The Hearthstone Heritage wood stove draws many compliments for its handsome soapstone construction, which continues radiating heat for hours after the fire has gone out. The trade-off is that the stove heats up relatively slowly. In addition, owners aren't thrilled about leaving the door open to get a fire started, and they say the ash pan is useless and the door hinge pins need to be tapped back into place periodically.
Soapstone provides gentle, radiant heat. Most owners confirm that the Hearthstone Heritage meets or exceeds its projected eight-hour burn time, with another four hours of radiant heat afterward. Secondary combustion creates a hot, clean flame, and its soapstone construction continues radiating heat for several hours after the fire goes out. The downside is that this stove can take an hour or more to begin providing heat when you first fire it up. The Heritage is 81 percent efficient, produces a maximum of 55,000 Btu, heats up to 1,900 square feet and has a 2.3-cubic-foot rectangular firebox.
Mixed reviews. A few of the Hearthstone Heritage's features draw consistent criticism, in particular the ash pan, which one Hearth.com user describes as "unusable, really." The door hinges may need to be tapped back into place periodically, and the door latches tend to wear away or break. On the other hand, the oversized front door and window, plus a side door for easy loading of long logs, draws praise. The Heritage's flue can be set to a top or rear exit; a blower kit and outside air adapter are both optional. The firebrick-lined firebox is a nice touch, but users say the firebox baffle is very fragile.
EPA-certified. The Hearthstone Heritage is alcove certified, mobile home certified and EPA-certified for low emissions of 2.77 grams per hour. It comes with a limited lifetime warranty on the stone, air supply and some cast-iron parts. Other parts are covered for one to five years. The minimum hearth size is 47 inches by 37-1/2 inches deep in the U.S., or 107 by 117 centimeters in Canada. Minimum clearances with a single-wall pipe and no rear shield are 17 inches to the sides, 16 inches to the rear and 12 inches in corners. With a double-wall pipe and a rear heat shield, minimum clearances become 15 and 16 inches to the sides, 7 inches to the rear and 11 inches in corners.
Easy access. The Hearthstone Heritage's front and side doors make for easy access, and its rectangular firebox accepts logs of up to 21 inches. Many owners like its looks, but when it comes to operation, they say they have to leave at least one of the doors open to really get a fire going. The Heritage's radiant heat is also harder to move around a home than the heated air produced by a convection stove. The ash pan is a disaster; most owners just shovel instead. Several wish for the ability to shut off airflow to the stove completely.
At the time of our report, more than 20 Hearth.com users post opinions about the Hearthstone Heritage stove. More are enthusiastic, but say it isn't the best for quick fires. Several owners complain about the ash pan, plus general fit and finish.
Review: Hearthstone Heritage Reviews, Contributors to Hearth.com, As of December 2013
A poster in the Hearth.com forums asks for feedback on the Hearthstone Heritage stove. Answers are generally positive, although respondents point out two weak points: the door latches and the ash pan.
Review: Questions About the Hearthstone Heritage, Contributors to Hearth.com, As of December 2013
A user on this home and garden website asks for opinions about Woodstock and Hearthstone stoves. Some contributors criticize the Hearthstone as poorly designed, while others say they prefer its non-catalytic heating.
Review: Hearthstone vs. Woodstock?, Contributors to GardenWeb.com, As of December 2013
Half a dozen users review the Hearthstone Heritage at this home-goods retailer, giving it an overall score of about 5 stars. They say that although the stove isn't great for quick fires, it continues to radiate heat well after the fire has gone out.
Review: HearthStone Heritage Wood Heat Stove, Contributors to Lehmans.com, As of December 2013
This chart compares a number of stoves, including the Hearthstone Heritage, by factors including average Btu, maximum Btu, emissions, heating efficiency and so on.
Review: Wood Stove Comparison Page, Editors of ChimneySweepOnline.com, As of December 2013
6. Hearth and Home Magazine
In this magazine article highlighting the cleanest-burning non-catalytic wood stoves, the Hearthstone Heritage earns an honorable mention. Data is based on EPA statistics, but no additional information about the stove is given.
Review: What Took So Long?, Dr. James E. Houck, January 2006
7. Chris Hardwick's Personal Web Pages
This well-illustrated review discusses the first six weeks of the author's use of the Heritage stove. He includes useful details not found elsewhere, like why the handles can seem troublesome at first.
Review: Hearthstone Heritage Woodstove Review, Chris Hardwick, September 2006