday present!... or maybe I'll get a laser sailboat instead! :-)


  1. My parents have a pellet stove in their place, and while I find the noise a bit distracting they say they don't even notice it anymore, which I can buy since I was always noticing the trains passing by when I first moved to Palo Alto but hardly hear them now.

  2. Or you could augment your existing system with a solar collector. It preheats the water so your boiler doesn't have to work as hard to heat the water for your radiant heat system. In addition to photovoltaic solar panels, (my utility company pays me for the excess power i generate back on to the grid.)I also have a hot water collector which preheats the water for my conventional water heater. Our furnace is an ancient "gravity" type forced air unit that I intend to replace with a combo air handler that would be able to be tied to the solar hot water.

    Go Solar! Woohoo!

    1. Hey,

      Going solar would be great... the environmental rewards are much greater but the economic incentives for me don't add up. Unless conscience is worth something.. and it should be!

      Cost, incentives and actual sunshine in the winter months!

      Now! - Windmills...
      That's where it's at. But until we can put one on the roof of my house I think they require space around it in case it falls down.


  3. Decided on the little True North wood stove.

    No moving parts, 5% increase for house insurance.
    Not too concerned right now as spring approaches and springy things are upon us.
    But will probably install before the fall.

    Thanks for the on/offline suggestions and recommendations.

    1. Hey Grant,

      Did you install this stove? I am looking at the True North to be installed next week, but like you, I can't find any reviews on it.


    2. Actually,
      Finally got to this 3 weeks ago.
      I love this stove.

      I'll blog about the insurance fun I had but the stove itself is great.
      Pumps out tons of heat - I am still learning how to "control" lhe heat output... The house is about 24 deg. C... too hot! :-)

  4. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    1. It's installed and works great. Sure pumps out the heat.

    2. Hey Grant,
      Thanks for the input. We are getting our first stove next week and it is the True North model. Price, efficiency and quality all added up for us.
      There are a couple of reviews I have read on this, and they are all positive.

  5. With the various available stoves these days, you'll surely have a lot of options to choose from. It all boils down to which one that you'd think would be best for your needs. You can even get the opinion of experts as well as the advice of those who have already used the unit.