Opinions wanted on Kozy Heat Chaska insert vs. H&G Escape

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May 12, 2013
We are considering getting an NG insert for our 30" wide wood burning fireplace. We like the glowing embers look and so are leaning toward a Kozy Heat Chaska 29 model. A local place is offering free installation on them, so our price would be about $3,300 installed, with us doing the electrical work and chimney cleaning, and they do the natural gas work, the liner, and the rest of the installation.

That seems to be a good price based on other quotes we've gotten over the years, but is the Chaska insert a durable, well built model? The other one we were considering was the H&G Escape I30, but that is about $800 more. They have similar features, but the Escape has a bigger viewing area and "fire brick" construction with a lifetime warranty on the fire brick material. Also, the Escape gives out $32.5k BTUs and the Chaska has 30.5k BTUs.

Is the Escape's extra benefits worth the extra $800? Is it any more durable or better built than the Chaska? Is the BTU difference significant?

Also, this is our first gas fireplace insert. How many years can you reasonable expect it to last?

Thanks much for any advice you may have.
Also, I read on another website that Kozy Heat's warranty isn't as good as other manufacturers, but not sure when that was written. Is that true? I don't see their warranty terms listed on their website or in their brochure for the Chaska insert.
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Now that we had the local dealer come out and measure, it seems the Kozy Heat Chaska model will fit our opening the best, and it seems to be a better deal to us. So we will likely go with that.

Anyone have any opinions on the Chaska models or Kozy Heat in general?