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Whats a good fireplace insert?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Halligan, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Halligan

    Halligan Feeling the Heat

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    My best friend recently bought a house. It's a 25 year old colonial and he's not liking paying the oil man. He and his wife are very motivated to install a fireplace insert and he wanted some input from me. I know little about inserts as I'm a "stove" guy. According to him the dimensions are 24"H X 33"W X 21"D. It's a traditional brick hearth with glass doors and a masonry chimney.

    One benefit he has is his floorplan has a balcony in the room with the stove so the heat will go right up to where the bedrooms are located.

    Any suggestions?

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  2. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    There is more information needed. The balcony of course, will gather heat for the bedrooms but at an expense of distribution for the first floor. I have a contemporary with a balcony and I need a fan to blow much of the heat back to the main floor.

    As far as the fireplace, it is my view that the measurements of the room should be drawn out on paper first along with the surrounding area of the first floor. If the room is large enough, I would opt for a free standing wood stove and pipe it horizontally to the fireplace flue. This will offer the maximum amount of output for the inside of the dwelling (room provided). If you have a hearth, that need to be taken into consideration also. Adjustments may need to take place.

    To give you a better example of what I am saying, my room is 14 + feet wide with the stove flush with the opening of the fireplace. I piped it back into the flue. I do have a hearth which I use with the help of a wood rack, for storage, especially cold, snowy or rainy nights. The rest is purely estetics. Make up your own plan for that. There is much to consider when making a major alteration such as you are looking at. Good luck with the project.
  3. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    What's the square footage he's looking to heat? There are a lot great inserts. Budget is also a major factor. Gather some more info and we can help direct you and your buddy towards some options that make sense for his needs and set up.
  4. Halligan

    Halligan Feeling the Heat

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    I knew this was a vague question when I posted so I apologize. FWIW I'm trying to get my buddy to join so he can take over and answer your questions. As for square footage he's probably looking to heat 2000sq ft.
  5. HaTaX

    HaTaX New Member

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    One that I've been heavily looking at the last week or so looks like it would fit in that fireplace opening is the Blaze King Princess. You can get some more information on it here: http://www.blazeking.com/EN/wood-princess-insert.html . It's definitely a function over form insert but makes up for that with ease of use and reliable operation that you don't have to check on every few hours.

    Just figured I'd throw that out there since it seems to fit dimension wise and sq ft wise, there's a lot more that goes into figuring out the right stove then just a fireplace opening.
  6. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    Get the biggest CAT stove you can get from any manufacturer, that's my opinion. I have a big cat stove and would not trade it for anything. YOU will not heat your self out no matter how big the stove. If I just want a tiny bit of heat I make a kindling fire and put just 2 splits on and can just heat the home to a certain temp then I will just let the stove go out.
    etiger2007 likes this.
  7. claybe

    claybe Feeling the Heat

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    +1 for the blaze king princess insert. It is pumping right now and my wife just told me it is too hot in here! The other cat insert I would look at is the buck 91 insert. The efficiency is the same as blaze king but it doesn't get the long burn times.
  8. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I have the Blaze King but Pacific Energy has a good insert, regency, Jotul, a lot depends on buget and taste. You should talk to his wife too, she may have final say.
  9. HaTaX

    HaTaX New Member

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    The Pacific Energy Summit was on my short list of non-cat stoves I really liked, a bit more attractive on the outside vs the Princess and it was still capable of throwing some serious heat. (Link if you'd like it: http://www.pacificenergy.net/pacificenergy/summit_insert.php) I looked at the Jotul at the store, originally went in looking at the 550, but ended up more seriously considering the 450 as it sat out into the room a little bit. And I'd assume it isn't too huge a deal, but the tiny entrances into the fireboxes on the 350/550 gave me visions of burned knuckles. That's just me though and I've never used one myself, I really wish there was one store in town I could compare these brands side by side but it's hard to find a single dealer that has a wide range of brands available. Not a problem I expected to find in Minnesota. :)
  10. jackatc1

    jackatc1 Burning Hunk

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    PE Summit. I have been burning wood for many years, from stamped steel
    box stoves, to yukon combo oil/wood and every thing in between.
    I have had my Summit 5 years. My favorite hands down.
    ,
  11. Halligan

    Halligan Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for the recent replies.
  12. seaboss21

    seaboss21 New Member

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    1-30-2013 011.JPG 1-30-2013 012.JPG Hey guys I am Halligan's friend the one who is looking for the insert. We recently bought this house and the bill to the oil man is painful and frequent. We enjoy the fireplace, and I know there is $$ going up the flu every time we decide to enjoy a fire. The Square footage is @ 2,000 and we are willing to pay $3,000.00 for the insert and then the associated cost for installation. I provided some pictures to show everyone what I am talking about.
  13. Halligan

    Halligan Feeling the Heat

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    Welcome aboard. You should get some feedback quick as the folks over here love pictures, which of course help tell the story.
  14. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    Welcome Seaboss,

    Heating with wood is a lot of fun, saves thousands of dollars and can get addictive. A few facts that may help guide your search for an insert. You will want to install a stainless steel liner from the unit through the chimney and all the way up to the chimney cap. Based on the picture that looks like an outside wall so you will probably want to insulate that liner. Keep this in mind when you budget.

