Need to find the best fireplace inserts.

Fhfarm

New Member
Jan 15, 2020
4
Oregon
My husband and I have a 2 story home in Oregon built in 1916; she a beauty. But heating her is sucking us dry. We want to put in a wood burning insert into our very large brick fireplace (front opening 45" x 31") to start heating primarily with wood vs our electric furnace. We have gone to several different dealers and looked at a number of inserts and brands, but we still can't decide on an insert. Our home is about 2800 sqft not including our uninsulated basement and we are not sure how well insulated the rest of the house is. We have looked at Lopi and Fireplace Xtrordinair both hybrid by Travis industries. My question is are there any other better options then these two brands. We have also looked at Quadra-Fire, Hearthstone, Regancy. We want a efficient wood insert that's going to be able to heat our house well. Any suggestions to make the decision easier would be helpful! We have also considered wood stoves too we have heard they heat better and longer, but not sure about the look.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,950
South Puget Sound, WA
How well the insert heats the house may not depend on the brand as much as the location of the fireplace, house floorplan and ceiling height. You are looking at good brands. I would also look at the Osburn 2400 and the Pacific Energy Summit inserts.
 
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weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,749
Central Mass
Are you stuck on an insert? With that size fireplace you can get a rear vent free stander. My house is 2800 sf and I switched from an insert to a free stander and it does a much better job of heating, there are some good, large inserts out there too that will do the job since your F/P is so big.
 
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Fhfarm

New Member
Jan 15, 2020
4
Oregon
Are you stuck on an insert? With that size fireplace you can get a rear vent free stander. My house is 2800 sf and I switched from an insert to a free stander and it does a much better job of heating, there are some good, large inserts out there too that will do the job since your F/P is so big.
Thanks weatherguy! May I ask what stove you have and if you like it! Or is there another stove you'd recommend?
 

Fhfarm

New Member
Jan 15, 2020
4
Oregon
How well the insert heats the house may not depend on the brand as much as the location of the fireplace, house floorplan and ceiling height. You are looking at good brands. I would also look at the Osburn 2400 and the Pacific Energy Summit inserts.
Thanks! I will take a look at those inserts. It's good to know the brands we are looking at are good too! I will keep those orher factors in mind as well. We have 9 ft ceilings with center open staircase. Fireplace is in a large open livingroom which opens well to the dining and staircase that leads to the upstairs. It is a moderately open floor plan upstairs and main floor for an old home. Not sure if all that is good or bad. I have also heard people turning on there "fan only " or "summer fan" option on there thermostat of there furnace to circulate the heat. Any thoughts on that?
 

Geoff C

Member
Oct 29, 2011
102
PA
You would have to try it out. If your ducts are not insulated and pass through an uninsulated basement it’s probably not going to help.

I am on my 3rd year burning an insert and have just bought a freestanding stove that will sit in front of the fireplace and vent out the rear. Kneeling down to load it, dealing with the blower noise, no ash pan, strange trapezoid firebox shape, hard to clean the flue. With a 31” fireplace height I would go with a large freestander (if you can make it work with your hearth). I have to cut out some hardwood flooring and put down tile.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,950
South Puget Sound, WA
There are other factors that need to be considered, in particular mantel clearances. A good insert will heat the area well. The more it projects out onto the hearth the better. If you can post a picture of the whole fireplace, hearth and mantel we can look for issues and options.
 

lml999

Minister of Fire
Oct 25, 2013
503
Cape Cod, Massachusetts
My husband and I have a 2 story home in Oregon built in 1916; she a beauty. But heating her is sucking us dry. ...

Our home is about 2800 sqft not including our uninsulated basement and we are not sure how well insulated the rest of the house is.... [italics mine]
Your first investment should be in insulating the house and tightening it up. If your basement is heated but not finished, you might want to either insulate the basement ceiling or the walls (or both). You should blow in cellulose (or similar) insulation into any un (or under) insulated exterior wall cavity. Double up on your ceiling insulation, after top sealing all of the wallboard-stud joints in the attic (if you have access.) Seal or caulk every foundation hole, crack, window void, outlet, etc. Replace old/worn door and window gaskets.

Not as fun or sexy as buying a new wood stove, but until you seal up the house, you're going to burn a lot of electricity, NG, oil or wood heating it.
 

Fhfarm

New Member
Jan 15, 2020
4
Oregon
You would have to try it out. If your ducts are not insulated and pass through an uninsulated basement it’s probably not going to help.

I am on my 3rd year burning an insert and have just bought a freestanding stove that will sit in front of the fireplace and vent out the rear. Kneeling down to load it, dealing with the blower noise, no ash pan, strange trapezoid firebox shape, hard to clean the flue. With a 31” fireplace height I would go with a large freestander (if you can make it work with your hearth). I have to cut out some hardwood flooring and put down tile.
Thanks Geoff C. Those are great points and I agree. We are looking into a free standings now as well. We are also looking at a different option now too...a DS Energymax 160 woodburing furnace that works on natural convection and would be placed in our basement. Any thoughts?
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,749
Central Mass
Thanks weatherguy! May I ask what stove you have and if you like it! Or is there another stove you'd recommend?
I had a blaze king princess which I loved but needed more heat so now I'm burning a Woodstock progress hybrid. I almost bought the kuma sequoia, that's a large insert with some heating power, not sure if they still make them though.
 

dtrykow

Member
Jan 11, 2010
21
Central CT
Any stove sticking out will increase the heat output into the house. I wanted that instead of a flush insert but my hearth is too narrow and I have oak floors. Didn’t want to start cutting my floor up. Whatever you do don’t Mickey Mouse it. Follow the manufacture setbacks for the combustibles.
Dave T.