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Any benefit to an insert over a free standing stove?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Aquion, Oct 11, 2012.

  1. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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    I may be giving up on the idea of putting a pellet stove in the basement. It seems chancey at best that it will heat my house. Also, I see that I will be spending a lot of fuel to heat an area that I don't spend a lot of time in. The only convenient place to put the stove on the first floor is the fireplace in the living room. It's a big fireplace (30" high, 37" tapering to 28.5", 38" from the back of the chimney to the front of the hearth).

    If its going to be in such a prominent place in the house, I'd like it to look nice. I really like the look of the Lopi Leyden. Is there any reason I should consider an insert in the fireplace as opposed to a free standing stove? Any suggestions as to other stoves to consider would be appreciated.

    Thanks!

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  2. MountainSean

    MountainSean Credo Quia Absurdum

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    Personally I don't see an advantage of an insert over a freestanding stove other than saving floorspace. The FS models are easier to refill, generally hold more pellets, are easier to get into for cleaning/repairs and depending on your venting situation can be easier to vent.

    As far as looks go I would say check out the Enviro M55 cast, Mt. Vernon AE (Although I don't really care for the stove itself) the Harman Accentra for some good looking stoves. Those three are also available as freestanding or insert units to suit your desire.
  3. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    If I were going insert. The Harman P-35, Accentra, or Enviro M-55 Cast would be the 3 I looked at.

    Personal opinion. But those would be my Top 3.
    Brokenwing likes this.
  4. BradH70

    BradH70 Feeling the Heat

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    I can vouch for the M55. Fantastic looking stove and it is a workhorse that puts out some amazing heat.

    Another point about inserts....... For some mfg's and models, once they are installed the can be a real pain to get out for cleaning yet some have built in tracks for sliding the stove out of the fire place. The M55 is on ball bearing drawer slides and makes it a real breeze to get it out for cleaning.
  5. bostonfan49

    bostonfan49 Feeling the Heat

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    Another thing to consider with an insert is how will you "Pull the stove out" for service/cleaning or an emergency repair...say in the middle of a cold winter. My M55 sits on a raised hearth. I don't have the room to (drag) it out to the edge of the hearth, nor do I want to have get a neighbor to help me lift it and drop it on the family room floor....and then to put it back in!!!! I got the adjustable rail kit and it works absolutely perfectly, Two minutes to set up and I can easily slide the stove out and back in with no problem by myself. The hardest part was getting my OAK ducting the proper length, and lined up so that the pull "out" and the push "in" would work flawlessly every time. Good luck! Bill
  6. BradH70

    BradH70 Feeling the Heat

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    I built a platform out of 2x4's that allows me to roll the stove past the edge of the hearth and gives me plenty of room for cleaning and service. I'll try to post a picture of it.
  7. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    I would suggest looking at the enviro m55 cast. It has the wood stove look like the lopi, But it is a multi fuel stove with a burn pot agitator witch will keep the burn pot clean. It pushes the ash into the ash pan. I believe the lopi has trap doors that need to be opened and then you have to sweep the ash into the ash pan.A bit more maintenance IMHO. My neighbor has the leylandi and it is a litttle fussy about what pellets it uses. All the stoves you mentioned are a good choice. Good luck
  8. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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    I really like the M55 cast, but I think it's too tall for my fireplace. The stove is 32.5" tall and my fireplace is only 30.5" tall.
  9. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    are you looking at the free standing or the insert?
  10. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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    I'd prefer the free standing.
  11. bostonfan49

    bostonfan49 Feeling the Heat

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    It should fit fine ( the stove part) the "Surround" piece is about 32" high and that has adjustable fittings to secure itself to the inside of the fireplace....Bill
  12. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    aquion, are you looking to put a freestanding inside the fireplace or in front of it?
  13. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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    I was thinking it would be partially inside the fireplace. Can I have a free standing stove installed that way, or do I have to go the insert route?
  14. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    As you can see from my sig, I have two inserts. PITA to clean the chimney at the end of the season!! ROYAL PITA!!!! Each holds a bag of pellets but you have to get in there and move them around since the hopper is odd shaped. Harder to service for things like pulling auger or cleanng combustion blower. On the plus side, as was said, they don't take up any real estate and give the same rated output as the free standing ones. No exhaust piping is seen which is good and bad. The bad part is that you don't know if you have leaks until you pull it out and see a pile of ash.
    The aggravation of pulling them is a, hopefully, rare, twice a year thing so it's livable for the advantages.
  15. wolfkiller

    wolfkiller Burning Hunk

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    No
  16. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    Inserts have smaller hoppers and sometimes not no room for a T with a cleanout. So they need more filling and are harder to clean!

    Pic below shows exhaust blower so full of ash and had no draft so the stove would not light!

    Attached Files:

  17. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    Can you post a picture of the fireplace?
  18. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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    Would I be better off with a free standing stove or an insert here?

    image.jpg
  19. mralias

    mralias Minister of Fire

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    I think you will have to turn your house upside down for the pellet stove to work. :) Other than looks I cannot see any benefit of an insert over a free standing and I have an insert.
  20. BradH70

    BradH70 Feeling the Heat

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    Your going to have a tough time keeping the pellets in the hopper if you install the stove into that fire place!! ==c
    Brokenwing likes this.
  21. BradH70

    BradH70 Feeling the Heat

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    The M55 insert has a built in "T" clean out in the frame were the exhaust point from the stove meets the exhaust point in the frame. It actually does a good job of capturing any ash that is being drawn out of the stove from the exhaust blower.
    roadrunnermoore likes this.
  22. kykel

    kykel Feeling the Heat

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    If you have an enviro dealer you should look at the insert and ask a lot of questions. See how the stove rolls out and how the exhaust is hooked up and ease of cleaning. Some times its easier to see for your self.
  23. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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    It's weird, the picture shows up correctly on my iPad but upside down on my PC.
  24. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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    Well, I found some information on stoves vs. inserts in a fireplace. One of the problems with putting a stove in the fireplace is that a lot of the heat gets sucked up the chimney. The inserts were designed to minimize this problem. I also took a trip over to Cedar Mountain Stoves in Newington and was told that a lot of pellet stoves are fed from the back, so sticking them in a fireplace would make filling them awkward.

    I think we are going to go with the M55 cast insert. Am I going to be able hear the TV over the sound of this stove?
    BradH70 likes this.
  25. Aquion

    Aquion Burning Hunk

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