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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    17

    Sorting fireplace facts from fud

    I've been looking for a fireplace for several weeks now. I've decided against several I've seen but I want to make sure I'm deciding on facts rather than fud.

    I'm building a new home in Utah and the great room that will have a fireplace is about 600 square feet with vaulted ceilings. The home is heated with a 90+ effecient furnace. The fireplace will be in the corner of the room. There is a ceiling fan about 15 feet from the fireplace at one end of the great room.

    Right now I'm looking at a heat&glo 6000glx. The reason I'm picking this for now is the high effeciency, the most realistic flame look, it comes in bronze and the bells/whistles. I don't like seeing flames coming out of pipes like you see in builders models. I'm looking to spend $2000 to $3000 and I can get the 6000glx installed for $2800. I had wanted a 42 inch viewable but I only have 4'6" from the room corner to some windows and the 42" would be tough to fit.

    I've looked at napoleon, heatilator, alpine, mandota, and heat&glo brands.

    I decided against alpine because they do possitive pressure and being a new home it shouldn't be leaking 495 cfpm and I don't want any mold or ghosting problems in the home. I also heard heating outside air under 20 degrees doesn't always work well and it may hit under 20 degrees 20 or so times in the winter.

    I decided against napoleon because other dealers thought they were low quality (is this true?) Their boxes seemed really shallow and I'm not sure if they look as nice but I may need to go back. I did like the reflective backings in the box.

    The dealer for mandota and heatilator were so unhelpful and annoying I just walked out.

    Is anything I've said incorrect? If so please be blunt and let me know. I would rather spend less money but I don't want to get something I'll wish I had not been so thrifty on later. I had looked at room vented/vent-less fireplaces from napoleon to get better effecincy but one place said they replace more of them then they would install because of the smell. I know heat&glo had some problems with the electronic starts and blowing out the glass and had a recall but it doesn't sound like this model has that problem. I will use the fireplace to heat the great room 5-10 degrees more than the rest of the house on nights when we're all hanging around, maybe if we ever lose power (I'll possibly wire its blower to run off a generator), and turning on the lights when guests are over but the room doesn't need to be warmed up.

    I wonder if the glx's options to change the flame level is really worth the bells and whistle cost. The heat&glo dealer says he'd go with the glx over the others because the size of the room and the glx having a ceramic glass to help heat the room better. He also said he would pick a heatilator 42" over the 36" because of the size of the room, although he didn't know if it would fit and just told me to move the windows but the windows are centered in the room. :-/

    A lot of people on here are also talking about regency fireplaces and I know there are dozens of other brands so if anyone thinks I should look at other fireplaces let me know. I want to make sure I get the best fireplace for what I need and I get the best value overall.

    Thank you all for any information. I would jump ship in an instant if I knew there was a better choice.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Awesome choice. I would go with the 6000GLX.

    Another important factor is service, will the brand you buy be around in 10 years when you need replacement parts? Heat & Glo will.

    Make sure when its installed the outside walls behind the fireplace are insulated and drywalled just like every other wall of the house. The fireplace is an INDOOR appliance, it needs to be inside the envelope of the house.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    London, Ontario, Canada
    Posts
    268
    I like the Napoleon for the ease of installation with the versatility of the flex-venting which means less potential for venting problems. It is made in Canada (not China ) so quality standard is actually high. The flame and logs look good without performing a balancing act to keep them in place. They actually have a deep firebox unit available. Napoleon website is easy to navigate and tech support is very helpful. Other manufacturers won't allow you to talk to tech unless you are a dealer. From a tech's perspective they are easy to work on and parts are accessible.
    Regardless of product if a saleman says others are of lesser quality because everyone is selling them cheaper it is only because he is making a higher margin on his product. Beware of exclusive dealers that want to restrict product and parts to be able to charge you as much as possible in the future. If you buy a product everyone sells it almost guarantees a competitive price and serviceability.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Apr 2003
    Posts
    248
    Homeowner here. FWIW, I am very pleased with our 2 Napoleon fireplaces. They run flawlessly. We have the brick lining for ours which gives it a nice look.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan 2001
    Location
    Pacific Coast of Canada
    Posts
    4,008
    I have been dealing with fireplaces for over 23 years now.

    Your reasons for going with the Heat n' Glo are sound, buy it!
    Trust me, I know what I'm doing.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    17
    I guess the bid for the glx didn't include an arched face and faces are $400-$800? .. ouch. The 42 inch heatilator did include the craftsman face because the plain rectangle face is not "approved" on the 42".

    So I'm back and forth. I'm building a fairly nice home and I've always been in homes with wood fireplaces that are 48" box/42" viewable so my mind naturally thinks a 36" inch would look small in the corner of the great room (20'x34') Based on this room size is there a rule of thumb or anything I can use to decide on a size? I know size is a personal preference but I can't decide so I would love to hear all the opinions everyone has. There are 8' tall french doors to one side of the fireplace and three 3060 windows on the other. I can move the three windows down to make room for the larger fireplace in the corner if that's the way I go.

