We are currently heating our home (about 1200 sq ft per level, basement and main floor, built in 1950) with a 1990 Englander 28-jc insert in a masonry fireplace downstairs. The stove is in need of a new catalytic combustor, and the fireplace needs a good cleaning. The only problem is we can't seem to get the upstairs warm enough with the insert. I have literally heated the entire (finished, walk out) basement to 85 degrees with the insert, but it never seems to get warm enough upstairs, and when (more like if!) it gets warm, it takes half a day to get upstairs. We have an open stairway (doors at bottom and top, both open) on the north side of the house, which has the garage on the north side. The stairway basically makes up the south wall of the garage (attached obviously). The stove is about 12 feet south of the stairs, which lead into the kitchen upstairs. We have a 10"x10" vent with a fan about 2' to the left of the stove in the ceiling, which leads above to directly between the kitchen and living room. I have a desk fan blowing down the stairs and warm air can be felt coming up the stairs, and up the fan powered vent. Rarely will wood-heat-only warm the upstairs to 70 degrees- usually about 66-67 max, and that takes the better part of a day to achieve. My latest brain storm involved removing the insert (and selling it), and installing a small stove upstairs in the living room (would likely be in the northwest corner- the north wall is the garage, and the west wall (interior) is the kitchen). There is currently no stove upstairs (nor has there ever been), so would be starting from scratch. All that really needs to be heated well would be the living room and kitchen, the bedrooms are on the south end of the house and we like to keep those cool anyway. The basement would of course then have an open fireplace; the damper is still installed. The basement really only needs heated when family comes to visit as we have 3 bedrooms down there, along with a bathroom. We do have a gas furnace, but prefer to heat with wood as much as possible, the furnace is 20 some years old and even though it is a high efficiency unit, it still runs up a bill when we don't use the wood. I was looking at stoves online and it seems like the Vogelzang defender would fit our needs (needs to be a small stove, decent looking, and non cat *really don't want to mess with a cat stove*, and claims to heat 1200 sq ft) I haven't done much research, just came up with the idea today, but sounded good. I would also like to know what I might need chimney wise- it will most likely run straight up, through the ceiling and attic, outside. How high does the chimney need to be? It will be basically on the northeast side of the house. I saw the clearances are 11" to corners on the defender, does that mean to an unprotected wall? What other stoves would be of similar size and square footage? I know this post is just rambling on and on, but I need advice! Thanks!