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Review of Napoleon --- 1900 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Napoleon --- 1900 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: prior to Nov. 2004*)

Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰✰✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer = ✰✰✰✰✰

Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 600 | House Size (Sq feet): 1800
Bought in 2001 , Price Paid: 1280
Location : Palmer, AK 99645, US
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Heatland (Central Plumbing)

Likes: Even heat
Convection shields allow close proximity
Burns cleanly with small or large wood loads
Efficiently shaped fire box
Relatively long burn time, with clean burn
Doesn't smoke when loading
(I could go on)

Dislikes: I wish the door opening was a bit taller, max log size is about 8" in diameter, and I like to burn whole logs.

Comments: I heat with wood (about 80% of home heating) for about 7 months a year in Alaska. I've used several wood stoves in the past; so far, this Napoleon is the best wood stove I have ever used, by far. (And the Napoleon is replacing a Jotul Firelight CB). I should note that I've only had the Napoleon for a week, but so far, the Napoleon is working rings around the Jotul.

I can load two medium diameter spruce logs (6"-8" diameter) @ 10PM and have plenty of coals left at 7AM the next morning, and the stove lit easily on the one occasion I let it burn out.

The Napoleon's side shields allow one to sit close by (within 5 - 6 feet, or less) while comfortably heating the rest of the room (and downstairs with a ceiling fan over the stairwell). Radiant stoves like the Jotul are much less comfortable in such a situation.

The Napoleon's well insulated firebox allows relatively small fires to be made and burned cleanly. I found that with the Jotul, perhaps due to less insulation in the firebox, the stove exterior had to remain pretty hot to get a clean burn. Large logs would burn all night as well with the Jotul, but not as cleanly as they seem to do in the Napoleon (the Jotul's glass would get much dirtier than the Napoleon's does). I've not had the Napoleon long enough to compare the chimney cleanliness, but the secondary combustion system appears (visually) to be burning very cleanly.

For a nice looking stove, I'd say stoves such a Jotul win hands down. But for serious wood heating, IMO, the Napoleon (and perhaps other steel convection stoves as well) are the way to go. Even my wife, who gave me hell for coming home with the "ugly" stove now admits it was a good move. The "ugly" Napoleon seems to be growing on her rapidly, now that she sees how well it's working.

* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004