Wood Burning Insert - choosing a model - Please ADVISE!
My husband and I have never had a wood burning insert, just a standard wood burning fireplace. We are looking at getting an insert to help boost our energy efficiency. We have been to several area dealers and seem to get a different "story" from each of them. We want something as attractive as can be but still functional. I really like the look of the enameled cast iron but was told that it can chip easily and that cast iron requires a lot of maintenance.
Our #1 requirement is that we will be able to use the unit with the door opened or closed as we like. I know that kills the efficiency but we really love the ambiance of an open fire from time to time.
The Lopi (Lopi Freedom) dealer told us that Lopi has a patent on its damper and its the only brand that you can truly burn with the door open, otherwise he told us smoke would pour into the house. He also said with other non-Lopi brands the house will smoke up every time you open the door to throw a log on. He also promised that the glass door on the Lopi would always stay clear and not turn black.
The next store we went to highly recommends the Regency 2400, he said that it also has the capacity to be used with the door open, a screen is available, the glass stays clear and there should be no smoke in the house. He thought what the Lopi dealer told us about a patented damper was nonsense.
I really love the look of the Hearthstone Clydesdale, but it is too wide for my fireplace.
So its pretty much Lopi vs. Regency, unless someone can make another recommendation.
Does anyone have experience with either of these models, or any helpful information about wood burning inserts in general. Its a large investment for us and I don't want to make a poor choice.
Thanks so much!