Well, I have had a lot of success in members responding to my request about the Hitzer stove line, and hope I can come to a final conclusion with this inquirey.
As mentioned in the past, I have been seeking a heating appliance that could heat the better part of a very fragmented house. Basically, there have been two distinct basements with a solid block wall between, each containing a wood stove. Whereas the older Fisher stove is in my office in the smaller open basement, a Vermont Castings Defiant Encore is in the large, but broken up with smaller rooms finished basement. The house above is aprox. 2000 square feet.
The main part of the house is heated by Pellet and Electric baseboard, used sparingly. Still, the cost of pellets have nearly doubled in the last 8 years, and well the cost of electricity is sinful. At one time, I used a very efficient direct vent kerosene heater to heat the main part of the house, but the cost of fuel tripled in price over the last 17 years.
Therefore, my initial thought in burning coal, was to replace the older Fisher with either a hand fired or gravity fed hopper system. I am not interested in a stoker, as I am not looking to use any more electricity, not to mention the fact that we lose power quite often.
So, I had actually narrowed my choice down to the 30-95, knowing that I could remove the hopper to burn wood during the warmer months. Though the larger 30-93 would put out more heat, the hopper not being removable would eliminate the second option of burning wood.
Now, I have learned that Alaska Stove Company's Kodiak stove may suite me even more. Certainly having a local service/sales distributor is something to consider. In the case of the Hitzer, I planned on ordering the stove direct from Hitzer, since there was no local representatives within 50 miles.
With the Alaska Kodiak, I am told that it can heat 3000 feet, which though it is more than I have, most of my house is under insulated, and I imagine by the time you factor in two basements and upstairs, I am not that far off . I actually have a mason who will be opening a door between the two basements, so that I can benefit from shared heat, as well as offer more venting options to the rooms above.
Please offer your advice so that I can finally direct my purchase in the next week to 10 days. As I mentioned in my past posts, I spend about 1-2 weekends a month out of town visiting my girlfriend in South Jersey. Though I know I may not have much heat coming out of the stove, I am hoping that by banking it down, I can leave for 36-48 hours and return to enough coals to start the fire back up again.
This is about the most informative forum I have ever participated in, and look forward to sharing my stories of coal heat before too long. Thanks again for your replies.