The wood-stove decision has finally been made.

Neo 2.5 wood stove

Pacific Energy’s Neo 2.5 wood stove, in Sunset Red.With it, I believe our wood-stove solution has been found! (Photo from Pacific Energy,

One of the most popular (that is, frequently read) of all the posts I’ve written here at Meanwhile, at the Manse over these past almost three years is the one from June 2012 (it’s here, if you’d like to check it out) wherein I ruminated over what kind of wood stove – modern, or traditional? – Raymond and I should get for the Manse. We most certainly do need a wood stove. Pretty much everybody in these parts has one. My family had one when I was growing up in this house. A wood stove is an economical and reliable way to have cozy heat even when the power goes out; and it creates a warm (in every sense of the word) centre for any household, if you ask me.

Now, as it happens Raymond and I have pretty much decided what kind of wood stove we’re going to get, and in fact that decision was made several months ago; I’ve just been waiting to share it with you until what seemed like the appropriate time. Tonight, as I walked from my car into the Manse amid falling and blowing snow, howling wind and bitter cold, I decided that this is that time.

We found the stove of our dreams thanks to our Queensborough friend Dave‘s recommendation that we visit a store called Friendly Fires in Peterborough. There we explained to a knowledgeable staffer named Hayley that we needed and wanted a wood stove, but were torn between (as I’d outlined in that old blog post) an old-fashioned-style Heartland along the lines of the vintage Findlay that adorned the Manse kitchen in my childhood, like this model…

Heartland wood stove

… and the sleek modern styles that one finds in European-made stoves, like this:

Sideros wood stove

White NeoWell! Hayley had just the solution for us. She showed us a brand-new European-style model called the Neo, from a line made by Pacific Energy. As you can see from the photos at the top of this post and to the right here, the Neos are elegantly designed and compact. They throw a lot of heat – and they come in lots of different colours! (That last being almost the most important consideration, from my point of view.) I fell in love instantly, and we left clutching the colourful brochure that told about all the wondrous things Neos could do (BTUs and whatnot; if you’d like to check for yourself, there’s more here and here) and a promise from Hayley that she’d call us as soon as she could find out the retail price. (The Neo being so new that, as she explained, they were only just starting to come off the factory floor.) And as it happened, as we walked into the Manse from that Peterborough trip, the red phone was ringing and it was Hayley, with a price that seemed quite reasonable.

So we are sold on the Neo. However, there are still some major decisions to be made and obstacles to be overcome before one of them is burning brightly and keeping us toasty on wintry nights like this one at the Manse.

The first is where exactly it should go. Almost certainly that will be the kitchen; but as anyone who has installed a wood stove in recent decades will know, there are a lot of issues that have to be resolved before you just go and put in a wood stove, like proper setup of the chimney, making sure the stove is far enough away from the wall, and so on. You don’t really get a second chance if you decide that you put it in the wrong place the first time – or at least, you do, but it’ll be a lot of cost and mess to change it.

Neo colour options

Just look at these colour options for the Neo! So exciting!

So really before the wood stove can go in, we have to have our full renovation plan for the kitchen in place. Which we don’t yet, though we’re working on it.

And secondly (and this part is a lot more fun), there’s the decision to be made about the colour! Should it be Sunset Red, or Ivory, or Ebony, or Coffee Bean Brown, or Titanium, or Coffee, or Black Pearl, or Royal Blue?

On this cold winter night with the sound of the wind howling outside the window beside me, I shiver – with excitement – at the possibilities!

10 thoughts on “The wood-stove decision has finally been made.

  1. You are SO right. Tonight’s definitely the night for that wood-stove decision. Hope you can get all the logistics sorted very soon (more of this is predicted). Stay warm!

  2. Make sure you get a certified installer. The brochure from Pacific Energy should state clearances etc. You may have to put a metal heat plate beneath the stove, if your floors are combustible material.
    Enjoy the warmth!

  3. Good for you! Since we moved here, almost 13 years ago, we have never paid to heat our home. We have a wood burning furnace with electricity for back up. Also we have a Finley wood cook stove. It is great at Christmas and if the hydro goes out we have our cook stove for cooking and heating. Remember you have to have your insurance agent check your home out as to where they will allow you to put it to cover your insurance and there are many regulations. My husband had a business in heating and cooling and although he worked on electric and gas furnaces ( Oil, lets not go there) we have always heated with wood. But remember, if you go away in the winter, you need back up heat or you have to have some one add wood |( day and night). Also the insurance sometimes require a brick background for your woodstove and ceramic tile or brick to stand on. Make sure you have someone who knows what he is doing to install it. It could cost you more in the end if you do not have a licenced installer. Check out all the rules and regulations and expect your fire insurance to go up but it is well worth it (Especially in a larger home). Make sure your wood has been seasoned when you buy it. (cracks in the ends of the wood is proof) There are many lumbermen around here that sell unseasoned wood. (Freshly cut). They will sizzle and crack and create creosol in your pipes to cause chimney fires. Buy your wood in the Spring up to the Fall and have 4 or more cords ahead. Keep it covered in a shed or your back kitchen. A nice wood pile is so nice to look at. Good luck in your burning. You will not regret it.
    Nancy Lou

    • Nancy Lou, thank you SO much for all the extremely useful advice from your own experience! This is all great to know. I hadn’t thought about the insurance angle, and it’s good to be forewarned. I totally agree with you that “a nice wood pile is so nice to look at.” It tells you that you will be warm, and what’s better than that?

  4. You must also remember that when it comes time to clean out your chimney, (necessitated from burning whatever kind of leftovers that you didn’t send to the pulp mill in Trenton) you simply remove a piece of chimney pipe and insert burning newspaper. this will cause that pesky creosote, and whatever else is clogging good air flow in your chimney, to simply ‘burn off’. This is best done after 10pm when the kids are all upstairs sleeping.

    • Oh man. Oh man oh man oh man. It is ALL coming back to me. At least you didn’t have to sleep in the bedroom where all that makeshift after-hours chimney-cleaning and chimney-fire-putting-out was happening!

  5. Hello there
    I am in Australia and facing the first few days of winter. At the weekend we went and looked at the Neo and have basically decided this is what we want.
    Did you buy it and how is it going?
    I would love to hear
    kind regards

    • Hello, Nessie, and welcome! As we bask in the late-spring sunshine and warmth here in Southern Ontario, I feel rather badly for you folks heading into the cold of winter – but it all works out in the end, doesn’t it? In answer to your excellent question, no, we have not yet bought and installed the Neo stove, but we continue to be sure it’s the one for us. Our renovation plans here at the Manse continue to be more “plan” and less “renovation,” but that will definitely change within the next 12 months. Meanwhile, I’d love to hear about your experience with the Neo. Possibly most important question of all: which of those great colours did you choose?

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