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ZC Fireplace if price wasn't a concern?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Flightguy, Mar 10, 2011.

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  1. Flightguy

    Flightguy Member

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    If price is no concern, what ZC fireplace would you choose to heat a house 2800 sq ft? FPX44? Quadra Fire 7100? Z42? BIS? Another....?

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  2. Mt Ski Bum

    Mt Ski Bum Member

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    FPX 36 Elite (or the new 36-CVT) or Heat N' Glo North Star (essentially the same as the Quad 7100, but cheaper) would be my recommendation- FPX 44 might be a bit large, depending on your set up.
  3. Flightguy

    Flightguy Member

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    That CVT is intriguing, thanks for posting.
  4. FPX Dude

    FPX Dude Member

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    Price wasn't my concern either...
  5. d.braun28@yahoo.com

    d.braun28@yahoo.com New Member

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    I use the 44 elite to heat 4200 sqft and it does the job down to -10. It then is a challage to keep a few of the bedrooms above 70
  6. Alan68

    Alan68 New Member

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    How large a ZC fireplace you need really depends on where your house is located (climate), the ceiling heights, the amount of insulation, the layout of your house and several other factors to determine BTU's needed. With that said, I would recommend the FPX 44 Elite as a great heater and don't think it would be too large for 2800 sq ft in a house with an open floor plan so heat can get to most parts of the house..
  7. Rob From Wisconsin

    Rob From Wisconsin Minister of Fire

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    RSF models, without a doubt.
    ZC's are their specialty, and they have made it into a science.
    But, they are expensive & require their brand of chimney, I believe.
  8. basswidow

    basswidow Minister of Fire

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    my kozyheat z42 has been really good to us. It heats our home 3700sf . Doesn't eat alot of wood either. Good over night burns - easy to operate. Love it.
  9. Aybolit

    Aybolit New Member

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    I think its time to bring this topic up again - is there a consensus out there in regards which fireplace is THE BEST in each particulate size? Is there a magazine or website that might have came out with comparison chart - like Consumer Report does it? So that lets say Z-42 would be a "best buy" in middle sized firebox category and RSF 320 - "the best", but more expensive unit? Also maybe incorporate the prices of chimney into discussion where those can be as expensive as actual unit itself. Its probably not going to be easy prices-wise since we are at the mercy of the local dealers with no reliable internet pricing site for the fireplaces - but we can probably get a ball park figure. We can maybe vote and come up with subjective results of the members of the forum?
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Old thread. I don't think there is a best overall. There is the best for one's particular needs and tastes, but the top units are all good. Chimney prices are going to vary with the installation. A single story install is going to cost less than a two-story install and besides, the original thread is about the best, cost being no object, right? Also, there are several new units on the market which haven't been out long enough for us to see and use for a few seasons.

    Kozy, RSF, BIS all make good units. The best is the ZC that best fits one's needs, be they heat output, looks, cost, etc..
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2014
  11. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Essentially impossible to determine as each installation, owner's needs and usage are different. It's like asking for a comparison about the "best" house. Every stove/fireplace purchaser has to make an individual list of the points that are important to them and then look for the model(s) that fulfill their specific requirements.

    If you want to open a new thread (or posting in the one you already started) and list the points you would like to have in a ZC fireplace then I am sure you will get a lot of helpful suggestions.
  12. Aybolit

    Aybolit New Member

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    But there should be something that we can rank them objectively with - like efficiency, quality of construction (and/or warranty length), eco-friendliness (WA certified vs not), ability to burn with not-seasoned wood, ability to utilize generic chimney - just to name few? I am pretty sure U guys can rank them based upon something else. That would make the life of potential shoppers and forum members so much easier - choose the size and set up that fits your home based upon these additional objective reviews. So I take it - there is none up to date?
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    All the units we are commenting on are EPA certified. All will need fully seasoned wood to realize their potential. EPA stoves and unseasoned wood are the number one complaint we hear every fall from new stove owners. Folks blame the stove when it is the wood.
  14. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Let's just say we are all unpaid volunteers here...

    If you want a list of emissions you can look here: http://www.epa.gov/Compliance/resources/publications/monitoring/caa/woodstoves/certifiedwood.pdf You will have to sort out the fireplaces from the stoves. Don't put too much emphasis on the efficiency numbers. The EPA does not test for heating efficiency and just assumes 63 % for non-catalytic models and 72 % for catalytic models. Some manufacturers do their own testing and post that with their products.

    One more caveat in putting the list together that you envision: EPA-testing is being done with standardized test fuel of douglas-fir lumber stapled together. http://woodheat.org/emissions-testing.html How many people here burn only hardwood? Will the emission numbers still be the same? The burn depends on draft which in turn depends on length and type of chimney, outside air temp and pressure etc. Now you are looking for a fireplace to be used at 9000 ft elevation. Will the fireplace perform the same as tested at about sea level? Some people here with poor performing stoves added a few ft of pipe to their chimney and saw vast improvements in their burns and the heat output. How do you capture that in a list or some other kind of comparative testing? Each installation is different.

    In the end, modern ZC fireplaces are pretty refined products that rarely seem to have significant problems due to poor workmanship or design. Most problems arise from improper installation and/or operation (such as burning wet wood). Hence, make sure to get a good installer and learn as much as you can about proper operation of the fireplace. Then I am sure you will be happy with most available models.
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