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Your opinion's on fireplace insert brand??

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wingnut, Dec 21, 2005.

  1. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    I have been looking at fireplace inserts and wondered if anyone could give me advice,reviews or opinion's on the Osburn 2200 and the hearthstone Clydesdale.

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Look for my posts on the Osburn 1800i. The 1800 and 2200 are almost identical except for size.

    I have no experience with the Hearthstone, but I'll give you a couple points on the Osburn.

    I'd suspect it's peakier than the Hearthstone. Hearthstone's are made of some soapstone, so will tend to even out the heat a bit.

    Osburn has an amazing view of the fire with the bay window...but, the airwash could keep up better. I basically clean the glass every day. I've made a shield that I place in the door opening to allow the glass to cool, then I clean it with water and a dab of cool ash from the fire. Works real well, and only takes a few minutes.

    Osburn provides a lot of radiant heat out of that glass. It get's extremely hot feeling at times. I guess the glass on the hearthstone may do same if running at full bore.

    If looking at the 2200, I'd also look at the Lopi Revere, Avalon equivalent, and Pacific Energy stoves in the same space.

    The Hearthstones do look nice though!
  3. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    I know this really good site, it has plenty of reviews on stoves, inserts, etc. As for inserts, I'm partial to Jotul, with Pacific Energy a close second.

    Click here:
    Stove and Insert Reviews

    Cheers -- Mike
  4. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I have the Hearthstone Clydesdale here's my thoughts about it.

    The Hearthstone Clydesdale is made of insane quality, literally insane. But, it needs to be used and abused. I like to think of it as a steam engine, seems built like one at least. Once you get it warmed up and moving, you need to keep it moving by filling it with fuel and not letting it cool. It is not a unit to light a fire from kindling, let the fire go out, let the unit cool, and then start another fire from kindling because when the unit is cool, the first fire I light in it, and I've tried a hundred different ways, doesn't heat much and the glass gets dirty. Either the soapstone or mass, the Clydesdale seems to use all the heat of the first fire to get itself warmed up and ready to start moving. Any reloads burn fantastic, and you burn them hotter than normal, you get more efficiency out of them and let it's mass & soapstone carry you along so you can burn very hot fires with even heat. Maybe that's why it's built like a steam engine. It does heat for 2-3 hours after the fire has gone out.

    The first fire when cold dirties the glass. I had difficulty originally as I was always burning a fire, letting it cool completely, then starting another from kindling. The outside inches of my glass turned pitch black. When I started using it 24/7, the second fire and any thereafter burn so good and hot the glass completely clears up! It has a huge, huge window and I watch the fire constantly through it. My wife is always having to pull me away from it. It's been a month now since I've cleaned or had to touch the glass, and only 1/4" of the very edge is dirty right now.

    It burns best with 20" logs placed side/side, which I like as it saves me from having as many cuts of wood, this year I plan on getting it myself. The reason is the heat channels run under it, go up the sides, over the top in the back, and out the front. Your goal is to have the sides as hot as you can. It does not have a heat shield in the back, that's a negative. The back stays cool though, when a fire starts in the back, the flames move forward. If a fire starts in the middle, it moves forward and the back can have incomplete burned logs I have to pull forward in the coals to get going. My mason covered the inside of my fireplace with insulation so that doesn't matter much for me.

    The manual doesn't tell you this, but you need it sticking out the full 5". They say it can be flush, or pulled out 5". What they don't tell you is that the heat channels match up with the surround only when its pulled out as far as it can go. When you push it back flush, those heat channels end 5" behind your surround and all your hot air blows out back there... a lot of good it's going to do there. So, if you do decide on the Clydesdale it should be sticking out to be used for heating. Also, the "cooking top" on the Clydesdale is insulated to reduce clearances, don't know why it's called a cooking top it can only be used for warming.

