1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

New Guy looking for advice on first wood insert

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by pelican, Nov 11, 2012.

  1. pelican

    pelican New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Hi all, I just came across your forums a few days ago and have learned a lot about inserts in just these few days. I was hoping some of you can weigh in and help me make a decision on which insert I should choose. My goal is to use my insert to help reduce the costs of oil in my home, I'm not thinking it will eliminate the need for my boiler but at least offset it to warrant it's purchase.

    Here's my setup, I live in CT in a raised ranch approx 2000 sq ft. The fireplace is in the downstairs family room (not underground), and directly faces the family room door. I'm hoping the heat will be able to travel through the doorway and down a short hallway (5 or 6 ft) and make it's way upstairs to heat up the rooms upstairs. I may want to put a few floor vents in if the heat doesn't get upstairs like I'm hoping but won't get into that until I've seen how it operates.

    Seeing that I have a good amount of woods in my backyard I'm not interested in a gas or pellet insert. I've spoken with a dealer and the three options that will fit my fireplace that I'm looking at are the Osburn 2000, the Pacific Energy Super Insert and the Regency I2400.

    So far here are some of the pros and cons of them I've read: the Regency is built very well and actually I haven't read too many negative besides a noisy fan maybe? The Pacific Energy I've heard has the cleanest glass but I've read about some having issues with cracks appearing in them (not sure if they were older models etc). The Osburn has the largest viewing area (the wife likes that) and heard a few on here like theirs but overall I haven't been able to find much about them online as far as reviews go. Otherwise they look pretty comparable as far as BTUs/performance goes. As far as price goes, the Regency and PE are being offered to me almost at the same cost but the Osburn is $500 less. Because times are tight we're leaning towards the Osburn but not sure if it's the best choice.

    Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer.

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    All three are excellent brands and if taken care off will hold up very well. Really of the three the best one is what you can afford and what you will be happy with. Osburn is a good solid company and many people here us them with success. No reason not to buy it to be honest.

    Pete
  3. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Something else to keep in mind you don't have to have an insert to go bigger you can buy a wood stove and set it in front of the fireplace. this would eliminate the need for electricity that an insert requires and radiate the heat better. It could also keep the cost way down compared to an insert if that is important to you.

    Pete
  4. pelican

    pelican New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    thanks for the quick reply Pete. Unfortunately we don't have the space to fit a free standing unit in the room and we like the look of the inserts better. If you had a choice which would you go with and why? In your opinion, is the Regency and the PE worth $500 more than the Osburn?

    Thanks again!
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  5. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,230
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan
    I own the Osburn 2000 and love it. I have read on here that the other inserts you are looking at are great as well. Getting a good 6-8 hours of heat out of this unit is do-able. I heat 1700 sq ft 1300 down stairs and 400 up stairs. I have had downstairs temps above 80 with a 500- 600 degree stove ( with my set up i.e. insulation and good windows). The glass stays clean on my unit, I may have to clean the glass once a week and its only white residue. The customer service is great should you need SBI for anything. Thats my two cents, this is the first year I will heat with this unit.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  6. Beer Belly

    Beer Belly Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2011
    Messages:
    1,674
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    My buddy has a Raised Ranch with the Insert (not sure of brand) in the Family Room (lower level)....he was having issues getting heat upstairs and down the hall into the bedrooms.....he cut the wall that leads downstairs into the family room, so now you can see directly downstairs when entering the house....acually makes the house feel bigger....he then installed a ceiling fan in the entry to help pull the heat up....now he's contiplating putting a vent in the floor at the end of the hall way to the bedrooms, and run it from the garage (below) back into the family room.....he thinks that there is cold air blocking the heat from filling the bedrooms....the vent hopefully will push it into the family room to warm it up and start circulating
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  7. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    I would go with the osburn in your situation pelican. It sounds like you like it and it will fit your needs well.

