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Best fireplace wood insert to buy

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by JimA, Sep 14, 2006.

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  1. JimA

    JimA New Member

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    I am looking into buying a new insert for my home. I have a old insert there now that is not too good. My haouse is around 200 sq ft. I am looking at the Quadra-Fire 3100 or the 5100. I also looked at the Avalon. Would appreciate any experiences people have had with there inserts and what reccomendations they would have on what is the best to buy. Thansk
    Jim

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  2. Greg123

    Greg123 New Member

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    200 sq ft house?.
  3. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I will copy my post from the same question in the other forum.

    You know, there all good. I would pick any quality insert that you like visually, and is rated for the amount of space you want to heat. I good rule of thumb is to take 1/3 off the manufactures stated heating capacity. there is lots of varibles with that thoug. For example, in a well insualted buiding in a moderate climate, you might take 100%. in a cold climate with poor insulation and pine as a only fuel source, you might take 50% of it. Generaly speaking, inserts in the 50K range will burn for 4-7 hours, depeding on draft and fuel type. Cast iron inserts are typically more then steel, and steel realy dominates the market. Quadrafire are known for quality inserts at a resonable price. Lots of bang for the buck. But compared to a avalon with the same btu rating, and comparable GPM rating, there going to do the same. When i say comparable GPM that grams per hour, and there is no difference between 3 gph and 1.2 grams per hour, considering that open fireplaces, and old stoves emit in the 60 gram per hour range. Good luck.
  4. JimA

    JimA New Member

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    Sorry about that. House size is 2000 sq. ft.
  5. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I would go with the 5100 if it will fit. I cant speak for other brands or models except hearthstone. there clydsdale is a big unit, a member here will give his .02 on that unit. Personally, i have no experence with it. You will find good information here (not necessarly from me, there are lots of very knowlegable people here). The other place im leary about, i see some crazy stuff going on in there.
  6. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    I had the 5100i at my old place, it held up well and looked good, I thought it was well made. Center glass stays pretty clean, but forget about seeing anything through the 2 bay windows after the first couple of fires, the airwash doesn't go there. The blower is necessary to get meaningful heat (I don't recall if it was standard or an option, I think standard).

    Chimney cleaning results in a mess depending on installation. I cleaned from the top, had to pull the air tubes, upper firebrick and insulation blanket (rockwool?). Not bad, just dirty, I imagine most other inserts are comparable.


    My house was 1800SF, the 5100 was none too much, you don't get the heat out of an insert that you do a freestanding (at least with outside chase). The firebox is nice, nearly square, so you can load front to rear or side to side for most splits.

    Bri
  7. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    BTW, I believe the Lopi (made by Travis Industries, same as the Avalon) use a different firebrick, more like a ceramic than the one in the Quad, and also don't need the rockwool blanket to meet emmisions like the Quad. These are small issues, but would make me lean towards one, the "pummice" type bricks will eventually fail in the Quad, I think the others would last longer, but I have no experience to back that up. I think you would do well with either brand, from what I have seen they are both quality stoves.

    Where are you located and what type of wood will you be burning? If you have lots of hardwood the smaller 3100 Quad may be fine for you, I have softwoods out in my area.

    Bri
  8. JimA

    JimA New Member

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    I live in Northern N.Y along the Canadian border. Near Lake Champlain. I burn mostly hardwood. Oak maple and beech. Just putting feelers out to see what kind of experiences people have had with different inserts. My wife likes the quad but she has only looked at a few. I just want to get a good heating insert that I will be happy with. Any suggstions anyone has is greatly appreciated.
    Jim
  9. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    i would say, and you will see from the posts here. people love what they buy. im trying to think of any user here that is unhappy with the insert they chose. Pacific energy also get high ratings here.
  10. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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  11. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I am starting to get unhappy with mine MSG. Looking at all of these pretty stoves makes me mad at mine for lasting 21 years.

    And I am upset with the dealertoo, God rest his soul. He never fixed any problems for me.

    Oh. I forgot. I never had any.
  12. JimA

    JimA New Member

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    Yes. The one I have in there now has a fire box of 24" deep and 29" wide. It is also a big boy and likes to eat up alot of wood but is not that efficient. It is a older model that does not have a name on it. I bought the house in 1999 and it was here then. Dont know for how long. I am planning on going over to Burlington Vermont to look at the Quads next week. Only about 45 minutes away.
  13. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    My personal favriot of the quad line is the 4100I, i think it looks nice.
    BB, LMAO as usuall.
  14. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    If they were available I would have purchased a Lopi Revere, but given that they were like 16 weeks till available, I went with the Osburn 1800i. As it turns out, the bay window is really sweet. Quad makes a bay model also. Interesting that both Quads and Osburns have pummice fire bricks. The lower center two only lasted one season, so in that position I've substituted the ceramic, but I'm rethinking that decision now. That fact is a minor consideration.

    I so like my stove, but my research did lead me to the Lopi being the first choice, and I'd still have purchased one if they were available. The next stove after the Lopi was the smallest Hearthstone insert.
  15. Rich M

    Rich M New Member

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    I just wrote a (rave) review of my Country Stoves C260 insert. Read reviews of the type of inserts your local dealer(s) carry in the reviews section of this site.
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good suggestion. There really isn't a best stove for every one. Find some stoves that fit your needs and aesthetic desires and then read lots of reviews. Whittle down the list based on fit, local availability and support. For steel stoves, I like Quads, but would also look very hard at Pacific Energy inserts.
  17. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    I did the same thing you did, replacing some of the pummice bricks with "ceramic". I suppose they aren't really ceramic, but a much harder, denser compound anyway. I did so on the advice of a local dealer, and before reading on here that this isn't a good idea.

    For a big insert I'm kind of intrigued by that Lopi Freedom bay, assuming the firebrick is the ceramic it should be pretty maintenance free. The Clydesdale with the soapstone firebox sounds like it should last forever, I didn't know anything about them when I made the decision at my last place.
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