    So, hope that was helpful. You didn't mention the Pacific Energy brand. It was my original choice, until my wife saw the window on the Pacific Energy, and then the Clydesdale. I watch anything anyone says about Pacific Energy like a hawk trying to figure out if I made the wrong choice. I don't have strong judgements one way or the other but... judging by how much I actually end up watching the fire I think the Clydesdale's view probably gives it the edge over the Pacific Energy for my situation. My wife is always having to pull me away from it, I like the even consistent heat, it's a joke how easily it heats my house, and it's quality and build are simply insane but the Pacific Energy is another that has a lot going for it in quality and features also. I recommend you do your research on it as well before deciding. Just a warning, there are a lot of Pacific Energy fans on here! Though the start was a bit rough as I learned about the Clydesdale, and soapstone now I look back and wonder what my problem was. I'm happy as a clam I got it... now if I can just get it to stop sucking the life out of me as I can't stop watching those fires through its oversized window! My wife feels I'm paying more attention to the Clydesdale's fire than I am to her. I keep telling her the fire's more interesting than she is. I'm kidding of course, she's the best. I'll be happy to answer any specifics about the Clydesdale you have.
  5. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Thanks to everyone so far. I may be over researching it a bit but that's me. I have looked at just about everything out there and my first impressions seem to right . The Clydesdale looks like the kind of stove that you light up in the fall and keep burning all winter the even heat output is a plus. I think the PE summit is a real good stove but the wife does not like the looks. The idea of giving up the large view of my fireplace kind of scares me a little and I thought the osburn2200 might help that a bit. I guess no mater what you end up with it's an adjustment. I just have to stop second guessing myself every-time I thing picked out the prefect stove I think not.
  6. davemich

    davemich New Member

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    Not sure where you live but have you considered a coal insert? I have a Hitzer 503 insert and love it. I tend it twice a day and thats it! Heats my 1800 SF home fairly well. Have not had the natural gas furnace on once. Anyway, good luck!
  7. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    That pretty much sums it up for all of us, we all wonder at first if it was the right choice as you need to live with it. I still occasionally wonder if I picked the right insert over the Pacific Energy Summit. Had I gotten the Pacific Energy Summit, I'd be wondering if I'd made the right choice over the Clydesdale. The good news is, you stop wondering so much and start enjoying what you have.

    The Clydesdale can be used off & on, it just runs smoother continously because you don't have to wait a couple hours for it to warm up, and the fire burns better, and also lighting one fire on max air the Clydesdale will blow out somewhat hot air for 4-6 hours. Light two fires, and the second fire on will blow out much hotter air. In Fall it's unrealistic to burn it 24/7 because you'll be too hot. When you burn it off & on that's when the glass will get a little dirty each fire and will need cleaning once a week, or once a week light two hot fires in a row so the second fire can burn it off. You also need a little more kindling than usual with the Clydesdale and it's slow to heat up and slow to cool down. If you come into a cold place and want to quickly heat it, the Clydesdale doesn't work like that, takes a while to charge up. But, on the contrary it's slow to cool down also. When I come home from work, the fire's well dead and I have to scrounge for some coals but the fans are still on blowing heat. The Clydesdale compared to the Osburn 2200 is not a fair comparison. The Clydesdale is more like a Lexas, and Osburn more like a Ford or GM. A good indicator of quality is what material it's made of, and what weight. Soapstone is higher quality than Cast Iron. Cast Iron is higher quality than Steel, and the heavier, the better. The Osburn 2200 is steel, the Clydesdale is Soapstone & Cast Iron. The Osburn 2200 weighs 366 lbs, the Clydesdale 550lbs. Osburn costs around $1500 the Clydesdale around $2100 + $200-$300 for fans (definetely get the optional fans). Good luck, I know the panic of trying to decide. The price of the Clydesdale alone may make your choice easier, as soapstone, built like a steam engine, and insane quality is not cheap.
  8. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Hay Rhonemas on your clydesdale do you get stasfactory burn times?? Aslo do have a blower? I see it is extra. I like the idea of having a nice fire to look at without blowing you out of a room. I'am not sure I will be able to do that with the 2200 osburn can I just build a smaller fire in a insert without under firing it and sooting up the glass. I guess at some time you have to feed thease things a little less wood when outside temps. are not so cold. I live on the Ohio Mich. border and it's been fairley cold around here teens ant night and 20 to 27 in the day. It will warm up next week to the low to mid thirtys.
  9. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Looks like we were writing a post at the same time did not see your last coments till after i sent mine. Thanks your advise is very helpfull!!
  10. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    When judging burn times, I like to judge by the firebox size. The Clydesdale has only a 4% larger firebox than the Osburn 2200 so both should last about the same. I don't prefer burning at minimum air settings, the lower you set your air the worse and less efficient your fire burns and lost heat goes up your chimney. But, you also need to consider convenience as I'd rather not wake up in the night to feed it, and sacrifice some efficiency for coals in the morning. That is probably the biggest benefit of the Clydesdale. Since a 6 hour fire burns more efficient and hotter than an 8 hour fire, I use the Clydesdale's ability to coast for another 2-3 hours after the fire's out and set my overnight burns to be done in 6 hours and when I wake up in the morning the fans are still on and I have coals to reload. For a 6 hour burn, the air setting is a little above middle. The one time I did set it to minimum it lasted 9 1/2 hours and fans stayed on for an hour or so afterward, but I didn't get as much total heat out of it as when I burn a 6 hour fire. I think I've burned a fire maybe twice since I've owned it with the air setting below middle.

