Mendota DXV 45 Direct Vent Fireplace

sequoia_2007October 26, 2008

We have a 1,800 sq ft townhouse and we are in the process of replacing our downstairs wood-burning fireplace with a direct vent gas fireplace. This new fireplace will heat the downstairs and provide supplemental heat for the upstairs. The Mendota DXV 45 looks like an excellent choice for our needs. The following features were important to us:

 High-energy efficiency.

 Wide flame/heat range.

 Thermostatically controlled variable seed remote heat vents.

Does anyone here have experience with the Mendota DXV 45? I would like to hear your opinion of this unit.

Below are the other units we looked at:

Regency Panorama P40 (Natural Gas)

699 sq. in. viewing area

45,000 -13,000 BTU

Canada EnerGuide Rating 76.34%

Quadra-Fire qv36da (Natural Gas)

750 sq. in. viewing area

40,000 -26,000 BTU

Canada EnerGuide Rating 66.29%

Fireplace Xtrordinair 864 Home Heater (Natural Gas)

864 sq. in. viewing area

40,000 -26,000 BTU

Canada EnerGuide Rating??%

AFUE Rating 69.4%

Fireplace Xtrordinair 36 DV-XL (Natural Gas/Furnace Rated)

487 sq. in. viewing area

43,000 -23,384 BTU

Canada EnerGuide Rating ??%

AFUE Rating 72.0%

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I do not understand why you figure the unit(s) you are considering will heat the whole downstairs and part of the upstairs. I think the only way that could happen is if the downstairs is all open with no closed off rooms -- say, a living room, kitchen, dining area that are all part of the same open space. Your fire will heat that whole space if it is located centrally, but most of the heat will be near the fireplace and it will be less warm the farther you stand from the fire. If the unit(s) you are considering are equipped with a circulating fan, that will help some to distribute the heat. But some of the fans can be pretty noisy especially at the high speed setting -- low speed is usually okay. If that's a concern, you should try to check out the noise factor in the systems your considering.

I think the only way the fireplace will also heat the upstairs is if (1) it is located near the stairwell leading to the upstairs -- then the heat will rise to the upstairs, but is not likely to penetrate much into the bedrooms; or (2) your chimney is equipped with a ducting system that pumps heated air from the fireplace to the upstairs. That would be great if yours is designed that way. In that case you can figure on getting some serious heat upstairs, especially if those heat ducts are strategically located where you want heat.

My one concern is that if you are calculating the required BTU based on the total area you want to heat, make sure that your room arrangements, ductwork, etc. will pump the heat throughout. Otherwise you risk producing too much heat near the fireplace and cannot get it distributed.

Our experience with our DV gas insert (Jotul) is that it can get pretty hot, and will warm our living room nicely, and the remote thermostat will shut it off when it reaches the desired setting, but the other rooms are only marginally heated. So it really depends on how your rooms are arranged and whether you have an open floor plan or not, and whether you have a means of circulating the heated air where you want it.

    Bookmark   October 26, 2008 at 11:53PM
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Hi Haus,

Thank you for the comprehensive response.

One of our neighbors has a Lennox Ravelle 42 direct-vent gas fireplace with the same floor plan as us and with his gas fireplace on the lowest setting it heats the entire first floor plus the 2nd floor master bedroom with a remote powered heat vent. He runs the remote powered heat vent fan on the lowest speed and does not hear it running. We considered this unit, but were turned off by the poor efficiency rating of the Lennox Ravelle 42. To circulate heat to the stairway we will install a second powered heat vent in that location.


    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 1:55PM
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I am not familiar with remote powered heat vant fans. But if you have seen them work, it sounds to me like you're on the right track. I am unfamiliar with the particular products you are considering, and cannot help you there. But I would urge you to make sure you hire an installer you have absolute confidence in because these items are a bit more complicated to put in than, say, a dishwasher under the counter. Good luck.

    Bookmark   October 27, 2008 at 2:19PM
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I have the Mendota D30 and D40 gas fire inserts. I am pleased with both of them. The D40, when both burners are on and the blower, gives off a good deal of heat. The blower can be noisy on the higher settings. The flame is very realistic. The remote control is very convenient

    Bookmark   October 30, 2008 at 7:43PM
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Thank you for your comments. I think we are going to go with the Mendota DXV 45. So far all the comments on the Mendota products have been positive.

    Bookmark   November 1, 2008 at 9:15AM
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Do you mind me asking why did you not choose the Regency fireplace. I am actually looking to purchase a fireplace for my home; sounds very similiar to your layout however I was going to pick the P40. Its extremely efficient and has a great turn down for when i dont need all the heat.

I was also thinking about adding a "heat dump" to move the heat to another area of the house. Does this sound similar to what you are doing.

Any tips, help would be greatly appreciated. I really dont want to make the wrong choice.

Cheers & thank you,

    Bookmark   November 5, 2008 at 10:37AM
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Sorry I did not respond to you sooner, but I never received an e-mail notice that you had posted.

We were considering the Regency Panorama P40, but decided against it for the following reasons:

1. You can install two Heat Wave kits, but can only run one at a time. The Mendota DXV 45 does not have this restriction and their Versiheat option incorporates a thermostat.

2. We had questions about the Regency Panorama P40 the dealer could not answer so we tried contacting the manufacture. They never responded to our e-mail inquires and there is no way to contact them by phone.

BTW, what is a heat dump for a fireplace?


    Bookmark   November 22, 2008 at 6:18PM
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