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WOOD FIREPLACE INSERT COMPARISON PAGE

Sorted By: HEATING CAPACITY IN SQUARE FEET

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To compute the maximum area each wood insert will heat, manufacturers use a model of a well insulated house with thermopane windows and a fairly open floor plan in a climate where Winter temperatures average around 40 degrees F. Any deviations from this model (ie: colder climate, poor insulation, big picture windows, high ceilings, etc.) must be taken into consideration when choosing your insert.

To sort the table, click the column header (ie; Fireplace Size, Shipping Weight, etc.)

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Model
Minimum
Fireplace Size
Shipping
Weight
Firebox
Size
Hardwood
Capacity
Max. Log
Length
Heating
Efficiency
EPA
Emissions
Maximum
Output
Avg. Output
8 hour burn
Heating
Capacity
Pacific Energy Summit Wood Insert
Pacific Energy
Summit
Plate Steel
23-1/8" T
28" W
18" D
500
lbs
3
cubic ft
60
lbs
20"
80.4%
3.9
grams/hr
99,000
btu
48,392
btu/hr
2000 - 3000
sq ft
 Pacific Energy Neo 2.5 Wood Insert
Pacific Energy
Neo 2.5
Plate Steel
22" T
34" W
20" D
480
lbs
2.5
cubic ft
50
lbs
19"
81%
2.8
grams/hr
85,000
btu
40,678
btu/hr
1500 - 2300
sq ft
Hearthstone Clydesdale Wood Insert
Hearthstone
Clydesdale
Cast Iron
23" T
33" W
15" D
585
lbs
2.4
cubic ft
48
lbs
22"
79%
3.1
grams/hr
75,000
btu
38,087
btu/hr
1200 - 2000
sq ft
Pacific Energy Alderlea T5 Wood Insert
Pacific Energy
Alderlea T5
Plate Steel/
Cast Iron
21" T
24-1/2" W
18-1/4" D
475
lbs
2.1
cubic ft
41
lbs
18"
82.6%
3.4
grams/hr
72,000
btu
32,688
btu/hr
1000 - 2000
sq ft
Pacific Energy Super Wood Insert
Pacific Energy
Super
Plate Steel
21" T
24" W
18" D
410
lbs
1.97
cubic ft
39.4
lbs
18"
82.6%
3.4
grams/hr
72,000
btu
32,688
btu/hr
1000 - 2000
sq ft
Hearthstone Homestead Hearth Stove
Hearthstone
Homestead
Soapstone
21-1/2" T
6" W
6" D
440
lbs
2
cubic ft
40
lbs
21"
83.5%
1.9
grams/hr
50,000
btu
33,547
btu/hr
1200 - 1800
sq ft
Pacific Energy Neo 1.6 Wood Insert
Pacific Energy
Neo 1.6
 Plate Steel
20" T
30" W
16-1/4" D
300
lbs
1.6
cubic ft
32
lbs
18"
81.5%
3.9
grams/hr
70,000
btu
26,129
btu/hr
700 - 1500
sq ft
Hearthstone Morgan Wood Insert
Hearthstone
Morgan

Cast Iron
23" T
26" W
15" D
425
lbs
1.7
cubic ft
34
lbs
18"
79%
4.3
grams/hr
40,000
btu
26,978
btu/hr
700 - 1500
sq ft
Pacific Energy Vista Wood Insert
Pacific Energy
Vista
Plate Steel
22" T
25" W
15" D
300
lbs
1.41
cubic ft
28.2
lbs
18"
80.7%
2.9
grams/hr
56,000
btu
22,858
btu/hr
600 - 1400
sq ft

To visit (or return to) any insert's page, click its photo in the chart above.

Note: Wood insert heating capacity ratings don't tell the whole story.

Wood insert manufacturers need to publish heating capacity numbers so potential buyers can compare their various models to each other and the competition. They know that their potential customers are going to want to heat their homes in the coldest weather, which in North America occurs in January. When they consult the National Average Weather Chart to see how cold that is, here’s what they find out:


The average January temperature in Seattle, WA is 41°

The average January temperature in Fargo, ND is

Obviously, their stove models aren’t going to heat the same size homes in both locations. So, how do manufacturers describe the heating capacity of their stoves to potential buyers?

Unless they want to publish a 50-page brochure, there's only one possible way. Reference the maximum size well-insulated, single-story house with 8-foot ceilings a given stove will heat in Seattle, and qualify that number with the phrase UP TO, trusting the shopper to interpret the adjustments necessary for their climate zone and for the particular house to be heated. This interpretation is vital when shopping for a stove.

Other factors that should be considered when choosing a wood stove:

Wood insert heat output can be controlled by regulating the air intake, but only within a limited range (that's why there's a minimum square footage limit as well as a maximum limit for each model in the Heating Capacity column above). Unless you have a wide-open floor plan, consider how uncomfortably hot it might be to share your 400 sq. ft. living room with a fireplace insert rated to heat the entire 3,000 sq. ft. house.

If you have a two-story house with a fireplace downstairs, consider locating the insert in the lower story, as the rising heated air will help heat the upper floor. If the insert is going upstairs, you can pretty much subtract the square footage of the downstairs from your heating area before choosing the size of your insert: it is awfully hard to direct the heat from a fireplace insert downward.

If your house is divided up into many small rooms separated by long hallways and you have a forced-air heating system, you might try running the furnace blower (with the furnace burners turned off) to help circulate the heat from your insert throughout the house. A ceiling fan in the room with the insert can also be extremely helpful. If you don't have a way to circulate the heat, consider choosing a model with a blower, or adding a blower if it's optional. Tip: insert blowers are also handy when you want to bring a cold house up to temperature in a hurry.

Wood fireplace insert performance will be affected by the species of wood that is burned. For purposes of this chart, we took an average of the top 28 species from our firewood comparison chart.

 

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