    How big, and how insulated is your house? All units work best fully loaded the Clydesdale included. In fall I filled the Clydesdale with half loads and burned at max air and it wasn't able to get hot enough to keep the outsides of the glass clear, but at least the middle of the glass was okay. Definetely get the blower, I have it. The heat blows out the top and it rises up, it's not like it blows it in your eyes (unless your couch is really close). To put it in perspective how good the blower is, it's a 150 CFM blower, and the air coming out the top of the insert with the blower on is 150-200 degrees. If you do the math for a 1400 sq ft house it heats ALL the air in my house around every hour fifteen minutes to 150-200 degrees and then repeats. The heat spreads around nice and even, and sounds like an AC on medium. My house is terribly insulated and drafty. Did the price of the Clydesdale scare you?
  11. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    For what it's worth, my Osburn 1800 will run about 6 hours on min setting and have a rolling fireball the hole time if I really stuff the stove. I definitely wouldn't say I have an inefficient burn at min setting though. The secondary burn even at min setting can completely fill the stove especially with a full load of wood. I'd guess the 2200 will burn longer since it's somewhat larger. I also have coals left in the morning even if I let it go a full 8 hours and it's never hard ro get it restarted. The Osburn will begin putting out usable heat on a morning load within 10 minutes or so. So, while the Hearthstone retains heat, the Osburn will start putting it out quicker.

    I'm not sure which is better, just different. My general sense though is that the Hearthstone's even heat might be the more even, consistant heater of the two. The Osburn shines on the view of the fire. We really like that aspect of the stove. One thing I wonder...Currently I just have a cement board hearth...The tile ordered is due in today. It gets pretty warm, never uncomfortable to touch, just pleasantly warm. I wonder if a soapstone hearth in front of a stove that has a large radiant capability like the Osburn 2200 would give a middle ground type setup. My Osburn 1800 puts out a lot of radiant heat out of all that glass, and the 2200 should do even more that way. Just a thought.
  12. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    The price of the clydsdale is 1,700 without the blower another 290.00 for the blower a little high for a cheep fan and yes I think the fans on any of the brands is cheep just a shaded pole motor. What I like about the fan on some units like the 2200 and the pe summit is that it is a variable speed so you can dial in the exact speed you need not just high, med.or low. I put in a new furnace in the house this year also and it has a DC drive motor in it that is sweet. I run that furnace fan on all the time and instead of drawing 6amps like most it only uses 1/2 an amp about as much as a 65 watt light bulb. The house is around 2000 sq ft not including the finished basement and a heat run in the garage. That fan helps pull the cool air from the returns and keeps everything real even in all rooms. I can get the 2200 with everything for 1,450 and your right cast iron and soapstone don't match up to all seel and fire brick but the door on the 2200 seemed to latch better don't know if you have any problems with your door sealing ? I still thing the pe summit and the avalon olympic are great stoves but my wife likes the bay window on the 2200 not only do you have to find a stove that I want but got to make her happy to. Sounds like you know what I'm talk-en about there. she likes the look of the clydsdale but just not much as the 2200 Like you said make a choice and learn to be happy with it.
  13. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    That's a fantastic price for the Clydesdale! And the Osburn as well!

    Electronics are definetely where I fall short, my Clydesdale came with a thing the chord plugs into that has a knob on it I can rotate to give me variable fan speed I want, I think it's called a rheostat and don't have a low, med, high. I could've probably gotten that device at radioshack, it says Honeywell on it. I can tell you know far more than I about it. The latch on the Clydesdale doesn't have a clamp, I know what you mean you'd feel it would be more than it is but it seals tighter than a clamshell everytime. I've closed the door dozens of times on ashes, black burnt wood pieces, bark that's fallen off, it seals tight everytime crap in the way or not and I never have uncontrolled burns. The door handle & latch does seem very simple and basic.

