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)

Stove vs Insert Question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by myselfnjit, Nov 21, 2012.

  1. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Here is my story...

    I currently have a Vermont Castings stove vented to a 6"stainless liner inside an old clay liner. The stove requires an 8" so it does not always operate as I would like and being pre EPA it eats wood. I am looking into a new stove but my current set up calls for a rear vent as the flue comes in from an old fireplace. Here are the options and opinions I discussed with my local stove store (dealing in Lopi and Avalon).
    I have been thinking of changing to a top vent stove as there are more options and many of the steel ones are cheaper and some opinions say more rugged.
    1) Open up the brick above where the stove currently is, install a TEE to come through the brick so that I might then use a top vent stove. Rough estimate $700 labor if it is a 2 person 6 hour day + $500 parts = $1200. THEN buy another stove. They are of course trying to sell me a new one but I would look around for something used first.

    2) Put an insert in.

    My house is 2000sqft (700 basement & 1300 upstairs) heating primarily with wood in Central New York state. It is an open floor plan, ranch, stove in the finished basement with a grate in the floor above the current stove for hot air to move up. Built in 1972 seems reasonably insulated, new windows and doors.
    I currently burn 4.5 to 5 cord a year and would like to do less=). I will also add that I am away from home for about 10hrs a day and am getting sick of restarting every evening so a longer burn time would be great!

    I would LOVE all opinions and ideas on my options including models of stoves/inserts, stove vs insert and why ect...

    thanks in advance!

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    551
    Loc:
    Bow, NH
  3. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Which old Vermont Casting stove are you running? If it is a Vigilant or a Defiant, an Oslo is going to put out a lot less heat than either of those stoves.

    I'm guessing you are running a Vigilant.

    You will need to go with some closer to the 3 cu ft firebox range to get the same type of heat from the stove. A Jotul F600, VC Defiant (current model), Quadrafire Isle Royal, and the Woodstock Progress would all compare to the heat output of the Vigilant and all offer rear venting.
  4. ColdNH

    ColdNH Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 14, 2009
    Messages:
    551
    Loc:
    Bow, NH
    Yah, but based on this:

    My house is 2000sqft (700 basement & 1300 upstairs) heating primarily with wood in Central New York state. It is an open floor plan, ranch, stove in the finished basement with a grate in the floor above the current stove for hot air to move up. Built in 1972 seems reasonably insulated, new windows and doors.
    I currently burn 4.5 to 5 cord a year and would like to do less=). I will also add that I am away from home for about 10hrs a day and am getting sick of restarting every evening so a longer burn time would be great!

    I would think an oslo should be able to handle that no?
  5. Mroverkill

    Mroverkill Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Aug 10, 2010
    Messages:
    258
    Loc:
    Northern nj
    i know someone "cough cough" that has a NIB nc-30 for a great price lol. but in all seriousness i would go with a stove over a insert in my openion
  6. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY

    I am running an old Vigilant. It does put off heat but is a wood eater. Never good coals left hen I get home and with the 6" flue, the heat is inconsistent.
  7. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    2,000 sq ft, from the basement, is a bit of a stretch for the Oslo. Can it do it, maybe. But, if the owner is used to the heat output of the Vigilant, the Oslo will be a noticeable difference. Which will mean that the owner will run the stove hotter and will get shorter burn times.


    2,000 sq ft + basement install + needing 10 hours of heat + coming from a large Pre-EPA stove will require a larger stove to meet expectations.
  8. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Understood. I ran a Vigilant as well. It will give you 5-6 hours of heat, with enough coals to relight for, maybe, another hour.

    Are you looking for a stove to provide you with the same amount of heat, but longer burn times? If so, the stoves I listed should meet your needs.
  9. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY
    Yes looking for same or more heat, longer burn times and less reloading. In your opinion, would it be easier to get all a want if I spend the money to change over to top output or will the few rear output ones you mentioned do just as good of a job for the price? I am considering availability of stoves on the used market...
  10. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    That's tough to say. The Englander 30 that I own is top vent only and can be had for $650-$900 depending upon the time of year. Getting 10 hours of heat is reaching it's upper limits (as it is on the Quadrafire Isle Royal and Jotul F600) and what you require for heat varies from user to user. But, with all of the stove mentioned you would have plenty of coals for a relight.

    The other option is Blaze King stove. But, those are top vent only and carry a premium price in the Northeast. So, you would have the added cost to convert to a top vent stove while not saving money on the purchase of the stove.

    If this were my purchase, and I had the budget for it, I would go with the Woodstock Progress. Based on the reports here, it will give you at least 14 hours of actual heat. The Defiant can do that as well, but not as consistently.
  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,808
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    Unless he goes with a BK Princess insert, I have mine in my finished basement (over 1000sf) and it heats the upstairs too (1870 sf)
  12. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    I'm hesitant to say that the insert would work as well for him since he is going from a Vigilant that produces heat quite differently than a modern EPA stove. If the owner is used to a certain amount of heat and is asking for the same amount of heat, or more, I'm concerned the insert would not meet the expectations.

