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What would you put in our fireplace - Clydesdale or HI300?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by KeepWarmInWinter, Sep 23, 2010.

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  1. KeepWarmInWinter

    KeepWarmInWinter New Member

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    Hi All (in the Hearth Room)

    We are looking for advice which wood insert - Hearthstone Clydesdale or Hampton HI300 and with which finish would you put in our fireplace? Or maybe you have other suggestions.

    In summary:
    We have two-story house (2000 sq feet) with electric heat.
    Masonry fireplace is in the living room (352 sq feet) on the outside wall.
    The firebox dimensions are 32? (h) x 48? (w) x 24?.
    We would like to have a wood insert with the biggest view as possible.
    We would like to have surround that fits the firebox opening without any alterations.

    We like the Vermont Casting inserts (Montpelier and Merrimack), but after reading all negative reviews and replays to "daveydog" (post: "Vermont Casting Merrimack") on this forum we gave up on these inserts. From my research Hampton HI300 with 32" x 48" surround should be sufficient and should fit firebox opening. This is a great looking insert, but my husband is concerned that it does not belong to our cottage style living room. He prefers look of Hearthstone Clydesdale. So, I have researched on Clydesdale. We will have an issue with the Clydesdale surround. It is only 47" wide. If we buy the Clydesdale surround extension (36" x 59"), it will cover too much of fireplace stones and will make already wide surround wider. Also, Clydesdale has some negative reviews - noisy fan, air wash not entirely successful, issues with blower. Do you know if these issues have been resolved?

    FYI. I looked at the flash inserts by Joful and Hampton but they have surrounds too small for our firebox.

    I am attaching pictures of our fireplace with glass door and living room (currently under remodeling). Please help us to make right decision. Thank you.

    Grace

    Comments:

    'BlakesDesk Porter' (post: "The beauty of a Fireplace in an Inserts") wrote:
    "I do not like the look of the surrounds. After a long time looking at different inserts, I've concluded that inserts can?t come close to matching the beauty of a fireplace-System. What I like doesn't seem to exist, a product not made yet."

    I agree with 'BlakesDesk Porter' 100%. There is a big gap, not only in "the beauty" of inserts but also in supporting different firebox openings. You are buying an expensive surround and you still need a custom made additional surround, just because one inch is missing. But we have to go with what is on market to stay warm this winter.
    I hope that this forum is reviewed by wood insert makers for benefits of future customers.

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  2. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    With the cast iron wide surround add on the Jotul C450 Kennebec insert covers a 48 inch wide fireplace opening. And is a damn nice looking insert and good performer with a good view of the fire.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    +1 for the Jotul C450.

    For a big fire view, the Clydesdale is the champ I think. It wouldn't take much to mount a simple 2" painted flange to the back of the surround that would extend it out enough to cover the opening.

    I'd also look at the Lopi Declaration which would look fantastic in that setting. It's available with several trim options and surround widths. At 49.5" it looks like the 10" panel would work.
  4. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

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    The Regency I3100 has an option 50" wide trim just in case you're thinking about a larger firebox.
  5. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    With the Clydesdale surround you lack not only width but height deminsions with the standard surround 47-1/8"x 30.5". Personally i don't think there's a match for the fire view of the clydesdale, but the isues of the blower/airwash i haven't experienced. I did get i harmonic vibration from underneath the blower, a sheetmetal shroud would start to vibrate when the stove was first warming up. i fixed this with a couple of pennies between sheetmetal shroud and hearth. I don't think the clydesdale is going to heat your house, but augmenting any electric heat system will definately take the pain out of your power bill. do you have baseboard electric or forced air electric of heat pump? If forced air/heat pump atleast turning your circulating fan will help distribute some of the heat throughout the house.
    one eay to get around the surround undersize would be to mount some angle iron and paint it black, which would give you an inexpensive shadowed reveal.
    I assume the measurements you listed are the actual firebox opening, and not the original fireplace door frame?
    Don't fret though i had my heart set on a stove and learned that it wouldn't fit, and then didn't think the Clydesdale would fit with acceptable hearth dimension, and the surround overlapped part of my old heatilator vents(which I bricked up and can't even notice now) there's lots of people with different stoves on here that can help with specific measuremnet advice that may not be available in online schematics.
  6. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

