Stoll Heat Champion - Any actual users (or know someone with one)?

Cfran88

New Member
Jul 11, 2019
8
Ohio
I've searched here and google. I've found less than 5 reviews or people even just saying they have one (and they don't seem to be active on this site anymore). But Heat Champions have been selling at least a decade so someone must be buying them. I HATE the idea of losing all the heat from the fire and my house up the chimney so I advocated for an insert. My husband wants a traditional fireplace and wants to watch the flames with as much view as possible. This product seems to be the only thing I've found that might make both of us happy (He begrudgingly said I could have the insert but I gotta let the guy have a "win" once in a while ;)).

I know Heat Champion is not as good for heat or burn times as inserts but honestly we don't need an insert, we mainly just wanna burn for ambiance and a touch of heat (This one room does run colder than the rest of the house because it only has a crawl space below that's not heated - the rest of the house has the heated basement. And our ranch layout means no stove will ever replace running the furnace.) And I do like the grill and kettle stove add-ons (we love to cookout on the firepit so I think we'd actually utilize at least the grill). We have a whole house natural gas generator so I'm not too concerned about no blower during power outages.

But the price for these are very high. So I'd like to hear from someone that's had ANY experience with a Heat Champion (even if hearsay from friends or customers) to make sure it's not just money and wood down the drain. There is a local dealer I plan to talk to but I can't fully trust anyone that is ultimately trying to make a sale.

Thank you
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,140
South Puget Sound, WA
The Stoll is a flashback to the 70s. I wouldn't pay much for one. It's not really an insert, it's more like a heat exchanger with glass doors. Are they still selling them? If so, what are they asking?
 

Cfran88

New Member
Jul 11, 2019
8
Ohio
The Stoll is a flashback to the 70s. I wouldn't pay much for one. It's not really an insert, it's more like a heat exchanger with glass doors. Are they still selling them? If so, what are they asking?
I do know they are still for sale. A local hearth store confirmed they sell it. Is the Heat Champion model or the Stoll brand itself a "flashback"? If you don't know much about this particular model, what are your thoughts on the brand? Might you know any other items that are a similar concept? As for what appeals to me, I thought I stated that in my original post but sorry if I was a bit long winded.

Long story short: I'd like but don't NEED an insert and my husband doesn't want one, he wants a traditional look and watch the flames. I don't want to to lose heat from the fire or my home, it can operate with doors shut and has a blower (this room is colder than the rest of the house). This unit is marketed as hybrid and could possibly make us both happy. I also like the cooking features (mainly the grill). I don't like the price but I'd pay it if it's a quality unit - we both love sitting by a fire and I think we'd use it several times a week. I'll never be happy with a regular fireplace (had one before, ignored it d/t heat issue)
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,140
South Puget Sound, WA
Well, it's better than an open fireplace for reducing heat loss, but as you noted it's not going to be great for clean burning or saving wood. Stoll is a well known name for fireplace doors and has been around for a while. How much are they asking for this unit?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,409
central pa
I've searched here and google. I've found less than 5 reviews or people even just saying they have one (and they don't seem to be active on this site anymore). But Heat Champions have been selling at least a decade so someone must be buying them. I HATE the idea of losing all the heat from the fire and my house up the chimney so I advocated for an insert. My husband wants a traditional fireplace and wants to watch the flames with as much view as possible. This product seems to be the only thing I've found that might make both of us happy (He begrudgingly said I could have the insert but I gotta let the guy have a "win" once in a while ;)).

I know Heat Champion is not as good for heat or burn times as inserts but honestly we don't need an insert, we mainly just wanna burn for ambiance and a touch of heat (This one room does run colder than the rest of the house because it only has a crawl space below that's not heated - the rest of the house has the heated basement. And our ranch layout means no stove will ever replace running the furnace.) And I do like the grill and kettle stove add-ons (we love to cookout on the firepit so I think we'd actually utilize at least the grill). We have a whole house natural gas generator so I'm not too concerned about no blower during power outages.

But the price for these are very high. So I'd like to hear from someone that's had ANY experience with a Heat Champion (even if hearsay from friends or customers) to make sure it's not just money and wood down the drain. There is a local dealer I plan to talk to but I can't fully trust anyone that is ultimately trying to make a sale.

Thank you
Don't waste your money. They gain you very little for allot of money
 

weatherguy

Minister of Fire
Feb 20, 2009
5,332
Central Mass
Theres a lot of inserts where you can have a good view of the fire.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,140
South Puget Sound, WA
Yes there are, with the caveat that most are not designed for open door burning. The Osburn Matrix does have a screen option if this is a desired feature.

Note that fully seasoned firewood is a necessity for satisfactory operation.
 

Cfran88

New Member
Jul 11, 2019
8
Ohio
Thanks for the input everyone. I went to hearth store today and saw a few things in person. I didn't even ask for the price of the heat champion as the guy said I'll still lose a lot more heat than what it returns.

He pointed me in the direction of a few Lopi models still for sale that tend to be more drafty because I have a short chimney. I guess they don't meet the new 2020 regs so they might be chopped at any point. (I *think* my chimney is only 10 feet but he didn't recommend extending it until I saw if I actually had problems drafting with whatever system I chose. I was shocked to hear they would still install it on a short chimney, I thought they'd stick to the manufacturer requirements. Or will they say anything to make a sale?). In person the fireboxes didn't look to small but he showed me a dirty one. Do your windows get black quickly?
 

Cfran88

New Member
Jul 11, 2019
8
Ohio
Yes there are, with the caveat that most are not designed for open door burning. The Osburn Matrix does have a screen option if this is a desired feature.

Note that fully seasoned firewood is a necessity for satisfactory operation.
Will having the screen door open on the Matrix still lose a lot of heat?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
18,409
central pa
Thanks for the input everyone. I went to hearth store today and saw a few things in person. I didn't even ask for the price of the heat champion as the guy said I'll still lose a lot more heat than what it returns.

He pointed me in the direction of a few Lopi models still for sale that tend to be more drafty because I have a short chimney. I guess they don't meet the new 2020 regs so they might be chopped at any point. (I *think* my chimney is only 10 feet but he didn't recommend extending it until I saw if I actually had problems drafting with whatever system I chose. I was shocked to hear they would still install it on a short chimney, I thought they'd stick to the manufacturer requirements. Or will they say anything to make a sale?). In person the fireboxes didn't look to small but he showed me a dirty one. Do your windows get black quickly?
I would do the same. Try it and see how it works. You can always extend it with class a later.

Will having the screen door open on the Matrix still lose a lot of heat?
Yes you will.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,140
South Puget Sound, WA
Will having the screen door open on the Matrix still lose a lot of heat?
Yes, it is functioning as a fireplace then.

Osburn inserts in general work ok on shorter chimneys, though 10' may be pushing it. I'm not sure about the Matrix specifically, but you could ask them. They recommend a 12" section of rigid pipe above the chimney top. Pacific Energy inserts also work ok on shorter chimneys.

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