    In Rhode Island you may want to look at something around 3 cf in firebox size. I know Halligan provided us with measurements, do those measurements factor in a taper in the fireplace? If the current fireplace is tapered in the back, it will limit which units fit in there.

    There are plenty of great inserts out there, I found www.dynamitebuys.com to have great prices. Osburns were the lowest price I could find for a quality unit. Hope that helps.
  15. claybe

    claybe Feeling the Heat

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    Welcome seaboss! Thanks for the pics. You have a lot of options with that set up. Don't know what else you need to heat on the main level, but it looks like you need to heat that main room and the up stairs. I had an old Avalon in my previous house and it would burn about 600 degrees stove top temp for 4-6 hours. It heated the upper level to 80 degrees and the main level to 72. I had to use fans to move the heat into the rooms, but it got the job done. When we moved into our current home I wanted a CAT stove for longer overnight burns so I decided on the blaze king princess insert. I have been very happy with the burn times and the heat output. You will quickly learn everyone is very particular and passionate about their stoves! As a wise man once told me, "no one likes for their baby to be called ugly!!!" So, get what fits you and love your baby!
  16. tickbitty

    tickbitty Minister of Fire

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    I prefer the inserts that are not flush but extend into the room a bit for cooktop and more radiant heat. There are a few types that do that, mine is a Lopi.
    The flush ones are a cleaner look which some are keen on, but more dependent on the blowers if you were to have a power outage or whatever. With your setup you might also be able to do a hearth stove like a Jotul which a lot of folks here have. It's got a very nice look too.
  17. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    This is true, but even those of us who units are in love with our units, are jealous of you Blaze King owners. Maybe I'm wrong, but I think a Princess with a liner, block off plate, top plat and install would break the $3000 budget. That was why I suggested Osburns.
  18. claybe

    claybe Feeling the Heat

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    This is correct. He will definitely break 3,000 with install.
  19. HaTaX

    HaTaX New Member

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    I'll add this, I recently got a quote from the only BK dealer in my state and he quoted $3,100 installed with installation of a 6" flex liner. Said the liner was about $500 of that cost which I thought was a little low, and I'd rather have the DuraLiner anyway. Pretty sure they're not quoting a top notch liner install there and it's only a portion of their business, they're an HVAC shop, so doing it myself seemed to be the best way to go with the liner.

    Not sure of the price flux across the country, but I'd think he'd be pretty close to 3K depending on his options and such.
  20. claybe

    claybe Feeling the Heat

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    That is an incredible price. I Paid about 4 grand installed with no liner. But I did get all the extra gold options.
  21. flyingpig

    flyingpig Member

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    I agreed that the insert that stick out will provide more radiant heat. But you will likely need to extend your hearth pad to protect wood floor and comply with the code. My wife and I didn't want to do that (also another reason for small kid) so we went with the flush insert. Several options for this route like Jotul 350/550, Morso 5660, and Lopi/Avalon/FireplaceX Flush Insert.
  22. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    My insert sticks out about 9 inches into the room, and I really love that feature.
  23. kksalm

    kksalm Member

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    I have a Hearthstone Clydesdale and i recommend it. I believe it has the most glass surface for viewing which is nothing to scoff at. The mass of the enclosed soapstone bricks keep giving heat to your space after the fire has gone out. It's always easy to light, looks good, probably out weighs the competition (go for the mass) and for me, I haven't been disappointed. It puts out a lot of heat or just enough to keep the thermostat from switching on.
    Have a wonderful day
  24. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

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    You can probly get the liner for a hundred or 2 less than that, so thats about right for cost of it plus its install, as it takes 2 and an hour or so to do it, but is easy with a straight chimney.


    The guy worring about burned knuckles, use welding gloves then all you can burn is your forearm.
  25. seaboss21

    seaboss21 New Member

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    Thank you all very much, does anyone have any insight on the quadra fire voyageur or the quadra fire voyager grand. Looks like I might have an issue with the size of the hearth.

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