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Review of HearthStone --- Hearthstone 1 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only

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Caluwe Hydronic Wood and Pellet stoves
Review of HearthStone --- Hearthstone 1 -- Freestanding Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - Freestanding into metal Chimney
Date Reviewed: 2008-10-01 13:04:52

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): 1600 | House Size (Sq feet): 2300
Bought in 1996 , Price Paid: 2300
Location : , MI , USA
Purchased from: Select Store Type - Dan's - Cass City

Likes: Puts out a massive amount of heat. We're in the thumb area of Michigan and live in a full-log home with a respectable amount of insulation in the roof but nothing spectacular and this stove can force you to open windows when it's zero outside. It is a giant heat sink, too, and continues to radiate heat after the fire has petered out. If you have over 2000 square feet, cathedral ceiling, and live in a cold climate area, this stove will handle it. And it is beautiful to look at - ours is a bluish color with beige porcelin castings, glass door, cast legs, etc. Truly a good-looking stove. It adds to the ambiance of our home. BTW, we do get "all-night burns" with this stove - just throw a couple sticks on the coals in the morning and it takes right off.

Dislikes: You need to learn how to regulate the heat output without producing an inordinate amount of smoke and, as a result, creosote. There is no input air control and the fire is regulated with an internal damper (pretty useless) and a stovepipe damper (gets 'er done the old fashioned way). Also, it is stupid heavy - must weigh 800 pounds. No airwash on the door but I'm told that the Hearthstone's with airwash doors do not work much better than ours. The ones I've seen stay pretty clean when the stove is cookin' but get dirty when you damp them down.

As for the manufacturer, they are kind of cocky - maybe even arrogant - and look down their nose at this non-EPA stove. (One might ask why they built this model in 1996 if they were so enamored of the EPA...but we all know why so it's a moot point.) Unfortunately, they don't build anything equal to this today as far as heating a large home goes. Would I buy another Hearthstone? I don't know. I don't get a good feeling about these people. Soapstone is not the only way to go, frankly, and I would for sure shop hard before I paid a premium for another stone stove.

Comments: This is a big honkin' soapstone stove. EPA-exempt. It probably burns more wood than modern EPA stoves BUT there is nothing out there as big as this thing. Intelligently used, you can produce an efficient fire with minimal smoke by regulating the size of the wood you feed it. But when you need heat - cold day, big house kind of heat - this thing will get it done. My smoke pipe is straight up and through the roof - probably 28 feet tall or more - and I clean it three times each season just to be sure.

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