I think Rhonemas is right about the insert being the better way to heat the whole house. Our Vista is the smallest PE makes and this past spring, with 30 degree temps, it brought all 1050 sq. ft. of our first floor to a toasty 73 degrees with no problem. We actually had to limit the amount of wood we put in the firebox to keep the heat down. I did not notice the masonry getting very hot at all, but it is located in the center of the house. The kaowool blanket was something I considered when we had the install done, but I was afraid it might overheat. If we notice any problem keeping the house warm next winter, I might try it since I can get it from work for free. I don't think overheating will be a problem as long as the blower is running.