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    What about a stove & not an insert?
    Your fireplace with receive a Jotul F500 Oslo or an F600 Firelight
    with no problems. Big fire boxes. Big viewing area.
    No need for a surround. You can always paint the inside of the
    firebox black to hide it.
    Just another option. IMHO...
  7. KeepWarmInWinter

    KeepWarmInWinter New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    CT
    Thank you for your input. I looked at other inserts. Here are my thoughts about inserts that were discussed:

    HearthStone Clydesdale: Heating capacity up to 2000 sq. feet. Viewing area is 278 sq. inches. Height of a surround is less critical than width, because we can narrow opening using for example blue stone on the bottom of the hearth. Our primary concern about Clydesdale is not the surround but issues reported by owners. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load/firepl/msg0808455330428.html?5
    http://www.thathomesite.com/forums/load/firepl/msg090544268380.html?2.
    Some comments are old, but there is still negative comment from last year.
    "The 2 built in blowers are frankly insufficient to move enough cool room air around this great unit."
    We are hesitating to buy expensive insert knowing that we will need to purchase additional blowers. Is the 2010 model better?

    Hampton HI300: Heating capacity up to 2000 sq. feet. Viewing area 203 is sq. inches. This insert has received the best reviews on "Hearth.com".

    Jotul C450: Heating capacity is only up 1600 sq. feet. Viewing area is 171 sq. inches.
    This insert is insufficient for our house. The first floor layout is living room -> kitchen -> dining room. The house has electric baseboard heat, only crawlspace and many large windows/glass doors. If Jotul, it will need to buy C550 and add a flange.

    Lopi Declaration: Heating capacity 1500-25000 sq. feet. Viewing area is 230 sq. inches.
    We looked at this insert. It is the most expensive, but has received good reviews.

    Regency I3100: Heating capacity up to 3000 sq. feet. Viewing area is 160 sq. inches. We think that it is too powerful for our house?

    Jotul F500 Oslo or an F600 Firelight: Our firebox is probably too small for it. The firebox back wall is only 38" wide and firebox top is only 20" deep. Please see the attached picture.

    The last option: We will buy only a wood insert without surround. We will place it deeper in the firebox, and build custom surround. This way we will meet requirement for 16'' hearth extension. I am not sure if this is feasible - impact on heat capacity, air circulation.

    I compared look of inserts in our fireplace (simulation with Microsoft Paint and Power Point). With a fire all of them look good.

    "Yeah, I know that wood stoves are just space heaters. But the space I want to heat is my house". Have a nice weekend.

    Attached Files:

  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Take the marketing "sq. ftg. heated" with a grain of salt. What is more important is the cu ft capacity of the firebox in the insert and to a certain extent the firebox shape. One guide for the size is how open the current fireplace room is to the rest of the house. If not, get about a ~2 cu ft insert. If it is an open floorplan, go for around a 3 cu ft insert. It will not be too large. And remember, you don't have to fill it full of wood. A half load when the weather is milder is just fine.

    The firebox shape can make a difference in the pleasure of burning. Especially if the insert is going to be run long hours for heating. A shallow firebox is only going to allow E/W loading of the wood. Normally the air enters the firebox, front and center. A shallow firebox can have slow burning at the sides of the fire and logs in the fire have a tendency once in a while to roll forward towards the glass. (thus the andirons). A deeper, more square firebox is going to allow both E/W and N/S loading of the wood. This allows the air to travel down the length of the splits for easier starting and even burning.

    I would also visit the dealers that have these inserts on a quiet morning (on on a weekend) and listen to the blowers in operation. Listen at low, medium and high speed. This sound will be in your living room all winter. It is worth it to get a well designed and made blower system.

    If freestanding stove, you probably don't want it all the way back in the fireplace. It will heat better partially out of the fireplace and more on the hearth. Also, if the stove has a side door, it's nice to have access to it.
  9. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    I have a Regency I3100 and I can guarantee it won't heat 3000 sf. My log home is only 1950ish sf. and the 3100 doesn't hold enough wood to heat my house. I bought a Englander furnace for my basement to supplement the insert and with good wood I get my temperature all the way to a toasty 68 when its cold outside.

    I did find my house had some air leaks and had them caulked and hopefully it will help.If I had to do it over again, I would buy a freestanding stove and not an insert.

