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Review of Vermont Castings --- Montpelier -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only

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Review of Vermont Castings --- Montpelier -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into existing Fireplace
Date Reviewed: 2013-11-17 16:36:24

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): 350 | House Size (Sq feet): 1650
Bought in 2011 , Price Paid: $2200
Location : Arlington, Virgi 22207, USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Woodburners Too

Likes: Attractive design.
Large viewing window.
Heating performance.

Dislikes: Difficult ash removal.
Proprietary bricks expensive to replace.
Fan.

Comments: Price does not include projection kit and surround: add $800.
Stainless steel liner: add $850. (27' central chimney)
Installation: add $750.

Poor installation: Gaps in flue connection. 5.5" liner connected to 6" stove collar with wrong connector. Greatly improved drafting (draw) with sealed flue connection.

Poor installation: fan improperly installed. Several screws installed backwards, fan assembly noisy.

Once installed properly and after learning how to use it, the stove performs very well. Any problems with soot or backdraft are either user inexperience or an improper flue or flue connection. Without going to a small stove or rebuilding the mantle and trim, this was the only stove that fit our fireplace. It is capable of heating the whole house with constant tending and good wood. I would have liked a stove just a bit larger and deeper.

Recommend starting the fire with the door slightly ajar until the logs are substantially lit before closing the door with the damper wide open. Do not start closing the damper until the entire interior brick turns white. If there is any black soot on the interior brick, the stove is not hot enough yet. Open the door slowly when stoking or reloading!

Cons:

Ash removal: Difficult, at best. Recommend an ash vacuum and an ash scoop. The vacuum can only be used for "cool" ash removal. The scoop is needed when you need to remove ash but keep the stove hot. A fine layer of ash builds up in the house eventually; I would have expected less ash dust.

Fan: I'll get straight to the point: REMOVE THE FAN! The fan rattles when improperly installed, but is just plain noisy and cools down the temperature of the stove when set above medium So you will want to turn the fan down. Here's the catch- when the fan is off it blocks the air flow. So, the fan running just below medium is equivalent to not having the fan installed at all. I found that I used the stove with this same setting, and when the thermistor broke, I removed the fan to achieve equal performance with zero fan noise and zero electricity. The heat is still inside the home, the stove performs better, and I am much happier not fussing with or listening to the fan.

Bricks: After two seasons, the front bottom brick is well on its way to needing replacement and I've noticed that the metal screening embedded in the side concrete bricks is beginning to work its way out and I foresee replacement in the future. The front brick is $75 and all six bricks would cost $500! I can now see the benefit of the stoves with "ugly" standard shaped bricks.

Productivity: It is hard to be productive once the fire gets going! We really like the large viewing glass and wouldn't enjoy the smaller windowed stoves.

Overall, an excellent stove. Just be prepared to work with ash removal and expect at the least the front lower brick will need replacement. I would rate it a 5 if these issues were improved.


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