Is it just me or is my catalytic insert just much easier to operate and maintain good heat from? From what I have read it seems that most people prefer secondary burn tubes than catalytic. Here is what I my experiences have helped me learn about each: There is definitely a learning curve to using both correctly and maybe I'm still on the steep part of the curve with the Englander 30. Everytime I fill it up I think to myself how much longer that wood would have lasted in the catalytic insert upstairs and how much more effective heating it would have done. Granted this isn't a totally fair comparison because the Englander is in an unfinished basement with insulated walls, where a lot of heat losses are occuring, but I can extrapolate some useful information by watching the stove top temp. After I get the wood nice and charred (which happens fast in NC30) I close down my flue damper so it is closed and then I begin closing the primary air intake in increments. I usually stop when it is near the lip of the tray, sometimes further in sometimes further out. This will be good for about 400-450 stove top temp with the fan on high (add about 150 - 200 if the fan is off). Then I try to leave it alone. It stays there for about an hour and then the temps begin to drop and the flames start to die out. At that point I can let it slowly die out and the temps will drop to about 250-300 in a few hours and the wood will be mostly coals. If I open the air intake right when the temps begin to drop I can keep the temps up a bit more to a certain extent because the wood will then burn up faster and it will reach the coaling stage quicker. I have tried all different combinations of leaving the damper partially open with various settings on the air intake on the stove but the results are never like they are with the catalytic insert. My catalytic insert is so much easier (for me) to operate. I fill it, get it up to about 375 degrees and close the air intake all the way down and watch the temps climb to about 475-500 where it stays for hours even in the coaling stages. whne the coals are far enough burned down I repeat. This is all with about half the wood it takes to fill the NC30. I need to run both when it is in the teens or lower to maintain 70-75 in the house, so far I haven't needed the furnace and don't see any need for it so i am achieving that much. I am leaning towrads replacing the NC30 with a large catalytic that will hopefully be as easy to operate as my cat insert and give me a longer burn time. Does this seem unrealistic> Am I doing something wrong with my nc30? The NC 30 has about 30 ft of uninsulated ss flue plus the single wall pipe connected to the stove and two 30 deg elbows connected to it. That is why I added the flue damper. The insert and NC30 burn the same wood yet the flue from the NC30 almost always has white smoke coming from it, whereas the insert almost never does.