Pacific Energy FP30 vs Osburn Horizon

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HaileyR

New Member
Jan 5, 2021
4
Smithers, BC
First I want to say this site and the people on it are truly amazing ! It's been so much help to me, a newbie, while researching.

My situation is that we're moving to a bigger house, around 3,000 sqft (including partially finished basement with no windows.. maybe just a very tall crawl). The house has lots of big windows on the main floor, built 1978 and the tennants who lived there before we bought it were spending a LOT on gas for heating. The current fireplace is an open prefab that is likely losing a fair amount of heat out of it (plus the large old windows) and the upstairs does not have furnace ducting so there are baseboards in each room.

We wanted to put an insert it but our inspector said we can't due to the type of prefab in there now. Our only choice is to rip out the lava rock surround and the fireplace and replace the whole thing. We want to go ZC for aesthetics and to save livingroom space. I am between PE FP30 arch and Osburn Horizon, these are some of the few brands available locally in my small town. I like these models because they have good efficiency and heat a large area, as we hope to not have to use the baseboards upstairs where the bedrooms are. I also hope to be able to put in the heat transfer to the basement just to help with overall house heating and circulation.

I am hoping anyone who has one of these two (or similar) fireplaces could give me some reviews. I have already read most of the threads I could find relating to the products, but I am very nervous to make a poor decision. I love the large viewing areas of these options, especially the airwash for better viewing on the FP30.
 

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
553
Wildwood MO
I do not have any experience with these units but I have researched them my brother and parents are both looking for similar units. The horizon is a considerably larger firebox. I have personally steered my family towards PF30 for a few reasons. I think it has better efficiency, a larger heat output range and higher heat output, based on epa data. I also like the she shape of the fire box better on the FP30. the 18x22.5 firebox allows for north south loading with 16" logs. If you have to buy firewood most vendors have 16" logs. I prefer north south loading I have found I can fit more wood in that way and it is easier to load.
 

mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
676
ontario
Hey and welcome to a fun site with alot people that are willing to share their experiences and knowledge....
We own a fp30 arch and as far as its heating capabilities are concerned it works very well and we really do not have any regrets from choosing it. It provides enough heat for us and our furnace is essentially backup now. Our place is a 1 storey ranch with full wall insulation in the basement and the house is new.

A couple of questions for you to consider........

Are you wanting this to be your main heat provider throughout the heating season? Or more of a auxiliary heater that helps out now and then?

Its too bad there isn't any heat ducts to your upstairs, and somewhat surprising for a home as new as the one you have.....regardless, from what I understand from seeing many posts of 2 storey homes with the bedrooms upstairs, the location of the stairwell and location of the chosen unit play a major factor. In order for people to give you a prediction of ability to heatbyour upstairs a simple Floorplan sketch will be necessary.
You also mentioned very large windows, so they should be indicated where they are as well, and maybe a indication of what shape the windows are in? Dual pane sealed units or single pane. A guess of how much heat loss your home has is another part of the equation if trying to heat it with any type of heater.

You mentioned that the gas bills are high from the previous occupants, that to me, is somewhat concerning in the fact that gas is relatively a cheap way to heat. A high bill is an indicator that the place may need to be "buttoned" up better. A wood burning appliance will not overcome issues that are causing a high heat load requirement. In more plain English......if the house has alot of heat leaks a woodstove won't fix them, and may not produce the heat you are wanting . The zc fireplaces like the fp30 are an expensive item, and I wouldn't want anyone thinking they solve house related issues. Depending on budget, you may be further ahead to take the money your considering on spending on a fireplace and designate it towards whole house upgrades (insulation,windows,air sealing) and your gas bill will reflect those efforts. Wood is alot of work and must be factored in as well. Alot of time and effort is required if your trying to keep out of pocket expenses low, if you plan on buying your wood, gas is probably extremely close in cost and possibly cheaper.
I'm not trying to discourage your plan, just wanting to paint the entire picture.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,082
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
First off is the chimney sizing, the Osburn requires 8" where the PE uses a 6". Depending on the house there may be an issue getting an 8" liner in.

Second is performance vs aesthetics, the Osburn is IMO a much nicer looking unit as it looks more like a traditional fireplace, but I'd be scared it's going to consume a large amount of firewood due to the larger firebox and lower efficiency. The PE is more efficient and has a wider range of heat output.

The Osburn uses an electronic air control, I'd be having a further look at this, before I bought.

For me though the choice would be simple, I'd buy the PE FP30, I believe it would be far more effective as a heater.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,082
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
You mentioned that the gas bills are high from the previous occupants, that to me, is somewhat concerning in the fact that gas is relatively a cheap way to heat.

Just one thing to note is in this region of BC natural gas prices are high, the delivery fees are massive compared to what most people pay. Last month I paid $5.17/GJ including transmission and distribution fees (delivered cost), Pacific Northern Gas current rate is $16.74/GJ delivered cost.
 

mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
676
ontario
Yikes, that sure plays into the overall situation. How's that stack up against buying wood? If that is an option.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,082
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Not sure what wood prices would be there, Smithers is a logging town, I'm sure firewood is easy to come by.

I've spent a few holidays out in that area, its a beautiful place, given that I think I could stomach the higher heating prices.
 

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
553
Wildwood MO
If you like the osburn you might look at the Everest 2 it uses a 6" chimney and is close in size 3 cuft to the PF30 . Personally I do not care for the double doors Valcourt a sister company to Osburn owned sbi makes a 2 cuft and with a single door. I looked at the Valcourt Laffayette last Saturday. Overall it looked like a very nice well made unit there was two things I didn't like. 1. The fie box shape 2. it uses refactory panels instead of standard fire bricks.
 

mcdougy

Minister of Fire
Apr 15, 2014
676
ontario
Right , now just need to make sure it will heat the entire house....an fp30 will run north of $85oo if you do the face yourself. And probably over 10g if you hire all aspects of the required job out. A significant chunk of change. And if there is a unfriendly layout or alot of seal and insulate issues, I wouldn't want to spend that kind of money and be disappointed.
 

Woodsplitter67

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2017
1,964
Woolwich nj
no matter what stove you get.. the first thing you need is a wood supply that is sub 20%MC because with out good wood your stove is useless. You need wood storage also
The first thing I did when I thought of purchasing a stove was get my wood supply and some wood sheds.. I didn't even have a stove picked out and I had wood seasoning in the back yard
If you going to be purchasing seasoned wood from a local supplier.. its not fully seasoned.. only partially.. and will burn poorly.. that wood will also need further drying time..
Welcome aboard..
 
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IowaRSFBurner

Member
Dec 27, 2017
47
Pella, Iowa
Being that you are from Canada, have you looked at RSF? I heat 2900 sq ft with an Opel 3C and we love it. Lots of options and made in Canada so parts and service for you should be relatively easy. Just another thought on options.
 

aansorge

Minister of Fire
Aug 12, 2011
957
Southern Minnesota
I would recommend going with a free-standing stove. They can run without fans for much of the time and that really is nice. Many of us are fans of the Blaze King brand as they really are great stove for ease of use, long burn times and whole house heating. Pacific Energy is another great stove company in your area that builds stoves with long burn times.

Many of us cut and split our own wood and this makes wood-burning very affordable but requires spending money up front and a significant amount of free time. I would definitely check local wood prices if you don't cut and split your own, before pulling the trigger on an a wood-burning system.