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Review of Avalon:Travis Industries --- renier insert, addendum to rpt 1228 -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Avalon:Travis Industries --- renier insert, addendum to rpt 1228 -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into existing Fireplace
Date Reviewed: 2008-09-12 22:49:40

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): 500 | House Size (Sq feet): 1300
Bought in 2003 , Price Paid: 1870
Location : palisades, NY 10964,
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - country wood stoves, sparkill NY

Likes: The original rating for this unit is #1228, This rating is 4 winters lator. The unit runs very well. As I have used this unit over the past 4 winters, I have learned how to run the EPA certified wood stove. I have also experimented with wood type/content, wood size, and firing techniques. With experimentation, I have reached the point were I fire from coals to coals. Originally I said that I had some smoke roll out upon reloading and one of the reasons was because I was reloading too often. It is a newbie thing to try to keep the heat output steady, but I have since learned to fire from coals to coals. The haze on the front glass that happened in the beginning sometimes happens when I choke down the stove too much so that is fixed by properly firing the stove. I don't try to get a 9 hour burn, but shoot for about 6 hours over night. If I pack the unit tight(east/west loading in this unit) I can get a longer burn, but I end up with just coals in the morning.

Dislikes: The install of the SS flex liner. This spring when I was cleaning the flex liner, one seam ripped open near the bottom of the chimney. This caused me to shut down the unit and replace the liner. Upon removing the liner, I found out that it was sliced during the origninal install and this lowered the available draft for the stove which was partially responsible for the smoke roll out. the split of the seam happened a vew seams above the liner cut portion so the two different problems were visible. The unit was rated to be able to take a 5.5 inch liner which was intalled inthe place of the 6 inche liner. With this install, there is no damage to the liner and the draft immediately improved. Smoke roll out is a thing of the past. The liner replacement cost $670 which is a good price for my cleaning error. I have since replaced my wire brush(never use on a SS chimney) with a 5.5 inch poly brush. The metal brush scratches the surface which can cause rusting of the liner. Mine was not severe but the scratches do attract chimney deposits. The New liner cost now means that instead of paying off the original install last winter, I have to go through one more season before the reduction in NG pays off the stove total costs.

Comments: Over the past 4 winters the stove has been maintained by the chimney sweep from country wood stoves. I have the chimney professionally cleaned at the end of the season. At that time he also looks at the stove to make sure that it is in good shape. So far, we have only had to replace the door gasket, once every three years is not bad. All ofthe baffels and secondary air tubes are still in good working order and none of the fire bricks have cracked. The blower fan is still noisy on high, so we just run it on low most of the time along with our ceiling fan.
I put about 2 cords of wood through the stove each season. This amount of wood replaces 50% of my total heating need for the house. This reduction in ng need is used to calculate payback for the stove. The Central forced hot air furnace was also replaced 3 winters ago. The 94% condensing furnace also lowered my NG usage by about 50% due to increased thermal efficiency, so my house now uses 25% of the NG that I used the first year that I moved in to the house. The down side is that since I use less NG, the delivery charge for the NG greatly increases the cost of each unit delivered. My last winters average cost per CCF was $1.76 vs $2.09 the winter that Katrina hit vs $1.10 in the Feb 2004.




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