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)

Who makes the best wood burning insert?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Skitheeast, Oct 4, 2012.

  1. Skitheeast

    Skitheeast Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Hi everyone,
    We are looking to purchase a wood burning insert for our masonry fireplace. The house is well insulated, (2x6 const. with R-21 in the walls), and is approx. 1800 sq. ft. I have been checking this site as wwell as manufacturers websites. We like the cast iron inserts -The stoves we are looking at are; Alderlea T5, Hampton HI-300, Jotul Rockland, Quadrafire Voyageur, Enviro Boston or Cabello 1700. Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated.
    Thanks -

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    499
    Loc:
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    Welocme to the Hearth.com forum,
    Are you planning on heating the house full time with the insert?
  3. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,978
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Being able to load North-South as well as East-West is a handy feature. I think some of those choices do that. If there's a choice, I'd also go with a larger one.
    mfglickman likes this.
  4. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,053
    Hi - My home is constructed imilarly. I went with a freestanding stove in the Fire Place opening at the advise of folks here. It has worked out well. More heat in the home, and quicker heat.

    I had several inserts in various homes before. They provided 40-60% of my heating needs. The stove now provides about 90% of our heating.

    Good luck,
    Mike
  5. EJL923

    EJL923 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2009
    Messages:
    465
    Loc:
    Western Mass
    I currently have the Rockland. My house is 2400 sq ft, and im heating most of it with the Rockland rated for 1800 sq ft. I burn about 30 gallons of oil in supplemental heat each year. Im looking to sell though and upgrade so i can heat the upstairs a little more. I think it would be perfect for 1800 sq ft. Any questions on this particular stove dont hesitate to ask.
  6. Skitheeast

    Skitheeast Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Thanks everyone for the quick responses. Yes, we are looking to heat the house most of the time with the insert. I was told that the most imprtant thing regarding burn times as well as area heating capability is the size of the firebox? We have talked about freestanding wood stoves, but my wife does not like the look despite the superior performance.
  7. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,624
    Loc:
    South Central Indiana
    My vote would be for free standing stove in the fire place opening or out in front of the opening on a hearth ledge.

    Another biggy most people dont think of is like Velvetfoot said , get one that you can load east/west or north/south.

    Something like this: (dont think this one loads north/south)

    [​IMG]
    Lanningjw and Hiram Maxim like this.
  8. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 17, 2010
    Messages:
    668
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    Those are all good inserts. The voyager is the smallest and IMO too small to be a primary heater in your situation. The enviro is the biggest listed and would be my choice due to burn times. I'm a former enviro owner and was happy with mine.
  9. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2008
    Messages:
    3,533
    Loc:
    Salisbury, MD
    Surprised to not see the BK princess insert on your list if you have been browsing on here.
    Ctd01 likes this.
  10. zzr7ky

    zzr7ky Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2006
    Messages:
    1,053
    One might aquaint the wife with the concept of Blower Noise... I did buy a nicer looking stove because it does impact the look o fthe room a bit more sitting out on the hearth.
  11. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    If your pocketbook and the fireplace size can accommodate it the Heartstone Clydesdale is a gorgeous unit.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,795
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    There really is no best insert. There is only the one that best satisfies the needs of your particular installation requirements and aesthetics. You are looking at good models. Narrow this list down to what is most important and fits your needs.
    firebroad and BrowningBAR like this.
  13. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    3,730
    Loc:
    Eastern Central PA
    I like the harman because its a great looking insert AND you can run it like an open fireplace was supposed to run and look,with the door WIDE OPEN and the optional fireplace screen in place for an open fire with lots of radient heat. I dont know of ANY other wood stove that has this option. Their free standing model(which i own) can do this as well as roast food INSIDE the stove.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,978
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Here's a thread on Clydesdale vs. HI300. I found it because nowhere could I find the dimensions of the Clydesdale firebox (I recall going to my local stove guy and being surprised that a 16" split couldn't fit north/south in what looked like a big insert. Turns out, according to the thread, the firebox is 2.4 ft3 and 12" deep. Just saying that N/S loading is not an option for many inserts, even though their capacity may not be small. With N/S, more of that capacity is useful, since you don't have to stack it so they don't roll down and hit the glass, etc. When trying to get more wood loaded E/W in the, for example, 24"width of the Clydesdale, you'd probably want, what, 23" splits, and that is if the firebox is not tapered in back. Non-standard sized splits may or may not be a problem.

    Just some more crap to think about.

