Just installed a Pacific Energy Neo 1.6 Fireplace Insert

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SwordWord

Member
Dec 24, 2013
12
Weymouth MA
I haven't seen any reports from users/owners of the Pacific Energy Neo 1.6 Insert, so I thought I would chime in and provide a report of my experiences.

Here's a short video to give you an idea of what it looks like in action.


I've also included some images of the install preparation.

First of all, I'm new to wood stoves/inserts and have only had standard fireplace experiences up to now. I had the Neo 1.6 installed in the middle of March 2014, so I've had just about a month of burning -- and here in the Boston area it has certainly been a cold spring, so I've had some opportunity to gather some experience using the Neo 1.6!

I had two requirements for choosing a woodstove. First, it had to fit into my fireplace (not real deep ... 18") without any modifications to the fireplace itself, and I also didn't want to do any modifications to my mantel or to the hearth. And second, it also had to be able to heat a 1750 sq ft 2-level Cape style house. So, small enough to fit, large enough to heat.

And the Neo 1.6 has succeeded on both counts. Installer told me it "just fit", so clearly a bigger unit wouldn't have worked out. And it can heat the entire house on its own without help from our oil-fired furnace, keeping the main room in the mid 70s and rooms farthest away in the low 70s.

We also worked with our installers (great guys from Fireplace Connection in Weymouth MA) to have the unit raised up by first putting in two layers of matching brick across the bottom of the opening of the fireplace, and they did a good job of it. This helped us to not only raise the unit off the ground (and make it easier to load, to view, etc) but it also helped us avoid having to have an oversized surround (and then some) to seal the unit, since our fireplace opening was 31 inches high. By raising it 5 inches, the standard 28" surround fit perfectly. We did have to satisfy clearance requirements by including a small heat shield just under the mantel, but its appearance blends well with the unit and the mantel. And it's worry free.

It is a relatively smallish firebox (1.6 cu. ft, thus the name Neo 1.6), so you do have to keep it fed about every 2 - 3 hours or so (depending of course on the seasoned wood being burned and how dense it is -- my wood cord is mixed with some heavier and denser than others). I haven't yet tried an overnight burn (I just close the damper all the way when I go to bed @1am or so) , although even so, I've had enough of a coal bed on some mornings to just re-start it up by laying some smaller wood pieces on it.

I really wanted to go with Pacific Energy as I've read and heard so many great things about them and their stoves. I never even saw the Neo 1.6. in person (it was nowhere on display in Eastern MA), so I was really going out on faith. But that faith has certainly been rewarded thus far.

Feb 12 2014 - Lower brick installed plus heat shield.JPG Feb 12 2014 - Screen-Glass Off, ready for new brickss.JPG March 18, 2014 - Installation complete!.JPG
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,687
South Puget Sound, WA
Welcome and thanks for the review. It looks like a nice clean install.

What was the air control set at when the video was made? Can you run the stove with it closed all the way?
 

SwordWord

Member
Dec 24, 2013
12
Weymouth MA
Hi Begreen ... it was open all the way. I had just loaded it up when I decided to take the video. Shortly after the video was over, I closed the damper down about 3/4 closed (or 1/4 open), which is where I typically run it once everything is ignited and I have a strong coal bed. Later in the night I'm more inclined to close it all the way. Sometimes that makes for really pretty flames, but mostly it just seems to burn without much flame -- but it does burn, as evidenced by nothing but ashes and even some coals the following morning. So, I guess, yes, I can run it with the damper all the way closed. My understanding is that some air is still getting in there.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,687
South Puget Sound, WA
OK, that's good. It looked like it was mostly primary burn, that's why I asked. You are correct, even with the air control closed some primary air is getting to the fire. I think the Neos have an EBT damper on the secondary.
 
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Grisu

Minister of Fire
Nov 1, 2010
4,121
Chittenden, VT
Awesome install, SwordWord. I am really jealous of that nice looking insert. If the Neo series would have been available 4 years ago I would now sit here and look right at one. :confused: Anyway, I am glad it is working out so well for you. Heating such a large home with that small insert is certainly an accomplishment. Enjoy! :)
 
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SwordWord

Member
Dec 24, 2013
12
Weymouth MA
Awesome install, SwordWord. I am really jealous of that nice looking insert. If the Neo series would have been available 4 years ago I would now sit here and look right at one. :confused: Anyway, I am glad it is working out so well for you. Heating such a large home with that small insert is certainly an accomplishment. Enjoy! :)
Thanks Grisu. I guess I'm kind of a pioneer on this Neo 1.6 (it's pretty new from PE), and I still have yet to experience a full New England blast of winter with it (the kind you Vermonters know only too well), but so far so good. Having a fairly open floor plan on the main floor helps out a lot. I've also found that closing doors in the upstairs rooms during the day (when no one is around to use them) helps get the main floor up to toasty temps pretty quickly. I'll be a student for awhile with this thing. But thanks again for your compliment.
 

fire_man

Minister of Fire
Feb 6, 2009
2,369
North Eastern MA
That's a really clean looking install those guys at Fireplace Connection did. They were right to install the mantel heat shield, your stove needs 16" top clearance.

