I dont get impressed by a lot of things, but I would have to say that I am very impressed with this wood stove. As you know we own an old elementary school that has a gym, which is over 3000 sq. ft and is about 25 feet high – this is about twice the size of a normal house. This little stove is listed to be used as an “add on” to an existing furnace, however, I am not using it with any additional furnace. It is being used as a stand alone wood furnace, in a very large room.
I live in Northern Minnesota, so the temperatures here are frigid, yet, this little stove is able to keep this huge room between 67 and 70 degrees, and this gym is not insulated at all!! The cost of this unit was about $1200, which is FAR less than what you would expect to pay for a unit that heats this well. In fact, we tried using a much more expensive wood stove, and it was not able to heat the room to a comfortable temperature.
What are the downfalls? The primary downfall to this stove would have to be the fact that it requires electricity to run the fan that blows the heat around the room. I classify this as a downfall because if you lose power and the fan is not running to cool the stove, I fear it would likely overheat and cause permanent damage to the unit, as it has a thermostat on it and on the thermostat it denotes maximum temperature that the firebox should not go past. My solution to resolve this downfall was an easy one, however. I bought a large battery for a farm tractor from a store called “Fleet” in Grand Rapids, MN, as well as a power converter that could handle up to 800 watts of draw. I placed the battery and the converter near the stove so that if we lose power, I can simply unplug the stove from the wall and run it on the battery power, and because I bought a very large battery, I can probably run the stove for roughly 2 full days or more on just battery power if I need to. For anyone buying this stove, I would highly recommend having a battery backup with a power converter just in case of an emergency. Just as a footnote, we lost power for about 2 and a half hours yesterday morning, and the battery backup worked wonderful, and the room stayed at 69 degrees the entire time that the power was off.
Even with this small downfall, this stove has an amazing ability to heat, especially for it’s extremely low cost. I like the stove so much, that I have purchased an additional one to heat our tunnel system under the house (old fallout shelter area), and it is doing a wonderful job keeping that area warm as well. Comparing this stove with, lets say, the Lennox Country Canyon ST310 stove, I would definitely give this stove (the Summers Heat) a 5 star rating, especially when you add a battery backup, because then it is able to run completely off the grid in an emergency.