Need help picking Direct Vent Lennox vs. Mendota

jettasmomOctober 26, 2006

I'm looking at replacing a builder grade (Superior DS-36RN) direct vent fireplace to achieve a better looking flame, and to achieve maybe a little better heating in the room.

I need a rear vent and for the space I have I was looking at Mendota DXV-35, Napoleon GD36TR and the Lennox Merit Plus - MPD 3530.

I've ruled out the Napoleon as I didn't like the flame. I like the look of the flame on the Mendota and it has a higher BTU rating (16,500-33,000) with a "thermal" efficiency of up to 86.4% and AFUE of up to 73.4%. I haven't seen the flame on the Merit Plus, only on the Merit. The Merit wasn't bad (although not as nice as the Mendota), so I'm assuming the Merit Plus will be better. (The dealer had a Merit Plus, but didn't have it hooked up yet) The Merit Plus is only 20,000 BTU with a "steady state" efficiency of 64% and an AFUE of 62%. I'm not sure how comparable the effieciency ratings are.

My dilemma is that the Mendota is about double the price of the Lennox even after I add the blower to the Lennox (standard on the Mendota). I can also afford to add doors that I want and still spend less than the Mendota.

Can anyone shed light on why the efficiency ratings on the Lennox line in general seem to be lower than what I've seen for Mendota, Napoleon and some others? Is it a difference in how things are measured, or just different engineering?

Does anyone own either the Mendota or Lennox model? Are you happy with it?

Thanks in advance.


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I am about to post a similar message in that I need help deciding between the Mendota DXV45 (or 60, perhaps) and the Heat& Glo Escape. I'm leaning towards the Mendota, however, because I like the wide range on the BTU output and hope to have the ability to put the fireplace on for ambiance on not so chilly nights. I don't know if that factored into your consideration at all, but I thought I would throw that out as some food for thought. I'm sorry that I can't help with your specific questions.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 9:37AM
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Thanks for your thoughts on the range on the BTU output. I've seen the lowest setting demonstrated on the Mendota with the three burner (I think that's how it was described). It's definitely a nice feature. Also, I probably should be interested in the higher BTUs as I'm sure once I experienced the extra heat it can throw off that I'd enjoy it. I'm still torn though.

Good luck on your choice!

    Bookmark   October 27, 2006 at 9:04PM
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I looked at many fireplaces; heat'n glo, majestic, Mendota and a few others. I was sold on the Mendota for two reasons: the flame looked the best, and I really like the wide range of heat output. It really looked nice at the lowest setting so I'll be able to use it on those days that aren't real cold and get the ambiance of the fire. The one other feature that I liked was the ability to duct the heat to the next room. All said, I'm sold on the Mendota DXV45.

    Bookmark   July 30, 2007 at 8:35PM
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southernliving - I have a Mendota - the DXV35. I put mine in 7 yrs ago so I am not sure if they have changed the design at all but with mine the pilot light is very close to the glass and not only does it look like it is on (when only the pilot light is on) but the glass gets incredibly hot. I am not sure if this is what it is like with other gas fireplaces - didn't really shop around. I have small children so I keep a rounded screen in front so they can not touch the glass by accident.

    Bookmark   August 9, 2007 at 3:10PM
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