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...eplace-clydesdale-or-hi300.53912/#post-677766
  15. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
    Messages:
    1,624
    Loc:
    South Central Indiana
    Inserts are most likely tend to be wider than deep due to being able to fit inside a fireplace. More options with free standing stoves.
  16. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2007
    Messages:
    1,569
    Loc:
    Sound Beach, LINY
    Hey skitheeast, welcome to the forum. Where are you located? Sounds like you should be looking for at least a 2 cf firebox (maybe larger depending on location). Having the ability to load NS is not necessary, but is very nice, and often overlooked until you're actually burning. You have a lot of high quality options that will work for you. Measure your fireplace, and find an insert that works for you aesthetically and is in your price range. Be sure to consider the cost of a full liner from the unit to the chimney cap.
  17. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 15, 2008
    Messages:
    499
    Loc:
    Plymouth, Minnesota
    Agree with your thoughts on this issue. The BK pricess stove will always out perform my princess insert. But it takes up less room and has a blower. It makes plenty of heat but only gives me in my case 8 to 12 hour regular burns. I am not gonna spent 5 minutes puzzle loading splits in the 2.8 fire box. I like to reload, just not at night when I am sleeping...
  18. Skitheeast

    Skitheeast Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Thanks for the welcome. We live in Western MA. Foothills to the Berkshires. Yes, we definitely are looking for something with at least a 2.0 cf firebox. We have checked liner prices, and I will be dropping that in myself with a friend. Looking forward to burning this season. My wife and I have to do a little shopping and browsing.....
    Thanks for the response.
  19. Skitheeast

    Skitheeast Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Hi velvetfoot,
    Are you folks happy with your Hampton HI-300? Does it throw good heat? This unit would fit our fireplace perfectly, and I like the look of it. I also like the fact that it is not flush faced and extends out into the room giving off some of that heat. It has gotten some pretty good reviews on this site as well.
  20. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,978
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    So far, so good, but I haven't had it that long. Others on the forum seem to like it and it's Regency sister unit.
    I didn't feel that a self-install was in my wheelhouse, so we went with a brand sold locally (which could be a factor in whatever choice you make.)
    Here is a picture of mine. The seller/installer fabbed the 'step' and covered in granite tile, and I redid the floor in the same.
    I think the shop did a fine job and recommended him to a friend who I sold my old insert too, and that install also came out nice.

    [​IMG]
    Seasoned Oak likes this.
  21. Skitheeast

    Skitheeast Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    That is a nice looking unit. We have the Hampton brochure and it shows design / lines in the viewing glass, (which my wife doesn't like). Your pic shows no lines, wide open viewing glass. Is that an option? How many sq. ft is your house? Do you think you'll be able to heat the house with it?
  22. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,978
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    That's the new style: no lines. Funny, I kind of fancy the lines.
    Our place is 1000ft2 on first floor and 1000ft2 on second floor. Second floor was a problem with the smaller insert. I put in some doorway fans and a ceiling fan at the stop of the stairway, so hopfully it'll be better.
  23. Skitheeast

    Skitheeast Member

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2012
    Messages:
    22
    Well we finally went to three different stove stores this past weekend and 2 of the stores were pushing the Hampton HI300, which we already liked and decided to go with. The only thing I need to do is check the clay tile flue to make sure I can get a ss 5.5" liner down her. We built the house in 2009, the fireplace was made for burning wood, so do you guys know the size of the flue that would have been installed according to current codes? Will I be able to get that liner down without troubles?
    Also, I read a couple threads regarding things you should do when installing an insert. Insulating the liner, (which one dealer told me wasn't necessary), Insulating the outside walls of the fireplace, and putting a block off plate in.
    Lastly, I am a little concerned about being able to heat the house with the unit, as we have 1800 sq ft of space with 9ft ceilings in the whole house. We plan on using the ceiling fans in all the rooms, but our house set up may be difficult to get the heat down the halls into the bedrooms. I was on Woodstocks website, and they show you how to calculate area with taller ceiling heights, and it is borderline for that unit with our ceilings and sq. ft.
    Any thoughts?
  24. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,469
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    here is a loaded question. You will likely get almost as much responses as answers.

    I would go big steel cat stove. You can throttle them back and let them eat the smoke to provid you heat. I have little to no insulation in most of my home. I heat my 2500is sqft to a comfortable temp all of last year and most of the year before. Granted i live a bit farther south than most of yall on here, but i think your insulation will make up for some climate differences we may have.

    Oh and my insert is in a large room on one side of my home, a few fans move the air around to heat the home.
  25. clemsonfor

    clemsonfor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,469
    Loc:
    Greenwood county, SC
    why would you put a 5.5" liner in when 95% of stoves today will run a 6" liner? I guess cause you can fit the 6"??

Share This Page