    Shipper

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  10. bren582

    bren582 Member

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    I've owned the pre 2009 Clydesdale and now own the new design.. the new one has a much quieter fan compared to the original.. Same CFM just redesigned with isolated motor mounts and a redesigned housing that blocks more of the fan and motor noise.. All fans are loud to a degree when set on high.. The new clyde on low to medium is really not that bad.. On high the thing pumps a great deal of hot air into the room. The firebox is 2.44 CuFt. 12 inches deep so you can do north south but your splits have to be under 12 inches. East West is 22 inches max.. I have a 2400 sqtft ranch style house with the fireplace at one end of the house (Not ideal for sure) and I heat all but the 3 bedrooms at the opposite end of the house with ease. high 80's in the fireplace room, 75-80deg in the kitchen, living room and dining room but not so good in the bedrooms at the opposite end hallway.. The hallway gets nice and warm but getting that heat through the relatively small doors into the bedrooms is difficult.. I'm thinking that's not really the fault of the stove.
    though..

    Sure i'm biased toward the Clydesdale.. A few factors that influenced my purchase included fire view and a somewhat more contemporary look that my wife and I preferred compared to other inserts and the hearth stoves..
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Did a damper seal (block off plate) get installed before the insert went in? That can help recover a lot of wasted heat.
  12. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    The heat loss was not due to the insert as it was installed properly. I had my log home restained and found out the AH contractor who built it left places at the roof line open where water came in when they did the pressure wash before the new staining.

    They have all been caulked and trim boards put over the air gaps.

    But thanks for asking. ;-)

    Shipper
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    So it has a damper block off plate?
  14. flyingpig

    flyingpig Member

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    Loc:
    Cary, NC
    I'm new to wood heat and got our first one early this Feb with the FPX 33/Lopi Declaration. The main reason to pick this one is because it's flush mount (we have small kid). Even though it's a bit more expensive compare with other choices we had at that time, the flush mount actually allows us to clear all the distance to combustible requirements without altering the heart or mantel.

    I still can't tell you much about the performance with my limited experiences, but it heats our drafty living room up to almost 80F @ 20F outside. Fan is a bit noisy, but bearable especially when we turn it low. With a much less than ideal wood situation last winter. We couldn't achieve the overnight burn yet. Most of the info that I've found here is it will probably be good up to 8 hours with enough coal to relight, but not 12 hours as Lopi said.

    Also the insert is pretty low to the ground, but shouldn't be problem in your raised heart. Look at Avalon or FireplaceX website also for their variations of face plates.

    Good luck with your selection. With all the members here, I'm certain you're in good hands.

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  15. ClydesdaleBurner

    ClydesdaleBurner Member

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    Hi,

    I own the pre-2009 Clydesdale and I love it. I've had no problem heating our 1850 sq ft house. Some of the upstairs bedrooms need some help from the oil furnance, but that's due to the layout of the house. The soapstone holds the heat well, and even when the fire is cranking, it won't burn you out of the room like some steel stoves can do.

    The stove itself is a good looking stove IMHO. We didn't like the brass decorative look of some stoves. As for performance I can get a good 8-10 hr burn out of it, so overnight burning or 24/7 isn't too much of an issue. I've heard the improvements to the newer model are nice, I wish my blower had the isolators. I get a rattle occassionaly and I just need to adjust the tightness of the bolts holding the blower on to fix it.

    I wouldn't give too much weight to the reviews you saw from 2005 and 2006 on THS forum. I haven't found any issues with the stove and I'm going into my 5th season with it.

    If you search this site for clydesdale and look back to 2007-2008 there was a lot of threads on this model. Just keep in mind the improvements to the newer model.

    Good luck!
  16. KB007

    KB007 Feeling the Heat

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    I wouldn't worry if some of them have a sqft rating greater than your house - those ratings are, uhm, "guidelines" at best. Go for the biggest firebox you can get in there IMHO - you don't have to have it running full tilt all the time - can always build a smaller fire in a big box - just like we did today - 3 smallish splits just to take the chill off :)

    Shipper50 - I'm surprised that the I3100 wouldn't kepp you toasty - tho with holes in the house that could make a huge difference. A friend of ours' widow had a crack which was about 1/2" X 36" in their family room that I filled in for her last year and she said the room never felt so good - just one small opening. Our I3100 was keeping us toasty in our 1800 sqft (upstairs) bungalow. I find with the blower it puts out huge amounts of heat.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'm sort of surprised too, that's why I asked about the damper seal. If it's trying to heat the large mass of the stone chimney, it may be fighting nature.
  18. Shipper50

    Shipper50 Minister of Fire

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    The damper is sealed, I did not see a block off plate installed, but was told with the liner and install there is no heat going up the chimney.

