Hearthstone Heritage Wood Stove Review

Hearthstone Heritage Wood Stove Review – The Hearthstone Heritage has been one of the best selling stoves in the Hearthstone soapstone lineup for a long time. It is their most popular model and has been as long as I have sold them. I have burned one quite often in my store as well as personally used it to heat my home for many years. I have a lot of knowledge of the ins and outs of this wonderful stove.

 

Hearthstone Heritage Matte Black Wood Stove

Hearthstone Heritage Matte Black Wood Stove

 Hearthstone Heritage Wood Stove Stats:

  • Up to 1900 Sq. Ft. heating capacity
  • Up to 8 hour burn time (can be longer with good hard wood)
  • Up to 12 hour heat life of stone
  • Up to 21″ log size, 19″ is comfortable
  • EPA Emissions – 2.77 Grams per hour
  • 6″ Flue Collar
  • 475 lbs
  • More Specs Here 

Hearthstone Heritage Wood Stove Seafoam Enamel

Hearthstone Heritage Wood Stove Seafoam Enamel

 

Hearthstone Heritage “The Bad” –

There is honestly not a whole lot bad to say about this stove, I really love it, so don’t take these lines too seriously. I have to nit pick a few items just so I have some things to say on my “bad” list, but they are in no way deal breakers in my book.

  • In every non-catalytic wood stove made today there are reburn tubes in the top of the stove and some sort of insulation directly above those tubes. That insulation is there in order to keep heat in. In order to create secondary combustion. That insulating material has to be removed at the time of cleaning the chimney. This is done so that all the creosote that is swept down will fall right into the fire box and be able to be cleaned out easily. In the heritage this is not the easiest task. It involves removing three cotter pins. Then removing the board that is cemented in for shipping. In my experience you typically have to replace the board the first time you clean the chimney. This is less than a hundred dollar item and will usually last years after the first time.
  • The ash drawer design is not the best. The drawer itself is not very big, as well as the grate for the ashes to fall through is kind of small. There are differing schools of thought on whether ash drawers really help or not so I don’t weight this very heavily in my experience.

Hearthstone Heritage “The Good” –

  • Amazing properties of heating your home with soapstone. Another article to come.
  • This stove has very little man made material in it. The soapstone is quarried, cut, polished then assembled into the cast iron framework.
  • On the back of the stove the person in charge of assembly actually signs his name into the stone. Almost like a piece of art. All assembly is done in Vermont.
  • The side loading door is very handy. When you are trying to squeeze that last little piece of wood in and all the others are not trying to roll out on you, you will see the real value.
  • Bottom line is the stove burns extremely well, heats well, and is extremely efficient with wood.

Hearthstone Heritage Side Door

Hearthstone Heritage Side Door

Overall, if money was not my main concern the Hearthstone Heritage is absolutely the stove I would put in my house. I love the way the soapstone heats. I love the way this stove burns. The only time I would not recommend this stove to someone is if they want to be able to walk in the door to a cold house and fire up the stove to have it hot in 20 minutes. Such as at a cabin or vacation home. If the whole house is completely cold and you need to heat it up in a hurry then a steel stove would be a better fit for you, but for everyone else I would highly recommend it.

Hearthstone Heritage Retail Pricing:

  • Black Matte – $2849
  • Brown, Blue Black, Seafoam Enamel Colors – $

Here is a link to the manufacturer’s site.

f you own or have owned a Hearthstone Heritage Wood Stove then I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for our other readers!! Even if it is an older model, let us know what you thought of it.

Your Truly,

The Stove Guy

Hearthstone Sterling HT Gas Stove Review

Hearthstone Sterling HT Gas Stove Review –The sterling has been in the hearthstone lineup for a long time. It is tried a true technology, and simply works. It is a big heater, puts out tons of heat and does so fairly efficiently. If you are looking for a big gas/lp stove with not a lot of bells and whistles this may be the right fit for you.

