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Review of Vermont Castings --- Winter Warm -- Fireplace Inserted Stove burning Wood only
Installation Type: Wood/Coal - into existing Fireplace
Date Reviewed: 2006-07-14 20:31:44

Satisfaction Ratings from 5 stars (best) to 1 star (worst)
Satisfaction with unit = ✰
Satisfaction with dealer = ✰✰
Satisfaction with manufacturer = ✰

Other Information about the Home and Stove
Room Size (Sq ft): 300 | House Size (Sq feet): 2100
Bought in 2001 , Price Paid: $2000
Location : Wilkesboro, NC 28697, USA
Purchased from: Fireplace Retail Store - Hearth and Patio, Charlotte, NC

Likes: Very nice heating of room in which it was installed and passively to much of the rest of the two story house.

Dislikes: Expensive parts (catalyst $200, refactory pack $120, etc.) needing replacement every 2-5 years plus the cost of periodic chimney sweeps.

Comments: The initial installation had to be revised because of smoke coming from around the unit. Multiple internal parts warped within the first few years, gaskets needed replacement, one fan stopped working, the combustor and its refactory pack were unrecognizable by year 5. The current manufacturer (CFM in Canada) was not at all helpful finding someone who would service it. Most dealers said it needed to be brought to a dealer for servicing, if they would service it at all. It weighs 475 pounds! The dealer I purchased it from eventually was willing to send out two men to service it. They were very nice but they clearly never had been inside one of these units and after two hours could not adequately replace the parts which I had separately ordered and nearly destroyed the refactory pakc in the process. Most dealers (and CFM) said it had been overfired, but the manual only indicated that the sign of overfiring was the outside of unit glowing, which it never did. A CFM-endorsed parts supplier (Vermont Stove Store in Bethel, Vermont) was very helpful providing the parts and seemed to be the only individual with knowledge about the inner workings of the unit, but now doesn't return my emails or calls when I have tried to return the unused parts. CFM doesn't return my emails. The Vermont Castings regional representative called once, blamed me for the repair guys not fixing it, blamed me for ordering the replacement parts from the parts supplier that CFM recommended, and never called back again as promised. This unit was a fiasco. Service and communication is poor at all levels. Replacement of parts gets expensive, is needed too often and is not always easy to do by the homeowner. I hope that a local metal recycling company will at least be willing to take it for scrap.

* Dates that reviews were submitted were not recorded prior to Nov. 2004