I can't figure out how the shield is mounted - there should be a 1" air space to the underside of the board.
 

firebroad

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2011
1,521
Carroll County, MD
Nice insert! Also, very lovely living room...
I also had to raise the floor of my fireplace with bricks, as the installer didn't measure correctly for the surround, and I did not want to wait for a bigger one. The bottom trim looks perfect! I wonder if the fact that the stove fit in snugly will have any effect on heat loss? My own situation is a very LARGE fireplace, and I sometimes think a lot of heat gets trapped back there, even though the fan is always running on high.
Nice pics and vid, by the way.
 

SwordWord

Member
Dec 24, 2013
12
Weymouth MA
That's a really clean looking install those guys at Fireplace Connection did. They were right to install the mantel heat shield, your stove needs 16" top clearance.

I can't figure out how the shield is mounted - there should be a 1" air space to the underside of the board.
You are right, Fire_Man, the shield is screwed into the bottom of the mantel, with three 1-inch spacers.
 

SwordWord

Member
Dec 24, 2013
12
Weymouth MA
Nice insert! Also, very lovely living room...
I also had to raise the floor of my fireplace with bricks, as the installer didn't measure correctly for the surround, and I did not want to wait for a bigger one. The bottom trim looks perfect! I wonder if the fact that the stove fit in snugly will have any effect on heat loss? My own situation is a very LARGE fireplace, and I sometimes think a lot of heat gets trapped back there, even though the fan is always running on high.
Nice pics and vid, by the way.
Thank you Sue. I really had my eye on the Alderlea T5 while I was researching, but it would have definitely required changes to the hearth and probably the mantel. Interesting question on heat loss. I'll bet there is some in both cases, but it probably has more to do with other factors than the size of the fireplace and space surrounding the stove. Just a guess from a newbie. :)
 

firebroad

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2011
1,521
Carroll County, MD
Thank you Sue. I really had my eye on the Alderlea T5 while I was researching, but it would have definitely required changes to the hearth and probably the mantel. Interesting question on heat loss. I'll bet there is some in both cases, but it probably has more to do with other factors than the size of the fireplace and space surrounding the stove. Just a guess from a newbie. :)
Yes, you are probably right. A block-off plate would have been ideal, but the installers shoved a lot of rolux down the sides of the chimney instead.
 

scorte1

New Member
Jul 11, 2014
4
Ellijay, Ga
Thanks so much for the Neo 1.6 review. I have gone through painstaking research trying to find an insert for my cabin in Georgia. The Neo 1.6 appeared to fit all of my needs but could find almost nothing about it until I came upon your thread. Once I read it I was closed. My only problem is that there is no retailer in Georgia and I will have to drive 3 hours to get it and then have to find an installer, not easy to do in backwoods Georgia. The price I have been given is $2045.00 plus $100 shipping + installation.
 
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SwordWord

Member
Dec 24, 2013
12
Weymouth MA
Thanks so much for the Neo 1.6 review. I have gone through painstaking research trying to find an insert for my cabin in Georgia. The Neo 1.6 appeared to fit all of my needs but could find almost nothing about it until I came upon your thread. Once I read it I was closed. My only problem is that there is no retailer in Georgia and I will have to drive 3 hours to get it and then have to find an installer, not easy to do in backwoods Georgia. The price I have been given is $2045.00 plus $100 shipping + installation.

Glad my experience with the Neo 1.6 (so far) has helped you. My cost was about $3600 with tax and installation (which included the brickwork they did). None of it was itemized, but I know they said up front that the installation fee was $1600. So ... seems your price is in the ballpark. Good luck with the installation.
 

scorte1

New Member
Jul 11, 2014
4
Ellijay, Ga
Good News! I found a retailer for the Neo 1.6 in Chattanooga. He is willing to drive the 80 miles for delivery and installation. Total cost with chimney reline and face plate cut to exact dimensions is just over 3400.00. I just need to forward him the exact measurements and pictures. I should have it all done before the cold hits.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
83,687
South Puget Sound, WA
Great. Keep us posted on progress and take pictures. Do you have a good supply of seasoned wood already split and stacked?
 

scorte1

New Member
Jul 11, 2014
4
Ellijay, Ga
That is my next thing. It is a part time cabin/ retirement home so I have not been there in 2 months. Plans are to go there mid September, finalize measurements and take pictures. Will get a source for wood while I am up there.
 

scorte1

New Member
Jul 11, 2014
4
Ellijay, Ga
Ok, the Neo 1.6 insert was installed 2 weeks ago. Burned 3 small kindling fires to break it in, then did full blown fire the last day I was there. Worked really well and as far as the fan noise I could not hear it until I went all the way to high. I am very satisfied. The install went great except for a slight adjustment to price but very fair.
I have tried to upload the video but seem to be having trouble.
 

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SwordWord

Member
Dec 24, 2013
12
Weymouth MA
How are you finding the fan noise? I just had a Neo 1.6 installed and I find the fan a little loud even on the lowest setting.

