ridgeracing wrote:decide if I need a DS1500WH (96btu) or DS1600WH (125btu).
My very-rough rule of thumb is take the manufacturer's rating for a stove, divide by 2, and that is a reasonable and efficient burn rate without pushing the stove to its limits. So you are really deciding between 96/2 = 48KBtu, or 125/2 = 62KBtu. 48K does not sound like much for 2500 sq ft, especially with uninsulated cellar walls soaking up the heat. So my first reaction is, go with the bigger stove. You can get far more sophisticated about calculating heat loss from your house, and since you are just in the planning stage now is the time to do it. But be aware that a 96KBtu stove will NOT NOT NOT deliver 96K of heat into your house.