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Review of Heat n' Glo --- Northstar -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Heat n' Glo --- Northstar -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type:
Date Reviewed: 2013-11-10 02:44:22

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): 1500 | House Size (Sq feet): 4000
Bought in 2013 , Price Paid: 4450.00 + 550.00
Location : Sandy, Orego 97055, United States
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Comfort Home Design

Caluwe Hydronic Wood and Pellet stoves
Likes: This thing is Awesome!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Northstar heats all night long. I put wood in it last night at midnight and went to start another fire at noon the next day to find hot coals still. Heats AWESOME!!!!

Dislikes: The remote zone kits are absolutely useless. It's a great idea and one of the reasons I bought this but you can hold your hand over the vent and not feel any air movement over 75% of the grill with it cranked up on high. You can only feel air at two corners. I thought the blades were put in backwards at first and even held up a piece of paper to the grill to verify it wasn't sucking in air.
The installation book is also useless, the professional installers and myself couldn't figure out parts of the book. This has nothing to do with the performance though.

Comments: I never provide reviews for anything but I had to for this. We have a huge family room that had an old "for looks only" fire place insert installed. I over fired that bad boy within the first year and smoke us out more times than I care to remember. To give you an idea of what we are trying to heat... with our heat pump running on normal in the winter, our power bill is $600.00 in December and January and $180.00 in the summer. It's a huge open area with a tall ceiling that gobbles up all the heat. It's only November but so far the Northstar has heated our entire house warmer than I would keep it with our heat pump.
I would recommend for the zone kits going to home depot and getting some in-line duct fans (variable speed) and some flexible ducting. I'm sure this is not approved or listed to be used with the unit but would be essentially the same thing. The heat zone kits comes with the fan at the air diffuser which makes it extremely loud if it's over 1/4 the way on and isn't close enough to the duct to pull air from the duct itself. I'm planning on putting an in-line fan in the attic to push more air and have less noise.
Overall I'm very happy with this fireplace insert and would highly recommend it.

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