Newbie Basic Questions/Opinions - New Wood Stove install

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New Member
Nov 8, 2023
Berkshires, MA
Hi. First time post and I hope I use terminology correctly. I also realize I may be asking questions that are too general but any info is helpful.

We have a 1984 house (ca. 1695 sqft) with basement and attic. The single living space floor has electric baseboard heat which is inefficient and expensive, so we're looking to install a wood stove at the existing fireplace. Pic attached. It has an old Heatilator inside and vents are on side. The brick fireplace (covering large masonry chimney with 2 flues) has an arched top (30" with with a 32" peak), is 40" across, and 22" from front of brick hearth to where the metal firebox starts.


  1. Arada Farrington 12 was suggested to me and I assume since it's top flue this means it would go inside the fireplace. Any opinions on this stove or brand? I could find very little on this site about it.
  2. I actually DID find threads about this but still confused. In terms of throwing heat, if a wood stove is partially or fully inside the firebox and does not have a blower, how reduced is the heat generation in the room compared to free-standing? I don't know if it's expressible in a rough percentage or not...even anecdotal takes are helpful, I'm just trying to get an idea of how dramatic the difference is. I imagine it's significant.
  3. My dream of a freestanding wood stove was inspired by a friend who extended their fireplace hearth. They had a setup like mine and extended the hearth, tiled over the old brick and Heatilator vents, and the Jotel they have looks amazing and keeps the room super warm. So my question is: generally, when extending a hearth, is support needed from below? I won't quote anyone on an answer; I realize all houses/situations are different, but generally, with medium-sized stoves do you need to reinforce any hearth extension? I figure we'd be in the 400 lbs range. Our friends have a Jøtul 400 Castine and specs say 350 lbs.

Thanks for your patience and any help! Look forward to joining the wood burners on here. I'm sure I'll have some follow-up questions.
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Take a look at the Jotul F45. It looks like it will sit partially inside the fireplace for top venting. The stove would be entirely on the hearth and the hearth extension would then be at the floor level and ember protection only. This could be as discrete as a sheet of metal like copper or painted steel. Or is could be tile or brick.
Call around to the stores. If necessary call in Pittsfield and Albany. Down south there is Preston Trading Post in CT. They are a big Jotul dealer.
I have an insert and freestanding stove in the fireplace with a blower. The insert is better heater in this application but. My chimney is interior so once I run the stove for a a day everything get heat soaked the stove acts a bit more like a masonry heater. My insert is bigger at 2.4 cu ft than my 1.7 cu ft stove. Your really want something you can load north south. That makes more difference than stove or insert.