    Although the Osburn has a higher BTU, go by firebox size. Soapstone & cast iron don't have as max btu's as steel, rather have a higher sustained btu's over time vs. steel. Both being nearly the same firebox size they should both put similar amounts of heat into the living area over the entire burn. I think unless your house is well insulated that's a lot of area (2000 sq ft + basement) and you will be burning and feeding the insert constantly and keeping it at a high setting. They are space heaters, but everyone tries to use them to heat their house. Tough choice, she likes the look of the Osburn better, and I believe the Clydesdale will hold up better burning 24/7 because, that's really how the Clydesdale is meant to be used and works best... definetely not the right choice for occasional lighting. I also find it interesting Warren says there's a lot of radiant heat coming out the front of his. The Clydesdale doesn't have much at all, a table 4 feet in front of my glass gets hardly warm to the touch. I wonder why the two are so different, is it the soapstone & cast iron playing it's part vs. the steel & firebrick? Like Warren says, the Osburn is designed to throw out the heat as fast as possible (generally steel and firebrick units are that way) and a wiser choice to heat a place quickly, and probably a better choice for stop & go fires. Whereas, the Clydesdale is more for the long haul and burning 24/7. So, they both have their benefits. I think on those really cold days, neither will be able to keep up unless your house is really insulated.
  14. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Thanks again everyone for all valuable input. Your right rhonemas a basic rheostat will do the job just didn't know how many company's were using them. Warren that is a good point on the hearth material my hearth is a thick slab of sandstone should help hold some heat, ever been to the beach and put your feet in the sand after sunset the sand will hold heat for awhile. From what I'm hearing both seem like fine units. I'm kind of leaning to the osburn for the fact there will be a lot of time when it's mild out and I will want a quick heat source just to take the chill off for the evening. I have felt that radient heat off of the ceramic glass of another brand in the stove shop and it is quit hot.
  15. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Just to clarify a little here. Yes, the radiant heat can be extremely intense from my 1800. With even a medium sort of fire going, I can't sit on the hearth next to the stove for long, I just feel way too hot. Nice after coming in from the cold though. My house is about 2200 sqft, and I would have purchased either the Osburn 2200 or the Lopi Revere, but I couldn't get the Lopi, and the Osburn wouldn't fit, sooo...1800 it was. That said the only days my stove lost ground was when the temp dropped below 10 degrees. Otherwise it's heating my whole house. Yes it's 78+ in the livingroom, and 70 in the kitchen, and 68 upstairs...so temp variations are there, but that's not bad considering that it's still 70 in the dining room (house is livingroom, diningroom, kitchen basically in a row) when I wake up in the morning.

    All that said, Yes a lot of radiant heat, but also a lot of hot air. When the blower is on, the stove moves heat considerably better, and being in front of the stove gets even hotter. Very little of the heat comes off the top. The material above the stove is much cooler with the stove installed compared to the original Majestic fireplace that the stove sits in.

    Still, if your trying to get the stove from stone cold to producing heat, my Osburn will take a good hour to get up to operating temp. From coals in the morning, 10 minutes, but in reality, it's still producing significant amounts of heat with a bed of coals . Actually, about 70% of the time, I find the blower still running when I get up in the morning, and when I open the stove door, and start fiddling with the stove, the blower will turn off.

    I don't feel like you'd be going wrong with that 2200, and I'm sure you'd like it. I have some stove experience to compare to, an old Jotul 602 ripoff called a Reginald, and that was no where near the heater this Osburn is. Then a couple coal stoves, and they were nice since they produced long consistant heat that kept things real even, but coal can be hard or easy depending on conditions as the Harmon thread is indicating.

