The house we live in now, as mentioned in the last post, has had two previous owners. The original owners had a wood stove. In the years that the second owners were living here, they put in a gas stove. We would much rather have a wood stove, so my husband asked the second owners about the wood stove that they had replaced, and tried to locate it. Long story short, we find ourselves looking for a new wood stove. After a few years of saving up for it, of course.
Last week a gentleman from a local firm came to our house and took measurements. He could not leave a bid or estimate at the time, so my husband told him to drop a final cost off in the mailbox. The economy must be really going well for that particular firm--we haven't received a written estimate nor a phone call from him. I guess our business isn't that important to him...
So last week, an appointment was made for another gentleman from a competing firm to come and do the necessary measurements, etc., to see if he had a product that would meet our needs. (It did not hurt that my husband saw a sale sign outside the gentleman's place of business. :) He was able to sit down and give us a cost estimate for three different products.
There were a couple of things I found interesting about what he said when he was preparing to make his calculations. I asked him if we could still use the wood stove if the electricity went out and the fan wasn't working. He said yes, but indicated that the gas stove we have now would still work even if the electricity went out--that it required electricity, but would still work during a power outage. I was aware that the gas stove required electricity, (one of the main reasons I want a woodstove) and that it would work in a power outage, but I had no idea how long it would work during a power outage. So I asked him. He said that after about eight days there would probably be a problem, and something like where he is, there had only been power outages for about 16-20 hours. I was like, "Oh, that's good," because that's not anywhere near eight days. Inside, however, I was thinking that we weren't even on the same page. I want a stove that will work for me indefinitely, as long as I can supply the fuel, of course. There's no way to tell an emergency situation that it can only last as long as eight days.
Another issue that's important to us is that the stove have some kind of cooking surface. The gentleman who was here yesterday told us that the model we are considering has a 5-inch "lip" that juts out--we need a wood stove insert. That is not very large...maybe enough to set a soup can on or something. That is better than what we have now, but it would be nice to have a larger surface for emergency situations--we would need it for food preparation as well as heat, after all.
So, (did you see this coming?) I called my best source (Mom). For some reason, I was under the impression that my parents bought a pellet stove, but not so. They purchased a wood stove. So one of the first questions she asked me was about the "efficiency rating." Since it had not come up in the conversation with the stove company gentleman, I did not know. She suggested that I check the Internet, since she was unfamiliar with brand that we were discussing. I found next to nothing, except for the claim that they tested their products themselves--so not that informative in terms of the rating. My husband, however, found the efficiency rating--not stellar, but worth considering. Problem is, when he called the gentleman today to ask more questions, turns out the efficiency rating is 6% less than what was stated on the Internet, so it changes how we look at it somewhat.
My mom also called up someone at a number listed on a website about wood stoves and asked about the model we are looking at, and according to that person, there is no "lip" on the stove that would stick out from the insert and provide a cooking surface. We'll have to figure out who is right on that issue. No cooking surface = a deal-breaker for me.
So, still looking for an emergency (and economical anytime--hopefully, it could help with utility bills this winter) heat source for both heating and cooking. Have to have something to cook my rice and beans on. Or at least a can of soup....