I bought an Englander wood stove from Home Depot 18 years ago and have been using it as the sole heat source for my 1000 sq. ft., zone 4, country house ever since. Recently I completed a new, 2000 sq. ft. house nearby and bought a new wood stove to use as an auxiliary heat source. The new stove is an EPA approved US Stove King 89,000 BTU with blower, from Home Depot. The new house has an oil fired boiler and radiant floor heat. EPA approved wood stoves are a different animal than the typical old style. You can’t load these full of wood, get them going good and then damper down the air intake. On these stoves you can’t adjust the air intake at all. Don’t get me wrong- I love this stove- it makes a beautiful fire to look at through the glass because of its “air wash system” and if you dim down the lights at night, yellow light flickers off your walls. It throws out a huge amount of heat if you get 3- 21” split log chunks going good. This is not a fill and forget it wood stove. For best results after the fire is going I put in one 18-21” split piece of 2 or 3 year old dried wood every hour and leave my home thermostat at 60 degrees. The downstairs stays at about 70 degrees with an outside temp of 30-40 degrees and the upstairs stays cooler at about 65. The boiler only comes on late at night after I have gone to bed or leave the house and the fire has died down. I have a big masonry wall and chimney behind the stove, which holds heat through the night. The stove sits on a cement radiant floor heat slab. I only use the internal wood stove blower when the house has been unoccupied and cold. It’s works fine and isn’t as noisy as the old one. After the room heats up I switch over to a 20” x 20” filtered air intake above the wood stove that feeds 6” duct-work and in-line fan. Air continuously cycles past the wood stove and is distributed to my downstairs living room and bedroom through this duct-work in my kitchen soffits. I also have a 4” outside air intake feed at the base of the stove for a fresh air source to fuel the fire. You don’t have to have a fancy air distribution system but I do recommend at least a ceiling fan nearby – otherwise it will get too hot near the stove. The stove has a nice size ash drawer that I find works really well. Big enough that you only have to empty it after 4 or 5 days of continuous use.
After your house has warmed up you need to be very cautious about overloading these types of EPA approved wood stoves. You can not shut them down unless you use water. I do not like the idea of a flue damper- nor have I ever used one and the manual say’s not too. Two negatives; the stove black paint pealed off a portion of the top when I first fired it up- must be the stove wasn’t completely clean when they painted it. The other negative is the door handle is very wonky compared to my old stove. It is too short and you have to engage it just right to latch. I have gotten use to it but at first I was burning my hand at times trying to close it. I think they made this handle intentionally wonky so you have to pay attention to how you close the door and don’t just slam it shut and maybe break the glass against a log. I do not burn my hand anymore and I get it. The steel is of a little lighter gauge than old style stoves. In final I want to say these new EPA approved wood stoves make for a healthier environment inside your home and out compared to old models. Add your seasoned dry wood thoughtfully to this stove and you will have a beautiful warm fire that will give you peace.