SCANDIA BANQUET OVEN July 24 2015, 2 Comments
EG’s Viv Hamilton solves a heating dilemma by retrofitting.
What to do when a much loved IXL wood stove in an 1880’s cottage finally burns out? We could have it restored, but given that we can have mornings of -5c, a more modern and clean burning stove with a bigger wood box would be a better option if it could come in at a comparative price.
We started looking around and everything was either too big or too expensive (like an AGA). But wait! Of course! I should look no further than our trusted Earth Garden supporters, and lo and behold, a Scandia Banquet oven set my heart alight. We got their specs and with a little retrofitting modification, decided that it would fit right in to our 130 year old hearth. Such a relief.
So, we got to work, took out some 1940’s fill and render and exposed some bricks in a hippy/hipster/urban cafe kind of way that meant we didn’t have to de-render the whole chimney. We went and picked up our gorgeous new stove, and with some help from some ‘mates from work’ the boys carefully moved it on rollers across our floorboards and slid it exactly into place. We needed to modify the free standing legs to become just a facade as we were insetting it into a fireplace, and it is lower than it normally would be (weren’t people smaller in the 1800’s?), but that was fine by us as we didn’t want to modify the chimney.
The first chilly evening in Autumn and we fired her up. Glorious. A bit of a learning curve with the cooking, just to get used to the intricacies of a different stove and we’re away. Curries, casseroles and cakes abound. Wood fired pizza on Saturday nights and quince paste for the year ahead. We have a gas stove with an electric oven but the oven remains unused this winter.
So not only are we saving money on fossil fuels but our house is more comfortable than it has ever been. It is a typical 1880’s Victorian cottage with 12 foot ceilings, two rooms in the front with a central passage, but the back two rooms have been opened out into an open space kitchen/dining lounge. The new wood stove is far to one side of the open space. We have insulated the floor and double insulated the ceiling but haven’t got to the walls yet.
This is a wood oven so doesn’t run an internal fan like your typical Coonara style wood heater, but we have a ceiling fan running and our kitchen is never dropping below 18c on the coldest night and the front two bedrooms are a cosy 18-20c during the day, then closed at night for sleeping. We have very little solar passive heating and are running no other forms of heating, so we are extremely happy with the results. It is burning wood efficiently like a good slow combustion stove should and cooks beautifully once you get the hang of it.
As an added bonus, we purchased an Ecofan. These little beauties generate their own electricity by drawing warm air up over their fins which then powers a fan that moves heat throughout your living space, pushing up to 125 CFM (cubic feet per minute). No batteries required, it increases the efficiency of the stove. Genius, and you’ll be able to purchase these through Earth Garden very soon.
So, we couldn’t be happier with our Scandia stove. It was an economical unit to buy, looks magnificent, runs efficiently, heats and cooks, is lovely to warm yourself by and solved our dilemma. We would recommend that you check them out.
Pumpkin Ginger loaf
The Old IXL
Reddy to cook
Firing up the Quince paste
Potato, garlic and rosemary