    My log home is not easy to heat, that is why I put in the insert and then the Englander wood furnace in my basement. Having the gaps sealed with over 34 tubes of caulk should help along with having oak trim boards added to where the leaks were.

    If you saw the water come into my house when they pressured washed it prior to the restain you would not believe it. The contractor that built the house doesn't build anymore and no wonder why. I will report later this fall or winter as how much heat I gained and I do burn seasoned wood.

    Shipper
  19. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Mount Cheaha Alabama
    Keepwarm
    I wasn't trying to sway you from the clydesdale. The photo shopped pics are pretty impressive, best to do ones homework before dropping a few grand on an install.
    I may be partial but the clyde looks best in the opening.
    Maybe another suggestion I don't know how much the larger surround costs (the whole install should be tax deductible keep in mind) but if you weren't a fan of the taller surround and wanted to raise the hearth with blue stone you could use the wider center piece of the extra surround, and utilize the standard legs of the normal surround
    The surround straight piece is pn 2410-991
    surround extension pn 94-59990010
    I'd negotiate with the dealer for exchange of the larger center piece and raise the hearth (raising the hearth with bluestone is probably more expensive than the higher side kit) unless you're a DIY'er
    I heated my 1800sqft cape style house pretty well last winter, had to only use the propane forced air during a 3 week sub-freezing stretch during january(homes in the south are 2x4 construction) and only set it low on 62 to keep wall spaces warm enough to prevent pipes from freezing while i was working 16+hr days and couldn't stoke stove - total ~40gallons burned - a lot cheaper than busted pipe repairs.
    The square footageclaims of heating for stoves is deciveing as stated above, floor plan layout is a big factor in how warm rooms stay.
    Mine is exterior chimney in living room, separting center of house is hallway with stairway, and master bedrm on other side of house. We don't use upstairs unless theres company, and it kept the upstairs warm when bedrm doors were opened for a few hrs(heat rises) the master on other sied of house would be cool ~63-65 after an overnight burn in single-teen outdoor temps
    looks like your measurements shouldn't have any problem fitting the clyde in your space, I'd recommend as others have done, insulating and covering insulation in the back and sides of the firebox as well as insulated damper block plate, these extra custom bits can go a long way to making the stove heat your house and -Keepyouwarminwinter
    Sorry about the electric baseboard heat- terible heating method pushed on people in the late 60-70s when electricty rates were still subsidized by the dam feds
  20. KeepWarmInWinter

    KeepWarmInWinter New Member

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    Hi All,

    Thank you again for your comments, advice, ideas, installation pictures, and a little bit education too. We learned that capacity of firebox is a key factor when comparing inserts. We understand importance of proper installation and impact of floor plan layout on heating efficiency. Now, we have few more questions aside of dilemma which insert to purchase. I hope that you have an answer.

    •We are thinking to install ceiling fan in the second floor hall. Is it correct place for the additional fan? Please advice us.

    •Our fireplace used to have open firebox with metal screens. Then we added glass door, following by a blower with ‘primitive’ insert. These improvements build up creosote around the firebox front ages. We cleaned the firebox (using water and Imperial Bick-X masonry cleaner) as much we could. What is the best cleaner to remove the dark spots on the stones?

    •How much effort is involved in cleaning up of insert faceplate and surround (in hours per week). I tried to determine if it make sense to spend additional $400-$500 for enamel finish insert only for convenience of cleaning. The ‘look’ of insert is less important for me. I am assuming that cleaning of enamel insert is like cleaning furniture. What is effort of cleaning black painting cast iron?

    I am attaching picture of the house floor plan and picture of “cleaning up of firebox in progress”.

    Thank you.

