Wood Inserts - best brands

RhondaLee_CTJanuary 31, 2005

I have been researching wood inserts for my fireplace, and looked at the Regency I2400 medium insert (approx $3000 with piping and installation), and a cheaper Napolean insert (don't know the model # , but didn't like it as much as the Regency - it was about $500 cheaper). The Regency inserts are certified by the EPA. I also spoke to a different dealer that sells Quadra-Fire inserts, and he said the 2700i or 3100i inserts would cost $2500 - $3000 installed.

What kind of reputation does Regency have? How are their inserts? What about the Quadra-Fire? I will be using the insert for supplemental heat at most, unless I like it so much I decide to heat the house with the wood insert downstairs and the pellet stove upstairs... I have a raised-ranch house, with the fireplace in a large, open downstairs room, and an open stairwell to the upstairs living area.

Thanks for any more suggestions!

Rhonda

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theplayer

This site might be of help..user ratings of all types of stoves.

I would also suggest you check out the Jotul Kennebec insert.

http://hearth.com/ratings/search.php

http://jotulflame.com/kennebec.html

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 8:01AM
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onsite94

rhondalee, I just had a regency/hampton with cast surround installed last week. Looks great and will heat my 1700sqft range to 80 degrees with no problem, the back rooms are a little cooler.Cost 3200 installed with blower and liner. Also looked at the jotul but picked regency.

    Bookmark   February 1, 2005 at 2:43PM
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sandra_zone6

We looked at Country Stoves, Jotul, Regency, Quadra-Fire, Avalon and picked Lopi. None are cheap. Add about $1K on to the stove cost for a stainless steeel liner and installation. Had our Lopi installed in November and have burned it almost daily since then. Do check the reveiws at hearth.com.

    Bookmark   February 2, 2005 at 7:15AM
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RhondaLee_CT

Thanks everyone. I did check out the reviews at hearth.com. Overall I find they are all positive. I looked at Napolean, Quadra-Fire and Jotul, as well as the Regency I2400, and think I will stick with the Regency.

I have a dealer who is having a sale this weekend, so I am waiting to hear back from them on their sale price. I am also planning on getting a Harman pellet stove for an upstairs room, so I am hoping if I purchase both at the same time I will get an even better deal. I should hear back from them later today. I went up to see them yesterday...

I'll let you know the results!
Rhonda

    Bookmark   February 4, 2005 at 2:02PM
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gardenphotographer

Hi Rhonda,

I just had my Quadra-Fire 2700i wood insert installed. The total package, wood insert and installation, cost me $2,700. I've run two fires through it and it has performed flawlessly.

My Quadra-Fire was installed in a 30 year old masonry fireplace. Just prior to installation, I had the masonry chimney repaired. The top two course of the old chimney formed a drip line (bricks were extended out slightly). The bricks were very loose. These top two course were removed, bricks cleaned, and reset flush with the other bricks of the chimney. The crew poured a 4 inch cement cap with 2 inch drip line. Tuckpointed the entire chimney. Took off roof shingles around the chimney, reflashed and reshingled everything (2nd story roof and 1st story garage roof both butted against chimney). Then the chimney was cleaned. The total chimney repair cost was a small fortune, $4,200. They then recommended a double wall stainless steel liner be installed with thermal installation (thermix?) poured around it. This additional work would have cost me $3,100 more with no net gain on my heat production. I refused the optional work and went wood insert shopping.

The Quadra-Fire insert crew arrived the next week. The two man crew worked quickly, but encountered two snags. The damper had to be removed and this took almost an hour. Apparently there was cement (brick?) rubble dropped drow the flue by the original masons (30 years ago). None of the chimney sweeps that I hired over the past two decades ever said a word. The Quadra-Fire Crew remove two 5 gallon buckets of rubble, then the damper came out. Who knew?

The second snag was the stainless steel liner. The liner was inserted down the chimney easy enough, but the battle was to connect it to the insert. Apparently the liner twists and locks on the insert. It took the two man crew two hours to get the liner to lock. I asked them if this install was overly difficult because it was a masonry fireplace rather then a prefab. They said that two man crew had installed about a thousand of these so far, and this was about normal. They claimed the prefabs were more difficult because it was a tighter fit. The two man crew was paid by the job, not by the hour, so they had no motivation to work slow on this. It took them a total of 6 hours to do everything, and they had all the tools and experience.

Sorry for the long story, but some of you might think about "doing this yourself". I wanted to warn you about the difficult work needed to do the job right. This didn't look like a job that a beginner should even consider attempting.

The other reason I tell this long story is because it was this thread that convinced me to look at Quadra-Fire inserts. I had looked at Regency, but the store didn't answer my questions to my satisfaction. So I bought a more expensive Quadra-Fire.

Hope this helps you with your wood insert research.

Tom

    Bookmark   May 16, 2005 at 9:05AM
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jim125_2007

I recently bought and had installed a regency I1200 which is the updated I1100 the installers took about 2 hours to install it.
It only holds 3 pieces of normal cord wood which to my surprise heats my entire 1400 sf home to about 75 degrees and keeps my basement at 65 degrees and the insert is in my living room on the first floor and burns between 6-8 hours per load of wood and it burns 1/3 of what my old stove burned i now burn 24 pieces of wood a day apposed to 72 pieces i was burning in my old hearthmate.
I totally agree with letting a qualified installer install for you as there will be demolition required because most damper plate openings are 5.75 inches and the liners are 6 or 8 inches and if not installed properly may cause draft problems damage to the stove which will void your warranty or may even cause a chimney fire not to mention the inserts are heavy mine weighs about 250 lbs which is managable for sure but some inserts weigh in at the 500-600 lb range it was well worth the $700 i paid for installation my whole package cost $3100 which is the cheapest i found in RI
hope this helps
Jim

    Bookmark   November 10, 2007 at 2:23PM
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sonny300

Jim: How big are the 3 pieces of wood that you load into your Regency? I`m looking at that one for a next year install. But the firebox looks very tiny. Are we talking 6inch rounds? or smaller? In my location most of the available wood is "fir" (a softwood). And I`m thinking that 6hours would probably be maximum burn-time. Very little hardwood available here on the West Coast. Right now we are burning 4 cords per season in our old Pacific Energy, would be nice to cut that in half.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2007 at 6:53PM
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