Insert Pros and Cons

MSG D Posted By MSG D, Jun 22, 2018 at 7:22 AM

  1. MSG D

    MSG D
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    Hello, while this is my first post I have enjoyed learning from this forum while conducting my search for an insert for my home. I have narrowed it down to two models and am interested in any opinions on the pros and cons of each. Here is my situation:

    - 1920s two story home, mild to moderately insulated with a mix of old and new windows, ~2200sq ft.
    - reluctantly ruled out a wood stove due to mantle/hearth clearance issues
    - looking to provide supplemental heat for first floor and am comfortable with a cooler upstairs

    My short list is composed of the Hearthstone Clydesdale and Jotul Rockland 550.

    Here are some specific questions:

    - Both seem to put out decent heat but the literature creates the appearance that the Jotul will burn through wood faster while the Clydesdale will burn longer. Is this a fair assessment?

    - Is the soapstone in the Clydesdale a significant advantage in longer heating given it's long warm up time?

    - Reviews consistently mention that the Clydesdale's fans are a bit noisy. Are Jotul's fans fairly quiet or should I accept that no fan is significantly quieter than another?

    - How long of a useful life, with proper care and maintenance, should I expect from each model?

    - Enamel or matte? I really like the look of the enamel on both but am concerned that the slightest bump will mar the finish and then I'll be plagued with the imperfection. I'm mildly OCD. I can handle touch-up paint sized chips but should I be concerned that the stove will outlast the finish or with proper care will they go hand in hand?

    - Finally, Jotul has been around significantly longer than Hearthstone, do they have the edge on customer service?

    I appreciate any thoughts shared!

    D
     
  2. maverick06

    maverick06
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    soapstone lets the heat out slowly. I would suggest that is a matter of burning style. If you want to have a fire, and then enjoy the heat for hours after that, use soapstone. But a steel one will let you get a higher level of heat out faster.

    Burning the same amount of firewood means you get the same amount of heat out. soapstone/steel is just a matter of how the heat is released. I burn 24/7, so for steel thats helpful getting the place warm in the morning.... soapstone would be nice for overnights.

    Note, without the blower going, most inserts let out very little heat. So expect to use the blower almost constantly.
     
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  3. kennyp2339

    kennyp2339
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    I would be a bit leery of a soap stone insert, you want steel to let the heat radiate fast between the jackets then using the blower turn it into a convective heater.
     
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  4. begreen

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    The soapstone in the Clydesdale is in the firebox lining and floor. It's still is a steel insert like the Jotul and a good heater.
     
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  5. SculptureOfSound

    SculptureOfSound
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    Actually the body of the Clydesdale is cast iron. It and the Montpelier are the only two full cast body inserts I know of. I was considering the clyde myself but as i won't be burning 24/7 I thought the long warm up time was a major negative. A lot of reviews said it was an hour and a half or more before they got significant heat from it.
     
  6. begreen

    begreen
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    Right I should have said metal body.
     
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  7. stovelark

    stovelark
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    wow- lots of stuff flying around here. The two inserts both have steel welded bodies with cast iron facades and doors. The Blowers on both stoves are similar in noise for the older Rocklands, but last year Jotul shifted to quieter blowers for the Rockland and some of us think less air flow too. The firebox for the HS is 2.4cft, the Rockland is 2.15cft, so its reasonable to think 6-8 hrs burn for the Jotul, 8-9 for the Clydesdale (with good dry seasoned wood.) The HS has soapstone bricks lining the back and sidewalls. I've stood in front of both stoves burning, they both are tremendous heaters and tremendous weight too, having moved both of them... For price, usually the HS is about 300-400 more than the Jotul. Both have Brown enamel models and are beautiful in that color. The Clydesdale has a slight advantage in viewing area and the door can be reversed to open from either side. All in all, both are very high quality, expensive inserts that will be well supported by either company. I still would give the Jotul the advantage, it just goes to work everyday, no real fuss or muss. The one con of the Rockland is its smaller firebox, in my view... PS- heat up time for both are half hour to 45 minutes before blowers will come on automatically, the Jotul you can turn them on manually or auto, the HS auto only...
     
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  8. MSG D

    MSG D
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    Thanks to all for the advice. It is incredibly helpful!
     
