My wife and I bought a Progress Hybrid from Woodstock last fall and as we close in on the end of our first full season using this stove, I wanted to contact you with some feedback.
First, I cannot express in words how impressed we are with this stove.
It is without question, the finest woodstove it has been my pleasure to use and that goes back to when I was teenager in the 1970’s during the Arab oil embargo and my Dad bought a Franklin Stove to help heat our house.
I have been using woodstoves ever since!
I need to note that when we bought the Progress Hybrid last fall, we replaced a cast-iron stove we bought new 12-years ago and although I will not disparage them by name, I can say it is a popular, international known brand. Unfortunately, we quickly came to realize that we had been grossly misled by distorted claims the sales person made to us about the capabilities of that unit, specifically with regard to expected burn times. We purchased this unit because we were assured we could expect routine burn times of 7-8 hours when the fact was that in the 12-years we owned that stove, the best we ever managed with dry, seasoned wood, coupled with the stove drafted down at its slowest burn rate, was at or slightly less than 5-hours. In addition to dealing with these false claims, we had little more than an increasing number of problems such as the draft mechanism falling apart in the second year, both front and side doors not sealing tight and in need of repeated adjustments, as well as experiencing what we feel were clear defects in certain cast pieces.
The dealer refused to support that stove and would not help us.
We contacted the manufacturer multiple times, by phone, letter and e-mail but not once did we ever get the courtesy or professionalism of a single response.
All in all, this was a very disappointing experience and we have made it a point to tell all of our friends and acquaintances about how we were treated by both the dealer and the manufacturer.
Next, I have never used a catalytic stove before but I have some friends locally who have a mid-sized Woodstock stove they bought about 5-years ago and in going to their house several times in past winters, I was impressed by the steady heat output at medium settings as well as the longevity of actual burn time they told me they got which helped convince me to purchase our Progress Hybrid last fall. In initially using our Progress Hybrid last fall, I quickly learned that I could load my stove up at bedtime and I would have an actual fire still burning the next morning and the stove would be generating a lot of heat!
I also need to note that over the winter of 2012-2013 with our old woodstove, we burned a little over 8-cords of wood and all-too-often, as I said above, the fire would go out if we were away more than 5-6 hours at a time.
This past winter was somewhat long and at times we experienced extended times of very cold weather and yet when our burning season ends in the week or two, we will have used roughly 5-cords of wood and I want to state that our Progress Hybrid usage entailed keeping a fire going 24-hours, 7-days a week and the only time we let it go down was to clean the catalytic unit. The heat output from this stove is nothing less than impressive while at the same time we will have ended up burning about 35% to 40% less firewood than the previous year!!!
Going forward, I can recommend Woodstock stoves to anyone without any reservations-our stove has been excellent!