I’ve done lots of research on wood stoves and have finally decided on one for us. We have a unique situation in that we need a stove that fits in a 43″ wide 27″ deep alcove with an 84″ ceiling height. We wanted a stove with between 25,000 and 50,000 btu output so that we could comfortably heat our downstairs but also be able to heat the whole home for a day or two in case of power outage. The contenders for us were the Jotul F602CB, Jotul F100 Nordic QT, Jotul F3CB or the Englander 17-VL. I love the look of cast iron stoves and really like the Jotul 602. Unfortunately, it requires a taller ceiling height than we have. The Jotul 100 failed the safety test for me (I read of several folks having issues with burning logs coming out while reloading), and the F3CB is $1,627 for matte black and $2,100 for an enamel finish (out of our price range). Luckily for us, the stove I originally had thought about, is just right.
The Englander 17-VL was designed and built right here in the USA. It is a plate steel stove that weighs in at 230 lbs and produces 40,000 btu with over 75% efficiency. No catalytic converter is used, rather it uses “secondary burn” tubes that ignite the wood gas coming off the logs instead of sending that potential energy up the flue. Even though it is plate steel, it uses some European design cues including under the firebox wood storage that make it look quite nice. It has the option for a blower that blows air from behind the stove up around the firebox and through the front out the vents at the top of the stove. This is perfect for us because the living room wall will be right behind the stove and I can pipe the air intake through that wall, then the living room’s cold air will be running through the stove and vented into the kitchen. Due to the slight pressure difference in each room caused by the fan pulling from one room and depositing into the other we should have no problem heating our downstairs with relative evenness. All of this at a cost of only $549 if we decide to order through overstockstoves.com, Englander’s factory direct sales avenue.