  9. Toomb

    Toomb
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    I would add that all stoves and inserts have their own clearance requirements. I would seriously consider extending the hearth and go with a stove. The inserts are really dependent on the use of the blowers which gets old after a while. I had a stove and went to an insert (rockland 550).......at some point I will go back to a stove.
     
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  10. MSG D

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    OK gang, just got my level II chimney inspection done and my flue measures 11"x 8" with no liner. My installer says this size restricts me to a 5" insulated liner only. Any suggestions? If this is the case are there wood stoves out there that will connect to a 5" chimney pipe?
     
  11. begreen

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  12. MSG D

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    Sadly, I don't have any tile to bust out. Chimney is bare brick all the way up apparently. Do you think the suggested oval liner would still work? I asked about an oval liner when I initially got my inspection report and the salesman didn't think it was an option. I got the feeling they just didn't have experience with them.
     
  13. yooper08

    yooper08
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    Don't mean to hijack the thread here, but I've been thinking about this question.

    I get that a stove that sits out on the hearth (not in the fireplace) will give off more heat to the room than an insert. That's just due to more surface radiating into the room.

    But stoves tucked into the fireplace. All that radiation just radiates into the fireplace and it's basically an insert now. What about stoves that have the steel jacket to turn the radiation into convective heat? That's essentially an insert, too.
     
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  14. begreen

    begreen
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    Yes, the Duraliner oval would still work.
     
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  15. yooper08

    yooper08
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    Agreed, oval liner will be fine. Flue requirements are generally dictated by size, not shape.

    Have you decided what insert you're going with?
     
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  16. Blazingembers7749

    Blazingembers7749
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    Its been couple months since ive put a clydesdale in but im pretty sure everyone ive done is a cast body stove. ive probably put 15 of them in and serviced many. I specifically remember removing the outter heat exchanger sheild which is made out of sheet metal cause it had a buch of screws that thread into the cast stove body. The Baffle removal will be much easier in the jotul for cleaning purposes not that its hard in the hs but it is a little more difficult. people tend to not like having a auto only option of the fan in my experience
     
  17. begreen

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    I think you are correct.
    Screen Shot 2018-07-09 at 11.34.00 AM.png
     
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  18. Blazingembers7749

    Blazingembers7749
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    I personally prefer the jotul but thats my opinion and shouldnt take anything away from the hs cause it is a awesome insert. in my experience heat comes off the jotul quicker. Maximum heat output is pretty close once both are up to temperature with loaded fireboxes and a coal bed. I dislike the way the soapstone is held in by the brackets on the back and side walls on the hs. Would be better to buy some bar stock cut and drill holes for the bolts. Bolts thread into the cast for the bracket and are constantly heated and cooled. Ive never broken one but deffinatly had moments where i was worried they wouldnt give. The brackets tend to warp and pop out. Not the end of the world as its easy enought to bend them back. I like hs air control better and looks are very close for my personal taste
     
  19. MSG D

    MSG D
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    I haven't decided yet. Honestly based on some of the info I have gotten here I am reconsidering a woodstove. My dealer shied me away from it but with a hearth pad and heat shield for the mantle it might work. If I stick with my original plan and the oval line works I am leaning toward the Jotul 550. I am concerned that the Hearthstone fan might be louder than the Jotul.
     
  20. Blazingembers7749

    Blazingembers7749
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    Heres one with a heat sheild installed
     

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  21. MSG D

    MSG D
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  22. Blazingembers7749

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  23. stovelark

    stovelark
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    I stand corrected- I thought the body was steel on the HS. Good info and thanks.
     
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  24. Gerri San

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    So much useful information...am new to this site. Is it necessary to get a level 2 inspection before installing a FP insert? The dealer wants to sell me a Clydesdale insert, came by and measured the fireplace opening ...the flue is 5-1/2 inches rectangular. Our usual chimney sweep came by, looked at it (we have it cleaned yearly)...said it didn't need cleaning but never looked at the whole chimney. Would it be worth it/necessary to get someone to do a level 2 (I guess they use a scope or go up on the roof?) before going ahead with the insert?)
     
  25. edyit

    edyit
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    peace of mind is priceless
     
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