Hearthstone Sterling HT Brown Enamel Gas Stove

Hearthstone Sterling HT Brown Enamel Gas Stove

Hearthstone Sterling HT Stats:

  • Rated to heat up to 1800 Sq. Ft.
  • BTU Range 12,000 – 38,000
  • Optional Blower Kit
  • More Specs Here

Hearthstone Sterling HT “The Bad”:

  • This is kind of an old school gas stove. By that I mean that it has not integrated any new technology in the last few years. Still has a standing pilot light, manual pilot lighting. Thermostat is optional but it will not let you adjust flame height or do anything besides turn it on or off. Sometimes simpler is better, but my personal opinion is that they have worked all of the bugs out of the new ProFlame control system and I would definitely buy a gas stove with those controls if I was shopping.

Hearthstone Sterling Ht Control System

Hearthstone Sterling Ht Control System

  • Looks are always a personal thing so I don’t typically even talk about them. Except for looks of the fire of course! (I am kind of a fire bug), but in this case I don’t love the overall looks of the stove. It is a lot wider than deep, and the firebox is pretty shallow too. I will let you make up your own mind on that one.

Hearthstone Sterling HT “The Good”:

  • Made by a very solid company, and has a long track record of proven performance.
  • Puts out a lot of heat.
  • Actually surprisingly has a great turn down rate, you can read more about in this article.
  • Comes standard with a nice looking brick panel set behind the logs, I think this adds a lot to the realism of the fire.

Overall, I would say the Hearthstone Sterling HT is not a glitzy, bells and whistle kind of stove. It is a workhorse though, it is very efficient and has a great range of BTU’s. I would be happy to recommend one of these in the right application. Most important is that you like the looks of it and don’t put it in a tiny little room where the heat can’t circulate very well. You will cook yourself out.

Hearthstone Sterling HT Retail Pricing:

  • Black Matte – $2499 (plus required stone set, $174 – $251)
  • Brown Enamel – $2949 (plus required stone set, $174 – $251)
  • Also required starter collar (About $76 – $87)
  • Blower $379
  • Spark Screen $63 (Just for looks)

Here is a link to the manufacturer’s site.

f you own or have owned a Hearthstone Sterling HT Gas Stove then I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for our other readers!! Even if it is an older model, let us know what you thought of it.

Your Truly,

The Stove Guy

Gas Stove BTU Turn Down Rate

Gas Stove BTU Turn Down Rate Definition – In a lot of my gas stove and fireplace articles I talk about the turn down rate. This rate is the difference in BTU ratings between the highest and lowest settings on the fireplace or stove. The bottom line benefit to this is the more range that have, the more you can enjoy your gas stove or fireplace. The lower that your gas stove or fireplace can go the more often you can turn it on for longer and enjoy the ambiance of the fire.

So I think we should start by defining a couple things:

  • BTU = British Thermal Unit, the amount of heat required to heat one pound of water, from 39° to 40° Farenheit.
  • There are 91,600 BTU in a gallon of Propane (LP) gas.
  • There are 100,000 BTU in a therm of Natural Gas. A therm is how it is normally billed to you.

So now that we got those definitions out of the way let me tell you how to apply them to a gas stove or fireplace. A gas stove is rated by BTU, but that is not the BTU’s coming out of the unit. It is the BTU going in. So if I have a stove rated for 30,000 BTU’s that simply means it will burn a gallon of propane every 3 hours, and a therm of natural gas every 3.25 hours. Ironically this has nothing to do with how efficiently the stove/fireplace will convert that fuel into heat in your home.

So bottom line, ALL BTU RATINGS ARE INPUT RATINGS, or the amount of gas being burned.

The turn down rate is the difference between the high BTU rate and the low BTU rate. This industry average rate goes from no adjustment in some inexpensive builder grade fireplaces. To a lot of the middle of the road units around 40% – 50%. And some higher end units up to 85% turn down, like some Mendota Fireplaces.

The biggest benefit to you as a consumer is that with a large turn down (range) you can use your gas stove or fireplace a lot more days out of the year, by being able to enjoy the ambiance of a small glow but not heat yourselves out of the room in 15 minutes.

Hope that helps you understand some industry lingo.

