Mendota FV41 vs. DXV 45

vs21January 23, 2011

I am trying to choose between the Mendota FV41 and DXV45 for the family room (new construction). The DXV45 is less expensive, provides easier access to control knobs but it doesn't have IPI (electronic ignition) meaning the pilot is always on which based on what I have heard could cost about $160/year in propane gas (I am calculating $20/month for 8 months we would not need to run the fireplace -- this is Virginia). The FV41 has the IPI and nice remote plus the better look of a fullview but I am told reaching the control knobs under the firebox would be difficult and the maintenance/service cost would be much higher because I would not be able to do much of that myself and it would take much longer for the professional service people to do the work. Reading through the owner manuals and seeing the 2 units in a showroom I already know taking the glass off and putting it back on is a lot easier on the DXV. But what about other tasks (and what are they)? Also is the multi-function remote control that comes with the FV41 highly reliable? What happens if the remote stops working and one would have to "reset" the controls, would that require professional service?

I would like to hear from those who have a full view direct vent fireplace (especially FV41 owners) on their experience with maintenance/service.

Thanks much in advance.

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