I am looking for some advice. I am in the market for a new stove and I am finding it difficult to make a decision. First off, i live in a 3 bdr, 1 bath 1175 sq. ft ranch, with a full, underground unfinished basement. So that 1175 x 2 floors. The stove will be located at one end of the house in the basement, under the kitchen and living room side. I understand that I'll need registers for warm air to go up and cold air to sink back down, and if my assumptions are correct I'll get a nice turn over of air from one end to the other of the house, the colder air will be leaving the bedrooms. My basement is accessible from the partially uninsulated garage, so there is no stair way to work as a return. The house is insulated ok, the weak spots are the windows and of course the metal trimmed sliding glass door. I'm currently running baseboard heat. Price hike next winter, and too me honest I'm tired of being a scrooge with the thermostats set to 66. I grew up with a Surdiac 713D Gotha, nice heat at an idle, but the shaking mechanism had an attitude and was more work than it needed to be. So I do understand the patients and devotion required to run a stove. Anyway...
I'm looking for a stove to go in the basement, so looks aren't on the top of my list. The great looking Hitzer 50-93 and 30-95 are really attractive- hoper feed, "easy" shaking a real beauty for an empty basement. But then there's the 82 and 55 from Hitzer- a no nonsense get it done stove. So far these two stove style from Hitzer really appeal to me, but I need advice. It seems that I kind of fall in between both the 50-93 / 30-95 & 82 / 55 btu size wise. What do others feel would be the right size for my home? When I spoke to Hitzer today they pushed me towards the 55 or the 50-93. I do like the idea of hopper feed- shaking twice a day and feeding once a day (like the old Surdiac). But then again, I like the ability to run a non- EPA wood fire in the fall & spring. Can anyone out there tell me if they get a whole day with one coal load in the 30-95? Has anyone burned wood in the 55? Can the ash get dumped once per day, or longer? I get the feeling that I may get overheated with the 82 or even the 50-93. Will the 55 carry the house in the winter, or at least close to it? I like the 55 & 82 as far as a twice a day loader because they look easier to load then the Mark II or the TLC in terms of fire box to door opening. My chief requirement is that the stove must be able to go 12- 14 (max) hours with out a shake, and as I stated I do like the idea of feeding and dumping ash once a day but I will consider a twice a day feeder. Hitzer recommended to me that a better, even burn will be obtained from two feedings in the 55, I assume that the same would be true for the 82? I don't mind some work, but I don't want something like that Surdiac in terms of shaking.
And as you can tell, I want blackout heatability.
At the end of the day, I realize that this all comes down to taste and personal preference. Cost is leading me to a radiant 55. So many choices...
Really, I suppose my first hurdle is finding what stove (btu) is big enough w/o stripping down to underwear on a 40 degree winter day.
Thanks in advance for any personal experiences with these and other stoves.
Stemmy in Gilbert, PA