    Attached Files:

  21. burntime

    burntime New Member

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    C'mon hunting season!
    1957 brick ranch in Wisconsin with now new windows and good attic insulation. I have 1400 sq feet plus the basement has a half exposure. I can tell you that my upstairs cooks unless I have the furnace fan on and a BIG fan blowing cold air upstairs. I have seen 20 below and the house has gotten to 75 if I overstoke it. If your wood is dry there should be no reason why it does not heat 2k sq feet. The hampton got my vote...see my avatar.
  22. toonjie

    toonjie Member

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    Have you considered a Quadrafire 5100i? Your fireplace looks about the same size as mine and the Quad's surround more than covers it. Huge firebox as well.
  23. basod

    basod Minister of Fire

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    Keepwarm
    Your concerns about soot buildup with the insert installed should be null, unless you burn it with the door open and screen kit - which will put you back to the same inneficiency that your standard firplace is in now.
    The insert/stove is sealed and provided your installing a liner(recommended for safety,draft and ease of future cleaning) you will only have a small amount of back draft/puff when opening the door to load when the stove is cool and not drafting due to outdoor ambient conditions/wet wood etc.
    I think I may have steered you wrong on trying to swap the surround center piece on clyde surround, the two surrounds have different width profiles and won't match up.
    As far as cleaning the soot from exsisting masonry, the brickx product works well, use a nylon brush/old tooth brush with undiluted product. You'll never get it all off -most here would refer to that as character.
    The surround if you end up with an insert should cover most of the soot buildup in your pictures, typically the soot above the FP is where you see some color difference after installation( its a pain to keep the cleaner off the stove once installed- its caustic and will discolor stove finish)
    Your floor plan shouldn't have much issue heating, probably be a little cool in the far left back room, and same with left rooms upstairs. Your FP room would probably be the best placement of ceiling fans, 2 of them on each end in plane with FP, spinning clockwise in winter to pull cool air up, and force hot air off ceiling back towards floor.
  24. onion

    onion Burning Hunk

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    I have a Regency like Shipper's and had many of the same issues you are finding. The larger surround took care of my issues with the large firebox, I'll have to find the pictures I have of the open box so you can see just how bad it was. The insert I was replacing was slammed in (no liner) and the guy was burning garbage (literally) in the insert before I bought the house. I could not find any cleaner to remove the soot stains completely from the stones. It isn't very noticeable unless you are looking for it to be honest. I used TSP and all manner of specialty fireplace cleaners, none worked all that well.

    As to your second question, cleaning the metal portions of the outside of the insert take me about 45 seconds of dusting a week. Cleaning the glass on the front is done every Sunday afternoon during burning season and takes about 10 mins to get crystal clear. The harder part is letting everything cool down to the point where I can clean it...after you are used to 75 to 80 temps in the living room in is tough to have to deal with 65-70 degrees for 2 hours without throwing more splits in.

    My house is 1800 sq ft, 2 story built in 1991 and is not "open concept". I have 3 bedrooms upstairs and a bonus room above the garage. I close off 2 bedrooms and the bonus room in the winter (I live alone) and everything else stays between 75 (living room with the fireplace) and 65 (master bedroom at the other side of the house on the second floor). I absolutely love the insert and continually tell anyone that will listen that it was the best $4k I have ever spent. Last winter alone I saved ~$1200 on propane costs (really inefficient furnace) and my insert was installed in January.
  25. KeepWarmInWinter

    KeepWarmInWinter New Member

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    Hi, I am back in the "HEARTH". :)

    Thank you 'toonjie', 'burntime', and 'BASOD' for your input

    Quadrafire 5100i is more expensive insert than HI300. We would consider a larger insert if a medium insert is insufficient for hour house.

    It seems that HI300 should be able to heat our house. It also fits into our fireplace opening without any extra work and cost. Therefore, HI300 is the winner if we decide to buy wood insert, and probably with the matte finish, since cleaning is no issue.

    'Daksy' has suggested a stove. A friend of my suggested it too. This prompted my previous question about cleaning stones around of fireplace opening. The stove set up has many advantages - larger fire viewing, easy cleaning with ashtray, no blowers all of the time, better heat output. But it has limitation in respect to heating entire house. We do not need to have very warm in the dinning room and upstairs. Is a stove feasible for our house or it is out of the equation? Please advice. Thank you.

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