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Review of Lennox --- Villa Vista -- Fireplace burning Wood only

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Review of Lennox --- Villa Vista -- Fireplace burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: 2008-01-04 09:58:56

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): 375 | House Size (Sq feet): 4800
Bought in 2006 , Price Paid: 5063
Location : Berkeley Heights, NJ 7922, USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - J.B. Installations

Caluwe Hydronic Wood and Pellet stoves
Likes: Nice big window - really see the fire
Very efficient - it'll burn nicely all night when air intake is reduced.
Good warming - kicks out a lot of heat once it gets going, and as burn air and room air are separate it doesn't suck heat out of the house (either when lit or off)
Warms well without optional fan
Elegant look

Dislikes: No cons for the product
A couple of cons relating to distribution(not retailer)of chimney (see comments)

Comments: We couldn't be happier with our Lennox Villa Vista after its second season. It looks good, warms well, burns efficiently, and cleans easily. Basically you get all the heating advantages of a stove + all the look advantages of a fireplace, without any of the typical downsides of a fireplace (draft, heat loss, smell).

The catalyst means that it burns very cleanly. When it is on and i look at my chimney I don't see smoke, just a heat shimmer. Other inefficient fireplaces kick out a lot of smoke which is pollution and wasted energy. It's not EPA certified for nothing. After 1 full season our chimney cleaner commented on how clean the chimney was.

Cleanup is easy. You remove an iron plug at the bottom of the firebox, lift a lever underneath and sweep ash straight into the waiting ash box. Slide the ash box out, hinge the lid shut, and take the ash out without any wafting around the house.

It burns efficiently - I can stock it with a few logs before I go to bed, shut the air down low, and it will still be glowing in the morning. During the day the central heating is off and while it has been in the low teens outside the house (which is large) the fireplace kept the house comfortable without consuming any gas! I have had a fire running continuously for the last 3 days and the ash pile isn't too big.

The glass door does get smoked up when you shut the air down alot, but that cleans easily with the fireplace glass cleaner you can get from any fireplace store.

The only cons were in the supply of the chimney pieces. The result delayed our construction project and caused many frustrated phone calls to the distrubutor and manufacturer. The problems were:
1) Local distrubutors for NJ were recommending air-cooled hollow double-skin metal chimneys, even when Lennox were reccomending the insulated ASHT+ in any area where it gets below freezing. Trust me it gets below freezing in NJ! I specified ASHT+ and it became clear the distrubutor wasn't familiar with the parts, so we had a couple of iterations getting that right. Lennox told me that they were addressing that issue so hopefully by the time you read this it won't be an issue anymore.
2) The chimney pieces were packed in thin cardboard boxes that were woefully inadequate, so by the time they had been dropped a couple of times by the carrier they were unuseable. I was told by Lennox that they would be changing their packing so hopefully by now nobody will have that problem also.
3) the building spec calls for the chimney chase to be insulated - which caused problems for the bulder because you normally insulate from the inside, but the chase was against an existing wall so there was no room to do that. In the end he insulated progressively as he built the chase and it all worked out.

Overall we are delighted with the fireplace.

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