The cast-iron Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE is a high-tech stove that'll burn almost anything, including wood pellets, corn, wheat and sunflower seeds. It produces up to 52,460 Btu and can heat up to 2,900 square feet depending on conditions. Its 80-pound hopper lasts all day. Some users complain about having to replace parts frequently, but experts say that's due to poor DIY installation or improper maintenance.
A versatile workhorse. Most owners burn wood pellets in the cast-iron Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE, but this multi-fuel stove can also handle corn, wheat and sunflower seeds, and can be updated with the specs to burn other fuel, too. It produces up to 52,460 Btu, is 81.4 to 83.6 percent efficient, and is rated to heat up to 2,900 square feet. Its large, 80-pound hopper holds enough fuel to burn all day. Owners say the stove is very quiet, save for an odd "howling" noise that sometimes crops up when it's very cold or windy out.
High-tech igniter is a sore spot. In addition to its multi-fuel capability, the Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE features a programmable wall control, 21-by-14-inch viewing window and auto-igniter. Many owners say the igniter must be replaced frequently; suggested fixes include installing a surge protector and updating the firepot on older models. The Mt. Vernon AE is compatible with zone heating, and has an auto-clean feature to reduce the chance of burn-back into the top-loading hopper. If the electricity goes out, the stove can be run from a 12-volt automobile battery backup.
Relatively high emissions. The Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE's manual lists its emissions at 4.16 grams per hour. It is not EPA-certified -- a voluntary measure for pellet stoves -- but is approved for mobile homes. This stove is backed by a fairly complicated warranty policy that guarantees a limited lifetime warranty for the firepot, with at least a one-year warranty on all other parts. The hearth must extend at least 2 inches behind and beside the stove, and 6 inches in front of it; minimum clearances range from 8 inches front and back to 18 inches on both sides. Finally, combustibles must be kept at least 3 feet away from the stove's front.
A smart stove. With its intermittent-pilot ignition, auto-clean feature and programmable wall control, the Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE is built to take most of the work out of running a multi-fuel stove. When said features work, owners love it, but sometimes the Mt. Vernon is a little too smart for its own good. For example, if you accidentally move the temperature control too low, the stove will automatically enter a shutdown and cleaning cycle that must be fully completed before it can restart again. You also have to push the pellets around in the bin to obtain a full load.
1. Wise Heat
Contributors to WiseHeat.com share their opinions on the Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE, giving it 4.5 stars out of 5 after more than 85 reviews.
Review: Wood Stoves, Contributors to WiseHeat.com, As of December 2013
Posters in the Hearth.com forums respond to a query about which stove is best. Most seem to favor the Lopi Leyden, but others say the Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon AE deserves more recommendations. The biggest complaint seems to be an overly complicated sensor system that can halt the entire stove if something goes wrong.
Review: Do I Buy the Lopi Leyden or the Quadra Fire Mt Vernon AE??, Contributors to Hearth.com, As of December 2013
Stove-savvy contributors to Hearth.com weigh in on another thread, helping one of their number decide between a Harman XXV and Quadra-Fire Mt. Vernon stove. He purchases the Quadra-Fire model and posts multiple updates about how it performs over a period of several years.
Review: Harman XXV or Quadrafire Mt. Vernon, Contributors to Hearth.com, As of December 2013