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Yes, another new guy looking for help/advice on the purchase of a wood buring insert (Jotul/Heathsto

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by cowtown, Sep 12, 2011.

  1. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    Loc:
    Alberta Canada
    I cannot say enough good things about this website and in particular this forum. This site has really been an informative source of information for someone like me who is thinking of purchasing a fireplace insert but has no idea on where to begin.

    I have been researching inserts for the past 3 weeks and due to the clearance issues on my fireplace (the mantle is very low and I don’t want to remove it), there are only a select few inserts that will fit (even with a mantle shield). I have narrowed it down to the following three inserts with the forth option essentially being a blower kit to put onto my current fireplace set up (traditional masonry fireplace)

    1)Hearthstone Clydesdale
    2)Jotul 450
    3)Alderlea T5
    4)Big Wood Hearth Warmer
    http://www.bigwoodshearth.com/video_index.html (the left video looks at the product – you have to hit “playâ€)

    Pending wife approval, I am 99% sure I want to get the Alderlea T5. Quick reason why I plan on not going with the Clydesdale is that it is about $1,400 more than the T5 and I hate the Clydesdale mantle shield (it would attach just below my mantle and not to the unit itself). Quick reason why I plan on not going with the Jotul, it is about $1,000 more than the T5 and looks to put about less heat than the T5.

    Below are some questions I have regarding my choices:

    1) I have been unable to find many reviews of the T5 insert – if anyone on this forum has experience with the T5 (good or bad), I would love to hear about it.

    2) Is there any compelling reason to not choose the Alderlea T5?

    3) Does anyone have experience with the Big Wood Hearth Warmer or something similar (see link above in option 4) – do these products actually work (obviously this would be the least expensive route)?

    4) If I were to go with the T5 insert – should I insist that a block off plate being put in (from reading the forums here it appears that this is essential; however, the guy selling me the T5 is hesitant on the idea)?

    5) The T5 can burn either outside air or air from inside my house, it would be easy enough to burn outside air as my existing fireplace has an ash dump which leads to the outside and I assume I could utilize this passage? – from what I have read on the forums, this appears to be a contentious debate and I am not trying to stir up the pot (please note that I live in Calgary, Alberta Canada and it can get down to -40 C/F here – not sure if this has any impact on the decision to bring in outside air)


    Thanks for taking the time to read this long post and I appreciate any help that is forthcoming.

    Dan

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  2. pharmsaler

    pharmsaler Member

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    Loc:
    Western PA
    LOOK AT THE ENVIRO BOSTON 1700. I JUST BOUGHT MINE FOR $2200, 35' OF LINER $550 AND INSTULATION WAS $800. MY INSTALL PRICE WAS HIGH DUE TO THEY HAD TO CUT OUT MY HEATILATOR PREFABBED BOX FIRST ( WELL JUST THE ROOF PORTION)

    SPECs LOOK GOOD ON IT, AND EVERBODY I TALKED TO LOVES THEIRS. I JUST CANT GIVE ANY FEEDBACK YET AS I HAVE NOT STARTED MINE UP YET. COME ON WINTER!!!
  3. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    Loc:
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    Yes, thanks for this firestarter - I will look into this one as well.

    Appreciate the help.
  4. Swedishchef

    Swedishchef Minister of Fire

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    Quebec, Canada
    Welcome to the forums Dan!

    All of the inserts you are looking at are great inserts. There are many other ones as well.

    What size house are you planning on heating with this unit? How old is the house?

    I presume your mantle is at least 16 inches away from the top of the insert?

    To answer your questions:
    1)I am certain someone with a T5 will read this post and answer...unfortunately I am not a T5 owner.
    2)There are no reasons to avoid a T5 whatsoever. It is a great heater from what I have seen on this forum
    3)I am unfamiliar with these type products. I would be a bit hesitant towards something like this.
    4)BLockoff plates help immensely (add some rockwool or other type of insulation on top). If your is setup in an old masonry chimney, you will have a significant amount of heat loss without the plate. I presume you have or are getting a liner? Why is your installer hesitant on the issue?
    5)OAK (Outside Air Kits) are very debatable. It depends on each setup. Do you have negative pressure in the flue? Do you want to have a cold stove if you have an OAK when not burning? HOw often will you burn?

