One of the biggest questions we get when we do any project is why did we pick a certain product. How do we know that is the best? How do we know that is right? I always feel bad when we answer people back because it tends to be a long winded answer, probably a lot longer than they wanted. Considering this fireplace project is big, we decided to do an extra article on the Blaze King and an extra article on Duravent (Which will be the next article).
When I first started thinking about this project, I wasn’t really up to speed. I thought I could just buy a fireplace, install some exhaust pipes and light a fire. Well nothing could be further from the truth. As I started to do more research I learned that there really is a lot to picking out the right fireplace. There are actual differences between the manufacturers on the market. I spent a good part of a day looking at different types of fireplaces, reading reviews and watching videos. I grabbed my pen and paper and started writing about different things that I liked and what I was looking for and made my list. Here are my top five items I was looking for:
Efficient – I wanted an efficient fireplace for two reasons. First, I don’t want to wake up every 4 hours and put more wood in the fire so I can stay warm at night. Second, I don’t have enough land where I can split my own wood, so I have to buy it and want to keep cost down.
** Ok here is the low down, something I never even knew or thought about.
When looking at wood burning appliances there are lots of numbers. Be careful and look for the HHV (High Heat Value) efficiency of the particular
appliance. I learned that the LHV (Low Heat Value) is actually the efficiency method permitted by the IRS for the stove tax credits. The LHV efficiency is misleading because it does not reflect the actual efficiency you will get in burning your stove because cordwood has moisture in it and the LHV efficiency calculations discount the role moisture plays in real world efficiency.
Experienced Company – I didn’t want to deal with a fly by night company. I didn’t care if I had to pay a little more, but I wanted a name I could trust. I have a hot fire burning in my house and my two kids there, I am not going to try to save a couple of bucks, I want something good.
Warranty – I wanted a company who will back their product. When this product is installed, it is going to stay put. This isn’t like having a paint brush I can return easily. I figure if they have a great warranty, the product must be good.
Customer Service – I didn’t know that much about fireplaces, so I wanted a company I could talk with in case there was a problem or just had some questions. Blaze King has more than 600 authorized dealers in the US and Canada that provide sales and product support if needed.
Looks and Capacity – I wanted a great looking fireplace since when you walk in my home, it is the first thing you see. I also wanted a fireplace that had the capacity to heat my house.
To make a long story short, the more research I did, the more I just kept coming back to Blaze King. The reviews and user experiences were all great. Don’t get me wrong you will always see a couple people complain about dumb stuff, but all in all they had the best reviews around. Once I was pointed in the Blaze King Direction I started doing more research and realized this was the fireplace for me. In fact, Blaze King offered even more than what I was looking for or even knew what to look for. So I told Dan and had him send an email out.
Blaze King Efficiency
Here is where Blaze King is head and shoulders above everyone else. I am not sure if Blaze King will admit this, but I will. I think Blaze King is the most efficient burner on the market. They claim their efficiency rating is 82.5%, which is great. However I have seen videos on the market where the stove is burning and a person puts their hand above the exhaust pipe without it getting hot. First, don’t try this at home. Second, that is very impressive. Think about all the energy that is lost during a fire. That energy goes right up the flue and outside. Think about how hot that is. Well for the Blaze King it surely seems like they are making the most out of left over energy. The biggest reason is their combustor. The combustor is a way to re-burn smoke and materials that are normally lost out the flue. The smoke and particles hit the combustor and re-burn. The combustor takes advantage of the immense energy that exists in smoke and by burning this smoke in the combustor, the emissions are much cleaner and the energy goes into your home instead of up the flue.
Another cool feature is how big the firebox is. You can load up to 60 lbs. of wood. The box is deeper, so you don’t have to clean it as often. Plus when you add wood, since the box is deeper (Averages about 4.5″ deeper than other boxes), it is also safer. Since the box is bigger, that means I can be more lazy and don’t have to wake up every four hours to add wood. In fact when running on low you can average around 20 hours of burn time, not too bad.
Blaze King Company
Blaze King has been around since 1977, so they have experience. They are not just some fly by night company who is going to sell a stove then be gone when I need something. The piece of mind knowing they have been around for a long time says a lot. When the day comes that I have to replace my combustor, I know I can call and get the part easily.
Blaze King Warranty
The Blaze King Princess Insert has a five year limited warranty and a six year warranty on the combustor. One thing to note is the warranty on the
combustor is prorated. If for any reason the combustor should fail in the
first three years, you have a 100% replacement warranty. Then years 4, 5
and 6 are prorated and each year the amount you would pay increases slightly.
According to Blaze King, the average life span of a combustor is about 10
years. In Alaska the average is about 8 years due to their extended heating
Blaze King Service
I wanted a company I could call and talk with. If you check out Blaze King, you can find their phone number very easily. The two times we called during installation, they were very nice, helpful and answered right away.
Blaze King Looks and Capacity
I really like the looks of the Blaze King Insert. As you can see by the pictures, I didn’t go with the gold. I have an all black unit with a brushed steel look. I think this is one of the best looking units around.
Blaze King – Other Information
I had to add this section in because the list was for the top five items I was looking for. After researching wood burners, I found out there was a lot more to these fireplaces.
The Blaze King Princess Insert qualifies for the Tax Credit because of its efficiency. Not all stoves or fireplaces have this credit available. Another item is the fan and thermostat. This helps with having a perfect heat for your home. Also, no more messing with the damper. Just set and forget. Well not that easy, I do have to adjust mine about twice a day, but compared to a friend who has an older burner, he is always adjusting his.
Overall I am extremely happy with the fireplace I chose and glad I made this decision. Buying a fireplace is not cheap or easy, so if you do have some questions, please let us know. You can leave a comment below or send us an email. Also if you have experience with the Blaze king, we would like to hear from you and your experiences.
My Blaze King Experience
So far this fireplace has been awesome, more than I expected. I have an 1100 sq ft house and it heats the house no problem. Current temperature outside has been around 35-50 degrees so I will update this as the weather gets colder. I put in two pieces at night, set it to low and sleep for about 8 hours. When I wake up in the morning, it is still cranking out heat. I never knew how much heat was in two pieces of wood. Makes me think about how much wood I have wasted over the years.