Recommendations for wood burning fireplace insert please

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BigRosy

New Member
Sep 30, 2022
3
Kerhonkson, NY
Hi,
I am looking to replace an old Bettern Bens insert into a fireplace ( not used in 20 yrs). The measurements I took are not exact as their is an existing stove insert so I measured around that box after removing the steel surround. Height - 28”; depth - 22”; width - front 32”, rear 26”, hearth depth 7-8”.

Our house is about 1500sq ft with an oil burning furnace, open floor plan on 1st floor - LR where fireplace is located has a cathedral ceiling with fan, the dining area and kitchen have single story ceilings, the two story open area extends to a staircase and two closed bedrooms on 2nd floor. I would want to be able to keep the thermostat low and supplement with wood burning for additional heat and comfort.

I have looked at the Lopi Evergreen as I want to take advantage of biomass tax rebate. Are there other wood inserts that I should be looking at that would fit ? I am sensitive to smoke, so wanted to get the Greenstart igniter but it’s not available in the smaller stoves. So would like to make sure the insert starts “easily” and drafts well. ( I know that is likely a function of dry wood and expertise, but if there are inserts to avoid….). Have plenty of wood so would like to stick with wood burning option.

the chimney is two clay flues; an 8.5 inch square for the oil burning furnace and an 8 x 13 “ (exterior measure) for the fireplace flue. This would need an insulated steel liner. Does the square flue for the oil burning furnace also need to be lined?

thank you

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,328
Long Island NY
Others will be able to help you better with what insert would work for you, but I think your idea of keeping the thermostat low "supplementing with wood" is incorrect; keeping the thermostat low means you're providing all heat from wood. What you may want to do is burn the insert, and keep the thermostat at the temperature you want, so that it can "top up" (from a way less cold starting point) the heat your home needs.

This will only work when the thermostat is not near the insert.

This reflects the issue that stoves and inserts are space heaters, and for them to heat a whole home the circumstances have to be conducive for that.
Your place may be conducive though, you can open the bedroom doors as you wish to keep them warm or cool enough. You may have to add a ban on the floor slowly (!) blowing cold air from the kitchen/dining area to the LR. This will be replaced by warmer air from the LR. If your thermostat is in the kitchen/dining area, you'll be good - keep the LR as you want with the stove, and top up the kitchen with the thermostat.

I think the oil flue does not need to be lined for the wood flue to be code compliant. (It may need a liner for other reasons, but it'll not be because of the insert, imo.)

The chimney goes to above the second story?
 

BigRosy

New Member
Sep 30, 2022
3
Kerhonkson, NY
Others will be able to help you better with what insert would work for you, but I think your idea of keeping the thermostat low "supplementing with wood" is incorrect; keeping the thermostat low means you're providing all heat from wood. What you may want to do is burn the insert, and keep the thermostat at the temperature you want, so that it can "top up" (from a way less cold starting point) the heat your home needs.

This will only work when the thermostat is not near the insert.

This reflects the issue that stoves and inserts are space heaters, and for them to heat a whole home the circumstances have to be conducive for that.
Your place may be conducive though, you can open the bedroom doors as you wish to keep them warm or cool enough. You may have to add a ban on the floor slowly (!) blowing cold air from the kitchen/dining area to the LR. This will be replaced by warmer air from the LR. If your thermostat is in the kitchen/dining area, you'll be good - keep the LR as you want with the stove, and top up the kitchen with the thermostat.

I think the oil flue does not need to be lined for the wood flue to be code compliant. (It may need a liner for other reasons, but it'll not be because of the insert, imo.)

The chimney goes to above the second story?
Thank you for your reply and excellent recommendations. Yes the chimney goes to the second story.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,328
Long Island NY
That's good. It's tall enough to serve modern EPA stoves.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,477
South Puget Sound, WA
The tax credit is tantalizing if you can use it, but I would focus more on the right insert for the job. It sounds like a mid-sized insert will do the job. My bias is toward N/S loaders for fuller loading without anxiety of a log rolling against the glass. Take a look at the Regency 2450 insert and the Pacific Energy Super insert for starters.
 
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Garbanzo62

Member
Aug 25, 2022
138
Connecticut
I purchased the Regency I2500. Gets the 26% credit.. It is scheduled to be installed next week so I can't tell you how well it works. It came down to the Lopi and the Regency as the Tax credit is what is making this affordable. Deciding factor for me is Lopi could not take 18 inch log front to back, so you either needed to have shorter logs or load logs sideways
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,328
Long Island NY
you're lucky the install being so soon!

We'd like to see some pics when all is done (and some fire :) )
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,578
SE North Carolina
I can tell you The Drolet 1800i is the cheapest option. And qualifies for the tax credit.
 

BigRosy

New Member
Sep 30, 2022
3
Kerhonkson, NY
Thanks for your responses. It looks like PE - Super and Alderlea T5 would fit and have N-S loading. Also the Regency i2450. It seems like the only inserts that would fit and be eligible for tax credit are Lopi Evergreen and Regency i2500. Still waiting to hear from local dealer on whether PE or Regency units are available ano if they will service my area. I know I can get the Evergreen, two local installers have them and are scheduling, but they don’t seem to offer other insert options, possibly Matrix.

I’m not clear on what is meant by hybrid catalytic stove for Regency i2500 and if that means a lot more expense for maintaining catalytic burner.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,477
South Puget Sound, WA
Several stove makers have chosen the hybrid path to meet the EPA 2020 requirements. This combines a tube secondary rack with a catalyst for more complete combustion, especially under high fire. The benefit is more complete combustion and often a better light show. The con is more to maintain and watch out for. Other companies have chosen to stick to lower maintenance KISS designs.

A couple of caveats with the 2500i are the shallower firebox and cat assembly. Regency chose to move the catalyst as part of the bypass mechanism. It's unknown whether this will stand up as well as the catalyst assembly on their pro stoves where it is stationary.