Non-catalytic wood stove or insert that qualifies for tax credit?

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lgesel

New Member
Sep 16, 2021
5
Pennsylvania
Hi all, I'm new here and am having a hard time deciding between a stove or insert. I have an existing fireplace (34 1/2" W, 31" H, 20"D) and I initially wanted a wood stove and was looking at models that qualify for the tax credit - my favorite was the Jotul 500 v3 Oslo wood stove but then I read on here that there have been some issues with the new design. So I was then leaning towards the VC Encore but I also read some not so great reviews about VC. I have a chimney guy that I like and he is recommending a Regency insert, specifically the non-catalytic units (he said something about the catalytic units cracking?) but they don't qualify for the tax credit. I really want to take advantage of this tax credit since I will need a professional to line the chimney and install the unit and the estimates I've received so far are pricey.

I'm open to an insert because they look so nice but it doesn't seem like many qualify for the tax credit unless they're catalytic. I don't have any experience with a catalytic unit so my question is, should I be more open to inserts and in particular catalytic inserts? I've always thought that wood stoves are more efficient at heating a space and I like the simplicity of non-catalytic but since I don't have much experience I'm not sure what to think. Any advice would be appreciated.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,465
SE North Carolina
I don’t know of any non cat HHV >75% inserts. I’m not super current I pretty much stopped shopping 6-8 months ago. I wouldn’t be put off by a catalytic insert by a brads with good track records. Kuma, regency, Blaze king come to mind. Depending on your budget the price difference of a value branded insert that does not qualify for the tax credit could be cheaper than high end ones that qualify.

You are correct about the F500, but it’s been out long enough that I would be hopeful that they have sorted their issues out. But who knows. If You are tucking it far back in the fireplace it might not be the best choice. I have the smaller F400 in a wider fireplace and I’m not sure I’d want a stove with higher output and less space. It gets quite warm back in there. but if it’s sticking out a fair bit I think it would be ok. Check out the T5 insert from pacific energy. I know it’s not tax credit eligible but has the closest look to the F500 no idea on price.
 

lgesel

New Member
Sep 16, 2021
5
Pennsylvania
I don’t know of any non cat HHV >75% inserts. I’m not super current I pretty much stopped shopping 6-8 months ago. I wouldn’t be put off by a catalytic insert by a brads with good track records. Kuma, regency, Blaze king come to mind. Depending on your budget the price difference of a value branded insert that does not qualify for the tax credit could be cheaper than high end ones that qualify.

You are correct about the F500, but it’s been out long enough that I would be hopeful that they have sorted their issues out. But who knows. If You are tucking it far back in the fireplace it might not be the best choice. I have the smaller F400 in a wider fireplace and I’m not sure I’d want a stove with higher output and less space. It gets quite warm back in there. but if it’s sticking out a fair bit I think it would be ok. Check out the T5 insert from pacific energy. I know it’s not tax credit eligible but has the closest look to the F500 no idea on price.
Thanks for the info! I was considering having the wood stove sit right in front of the fireplace but I will keep looking at other catalytic inserts too.
 

jotulf45v2

New Member
Sep 22, 2021
30
CT Shoreline
I had a catalytic VC intrepid II. Nice small stove that stretched the burn to 8 hours with the catalytic engaged. CAT is a really nice optimization in stoves but you need to burn solid "clean" wood to not damage it. I burn what I find so I don't have the luxury to pick what I put in (within reason). When the cat wasn't engaged, I'd have 3-4hr burn times, granted the stove was small so...I'd say for the credit and if you know the kind of wood you're burning a cat isn't that bad. Even burning rough wood my cat lasted ~5 years with room to keep going before I upgraded. Rough wood = punky, dirt, ~25% moisture.

I came from an 80s smoke dragon and going to a cat wasn't too bad. Till I got used to the stove I didn't engage the cat for the first season to learn it.

If I had the space for it, I almost went for the Ashford 30 as 30hr burn time is very alluring.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
90,531
South Puget Sound, WA
The VC Dauntless can be run without the cat, though that option can be added later if desired.
 

lgesel

New Member
Sep 16, 2021
5
Pennsylvania
I had a catalytic VC intrepid II. Nice small stove that stretched the burn to 8 hours with the catalytic engaged. CAT is a really nice optimization in stoves but you need to burn solid "clean" wood to not damage it. I burn what I find so I don't have the luxury to pick what I put in (within reason). When the cat wasn't engaged, I'd have 3-4hr burn times, granted the stove was small so...I'd say for the credit and if you know the kind of wood you're burning a cat isn't that bad. Even burning rough wood my cat lasted ~5 years with room to keep going before I upgraded. Rough wood = punky, dirt, ~25% moisture.

I came from an 80s smoke dragon and going to a cat wasn't too bad. Till I got used to the stove I didn't engage the cat for the first season to learn it.

If I had the space for it, I almost went for the Ashford 30 as 30hr burn time is very alluring.
This is great to know, thank you!