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Reviews on wood inserts, please

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by showdog, Aug 16, 2008.

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  1. showdog

    showdog New Member

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    Hi All

    We were thinking of getting a wood insert for our fireplace. With the high cost of the insert and install are they really worth it to heat a 2000 sqft house?

    We use our fireplace alot in the winter located in center of house but its just for fun. I'd like to save on oil this year, with an insert?l

    Can I get any feed back of exp with inserts.

    Chris

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  2. Max Headroom

    Max Headroom Member

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    Here's a good place to start:

    http://hearth.com/ratings/search.php

    I just bought an insert this summer, so i don't have any feedback yet, but the info on the ratings page was a big help.
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome Chris! You can get more feedback here about any wooburning appliance than you can shake a stick at. Why an insert? Why not a nice hearth stove or a freestanding stove? There's a whole world here for you to explore, but you're getting kind of a late start on it for having something in place this upcoming burning season. Good luck, try using the search function on this site, there's an unbelievable amount of information accessible through this portal. Rick
  4. rockreid

    rockreid Member

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    and you may want to decide quicker rather than later because the more popular models are becoming short in supply..and installers are already booking well into the Fall and early Winter. It's a busy year.
  5. budman

    budman Minister of Fire

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    I heat my 1,800 sf home at 74-76 degrees just fine.
  6. showdog

    showdog New Member

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    Thanks for the replies kind folk.

    But let me ask.... is the wood insert really a good way to heat a house or is it just going up in smoke?

    we have been shopping and yes the are going fast.

    Chris
  7. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    I, like you, have a 2000 SF house, with a central masonary FP.

    I wanted to heat roughly 1200 SF of it (the rest is a seperate accessory apartment on it's own OHW zone).

    With a pretty open floor plan, I opted for the insert. I wanted to avoid cutting holes on the living room ceiling, the new roof, create a new hearth area, etc. Just made sense to me to slide that puppy right into the existing FP :coolsmile:

    'Course, I probably shouldn't mention deciding to redo the entire face of the FP, and hearth area, before it arrives. Added a few $$$'s [​IMG]

    Good thing my labor is free :)
  8. RedRanger

    RedRanger New Member

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    Even if you have to buy your wood CSD for an average price of 170 per cord? The bottom line is that yes you will save approximately half in fuel costs per season. My wood insert is on the bottom level of a four level house and we still realize a 50% savings, more than likely you will do even better.

    Buy an epa certified insert with a thermostatically controlled blower(the blower shuts off automatically when the stove temp drops to about 150=no cold air blowing about when you are still asleep).. Get one with a firebox as big as your opening will allow for-- And good luck in still trying to find nice seasoned wood at this late in the game 8-/
  9. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    We heated this 2,500 sq. foot two story colonial with a big insert in an outside masonry fireplace for 21 years. After that I put a big free standing stove half in and half out of the fireplace so it is pretty much acting like an insert.

    Both have done the job just fine. And we have no other heat source.
  10. kniffin50

    kniffin50 Member

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    I'm happy with my insert but if you can go with one on the hearth thats the way I would go.Clearances won't let me. It would be to far out in the living room
    Rusty
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If the house has an open floorplan and the insert is sized and installed correctly, it can usually heat a house very well. But some houses have closed off floorplans and therefore the insert must be treated as a local area heater and downsized accordingly. In that case, there will be some savings, but not as much.

    To achieve that savings there is some sweat equity involved. The wood is not going to be loaded in a tank. And there is no pipe connecting the wood stack to the stove. That said most of us are a whole lot more comfortable when it's cold and the winds are blowing than a lot of home owners. With a central chimney, you have a good start. What is the floorplan like?
  12. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Insert, hearth stove, freestanding woodstove...they're all space heaters. They heat the space in which they're installed. What you're able to do with that heat in terms of distributing it about your living space depends on the 3-dimensional configuration of your home and what you can do to encourage air movement. Rick
  13. Adios Pantalones

    Adios Pantalones Minister of Fire

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    I have had the Hampton for 2 years- I love it. You'll have some coals in the morning, but it won't be pumping out full house heat. With clean glass it's quite a lookah too.
  14. iceman

    iceman Minister of Fire

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    ahhhhhh these guys have good intentions with what they have already stated.......
    however, the answer your looking for.................drum roll...
    pacific energy summit or hampton i300 the 300 is very good looking as well as a great stove
    the summit is a work horse, bigger firebox....and less money (also rated to do more sq ft)
    so check out the reviews look at people sig a lot of us have what we are using... and see for yourself
    there are a lot of pe owners.....
    if you go freestanding ....you get even more to choose skies the limit!!!
  15. showdog

    showdog New Member

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    Great info thanks All.

    We have an open floor plan ranch except for the bdrms with the FP in the center. After hearing from all of you i think we should do it. One of the Sweep companies has Nepolian inserts and othe company has Lopi the Lopi is about 4 week wait as of thursday. The neopolian can be installed in a week.

    We just moved here last yr and took down about 10 big trees (most Tulip) its all been split for about a year now so the supply is good. Will tulip be ok to burn, I know its a soft wood.

    Thanks again for the help with this new comer!

    Chris
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like an insert should work well. You may need a fan in the bedroom hallway, blowing the cold air at floor level toward the stove to get circulation going. I'd visit some more stove shops and see some other models before settling in on a Napoleon or the Lopi. Both are fine, but you may have other good choices. Best to spend a little time deciding what is most important to you. It's expensive and you are going to be living with it for awhile.

    What are the fireplace's interior dimensions? Perhaps we can narrow down the choices based on that spec to start with.

    PS: Lots of us burn only softwood. Not much other choice in some parts of the country. However, it's nice to have some hardwood on hand for those brutally cold nights. So if available seasoned, you might want to get a cord.
  17. gibson

    gibson New Member

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    In Northern NJ you should have some access to hardwood. Check out craigslist. I have been lucky to get alot of red oak for around $200/cord. Also a drive to Preston Trading Post might be worth your while, if you have a truck. It is about a two hr ride for you to Preston Ct. Best prices around. Probably save $300-400 over what you'd pay in the tri-state area
  18. gerry100

    gerry100 Minister of Fire

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    I'd go with a steel insert. They last a lot longer.

    Sorry.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Aren't all inserts steel?
  20. showdog

    showdog New Member

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    I was in Home depote today and saw the Englander, stove, any comments?
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