Yours Truly,

The Stove Guy

Hearthstone Bristol Gas Stove Review

Hearthstone Bristol Gas Stove Review – The Hearthstone Bristol is relatively new in the lineup of Hearthstone gas stoves. It has a unique three sided glass viewing area, and a pretty nice cast iron design. I believe that Hearthstone brought it out to compete with Avalon’s Tree of Life. I have burned this stove in my store and am very familiar with the operation. It has a pretty neat ceramic burner design rather than the standard pan burner on most similar models.

Hearthstone Bristol Gas Stove

Hearthstone Bristol Gas Stove

Hearthstone Bristol Stats:

  • Rated to heat up to 1800 Sq. Ft.
  • BTU Range 16,000 – 36,000
  • ProFlame Ignition System
  • Split Burner Standard
  • 75 CFM Fan Standard
  • More Specs Here

Hearthstone Bristol Front

Hearthstone Bristol Front

Hearthstone Bristol “The Bad” –

  • Overall I don’t think there is a lot bad to say about this unit, other than the price. It is a little expensive in my opinion for what it is. But it is definitely at the higher end of the gas stove market, and you will get what you pay for.
  • It does not rear vent which can be a disadvantage in some installations, but most of the time this is not a big deal.

Hearthstone Bristol Top Vent

Hearthstone Bristol Top Vent

  • The three sided glass does substantially increase the clearances needed from walls in a corner installation. This is because there will be a lot of heat coming out the side pieces of glass. Can also be a disadvantage sometimes but most of the time is not a big deal.

Hearthstone Bristol “The Good” –

  • SIT Proflame Control is a huge plus. This is the latest control system to hit the industry and is fast becoming the standard in all of the medium to high end gas appliances. It gives you remote control over 5 flame heights, 5 blower speeds, rear burner on/off, and an auxiliary 110v plug in. This is all done with a really simple to use and understand remote control. It also has a “Smart Stat” feature which would absolutely be a requirement for me if I was buying a new gas stove. This exact same control system is used in a bunch of different manufacturer’s in the industry. So even if you don’t like the Bristol find a unit that has these controls. See my SIT ProFlame article for more info.

Sit Pro Flame Remote Control

Sit Pro Flame Remote Control

  • Intermittent Pilot Ignition (IPI), is standard with the ProFlame controls. See my article on IPI vs. Continuous Pilot for more information. This will save you a lot of frustration of getting down and repeatedly clicking that ignitor to light your pilot light. All done automatically.
  • The turn down rate is very good. With the split level burner you can turn the unit down from 36k BTU to 16k approximately a 55% turn down, not a huge difference but better than the industry average which is 40% or so. See my article on turn down rates for more info.

Overall I think the Bristol is a beautiful stove, and has a lot of great features for the money. In my experience in the cast iron decorative style market, the looks are the most important. So if you like the look and style then go for it, it is one of the best quality, and feature rich stoves in it’s class.

Hearthstone Bristol Retail Pricing:

  • Black Matte – $3199
  • Brown Enamel – $3499

Here is a link to the manufacturer’s site.

f you own or have owned a Hearthstone Bristol Gas Stove then I would love to hear any comments or suggestions you have for our other readers!! Even if it is an older model, let us know what you thought of it.

Your Truly,

The Stove Guy

Lennox Hearth Products merger with FMI Products

A few months ago it was announced that Lennox Hearth Products (LHP), which is the hearth (stoves and fireplace) division of Lennox Industries was up for sale. Comvest is the company that made the purchase. Under the LHP umbrella included names like BIS Fireplaces, Country Stoves, Whitfield Stoves, Security Chimneys, Earth stoves, and Superior Fireplaces. All brands that LHP had acquired over the years. Immediately after the purchase Wendy Howell who was the VP of sales was promoted to CEO.

Since that purchase LHP has continued development on it’s Grandview line in the Country Stoves collection and added a stove to the line up that resurrects the old Earth Stove name.

It has just been announced about two weeks ago that Comvest has purchased FMI Products, LLC (FMI) as part of the family. They say they are pleased to announce the merger of FMI and LHP to create Innovative Hearth Products (IHP). IHP being a manufacturer of fireplaces, fireplace inserts, free standing stoves, gas log sets, accessories, and venting products.