    Overall, the Osburn (and I'm sure similar designed inserts like Lopi, Napoleon etc...) are very straight forward to use. My wife generally hates dealing with things like this. She'd prefer just turning a dial to get heat, but she has quickly fallen in love with the stove. She likes the view, the intense heat it produces, the nice fire running all the time, and doesn't even mind tossing a few logs into it every two hours or so during the day. Now, my wife is at home with kids, so she can tend to the stove. If you aren't home during the day and would like the stove to have heated the house so when you get home from work...I think the Soapstone stoves would be the way to go...Longer standing heat.
  16. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I enjoyed your post Warren. I think the Osburn is probably better for wingnut, his wife likes the bay-window view and he couldn't be more accurate, the Clydesdale taking 2-3 hours to warm up sure makes it difficult to take the chill out and hey, it's cheaper. I wouldn't go soapstone on your hearth for a couple reasons though. It's expensive, and it radiates heat straight out from flat surfaces. Since your hearth's flat surface is horizontal, that means the soapstone as it heats up would put out its radiant vertically up towards your ceiling, not very useful there. It's best in a vertical orientation so the radiant heat eminating from it's flat surface beams horizontally into the living area. I'd get something else that's cheaper and won't absorb as much. On a side note, Warren have you put a thermometer into the vents where your heat comes out and seen how how it gets? I'm just curious, I did that, and protected it from radiant heat and mine is 150 - 175, and peaks at 200. Yours, being steel and firebrick I'd think would be higher for a shorter duration. Something I've been pondering.
  17. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    Thanks Warren. My wife both work close to home so we come home everyday for lunch so keeping either stove feed with some wood won't be a problem. From what you say I'm a little nervous that the 2200 might be to big. My family room dinning area and kitchen flow together in a L shape with the fireplace at the bottom of the L and fairly open. With this stove a little larger that the 1800 the btu output is not that much different but the window is alot bigger, that's why I chose the 2200 over the 1800 (I like to look at the fire also) If things get to hot can you build the fire with smaller pieces of wood so you still get the fire ball but not as hot? By doing this will I fowl up the glass? What is your thoughts? Like I said earlier my furnace fan will also be running to help move the air. Thanks
  18. wingnut

    wingnut New Member

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    No doubt Frank the summit is a great stove and I know I would be perfectly happy with it. It's one of those I get to go bow hunting with the boys when ever I want and she often gets the finale say in the home decor. It all works I guess. But it will be me mostley doing the wood cuting, fire tending and maintenance on the thing so I am reserching it so I don't get all bieuty and no beast.
  19. Willhound

    Willhound Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Wingnut
    Welcome to the forum and I wish you good luck as you make your decision. Although looks are important, you seem to have the right attitude about balancing looks and performance, so whatever you decide I'm sure it'll be "right" for you and your situation. I know exactly what you mean about keeping the home front happy. Works for my annual 10 day moose hunt too....

    OK, I have to cast my vote for the Summit, only because I have one, but I respect your wife's opinion that she doesn't like the look of it. Interestingly enough, when we first got really into checking out the Summit it was based on the look alone, and not on the performance because at that point I knew nothing else about it. My wife and I both agreed that we thought the relatively clean, simple lines of the Summit would fit our situation perfectly. But as I say "our situation", not neccesarily yours. To each their own.

    A suggestion that I could make though, would be for you to not only request input from the forum regarding their insert suggestions, but also any shots they have of their installations. You can find mine at http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/590/ if you haven't already seen it.
    I make this suggestion because my wife and I both found that it was very difficult to envision what the final installation might look like while standing in the dealer looking at a unit freestanding on the floor. Some of them were even still in boxes, with just the front opened up. Made it hard. I also found that the manufacturer's brochures did not always make for a good comparison because they obviously all use staged shots and settings that highlight their unit to their fullest, and not neccesarily what a real world installation looks like.
    Who knows, maybe someone will have a shot of a situation similar to yours that will make it easier to see what it would really look like.

    Willhound
  20. CodyWayne718

    CodyWayne718 Feeling the Heat

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    What kind of burn times can be expected from the osburn 2200 insert? I have looked everywhere an can't seem to find anything. This thread seemed like a good place to ask....
  21. gohabsgo

    gohabsgo New Member

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    I have looked at the Osburn inserts and other factors to consider are:

    They offer a lifetime warranty on the glass and on the air tubes. That's pretty amazing. Also, they have changed their baffles to C-Cast material about a year ago. I have tried this C-Cast material in a large wood furnace because the vermiculite had warped. Problem solved! This C-Cast is pretty amazing and I think it really adds value to the product. Lastly, I like the fact that you can customize the door overlay on the Osburn 2200 without having to change the whole door.

    That's my 2 cents worth!

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