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Wood Burning insert... HELP!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by phyrephyter2379, Jul 10, 2013.

  1. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

    Joined:
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    NW Ohio
    New to this site... 1st time poster!
    Looking for information from the experts out there...
    I just removed my old Buck insert that I've been heating with for 23 years, (which I bought at a garage sale for $150!). Great heat, but highly inefficient. I've been shopping around a bit for another insert and was surprised by the $ of a new one. I've talked to some dealers around the area and they offered the following: Lopi Revere, Lopi Declaration, Fireplacextrordinair, Avalon Rainier, Vermont Castings Merrimack, Buck, Napoleon, and Lennox.
    I'm also not sure about the benefits of catalytic vs non-catalytic.
    Any information or experiences/suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Welcome. Yes, stove prices have gone up a lot in price over the past 23 yrs. There is a wide range of options. If they have the room, some folks even put a regular stove in the fireplace instead of an insert. How large an area will the insert be heating? Is the house well insulated or so so? Where are you located? Did you look at the new Buck inserts?

    The cat v non-cat benefits are discussed in volumes here on the site. Do a search on cat vs non-cat and you will find pages of discussion and opinions. Take all with a grain of salt.

    One thing to note, modern EPA stoves burn hotter and cleaner, but they need dry wood. Poorly seasoned wood will lead to poor performance.
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Welcome to the forum. I don't have any specific recommendations on brand (although, if you liked your old buck, the new ones get good reviews), but if you were satisfied with the heat output of the old buck, make sure you get a stove that is similar in size.
  4. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Fireplace dimensions? Budget?

    If you're looking for others to add to your list, check out Osburn, Pacific Energy, and Blaze KIng.

    Figure on adding a stainless liner to your chimney, if you don't have one already.
  5. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

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    Thanks for your reply.
    I have a large existing masonry fire place with an opening of 42"W x 30"H, and a 12"x12" tile liner. Heating approx. 1800 sq ft single story ranch. House is fairly well insulated with newer windows, as I've been remodeling over the years. Located in NW Ohio.
    As far as Buck's, I only spoke to someone over the phone about them, and I read yesterday someone on this site said one model ate a lot of wood.
  6. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

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    Thanks!
    The old Buck had great heat, but showing its age. Need something more efficient but hopefully similar heat output.
  7. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

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    I have a 42"W x 30"H opening in a masonry fireplace.
    I also have an 8" flex SS liner, but may have to downsize to a 6".
    As far as budget, I don't have a firm price, but one dealer was quoting prices between $4,300 & $5,800 for them to install, including liner.
    Seemed a bit excessive, as I can buy a lot of propane for that $. I planned on installing it myself.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It sounds like there is not quite enough height for a freestanding stove, but there are plenty of inserts that will fit in there. Before we can make any specific recommendations we need to know what you are heating. How big an area are you heating and in what climate zone? How well insulated is the house?

    Can you provide a link to the Buck thread? I'm wondering if it could have been an old Buck like yours? To my knowledge, modern Bucks are not known to be a lot more fuel hungry than other brands. The larger Bucks take 8" so you might be able to slip one right in there. Bucks offer a good value so it is worth getting a quote or two.
  9. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    I am gonna +1 everything that BG just said. Check out the bucks. They have a pretty good following.
  10. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

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    Heating approx. 1800 sq ft single story ranch. House is fairly well insulated with newer windows, as I've been remodeling over the years. Located in NW Ohio.
    I'll have to locate the Buck link, but I'm pretty sure it was the newer Buck 94 they were referring to.
  11. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    The 94 seems so-so. The catalytic 91 has been around for years and years, and is proven.

    Have you been here? http://www.coal-woodburner.com/ They had a 91 in the showroom, but it's been a couple of years since I've been there.

