Comparisons and Pricing - reviews/expert opinions requested

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T802034

New Member
Apr 10, 2021
1
Bala, Ontario
We are replacing an existing wood burning insert that is not air-tight.
Our objective is both heat and aesthetics.
It is a 600 square foot area with low 8' ceilings.
There is an existing large furnace.

I have looked at (CAD prices):
Stuv $7000 for the unit itself (Made in Belgium)
Uptown - no estimate yet
Osburn $3700 for the unit itself (Made in Canada)
Valcort - Mundo II - $3800 for the unit itself (Made in Canada)

They all seem to have a sleek look and maximum glass.
The differences seems to be burn control and price.
Replacement parts was mentioned as a factor to consider as was glass cleaning frequency = but there is no data on these two factors.
Sounds like Osburn has changed hands as a business. Is this a concern?

On this wonderfully helpful forum, I learned that the Stuv can produce a campfire smell in the house. The firewithin said that was likely due to installation and not enough chimney run compared to the spec.

It is very hard to find independent reviews on these units. Any reviews/opinions from this forum's experts?
Thanks for your time and help.

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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,395
South Puget Sound, WA
This is a Zero Clearance Fireplace. Osburn, Valcourt, Drolet, Enerzone all have the same parent company, SBI. The internals of these product lines is often identical, with different exterior trim, like Chevrolet, Buick and Cadillac are all GM cars that often share underlying chassis.
While shopping, also look at the RSF Focus models. They are also Canadian-made and of good quality.

The first step to success with these units is to be sure it only burns fully seasoned firewood. That is wood that has been dried to the core. Most bought wood is not fully seasoned. Also, don't buy too large a unit. These are good heaters. If you have to build small only fires with the air cut back strongly, then the glass will not stay as clean. Are there adjacent rooms or a floor above that also needs heating? One option then would be to duct some of the heat to those areas.
 
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ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,321
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Check what brand of chimney you have and reference the owners manual before purchasing a fireplace. ZC fireplaces can be very picky on what chimneys are certified for use with them, for example some of the RSF models can only be used with one size of ICC chimney. Even some of the Osburn models have a limited list of chimneys they are compatible with.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,395
South Puget Sound, WA
Many modern EPA ZCs use class A HT chimney, not air cooled. It's best to assume that the chimney pipe will need replacing.