Best insert for smaller area?

  • Active since 1995, is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


Minister of Fire
Jun 25, 2013
Collegeville PA
We have a ranch home, in-law quarters downstairs where my FIL lives. He has a cheap Lowes pellet stove probably 10 years old but with the price of pellets, and everything else under the sun going up, he just asked me what I thought about a smaller insert for the downstairs fireplace. If I had to guess, probably 7-800sf living space. 7’ drop ceiling with a brick fireplace, open front and side. Opening measures 26” high, 45” wide and 18” deep. Will have this professionally installed as we will need a pipe up the existing chimney
A few issues come to mind. First, I cut my splits at ~22” for my Hearthstone Manchester. I could put some in my sawbuck and size it for a smaller stove for this year then cut 2 different lengths for the future. Next, I don’t want it to get too hot down there he will complain, and the 7’ ceiling is that an issue? With the left side open I will be able to feed from left or front, I prefer the left on my Manchester. Fireplace is central to the basement and in the next room from the “family room” he spends most of his time in
I like this idea of the downstairs stove as I can keep the basement doors open and heat the upstairs which hasn’t happened with the pellet stove. He is frugal and only burns it a coffee can of pellets at a time…
Pic included, he has a bunch of crap stored in and around the fireplace which will be removed of course. He has had 2 strokes this year and doesn’t get around too well, so it will be up to us to keep this new stove going
So, I was wondering what folks recommend i look at? Haven’t bought a stove since 2013 when I got my Manchester E334E790-1B39-45EE-A164-B5C5394D00FC.jpeg
You probably aren’t going to find anything installed for less than $5k and getting it for this winter might be challenging. If the pellet stove is running ok I’d keep it running. I’d Get a nice electric blanket. Too.

I installed a second stove downstairs last year and didn’t run it that much but running two stoves on two floors that burn at different rates is a lot of work. If I were to use my basement more I would get a mini split heat pump
I concur with the above. The return on investment of a few thousand dollars would take a long time, especially if he is frugal with the pellets.

If summers are hot and or humid, a minisplit helps cool and dehumidify as well. And it's remote controlled, which is good for elderly folks as well.
  • Like
Reactions: D8Chumley
Lopi Answer. Country Striker 160. PE Vista are starters
  • Like
Reactions: D8Chumley
Thanks for the responses, I’ll look into the minisplit as it is humid down there. Only upside to the wood stove would be I live in the woods and have a really good supply of firewood. The thought of keeping 2 different stoves burning at different rates is something I hadn’t considered but is a very good point!