Jotul Fireplace Insert Pricing Advice

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sog

New Member
Mar 23, 2015
5
Maine
Hoping some of you can provide insight into seasonal pricing trends to help us decide when to buy. We live in Midcoast Maine, and this past winter has finally pushed us to do something about our heating situation. Our current primary heating system is a heating oil furnace that is 20+ years old. To offset its inefficiency, we've invested a lot in insulation sealing (attic, storms, etc) but the simplest way we keep our bill down is by keeping the house cold (50 most of the day, 60 when we're at home). Our house is a ~1500 sq foot single floor ranch, though we'll eventually be adding a second floor to that.

Enter the insert, which takes advantage of our existing, functional fireplace and hopefully allows us to keep the house warmer while hedging our exposure to fluctuations in heating oil prices (2013/14 was painful).

We've more or less settled on either the 450 or 550 Jotul inserts through a combination of friends and family recommendations, wife's preferences on appearance, and general performance. I've measured, and while our existing masonry chimney doesn't seem that large, it should accept even the 550 with room to spare.

My questions are these:

1. Regarding insert pricing, three of the retailers I've visited quoted me standard MSRP which is $3099 (450) and $3299 (550). One did offer an 8% discount, but their service/materials price more than offset that savings. Is it reasonable to expect any discounts moving forward, or is the list price the best I'm going to do (assuming that I don't get a floor discount, as no one around here seems to have the 450 or 550 in stock)?
2. Related to the above, one retailer claimed that he'd just gotten an email from Jotul saying their pricing was going up 5% April 1. Anyone heard anything about this?
3. Regarding installation pricing, apart from one quote at the high end ($1900), estimates have generally been in the $400-$500 range for installation and $550-$650 range for 6" stainless liner (figuring 25' standard chimney). Does that sound right to everyone? High? Low?

Any thoughts you can provide would be appreciated. Assuming I don't hear any "wait-till-later-for-X-sale" arguments, we're just about ready to pull the trigger on this and want to be sure we're spending as wisely as possible.

Thanks!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,253
South Puget Sound, WA
Welcome. If you have a larger fireplace I'd also consider some other inserts like the Enviro Boston 1700 for larger fuel capacity and longer burn time. In general you will find a non-flush insert heats a bit better, especially during a power outage when the blower is off.

As for the installation look at the details to see if they are all equal. How heavy is the liner they are putting in? Is it insulated? Will they be putting in a block-off plate below the damper?
 
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sog

New Member
Mar 23, 2015
5
Maine
Welcome. If you have a larger fireplace I'd also consider some other inserts like the Enviro Boston 1700 for larger fuel capacity and longer burn time. In general you will find a non-flush insert heats a bit better, especially during a power outage when the blower is off.

As for the installation look at the details to see if they are all equal. How heavy is the liner they are putting in? Is it insulated? Will they be putting in a block-off plate below the damper?

Thanks for the advice begreen. I've read and understand the arguments in favor of non-flush inserts, but the aesthetics are a non-starter for my wife. And during a power outage, we do have a generator available at least to keep the blower running.

Good question about the liner; all I know is that everyone has mentioned 6". Will ask about the insulation. Is there something specific I should shoot for in that capacity?
 

ekg0477

Member
Oct 15, 2014
50
Langhorne, PA
Paid 5200 for 550 insulated liner and install in November 2014. Only discount I know of is from Jutol website $200. Not sure if it's still valid. Haven't heard about price increase. I'm sure you can find some discounts at the end of the season for floor models.
 

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stovelark

Minister of Fire
Oct 10, 2009
1,572
SE CT
Hi sog, Prices you mentioned are in line for here in SE CT. (1200-1500 for a 6 inch SS non insulated liner and stove installed). IRT the Jotuls- Most dealers are MSRP but some discount some locally here. We sell the Kennebec stove and cast surround with blower for 2749, the Rockland for 2949. Jotul will probably have a small increase in April, most MFRs do. (This promotes dealers getting their early buys in to the MFR in Feb/Mar. 2.5-4 percent sounds about normal. I would suggest the Rockland, it has a smaller firebox (2.1-2.2 cuft), you have more than enough sq footage and its pretty cold up there... I like the Enviro Boston a lot too, but certainly understand the wife liking the flush look. Good luck with it, Jotul makes great stoves, but need seasoned wood like all the new stoves do.
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,593
Unity/Bangor, Maine
Way back when I called around when looking for a price on my Jotul stove ... they were all within $200 or so of each other and very close to msrp.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Our house is a ~1500 sq foot single floor ranch, though we'll eventually be adding a second floor to that.

If your goal is to significantly reduce to eliminate your oil bill, I suggest going bigger than the Jotul. It is not that large of an insert and may not be enough when keeping the house at 60 F still means an expensive oil bill. Approx. how many gallons of oil did you burn last January? A large flush insert would be the Large Flush Hybrid from Travis Industry (Lopi, Avalon, FireplaceXtraordinaire). The Pacific Energy Neo 2.5 would also give you a larger firebox.

I highly recommend getting an insulated liner, especially when you have an exterior chimney. And definitely get a block-off plate to keep the heat in the house than sending it up the chimney: https://www.hearth.com/talk/wiki/make-a-damper-sealing-block-off-plate/

How many cord of dry wood do you have already? Without that the insert won't be of much help.
 

sog

New Member
Mar 23, 2015
5
Maine
Lots of great feedback, thanks folks. Couple of responses:
  • As for wood on hand, we've burned three quarters of a cord (KD) just in the fireplace already this winter. I have another cord of oak that'll be 2 years old this spring, and we're planning to order at least 2 cords of seasoned wood this May for next winter. How much more we order will depend on how big of a woodshed I end up building.
  • @Grisu: Re: going bigger than the Jotul, I'm pretty sure that my wife's set on it on account of the aesthetics and it being flush, but we'll look at the Travis stoves. The good news about our heat is that this winter versus last we were night and day in terms of consumption. If you haven't checked your attic insulation, I highly recommend it. We're amazed at how big the difference was.
  • @stovelark: Great, thanks for the validation.
  • @ekg0477: Regarding the $200 Jotul coupon, the retailer I was in today told me it will be back on April 1st.
 

Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Wood advertised as "seasoned" rarely is dry. Ask the seller how long ago it has been split and stacked. Only from that point on the splits will dry. Oak needs 2 to 3 years to get below 20% internal moisture content. Your best bet will probably be ash. That has a chance of drying sufficiently over one summer. Getting a moisture meter will be helpful. Whatever wood you buy, split a few pieces in half and press the pins in the center of the fresh surface. Below 20% is optimal, below 25% will get you by, above 25% need further drying.
 

mellow

Resident Stove Connoisseur
Jan 19, 2008
5,433
Salisbury, MD
Just a thought, I see 450's pop up on CL from time to time for $800-$1200, most of them look barely used. I liked the 450 but the shorter burn times with that size firebox got old real quick and I sold it.

The 450 will throw out some heat that is for sure, a big difference is I am heating a 1200 sq ft 2 story with no insulation.

I would check out some other dealers and weigh all your options. If it has to look good I would check out the regency HI 300.
 
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