Insert purchase help

Status
Not open for further replies.

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
I am heating about 1450 sq. feet so about a 2 cu. ft. is what I think will work best. The house is well insulated but not air tight, with lots of glass. The chimney is on a interior wall near the center of the living space. The insert faces the hallway to the three bedrooms.
My fireplace opening is 22" high, 34" wide, and 19" deep. I wore out a Sweethome insert that consumed about 3 cords a year to heat my house and was given a Fisher that eats 6 cords a year. So after three years of this I have decided I need a new heater.
Due to may layout I need a insert with a left hing. I have come up with three choices, but your input is why I'm here.
1. The Kuma Ashwood @ $2300
2. Heatilator Eco-Choice WINN18 @ $1575 Plus upgraded door @ $400 = $1975
3. Quadra-Fire 3100i @ $2625
My dad always said to buy the one in the middle, but the Eco would save some green and has the same specs as the 3100i except for burn time. The Eco is rated @ 8 hrs and the Kuma and 3100i are rated @ 10 hrs. Is that to get you to buy a more expensive heater or am I missing something.

Yes I have about 4 cords of year old or better fir.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
No advice on your specific inserts, but be wary that different folks quote "burn time" differently. In general, assume same technology + same firebox size = same burn times. Cat vs non-cat, and thermostatic control are the game-changers, not much else.

Good to hear you've got some dry seasoned wood on hand, if you're switching back to an EPA insert!
 
  • Like
Reactions: webby3650

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Agreed, you can somewhat ignore burn time ratings. There are too many variables and it is too ambiguous a term to depend on. FWIW, I think the Heatilator may be out of the same factory as the Quad. Seems to be H&HTs value line. One thing to check with the Ashwood, be sure it has the blower included in the price.

Other stoves to consider: Napoleon 1402, Enviro Kodiak 1700.
 

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
Begreen is the Enviro Kodiak 1700 the right fit for my house or should I look at the 1200?
My local dealer recommended the Kuma over the Nepoleon, but I will check out the Enviro Kodiak 1700 (different dealer) next time I get to Albany. Thanks
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Both sizes will work but the 1700 will give you more capacity for longer burns and extra heat for colder nights. The larger firebox is nicer for loading options too.
 

ChadD

Burning Hunk
Nov 10, 2012
122
Connecticut
I have a Enviro 1700 and it heated 1665 sq feet on its own.I was able to not run oil boiler all winter very happy with it.
 

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
1700 will give you more capacity for longer burns and extra heat for colder nights.
Should I be concerned about creosote build-up with the 1700 ? and will it over heat my house to keep it running with a nice fire in it. . We have campfires in our yard all summer long, so we are looking forward to being able to see the fire.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
15,715
Philadelphia
Should I be concerned about creosote build-up with the 1700 ? and will it over heat my house to keep it running with a nice fire in it. . We have campfires in our yard all summer long, so we are looking forward to being able to see the fire.

I would not assume the 1700 is automatically too big for your space, but should that be the case, one typically manages this situation by building smaller fires. Say... the size you'd build in the 1200. You don't want to build a larger fire and shut it down to the point where it smolders (creosote machine), but you can build a smaller fire, and run it hot enough to keep the secondaries going. It will burn out sooner, or other words, in perhaps the same time as a full load in the 1200.

In short, you can run the big stove as if it were a small stove, but you cannot load more fuel into a small stove, when you find it under-sized on a cold day.

The only way to do super long burns at super low heat output (i.e. continuous all-day burns in a small house / space), is to look at catalytic stoves and thermostatic control, such as Blaze King. The rest just manage with cycling small fires when it gets cold, pumping some heat into the mass of the house, using the house as a giant capacitor.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,141
South Puget Sound, WA
The stove will put out no more or less heat than what it the fire is fed and the air given to the fire. A smaller stove will work fine, but it will require a bit more frequent feedings, especially when it's cold. If you are going to be burning mostly hardwood than a smaller stove may work well in your mild climate. If it will be mostly softwood, then a little extra capacity and more room for various sized splits all are benefits.
 

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
Thanks all for your input. this has been very helpful.
I just got back for the stove store. They advised me to go with Enviro's second line Vistaflame. I took my wife and she liked the Plain Jane look of the Vistaflame 1700 FPI and it's $400 less the the Kodiak 1700. I read the specs and they seem read the same, so is there any reason not to go with the Vistaflame?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,141
South Puget Sound, WA
I know nothing of the Vistaflame line. It's new. What have they done to reduce the price?
 

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
I know nothing of the Vistaflame line. It's new. What have they done to reduce the price?
I didn't know anything about Enviro until today and what I've read before here. The folks at the stove store said as long as I'm OK with the black door there was no reason to buy the Kodiak. Vistaflame ($2118) has only one choice where Kodiak ($2485 - $2646) has options. They didn't have a Kodiak at the store to compare side by side. They wanted to sell me a PE, but it's hinged on the wrong side and this insert was their second choice.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
87,141
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes, I held off recommending the PE because of the door hinge side. Otherwise it would be my choice. I'm a little surprised that the Kodiak is selling for more than the PE. I thought it used to be the same or slightly less for the Kodiak.
 

BrotherBart

Modestorator
Staff member
Only thing I see different with the Vista Flame is thinner steel. Which shouldn't make a difference. Enviro 5/16" top plate. Vista Flame 1/4"
 

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
I'm a little surprised that the Kodiak is selling for more than the PE. I thought it used to be the same or slightly less for the Kodiak.
I believe they were asking about $2200 for the PE.

Enviro 5/16" top plate. Vista Flame 1/4"
I ask the same question and they told me the top plate on the free standing stove was 5/16" on both stoves and that they only use 1/4" on the both inserts as the thicker steel is not needed.

I really like the fact that it takes up to 20" wood. Also the large window to view the fire as that's one of the things we were looking forward to. Thanks
 

clemsonfor

Minister of Fire
Dec 15, 2011
2,513
Greenwood county, SC
Window is great. But i too would be leary of the burn times. And i would vote for the largest stove you can wedge in there. You always can build a smaller fire or open a window somewhere. But you cant get any more heat out of a tiny stove, that is running at 100%.

On burn times. I put a cheap vogelzang at the farm property. I forget what the advertised burn time is but to get it you literally have to stuff the thing to the gills and draft it way down and it counts burn time i think as any coals left in the thing!
 

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
You always can build a smaller fire or open a window somewhere. But you cant get any more heat out of a tiny stove, that is running at 100%.
I have dampered down more then I should that old Fisher insert, but with good dry fir - 6 cords burned this last winter and it left me 2 cups of ash and creosote in the ash pit of my chimney when I cleaned it. I have been told by folks around here that the new heaters make a lot of creosote if you under fire them, so I have been cautious about not getting too big of an insert. Now I feel like I need to go back and educate them about dry wood and smaller fires, maybe that's why they are having creosote issues. If I can have coals enough to start a new fire after about 10 hours, that is all we need. We got spoiled with the Fisher as a full load would go 14-18 hour and still have coals enough to just add more wood.
 

dafattkidd

Minister of Fire
Dec 11, 2007
1,765
Long Island
One thing to consider is the depth of the firebox. Having a square firebox is a nice feature which allows for NS loading as well as EW. Good luck with your decision.
 

Oregon aloha

Feeling the Heat
So we have decided to get the Vistaflame VF1700FPI unless there is some reason not to get a second line insert. The brick mason will be here on Monday to either repair my hearth or tear the face off and change it somehow.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.