Newbie needs help with wood stove vs insert vs BIS

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New Member
Jul 25, 2011
Western WA
We are remodeling a 1910 foursquare in WA state. Want fireplace (for look/feel of hearth and mantle - me) and wood-burning heat (for rare occasions when power's out - DH) in a new addition. Space is fairly small (stove will be in 200sqft room open to total 600sqft space, house is 2300sqft.). Heat pump as main heat source.
Options at this point are free standing wood stove (like Lopi Leyden - not my preference style-wise, I like the stove but not necessarily look of it free standing with stove pipe up to 8ft ceiling), wood stove in a hearth/fireplace (which may take up too much space), wood stove insert (like Lopi Republic or Hearthstone Clydesdale, but I do not like look of the black surround tiles), or something like the BIS Tradition CE. DH does not want fireplace xtrordinaire type wood burning fireplace due to concerns of inefficiency if fan's not running (when power's off) and not really needing it to heat our whole space with its positive pressure system. Is the BIS Tradition the same type thing? Any thought/recommendations appreciated. TIA!
Welcome. DH is trying to be practical. A free standing stove is going to provide the most heat which will mean less wood consumed and less refilling (= less work). It will also allow you to better size the stove to the area. A nice freestanding stove on a beautiful hearth can look quite stunning and will be the least expensive to install. Consider putting the savings into some fine tiles for the hearth? If the pipe is really a show stopper, many cast iron and soapstone stoves can be rear vented so you don't see the pipe. There are some caveats, but it is done for a cleaner look.

If nothing currently exists and the fireplace look is worth the additional expense, go for a good ZC unit that is clean burning and convects well. It would be much more expensive and overkill to build a complete masonry fireplace + chimney and then plunk an insert into it. The one problem being that most ZC units are fairly large. The BIS Panorama is smaller and could be set up with gravity vents. Or perhaps a Kozy 231ZC would work? or Regency EX90?


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