    Pete
  8. HatboroPaul

    HatboroPaul Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Hatboro, PA
    I am also using the Osburn 2000, install Sept 5 of this yr, so I dont have a long history yet. I have very happy with it so far, it performs as promised. I have 1600 Sq feet ranch, open floor, and so far its doing the trick. In my case it was significantly cheaper than the other inserts I considered, with similar specs. The fan is pretty quiet, and the fan speed is adjustable which makes it easy to make it more quiet while watching a movie. I havent had to clean the glass yet, so the air wash seems to be working pretty good. It takes up to a 20 log E-W so thats convenient if you have any oversized splits, although you would have to have slightly undersized splits if you wanted to go N-S. The only complaint I have so far is that it does seem to spill a little ash when you open the door sometimes. I got the brushed nickel trim, pictures dont do it justice it look better in person, and its given us the ability to accessorize. We bought nickel tools, I put nickel knobs on the nearby door, and my ash bucket had nickel handles. I am sure you could do the same with the other overlay colors too. Good luck whatever you choose.
  9. pelican

    pelican New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Thanks all for the replies. I've actually read a bunch of all your posts about this unit in particular (and other general posts as well).

    For those who own this unit, does the fan have a thermostat control?

    Also, does anyone know of a showroom that has this unit on the floor in CT? I wish I could see it in person. I was able to see the Regency unit and it looked very nice. It's hard to make a decision on a purchase this size without actually seeing one in person.

    @Beer Belly, thanks for the info, I'm worried that I won't get any heat upstairs. I'm not expecting to get heat in the bedrooms but hoping to heat up the living areas upstairs (living room and kitchen).

    Is it even worth it in my situation?

    Thanks
  10. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,230
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan
    The fan kicks on when the unit heats up and turns off when the unit has cooled.
  11. kallsop

    kallsop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    North Central CT
    Here is my 2000 installed in late 2011, plain black door surround and stainless trim:

    installed.jpg

    I am burning Envi8 blocks, 3 or 4 at a time, heats our 2400 sq. ft. colonial quite well, with a little oil heat boost for upstairs on the coldest days. There is a 22 ft. by 6" uninsulated flexible stainless liner and it drafts well. The chimney is part of a wall that is common to a heated family room and unheated garage. I put a magnetic mount thermometer on the door and try to run the stove around 300 (reload) to 500F max. Any hotter than that and the house is too warm. There were big plans to buy log length wood this summer but I got sick and had surgery, hence bought the Envi8's rather than split seasoned wood that might not be.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  12. pelican

    pelican New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Kallsop, that's a nice pic! Looks great. But now I'm more confused than ever...

    I spoke with another dealer today that carries Loki and Avalon wood inserts. I'm interested in the Loki 1250i and the Avalon Rainier models but I'm worried those wouldn't be big enough to do the job seeing my raised ranch is approx 2000 Sq Ft and it would be at the bottom floor. This place is much more affordable than my local dealer I first went to. I'm wondering if either the Loki or Avalon units would do the job?

    As for the Osburn 2000, I thought that would be a good choice but this is the second dealer I've spoke with that said they never heard of them. That kind of get me worried...Kallsop, did you purchase yours in CT, can I as where?

    This is a lot more difficult than choosing a HDTV...
  13. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    Dealers will tell you anything to sell you a stove in our experience ! I would not trust them as far as you can throw them unless you have credible references as to there honesty and quality. We went through two dealers before we found the third who is very honest and goes beyond the call of duty to help. To be honest I would trust the people on this forum more than a dealer I never met. Heck most dealers we looked at where burning soaking wet oak ! That is a sure sign they have no idea what they are talking about. Osburn is a good brand just because the dealer never heard of it does not make it otherwise and the truth is there trying to sell you there product so they are not going to say good of another.

    Pete
    etiger2007 likes this.
  14. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,055
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    I have a couple of questions.