    Do you cut your own wood? That tree service north of BG on the west side of 75 split and stacked a whole bunch over the winter. Would be a good bet if you have to buy.
  12. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    The new stoves, cat or non-cat (post 1990 or so,) re-burn the smoke so they get a lot of heat out of a smaller amount of wood. A non-cat has to run at a higher temp to reburn, so don't oversize this type of stove too much. I've had cat stoves since the '84 Englander so I am comfortable with them. They are the stingiest with wood and can be run low and clean at the same time, which is nice in our moderate climate. The Buck 91 at my MIL's can go 12 hrs. on a load of medium-output wood like soft Maple or Cherry, although the output will be tailing off at the end of the burn. The 91 might be overkill for your square footage, since it sounds like you have a tight envelope. It would be nice to be able to use the 8" liner you've got, if you're trying to stick to a budget....the Buck 80? Another thing to consider is the location of the stove; Fan noise might be more of a factor if you spend a lot of time in the stove room. Some fans are quieter than others. With a bigger stove of course, you could have the fan set on a lower speed.
    If you're OK with the stove sitting on the hearth outside the fireplace (better for getting heat off the stove,) the Woodstocks with their rear-vent flue centerline at 22.75", easily fit (with a slight rise in the pipe) under my lintel which is at 28.75". 6" flue, though. Another consideration is the hearth requirements; Does the stove need R-value in the hearth or just ember protection?
    I've been reading up at this forum for a while but I would still have a lot of thinking to do if I had to buy a stove, or pick one for a friend. There's a learning curve so be patient. You want to make a decision that you will be happy with down the road.
    And get the driest wood you can find stacked at your house, in the wind, ASAP. ==c
  13. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Take a look at the Appalachians and High Valleys as well, simular to the Buck and take 8" liners. Would be a good fit for your size house.
  14. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    What area are you from?
    There is still a decent looking PE Summit for sale in the Craigs list here in PA. $1,500.00. great deal if it is truly as decent as it looks in the photos.
  15. kksalm

    kksalm Member

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    Loc:
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    I stuck a modern day Hearthstone insert in my fireplace a haven't looked back since. The natural gas company I pay my bills to are the only loser involved. Here in Alaska I burn mostly Spruce which isn't known for it's heat output. When I throw on a couple pieces of Birch we're good to go all night at minus degrees F. Just sayin'...
    Best regards
  16. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    The Woodstock freestanding stoves would definitely fit. You would need heath protection R value if your hearth is not big enough (very likely not big enough). But I think, if you have enough height on your chimney, you could get away with an 8 in flue...you could call and ask Woodstock.
    Woody Stover likes this.
  17. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

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    Bad storm here yesterday. We just got power back on.
    I haven't seen that site yet, but will check it out.
    I cut my own wood. I enjoy the solidarity of it, and it helps keep the activity level up. I know the tree service you're talking about. They do have a lot of wood there.
    After yesterday's storm people will be giving wood away... it was bad
    Thanks for the info!
  18. Jack Fate

    Jack Fate Feeling the Heat

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    I'd like to point out if the op does go freestanding , & I not saying he shouldn't he will have to deal with new/different hearth requirements.

    just sayin

    sorry see that now rideau
  19. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Well I have a medium insert that I am quite happy with, so for 1800 sqft, I would recommend a large insert
    Lopi is something to look at, they were a bit more expensive but I was told it would be too much stove for the 550 I was heating. You will definitely save money installing your own, it is quite easy, took me and a friend less then 4 hours till we had a fire going and that was with a 6"ss flex that barely fit down the chimney. Sounds like money is no problem so I say get big and get what looks best to you, mine has a big fire viewing area and looks awesome, so get the biggest glass surface area without any decoration in between to hinder the fire view. I hope this helps, here's a pic of my non cat.....gl

    image.jpg image.jpg
    phyrephyter2379 likes this.
  20. stovelark

    stovelark Minister of Fire

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    Hi Phy welcome to the forum. You got lots of good choices. I'd add Enviro to the list to check out too, great value for money spent. Can't go wrong prob with any good name stove mentioned here, comes down to looks and how many bags of money you have. Does seem reasonable a new Buck would be the call, seeing as you had one already and liked it. Get dry wood going, that's the one requirement for the new generation of stoves, good luck.
  21. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

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    OK, been checking things out, and right now I think I have it narrowed down to either a Buck 74 or a Pacific Energy Super insert. The Buck claims it heats up to 2600 sq ft. I'm a little over 1800 sq ft, but in the middle of a corn field in open flat land. It's quite windy, and think the Buck might help offset the cold windy days. The PE claims it heats up to 2000 sq ft. The dealer is selling it on clearance and reduced the price by about $1,000. I'm a little concerned that it's not going to be enough stove for my needs. So all things considered, the Buck will be almost $200 more than the PE, which isn't a huge difference.
    Any thoughts?
  22. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    If you need heat, go bigger or you may regret it unless there is a return policy...if you go with less
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    In PE, for your setup I would ask for a price on the Summit. Otherwise the Buck looks like a better fit with the larger firebox.
  24. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    If it is between the two then go with the Buck. You will need its 2.6 cu ft firebox to heat your 1800 sqft. The PE Super will be undersized when it gets really cold and/or windy. You can ask for the price on the next larger stove the PE Summit if you would prefer the PE over the Buck assuming it would fit.
  25. phyrephyter2379

    phyrephyter2379 New Member

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    I'm in NW Ohio Hog... a little too far to PA for me. Thanks for the info though!

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