    My best advice (which I received when I first joined this forum) is to start collecting wood. Get 2-3 years ahead. I have friends in Calgary and I know that there is not the greatest wood selection out there. I am seeing prices of $300 for 1/3 of a cord of yellow birch.....

    CHeers!

    Andrew
  5. cptoneleg

    cptoneleg Minister of Fire

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    Welcome sounds like those $1000.00 reasons are good ones, winter is a comming none of those stoves will burn on wet wood thought I would be the first to throe that in.

    Good Luck shop smart these guys will help you. I'm a very satisfied Jotul Guy but not what you need good Luck. :zip:
  6. leeave96

    leeave96 Minister of Fire

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    1,112
    Loc:
    Western VA
    Take a look at some of the problems others have had with the PE inserts with welds cracking and lousey support from PE to resolve the issues. I wouldn't say don't buy one, but it ought to be something you know about.

    Buck stoves make good inserts too - you might check them out.

    Good luck,
    Bill
  7. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    I second the Enviro. It looks just as good as the others, and has the biggest firebox of all the inserts listed. It has a flue collar system that connects/disconnects from the inside of the stove, making installation very easy. It's shorter than all the others listed. Biggest problem is small dealer network. You may not have a dealer in your area. I have seen the super 27(same firebox as T5) and the Enviro 1700 side by side and the Enviro is much bigger. The PE spectrum was on my short list of free standing stoves, but with some of the troubles I've seen here I think I'll pass for now. Take a look at the Hampton inserts too. They are made by Regency. Top notch product. Also, pay little attention to manufacturers BTU claims. Firebox size is most the most important stat if you are looking for higher output and longer burn times.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The PE Alderlea T5 insert was new last year so we don't have a lot of user reports on it yet, However, it's based on the Pacific Energy Pacific insert, which has a lot of happy owners and good reviews. PE makes good products and I am sure you would be happy with it if you choose one. The suggestion for the Enviro 1700 line is also a good sone to compare. We hear good reports on the Enviro 1700 Venice and Boston.
  9. cowtown

    cowtown Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Alberta Canada
    BeGreen

    Really appreciate the feedback and I apologize that I didn’t include the house dimension with my initial post.

    In terms of my house, it is 3,400 square feet (excluding the basement), but I don’t plan on heating the entire house with the unit – the unit is more to supplement my existing natgas furnaces (and for fun as well). The house was built in 1979 and I am just able to sneak a T5 insert into my firebox and be 16†from the mantel.

    I have an old masonry chimney, and code in Canada is to have a full liner. My installer I don’t think has put in a “block-off†plate before, so I am not sure he is clear what it is (I know you are probably thinking “go with a different installerâ€, well, this is the only guy with the T5 insert)

    In terms of the outside air, I am a simple guy, I look at how my furnace runs (they are both high efficient furnaces) and they both bring in air from the outside – if this is the case for them, why is it not the case for my insert? (I am sure there is a thread on this somewhere and I will go looking for this – if I get permission to buy the unit).

    Right now I plan to simply burn on the weekends (Friday – Sunday) – but if things go well, maybe I up my game and start burning at a more frequent interval. I have no idea if I have –ve pressure in the flue.

    I have a cord of wood (ash) that has been seasoned for 2 years that I got for $500 (I know many readers will laugh at this price, but that is the going rate up here).

    Really appreciate it.


    Dan


    Note: At work right now, so tough to post.
  10. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    Loc:
    Alberta Canada
    Leeave96

    Really appreciate the feedback – yes I have seen these and I am taking them into account. I will look into “Buckâ€.

    Thanks,

    Dan
  11. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    Loc:
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    Kingquad

    The guy who quoted me on the T5 insert also carries the Enviro line of products, so I am getting a quote from him on the 1700, I will let you know what I get back in terms of relative price to the T5 insert (I think the American readers would laugh out loud at what we pay up here in Canada – not just on stoves but cars and everything)
  12. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    667
    Loc:
    Pennsylvania
    If your dealer has floor models for the super and the 1700, then go in and take a look. I just stopped by a local shop today that sells PE and Regency/Hampton. The super/pacific firebox is way smaller than the Enviro 1700. It looked tiny next to the summit. The summit is bigger than the Enviro for sure, it's massive. I also took another look at the door latch system on the super. The one I had seen previously when I was shopping around must have been defective cause I thought it sucked. It just felt sloppy. The latch on the super I looked at today was very nice. Smoother than my Enviro. My model has a different latch system than the Boston model though. The Boston door latch is similar to the Hampton design. It's very nice. The Hampton inserts look great BTW. I saw them today as well. You've got your eye on a lot of good brands. I think you'll be happy with whatever you get. Let us know which one you choose.
  13. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    Thanks for this, I don't think I can get the Hampton due to my mantle. Unfortunatly I did't see the Enviro Boston at the dealer, he didn't even have the T5 Insert. He had the hearthstone and was pushing this one hard, but again, the mantle plate is not for me.
  14. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    Loc:
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    Well just got permission from my better half - most likely going to grab the T5 insert - still waiting on a quote for the Enviro Boston 1700.

