Woodstove advice for old home

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New Member
Jul 1, 2023
Pennsylvania, USA
Hi folks,

I'm beginning to research fireplace brands and features to replace a very old Schrader fireplace in my mom's home. While I'm happy to do my own research I would appreciate a push in the right direction or any recommendations because I'd like to get something new before winter. For years we used a bigger Schrader that worked quite well, but it deteriorated to the point that it needed extensive welding repairs. We put in a smaller Schrader but it just doesn't have the oomph to heat the house and constantly wants wood. As a result my mom isn't sleeping well in the winters trying to keep it burning.

A little about the home: moderately insulated and somewhat drafty 1950s summer cottage that's been added onto. Heated space is roughly 1800sf give or take. Fireplace is the primary source of heat in the winter to reduce furance usage. The Schrader is partially inserted into a brick fireplace with heatilator that is a full story and a half tall. We have always wondered how the heatilator impacts the efficiency of the fireplace so if anyone has thoughts around that I'd be interested. I'm wondering if installing a 6" or 8" flue might help bypass the heatilator and off the new stove better drafting.

Not looking for anything fancy. Should sit directly on the old hearth, no legs. Should vent out the back. Budget is going to be a limitation. Maybe a few thousand? So far I'm seeing a lot about Blaze King and Jokul, but the price tags are a little scary. That said, I do want something effective and safe.

Thank you in advance!
A top-vented insert may present more options. What are the fireplace dimensions front and back including depths?
The most bang for the buck thing you can do is to increase insulation and air sealing in a moderately insulated 50s structure.