Thanks
I guess everyone would have their own gauge for what is loud and what is not. To me, the Neo 1.6 fan seems relatively quiet on high (I mean, it's on high so of course you can hear it), and seems barely audible on low, especially if I'm not in the room itself. For example, Sometimes when I fire it up in the morning, and after a bit I see that the box is full of fire, I often wonder why the fan hasn't yet come on, and I assume I must have turned it off the night before -- only to find that it is in fact on low. So, it's on, and I can hardly hear it -- but it's definitely blowing out air in to the room.

Most people with PE units like this consider the variable fan to be relatively quiet compared to others. I suppose the acoustics of a room -- the way sound waves carry and bounce off walls -- can have a huge effect on whether a fan will be considered noisy or not. Our insert is in the living room, with big, fully cushioned furniture, thick oriental rug, drapes on the windows, and lots of things in which sound could be absorbed. If yours is in a 'bare' room (wood furniture, wood floors, bare windows, etc) that could definitely affect the noise level.

Or maybe there is something not quite right with your fan? I would talk to your installer and see what he thinks. I know my installer is local and would certainly come out to the house and listen. Maybe yours would, too?

Anyway, maybe others can weigh in.
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Nice choice, nice burner. You'll be happy with that for years to come. Enjoy
 

timrobertsincanada

New Member
Oct 20, 2014
3
Atlantic Canada
Ok, the Neo 1.6 insert was installed 2 weeks ago. Burned 3 small kindling fires to break it in, then did full blown fire the last day I was there. Worked really well and as far as the fan noise I could not hear it until I went all the way to high. I am very satisfied. The install went great except for a slight adjustment to price but very fair.
I have tried to upload the video but seem to be having trouble.
The fan is really quiet when it starts up. It's after the fire has been going for awhile that the fan noise seems to increase. I just started a fire and the fan noise is lowI can barely
I guess everyone would have their own gauge for what is loud and what is not. To me, the Neo 1.6 fan seems relatively quiet on high (I mean, it's on high so of course you can hear it), and seems barely audible on low, especially if I'm not in the room itself. For example, Sometimes when I fire it up in the morning, and after a bit I see that the box is full of fire, I often wonder why the fan hasn't yet come on, and I assume I must have turned it off the night before -- only to find that it is in fact on low. So, it's on, and I can hardly hear it -- but it's definitely blowing out air in to the room.

Most people with PE units like this consider the variable fan to be relatively quiet compared to others. I suppose the acoustics of a room -- the way sound waves carry and bounce off walls -- can have a huge effect on whether a fan will be considered noisy or not. Our insert is in the living room, with big, fully cushioned furniture, thick oriental rug, drapes on the windows, and lots of things in which sound could be absorbed. If yours is in a 'bare' room (wood furniture, wood floors, bare windows, etc) that could definitely affect the noise level.

Or maybe there is something not quite right with your fan? I would talk to your installer and see what he thinks. I know my installer is local and would certainly come out to the house and listen. Maybe yours would, too?

Anyway, maybe others can weigh in.
The fan is really quiet when it starts up. It's after the fire has been going for awhile that the fan noise seems to increase. I just started a fire and the fan noise is low. Maybe I'm just getting attuned to it after awhile. It is in a small living room with hardwood floors. As you said that might impact it.

Overall I am happy with the insert. It heats up quickly and I'm pretty sure I can "cook" myself out of that area of the house if I run the fire hot for awhile :)

Thanks
 

timrobertsincanada

New Member
Oct 20, 2014
3
Atlantic Canada
The fan is really quiet when it starts up. It's after the fire has been going for awhile that the fan noise seems to increase. I just started a fire and the fan noise is lowI can barely


The fan is really quiet when it starts up. It's after the fire has been going for awhile that the fan noise seems to increase. I just started a fire and the fan noise is low. Maybe I'm just getting attuned to it after awhile. It is in a small living room with hardwood floors. As you said that might impact it.

Overall I am happy with the insert. It heats up quickly and I'm pretty sure I can "cook" myself out of that area of the house if I run the fire hot for awhile :)

Thanks
Yes, I have confirmed this after a couple more fires. The fan speeds up after a period of time. Once the firebox is hot. Any one else experiencing this?
 

Crimchuck

New Member
Nov 24, 2014
5
RI
Hi, just found these forums online. I have a Neo 1.6 stove that was installed back in November 2013. I think I was one of the first people in the country to have one. The stove has performed great all the winter and into this fall. There are two things though that I'm just starting to find out. The glass door seems to be getting dark around the edge where the handle is. It seems to me that the door is not shutting completely tight and some air is leaking in there. Also when I hooked up my combustion air intake late last winter I found out the following morning that cold air was leaking in from the front of the stove. The cold exterior air instead of going into the file box and up the flow was coming out the front of my stove. After contacting the manufacturer a number of times they finally said they're starting to realize that the air chamber is not completely airtight and they don't think there's much they can do. I know this is a new stove but I figured I would try and see if anyone else that has one might've had these issues.
Thank you
 
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