Which insert to pick for maximum heat, 3000+ Sq ft

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New Member
Jan 25, 2021
Hello, first post here and to start, thank you for helping me avoid the FC1000E. I had purchased one when I found the reviews here and returned it.

So that leads me down the wood burning insert road as I have two fire places. Ideally I'd like to install it with the help of my neighbors and have the chimney cleaners inspect it.

Upstairs is a see-through with a massive chimney and I wasn't able to find an insert that provided decent heat and didn't need me to tear into the existing masonry. I lost hope finding one, but if anyone has any ideas I'd love to hear them.

Downstairs(pictured) 40W, 26 D (40 to hearth edge) and 27 H fireplace that has plenty of room for a liner. It's open on the right side with a metal post supporting the corner. I'd obviously move everything away before doing anything and the wood insert is because the previous owner pumped exhaust for a stand up AC Unit. The fireplaces are stacked on each-other with downstairs making a rather abrupt turn left then up out the chimney. The heat from the stove would pump out into a large basement room (13X60 or larger) with the bedrooms being on the further end. I was hoping to put a grate in the hallway down there to help heat get upstairs.

Stoves I've been looking at:
Buck Stove 91

I was hoping to answer a few questions:

1. What are some options for the biggest baddest wood inserts to heat my home in the winter?
2. I assume it would be fine for me to have a piece of metal bent and properly painted to wrap the post and right side of the fire place to seal it off. Any tips or experience making surrounds? I'm pretty sure I'll need to make custom surround as well. What gauge steel would I want to make the surround with?
3. Do I 'need' to put a EPA 2020 certified stove in or can I put an older one in as long as I notify the Insurance company of the make and model.

I'll happily answer any questions you have to help me on my quest!

Thank you

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Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
Are these try masonry chimney's?


Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Insurance requirements vary from company to company. Call them and ask what they require. Then look at 3 cu ft inserts. Make sure there is adequate height under the lintel for the selected insert. The side shield can be made from sheet metal. 22 ga will be stiff enough to hold shape even if bumped, but if you are going to have it rolled to wrap around the post then 24 ga will be easier to work with. Or, maybe select an insert with plain sides and just leave it open and with no surround. Regardless of choice, plan on adding a block-off plate to keep most of the heat in the room.