Advice on high efficiency, zero clearance fireplace...please

Errfoil Posted By Errfoil, Jan 21, 2013 at 5:01 PM

  1. Errfoil

    New Member 2.

    Jan 21, 2013

    New guy here. Couldn't solve my problem by reading (for hours) and searching, so I thought I would tap into the collective wisdom of this group. I need to buy 2 zero clearance fireplaces:

    New house. Very high efficiency. Daylight basement, with 2200 sq ft up, and 1500 sq ft down. Fireplace is not my main heating source so it will not run 24/7, but when I start a fire I want it to heat the house, I will also burn wood as a backup during power outages (we live in NW Montana). I'll be burning mostly Larch with some Spruce and Fir.

    My Priorities:
    -Quality unit, good construction without lots of problems or maintenance.
    -High efficiency, including no cold air into the house when the fireplace is not burning.
    -Looks, my favorite here is the Napoleon NZ3000
    -Clean glass

    The house is a rustic Montana design. The upstairs fireplace is in the great room with a stone and log fireplace. We have a larger budget here and the Napoleon is my favorite based on looks, but they don't exactly give them away. If I spent this kind of money I need this to be an utterly fantastic fireplace. There are no reviews of the NZ3000 on this site...any owners with firsthand experience out there?
    I've also looked at the Bis Tradition, which looks exactly like the Lennox?!?, but is supposed to be a good unit. We were also looking at the Fireplace Xtrordinair, but I have read that they have a cold air infiltration problems when off because of their positive pressure system, they also burn a lot of wood if you run them hot enough to keep the glass clean. I looked at the Quadrafire but it looked kind of cheap with spot tacked cast iron rods, etc.

    The second fireplace is in the basement and I'd like to save some money here to make up for busting my budget upstairs! Still have the same priorities, but a smaller and simpler fireplace that will be less expensive.

    I'm very open here. If you think my priorities are wrong or I am forgetting something that is important, then please straighten me out!

  2. begreen

    Mooderator 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Have you considered going with a freestanding stove on a nice looking hearth in the basement? That will cost less and will provide better heating in a power outage as long as the stove is somewhat centrally located and near the open stairway.

    As for reviews, Members just finished an NZ3000 installation. It's too early to get a long term perspective on how the fireplace does, but so far he likes it.

    There are several other NZ3000 threads. Use the search function in the upper right of your screen. Here's an example:
  3. Errfoil

    New Member 2.

    Jan 21, 2013
    Yes, I did consider a woodstove. My old house had a Lopi woodstove in an alcove that I absolutely loved; great heat output, efficient use of wood, I cleaned the glass maybe once a week at the most. But, I don't have room downstairs for an alcove. I'm stuck with a zero clearance.

    I searched for, and read, both of those threads. In reality there is only DieselHead's single review from March 2011. I was hoping there would be some NZ3000 users out there that would come out of the woodwork (pun intended) with a long term opinion of the fireplace. Members's tread has me drooling; it is exactly the look I am gunning for, and I really appreciate the pictures of the actual unit in the rock wall, but I would like some long term feedback before dropping that kind of money...or maybe someone has found something similar but better?!?

    Thanks for the reply begreen....

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