Kozy Heat vs Mendota vs Xtrodinair

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New Member
Jun 14, 2018
East Bay, California
We live in Northern CA, a bit inland, so cool Winters, but not really cold. We have whole house gas heat, and a wood burning Fisher insert for room heat in the living/entertainment room. We want to replace the wood burner with a DV gas insert. Our priorities are low maintenance, durability, efficiency, appearance and value (total cost over time). We have looked at the Mendota FV44i, Kozy Heat Chaska 34 and the 616 Fireplace Extrodinair GSRII. In our area, the Kozy Heat is popular and a neighbor has/and likes his. It has a lower initial cost than the other two, but the Mendota and Extrodinair use thicker gauge steel and are said to be very well built. My wife likes the high heat of our wood burner in the winter, and the Mendota with ceramic glass, dual fans and quick warm up is nice, but is it over-kill in our climate? Comments about these inserts in our milder climate plus their durability and maintenance would be greatly appreciated. We will choose soon.

Also what are the pros and cons of the insert liners: simulated brick vs reflective black. The black seems to give depth to the fire that is kind of nice, but does the paint inside the box create issues of odor/discoloration over time etc?