Best place to purchase an insert from?

pdogOctober 15, 2010

My wife and I are finally biting the bullet after going back and forth the past couple of years. The house we bought has a wood burning fireplace and an old (not sure model name or number) insert that we use every year. Heats the room nicely, but doesn't have a blower and the doors to load it are very small. We don't need it to heat the entire house (1800 sf), but I wouldn't mind if it did at least warm it up a little more than what we have now. We decided now was the time, take advantage of the tax credit.

Not exactly sure how to measure our fireplace since it has an insert in it already. We have seen a couple of models we like, along with the recommendations on this board. What we were wondering is what do you guys find the best way to purchase, have an installer come out, measure and inspect and then give a price, or do you generally go to a dealer to purchase and they recommend an installer? I would prefer to have someone come out so it is measured correctly. I know online sales can save a lot of money too, not sure how many installers would be willing to install a unit they did not supply.

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We had an old unvented gas log set when we moved into our house. It smelled terribly and didn't provide heat. I thought what I wanted was a vented set so I took our fireplace measurements to a well-regarded fireplace store near us. The sales person looked at my measurements and recommended a beautiful log set which I bought--it was the largest my fireplace opening could accommodate but not the best choice. The logs were too large and the gas line too small to provide enough BTUs. Someone from the store really should have come out to check the line and do the measurements. And the sales person COULD have mentioned that the vented sets do NOT heat the room.

A few months ago I went to a different store and spoke to a VERY knowledgeable sales person who after listening to what I was after (something that looked like a real fireplace, that used only a small amount of gas, and could be used for heating the room) suggested a gas insert instead of gas logs. I choose the Mendota Fullview 44i which has the appearance of a real fire, a blower, and a "smart" setting that automatically adjusts the flame hight and turns the unit on and off to achieve the room temp you desire. BEFORE I bought though, someone from the fireplace shop came out to inspect the chimney, gas line, and re-measure the opening. It was installed yesterday and I couldn't be happier. It's just the right size, look and function I wanted all along.

So long story short, make sure they come out to your house to measure and inspect before you commit to a unit. Good Luck!

Here is a link that might be useful: Mendota Fullview gas insert

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 3:12PM
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Thanks, glad to hear you are happy with your new insert. That is what I was nervous about, getting something not quite right for my application. Will make sure someone comes out.

    Bookmark   October 16, 2010 at 5:52PM
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