    I'm already pushing my budget so if it's not worth the cost I could really use the money elsewhere. I don't want to get something that I wish I had spent a little more and been happier with though. The NXT 42" will cost me about $3100 installed and the 6000GLX would be about the same with a lower end arched face. My budget is $3500 for fireplace and mantle so I'm pushing that budget already. I've decided the lights inside the GLX aren't a selling point to me but I do like the 6000GLX flame the most of any but it's a 36" fireplace. I want to buy what is the best choice because I know my opinion will change over time and my head is so full of other choices I've hit buyers deciding fatigue.

    Why isn't there a hands down best choice for around $2,000? :-/

    One dealer who sells heat&glo, Heatilator, mandota, fireplace Xtrodinaire, and a couple others said he'd get a mandota over any of the others, then an xtrodinaire, then heatilator then heat&glo. That didn't help clear anything up for me.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Why not get the GLX and the standard FOLIO front? You can always purchase an upgraded front later. you will be a lot happier with the 6000GLX in the long run I think.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    17
    I can save about $600 if I go with the Fireplace Xtrordinare 864TRV. It's only 30,000 BTU's rather than 45,000 BTU's and has tempered glass rather than ceramic also. No nifty thermostat or buttons to control the flame (although you can turn a knob to get any flame height). It also doesn't have firebrick on the top of the inside. It doesn't look quite as nice but for $600 less it fits into my budget.

    Any thoughts on this change?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    The three things you mentioned, ceramic glass, WSK300, top refractory, I would say are worth the $600. I do not have experience with that brand though. One thing also, is that the 6000GLX is IPI, so there is no standing pilot which saves you around $10 a month usually. I also found this amusing from the 864TRV brochure.

    "Natural gas or propane is piped to a sophisticated SIT gas valve and started with the reliable Pizeo ignition system."

    It's sophisticated and reliable, ooooooo. I would also like to point out that their brochure has some really ugly pictures in it (not that it matters). http://fireplacex.com/TravisDocs/98800212.pdf

    Anyway... I like and trust Heat & Glo because its what I know inside and out. Personally I would never even consider anything but a Heat & Glo or Quadrafire.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr 2002
    Posts
    1,383
    <<Anyway... I like and trust Heat & Glo because its what I know inside and out. Personally I would never even consider anything but a Heat & Glo or Quadrafire.>>


    I've always liked Heat N Glow and Heatilator, but this year several orders for replacement parts are now stretching into two months with no parts in prospect.

    As I understand it, the local distributor has these parts on order but HHT is simply not shipping them.

    Anyone else having this problem?


    If the manufacturer can't ship replacement parts, I'd suggest placing the burden of building new fireplaces on other manufacturers so they'll be able to get caught up.



    Seattle Pioneer

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    356

    864 is a good unit

    I have installed many of these units and it does not make any difference to me what people use because I don't sell them, I just install them, in fact I installed about 2,500 + in the last 17 years. I will say this, It is simple and very easy to work on. You have several different ways to vent it.
    I personally think Travis makes a good fireplace.
    One note on Regency, and knowbody can dispute it "THEY ALWAYS WORK"

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,205

    Cool

    The valve on the FPX is a modulating valve and fan combo much like the HG unit except te HG unit is smarter at tweaking them to the desired comfort level.

    Travis has made a reputation for quality and reliability as has Regency. HG has been the industry leader always pushing the envelope of what's possible. In that quest, sometimes reliability can suffer. Usually, they respond when problems arise. Just understand, to get the very latest in technology---any technology usually comes at a price, whether you're talking cars or fireplaces.

    When designing a fireplace, you can make it bullet proof but it is rare this will keep up with the competition. So, you tinker with it to get more WOW!. In doing so, you start to see a little dip in reliability. Now, you are faced with a dilemma. Do you stop there knowing you may take a hit on sales numbers or push the design envelope but see some defects and problems. Take this concept to the extreme and view the thread on the Quad Mt. Vernon AE pellet stove. Conceptually, it is a quantum leap. Functionally, it has a few bugs as with any such radical departure from chartered waters. They seem to be on it and I expect reports will beging filtering in on the positive side. For the uninitiated, this stove is to most quiet with the best heat transfer and tested to burn at least 9 fuels so far. I want to see it burn my grass clippings.

    In closing, I would caution against generalizations about any brand. Most every brand has some units that simply are better than others they build. Most every mfr. makes a pig or two. I would concentrate first on who is going to service it, their qualifications, chain of supply, and referrals. Once I had my service company lined up, then I'd look at dealers the same way. Then, I'd look at brand, model, features & benefits. Almost exactly opposite of what most people do now.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    NJ
    Posts
    78
    Quote Originally Posted by SeattlePioneer View Post
    <<Anyway... I like and trust Heat & Glo because its what I know inside and out. Personally I would never even consider anything but a Heat & Glo or Quadrafire.>>


    I've always liked Heat N Glow and Heatilator, but this year several orders for replacement parts are now stretching into two months with no parts in prospect.

    As I understand it, the local distributor has these parts on order but HHT is simply not shipping them.

    Anyone else having this problem?


    Seattle Pioneer
    HHT is in business to make money,"simply not shipping them" does not make sense. In fact, a couple month ago the opened a new warehouse for critical parts only. If the part is required to make it work they stock it there and will ship within 24 hours.

    If the part has not shown up there is more to the story than the dealer is telling.

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