    I will let everyone know how how it goes.
  15. mhrischuk

    mhrischuk Guest

    The Enviro is supposed to be real good but I didn't like the battle tank styling and the small firebox. A local stove shop that has been in the business for decades said they are very true to their specs. I went with the Hearthstone Clydesdale. I got the brown enamel. It's really a very high quality unit with best in class support. And it's beautiful! I particularly like the soapstone firebrick and the huge unobstructed glass door.

    Stove $3300 delivered.
    Insulated liner $457 shipped.

    I did the install.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Kodiak is their plain base model, but the Boston is a real beauty. Even my fussy wife could handle having one in the living room.

    Attached Files:

  17. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    [quote author="mhrischuk" date="1315935706"]The Enviro is supposed to be real good but I didn't like the battle tank styling and the small firebox. A local stove shop that has been in the business for decades said they are very true to their specs. I went with the Hearthstone Clydesdale. I got the brown enamel. It's really a very high quality unit with best in class support. And it's beautiful! I particularly like the soapstone firebrick and the huge unobstructed glass door.

    Stove $3300 delivered.
    Insulated liner $457 shipped.

    I did the install.



    Beautiful! I really like the Clydesdale; however, up here in Canada we don't get the same sort of pricing. For the base level Clydesdale installed is $6,400 while the T would be just over $5,000. Plus I would need the Clydesdale mantle shield and this is very ugly as it attaches to the mantle.

    Thanks for posting, again, great unit.
  18. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    Enviro 1700 has the same size firebox as the Clydesdale. Clydesdale=2.4, 1700=2.5. Clydesdale is wider, 1700 is deeper, if I remember correctly. Maybe your thinking of the Enviro 1200. Battle tank styling rocks too. Perfect for my game room install. Something ornate would look too out of place. Different strokes and whatnot.
  19. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    That's a nice looking insert.
  20. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    You are correct that the 1700 has a 2.5 cu ft firebox. What type of burn times are you getting out of it?
  21. trailblaster

    trailblaster New Member

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    Loc:
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    I also have the Enviro Kodiak 1700. We installed ours three seasons ago and have had zero problems. We typically get about 8 to 12 hours burn once fully heated and loaded up. If we were to replace it, I'd look for something that would stick out of the fireplace box further. I overbuilt the hearth and have room for a stove to stick out at least another 8 to 10" and still have 18" of clearance.
  22. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    Same as what trailblaster just posted. I only had the insert about a month and a half last season. I would pack it up at about 9 at night and come down at 8 am and still have coals and the insert surface temp would be about 150. My chimney holds a lot of heat and would still be very warm too. The insert sits in a walk out basement room (400sqft) with no insulation, just drywall on furring strips. The room will still be in the mid to low 70's. I have a poor layout for heating from the basement, but can still maintain 70 degrees with a few fans on the main floor with the insert rocking. This is with a leaky and under-insulated attic and kitchen which sits above the stove room. The attic insulation will be remedied with six inches of open cell spray foam next week. This insert on my main floor would easily heat my home, but I have no chimney upstairs. I'm at about 1300 sq ft. upstairs and the same downstairs.

    BBar, are you asking out of curiosity, or are you contemplating purchasing one? I thought you were more of a freestanding cat stove guy.
  23. cowtown

    cowtown Member

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    Is it capable of using outside air like the T5 in case I wanted to go this route?

    Regards,

    Dan
  24. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    I'm asking more out of curiosity. For a while I was looking at a Lopi Declaration for the kitchen. An insert in the kitchen would look better than a free standing stove. But, if the Encore works like I hope it will, I'm not replacing it for a while.

    Still, the Boston is a great looking insert.
  25. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Good question. I went through the installation manual and saw no mention of this.

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