    But, I have never used the Princess Insert, so I am guessing based on how the Vigilant worked as compared to the other stoves I have run. I would feel more confident recommending the free standing stove like a Progress in this particular instance. But, that is only based on what I have experienced.
  13. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Feb 20, 2009
    Messages:
    3,808
    Loc:
    Central Mass
    I would too but I was offering a less expensive option that may work.
  14. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY
    thanks for all of the info so far. I have looked up the stoves you listed and the Isle Royal or the F600 seem like nice stoves. I am really looking for something that I could pick up in a good used shape. Would the Jotul 12 be an option for my situation?
  15. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    It is. Be aware that the 12 is a cat stove. Nothing wrong with that, but some people aren't fans of cat stoves (I run both, cat and non-cat stoves).
  16. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY
    well what are the pros and cons of the cat? like comparing the Jotul 12 to the F600...
  17. 12pack

    12pack New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    50
    Loc:
    Westchester County N.Y.
    If dealing with a Lopi/Avalon dealer , what about an Avalon Olympic? I just put one into my existing fireplace a couple weeks ago and am pretty happy with the burn times. Overnight, great coal bed after 8-10 hours ....still warm and able to relight with (some) coal after 12 hours.

    This is my first stove and certainly, I am no expert, but I am happy with the Olympic. Oh and great large glass viewing area.

    http://avalonfirestyles.com/product-detail.aspx?model=112
  18. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY
    are you using yours as an insert or a freestander? what is the sqfootage of your house? how about the layout? just trying to draw parallels to my situation...
  19. 12pack

    12pack New Member

    Joined:
    Aug 3, 2012
    Messages:
    50
    Loc:
    Westchester County N.Y.
    I have the wood stove "freestander" that I put into an existing brick fireplace , so I guess it is almost an insert, my wife did not like the surrounds so we decided to just put the stove on legs and put into the fireplace.

    It heats my open living room/dining room area no problem about 900 sq. ft. , the rest of the house not that great due to the configuration. still working on setting up some fans etc..... I will get the hot air moving better.

    here is my floorpan. With some change in the bedroom/ kitchen area but basically close.

    http://www.antiquehomestyle.com/plans/sears/1923sears/23sears-avondale.htm

    http://www.google.com/imgres?start=119&um=1&hl=en&sa=N&tbo=d&biw=1280&bih=685&tbm=isch&tbnid=Zx4vWUDdWTZQrM:&imgrefurl=http://www.searshomes.org/index.php/tag/tulsa/&docid=EPnlqLkHDLRB4M&itg=1&imgurl=http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v108/rosethornil/Tulsa%2520OK/Avon_1919_cat_int.jpg&w=800&h=630&ei=Rj-uUPLMPJDC9QT5xIDADA&zoom=1&iact=hc&vpx=795&vpy=199&dur=5&hovh=199&hovw=253&tx=117&ty=101&sig=115200228451693456359&page=5&tbnh=147&tbnw=196&ndsp=27&ved=1t:429,r:23,s:100,i:73
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Pros:
    Usually longer burns and more consistent temps throughout the burn cycle.
    One owner here is reporting low burn times of up to 24 hours with the 12. The F600 will give you about 9-10 of heat. Remember, a low burn means lower temps, so, if you undersize a cat stove for your needs you will not benefit from a low burn as you will need more heat. If you oversize the stove a bit, you will get more use out of the low burn capabilities for a long period of the wood burning season.

    Cons:
    Additional cost of the cat every 4-7-ish years.
    Additional maintenance. It varies from stove to stove. Some of the stoves require very little additional maintenance (like Blaze King and Woodstock stoves) while others require more maintenance (like Vermont Castings stoves).

    If you are going used, I think the Jotul 12 firelight would serve you well. If you are buying new, I think the Woodstock Progress would be the right choice. The size and mass of the Progress should make the stove a more capable heater over the 12 Firelight and allow you to get a longer cycle of usable heat from the stove throughout the burn season.
  21. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY
    do you happen to know a sqft heating capacity for the Jotul 12 in our climate? I have only done quick searches but cant seem to find one...
  22. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7,607
    Loc:
    Doylestown, PA
    Heating capacity is a worthless stat. Far too many variables to offer realistic and accurate information. You are at 2,000 sq ft in Central New York coming from a pre-epa stove that threw a lot of heat. A stove in the neighborhood of 3 cu ft should fit your needs. A 12 Firelight is a 3 cu ft stove.
  23. myselfnjit

    myselfnjit New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    20
    Loc:
    Central NY
    ok thanks! Maybe a cat stove will work well for me as I am gone most of the day and the VC seems to burn hot an quick. Good for warming up fast but by the time get home it is dead!
    thanks for all of your help.
  24. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,074
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    If the goal is to burn less wood, in addition to getting a longer burning stove I would improve insulation and sealing of the house. That is going to have the best long-term payback.

Share This Page