    Is your fireplace on an outside wall? If so, you might lose a lot of heat through the brick to the outside. Sometimes even if you have a fireplace, the better option is a freestanding stove. The chimney can often still be used as a flue if it's lined. We had a split level house when I was a kid and the fireplace was in the middle of the room. That would be ideal. Don't know what's best in your case.

    Is there any living space above the family room? I'm not sure what a "raised ranch" is. I think you are right to be concerned about heat dispersal to rest of the house. It could be a real problem.

    I don't want to be negative, but you have to consider this stuff.
  15. Pallet Pete

    Pallet Pete Guest

    http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/index.php

    shoot him a pm at thechimneysweep that is his forum name.

    Tom is a member here and well respected as well as honest I think you would really benefit from his advise. He is one of the few dealers I would trust as well as a lot of forum members here would. That is his web site above give him a call or email and he will help.

    Pete
  16. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,055
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    ;lol;lol Ain't that the truth!
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  17. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,055
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    If you look around the site, he has some good articles and FAQ's too, if you can find them.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  18. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,230
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan
    Pete nailed it
  19. kallsop

    kallsop Member

    Joined:
    Jan 27, 2011
    Messages:
    28
    Loc:
    North Central CT
    No, I bought it online from dynamitebuys.com when they had a great price on it. Osburn is legit. I really doubt that dealer hasn't heard of them and they are pimping the brands they sell.
    Pallet Pete and etiger2007 like this.
  20. pelican

    pelican New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Thanks again for all the advice. we're off again to visit another dealer today. This is the place that's pushing the Loki and Avalon units.I believe they have the Regency i2400 as well which was one of our original picks.

    @Sprinter, yes the chimney is on an outside wall but the family room isn't too big and a freestanding unit would render the room unusable unfortunately.

    Me and the wife like the Osburn and it's being offered at $1800 which seems to be a fair deal. We would probably get it if the dealer wasn't charging $1100 for the install. Does that install price sound high?

    MP
  21. HatboroPaul

    HatboroPaul Member

    Joined:
    Aug 23, 2012
    Messages:
    30
    Loc:
    Hatboro, PA
    Every install is different. Does that include the liner? Because if it does it seems ok to me. My install was $625 for the liner and cap and $375 for the labor which was easily the fairest quote I got.
    If needed, here is a link to find installers. http://www.stovesdirect.com/installers.php
  22. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 8, 2012
    Messages:
    1,230
    Loc:
    Clio Michigan
    I paid $1,000 for the install this did include the liner.
  23. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 1, 2012
    Messages:
    2,055
    Loc:
    SW Washington
    My advice is don't get too settled on a brand until you've considered them all. Lopi/Avalon (both Travis industries) are well respected here, Pacific Energy, and others as well. The install price is probably right in there.
  24. DIY_HOME

    DIY_HOME New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Pelican- are you also purchasing a chimney liner from the dealer? Just a warning, sometimes dealers really put an upcharge on these, especially if they are doing the installation. I purchased both my stove and liner from an online company and did it myself, saved myself a lot of money.
  25. pelican

    pelican New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2012
    Messages:
    45
    Well that trip to the dealer today didn't go so well... We went to look at the Avalon Rainier and right next to it (and being burning) was the Cape Cod flush insert by Lopi which is almost $1000 more than the Rainier. Needless to say, my wife didn't like how the Rainier unit looked at all in comparison to the Lopi Cape Cod flush insert.

    Now I'm up you know where without a paddle. I really don't want to spend close to $4500 (installed) for an insert. I'm trying to convince her that the Regency i2400 looked and from what I've heard works well. Truthfully, I didn't feel like the heat coming off the Cape Cod was that impressive but then again, it was in a huge showroom and not my much smaller family room.

    If anyone can chime in that owns the Lopi Cape Cod or the Regency i2400 it would help since I think those are the two we've narrowed it down to.

    Thanks,
    MP

Share This Page