Help Me With A Wood Insert Choice

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Zibby

New Member
Jan 3, 2018
3
Chesco, PA
Hi all,
My family and I moved into a (flipped) historic house built in 1880 in Chester County, PA this past August. The house is ~2500 sq ft and three floors. Picture an Italianate style row home (tall and skinny) in Philly and that's our house, only ours is a single. It's our first time having a fireplace and now that it's not only winter time but possibly the coldest winter we've seen in decades, we are realizing how hard it is to heat (forced gas) an old home even with brand new windows. We want the wood fireplace to be as efficient a heat source as possible, which has led us to shop for inserts.

We have a stove/fireplace shop in town my husband visited today and they sent him back to me with two booklets, one for Quadra Fire and one for Vermont Castings. I immediately started googling and was led here, to this forum and right away I began to see poor reviews for both companies. Apparently the store only carries these two brands. Should we not even consider them and move on to a different store? What brands should we be looking for? Any information I can glean from all of you experts would be greatly appreciated!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,660
South Puget Sound, WA
Both VC and Quadrafire make good inserts. The VC inserts are not constructed like their freestanding stoves. Both companies inserts are conventional secondary burn with tubes. There are other options. Most important will be to narrow the choices down to those that fit in the fireplace. Then go for the largest one that looks good to you and has a good track record. Other large inserts are made by Enviro, Regency, Lopi, Pacific Energy, Osburn, etc..
 

edyit

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2014
838
Wilmington NY
also have your chimney cleaned and inspected before having the insert installed. this link should get you someone in your area that knows what they are doing.

http://www.csia.org/search.html

also search on this site for "block off plate" this will help you get more heat with an insert.
 

edyit

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2014
838
Wilmington NY
that's good to hear, some sweeps may also sell and install inserts, so that link may open other options for you.
 

Zibby

New Member
Jan 3, 2018
3
Chesco, PA
that's good to hear, some sweeps may also sell and install inserts, so that link may open other options for you.
Yes, that's definitely something to consider.

I know it's subjective, but what are some favorite brands I should keep an eye out for?
 

edyit

Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2014
838
Wilmington NY
i personally can't comment on an insert as i don't have and have never used one. begreen has mentioned a few in his post above. he is a very knowledgeable individual, i'd follow his advice on getting the largest one you can fit that you like the looks of.
 

illini81

Feeling the Heat
Apr 7, 2017
376
Southeastern CT
Could you post a picture of your hearth, and provide basic dimensions (height and width at front of fireplace opening, height and width at back, depth at bottom of fireplace opening, depth at top of fireplace opening)? It will help people to provide a tailored recommendation.