Mark Klein appears to have been named the new CEO of IHP. He was previously the CEO of FMI.

IHP has a manufacturing plant in Auburn, WA, Union City, TN, Laval, QC, Russelville, AL, and Santa Ana, CA

I do not believe that this will affect the quality or support that dealers and consumers receive from IHP, as in the past few years I think they have had hands down the best customer and warranty service in the industry. I look forward to seeing what the future has in store for them.

Your Truly,

The Stove Guy

How to buy a new wood stove.

How to buy a wood stove.

I often get asked, “Where do I start?” There are so many styles, shapes, prices, models and options out there. It is easy to get overwhelmed. So I thought I would give you some basic principles on where to start. There are basically three general types of wood stoves on the market, Steel, Cast Iron and Soapstone. These are the general materials they are made of. Below is a brief summary of each type, pros and cons.

Steel Wood Stoves

Kuma Ashwood Steel Wood Stove

Kuma Ashwood Steel Wood Stove

Steel is very traditional, the least expensive and very efficient. If you get a good quality steel wood stove it can last a lifetime. They have a pretty basic design, squarish box on a square pedestal or cast iron legs. This type of stove is actually what I currently own in my home, because of the number one reason, the cost! The best brands in order would be Country Stoves (especially their new Grandview is amazing), Enviro, Kuma, Lopi, Quadra Fire, and Regency. If you are on a budget or just want a basic looking stove that will heat well and last a long time, invest in a good quality steel wood stove. Depending on the stove and options these units typically range from $1000 to $2500, anything less than $1000 is most likely not going to last you many years to come.

Lennox Grandview Steel Wood Stove

Lennox Grandview Steel Wood Stove

 Cast Iron Wood Stoves

Vermont Castings Encore Wood Stove

Vermont Castings Encore Wood Stove

Cast Iron wood stove is somewhat synonymous with saying Vermont Castings wood stove. It is all they do, and what they have done for a long, long time. The benefits to cast iron are, you can have a lat more detail to the casting, rather then a stamped out or bent piece of steel they have forms that they cast them in and can get a lot of decoration. Because of the nature of cast iron they can also be dipped in a porcelain enamel coating and have some beautiful colors that steel is unable to have, like the Red Encore pictured above.  Jotul is another very good brand although I do not believe they offer as many pretty colors as Vermont. So basically they are much prettier, just as efficient and should last you just as long as a good steel stove. You are mainly paying more for looks, which is not a bad thing when you consider in most parts of the country it will be sitting in your living room not burning more than it will be burning. Typically range in price from $1800 to $3500.

Jotul Wood Stove

Jotul Wood Stove

 Soapstone Wood Stoves

Soapstone Heat Life Graph

Soapstone Heat Life Graph

Soapstone wood stoves have completely different properties of heating than cast or steel. These stoves are made with a naturally quarried product that is then built into a stove. The good ones have a cast iron frame that holds the soapstone pieces together. Typically the soapstone is about 1 1/4″ thick and the inside of the stove is the inside of the piece of stone and the outside is the outside. Steel and cast iron are both basically transparent to heat, they let the heat generated by the wood fire just flow out into the room. Where the soapstone will actually bank up the heat in the stone and let it out over a much longer period of time. This results in a much longer even heat, and prevents what most wood stove owner know as “sweats to shorts” to “sweats to shorts” with the big peaks and valley of the heat output when stoking the fire. I am kind of partial to these stoves if money were not an object but they are some of the most expensive wood stoves out there, ranging from $2000 to $5000. There are two suppliers in the US, Hearthstone (which I would prefer to steer you towards, because they should have a local dealer near you for the best service) and Woodstock (which are all mail order.)

Wood stock soap stone wood stove

Wood stock soap stone wood stove

Hearthstone Soapstone Wood Stove

Hearthstone Soapstone Wood Stove

So there you have my summary on the three main categories of wood stoves, if you have any experience or knowledge to share please leave it as a comment below for other readers to share.

Yours truly,

The Stove Guy