42 Apex vs Z42

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New Member
Jan 30, 2024
Hello. I am about to pull the trigger on a new stove to replace my open fireplace. I live in Pa and am planning on using this as a primary heat source over my forced hot air propane system. My house is a ranch with 9 foot ceilings and a vaulted great room. It is 2600 sq feet plus another 288 sq ft sun porch off the great room which has its own glass sliding door.

I have some reservations about going with the apex 42 due to the cat. I like the square footage it heats but am a bit concerned about having to use kindling as opposed to waxed fire starter. I am also a bit concerned about the cat in general as it appears I will have to be very selective with the wood I use.

The z42 is more appealing to my eye. The concern I have with it is that it may be a bit small for my house especially on cold days. If it was rated for a higher square footage, I would be completely sold on it.

I am generally torn but leaning a bit more towards the z42.

I would appreciate input to help me in my decision as well as feedback from anyone who has either of these units.

Thanks in advance!
@webby3650 has one and likes it. He can tell you more about the day to day operation. You can start fires using a chunk of a SuperCedar for easy starts.
Why would you have to be very selective with the wood you use with a cat stove? Any modern stove cat or non cat burns the exact same wood. You can burn any hard or softwood that is below 20% moisture content. Having a cat or not doesn't make a difference.
Why would you have to be very selective with the wood you use with a cat stove? Any modern stove cat or non cat burns the exact same wood. You can burn any hard or softwood that is below 20% moisture content. Having a cat or not doesn't make a difference.
I’ve never understood how this got started either. If anything I think cat stoves are more forgiving since they have a bypass damper. Just can’t burn paint and ice…
The z-42 is a nice unit, but not a good comparison to the Apex. That’s like comparing a Chevy cobalt to a Camaro..
It will do a fine job heating your space. Ive only got 1900’ so I can’t let it rip as often as I’d like. The cat is something that will need replaced periodically, I usually see 6-7 years on the FPX cats before a replacement is required. I find it worth the periodic cost of the cat, considering the heat output and reduced fuel consumption. The non cat fireplaces gobble the wood down and there’s just not much you can do to slow them down much once they are rocking.
it’s my understanding that the cat are more finicky when it comes to wet wood. All my wood is seasoned but sometimes water and snow gets through my tarps causing some peaces not to be perfect.

I am not super concerned about having to feed the non cat stove a bit more since I am coming from an open fireplace where I have to feed it a ton.

With updated research I am also looking hard at the pacific energy fp30. It seems to produce more heat vs z42, plus has option to vent heat down in my basement to divert heat if great room gets too hot, which is a plus for me.

Anyone with fP30 feedback would be appreciated as well.
Your comparison would be true if you were considering an old smoke dragon vs a modern cat stove, the smoke dragon could burn wet wood, but today's modern epa stoves require dry wood regardless of having a cat or not.
Snow and ice encrusted wood is a threat to a ceramic catalyst. It can cause thermal shock and crack the cat.

The FP30 is a good heater and simple to work on. There are several postings on this. Search in the PE forum on FP30.
Thanks. The more I read about the PE FP30, the more I am leaning towards it.
Still, comparing an apples and oranges… if you have any questions about the Apex hit me up. Non of these compare to the heat output. In the world of zc fireplaces, FPX is top dog!
As for CATs, you need to measure in hours, my MPG on a steel is like they say ~12,000.
Can't comment on the other fireplaces you're looking at, but I have the Kozy Z42. I have an open floorpan, split bedroom layout also with a high vaulted ceiling in the great room. This is a new construction house 2300 sq ft, finished last year, and we are in the central Idaho mountains in a very snowy location (however its been a lame winter so far, warmer than average).

The Z42 has been heating my house 24/7 for weeks on end. The main living area stays between 68-74 all the time depending on how cold it is outside and how hard we are running the fireplace. Coldest morning this winter was -20, definitely keeping the fire high all day during that cold spell, and the heat pump wouldn't help at those temps anyways. Still kept the house at about 66 during that. Bedroom's stay cooler by 5 or so degrees (which is preferred for us). We do not have the heat transfer duct kit.

I can modulate the heat output fairly well depending on need, and getting better at it as I get more experience. Overnight burns are no problem at all and I've gotten hot coals and heat output (fan on) up to 12+ hours on a few occasions. This is mostly lodgepole and most nights I add 1-2 North Idaho Energy Logs, which help coals after long burn.

I was estimating needing about 4 cords, I started with 3+, maybe 3.5. Plus a pallet of the energy logs. Looking like I was pretty close, I've got about 1.5 cords left on side of house and almost enough on the porch to get through Feb I think.

Hope thats useful!