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Topic # 208099 26-Jan-2017 15:21
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Has anyone had any experience with these?

 

 

 

While a clean air fire would be fine in the new house (meets emissions), I'd probably pay a bit more for a clean-burning fire...as long as they do a decent job?

 

Some thing like the https://www.ferva.co.nz/

 

Or http://www.tropicair.co.nz/product/duo-uleb-by-tropicair/

 

 

 

Thanks


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  Reply # 1710141 26-Jan-2017 15:58
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Have you considered a Pellet Burner if you want low emissions?

 

 


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  Reply # 1710143 26-Jan-2017 16:00
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I had a Masport Mystique installed in my 100sqm house back at the start of October. I can't rate it highly enough. I actually just wrote a really long spiel about it, and just as I was about to post it, I pressed some random key on my laptop by mistake and I lost the entire post.

 

When my mood has sufficiently improved, I will write it all out again :)


 
 
 
 


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  Reply # 1710150 26-Jan-2017 16:17
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Wheelbarrow01:

 

I had a Masport Mystique installed in my 100sqm house back at the start of October. I can't rate it highly enough. I actually just wrote a really long spiel about it, and just as I was about to post it, I pressed some random key on my laptop by mistake and I lost the entire post.

 

When my mood has sufficiently improved, I will write it all out again :)

 

 

 

 

I am looking at installing a couple of  these on a new build, which has two large living areas. Although was hoping they were going to bring out a second gen soon, which doesn't have the need for the fan.The sales person said that that was a possibility.  They seem better value than many similar types on the market, and also look really good and modern. So much better than some of them you see.  So would be interested to read your thoughts when you do get around to it.


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  Reply # 1710155 26-Jan-2017 16:22
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5K! Wow. You'd want it to be damn impressive for that kinda bank!

 

 


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  Reply # 1710169 26-Jan-2017 16:31
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networkn:

 

5K! Wow. You'd want it to be damn impressive for that kinda bank!

 

 

 

 

 

 

You should see the price of some of the others ! One my client looked at was 12k, and that excluded installing, so needed a lot of framing as it was inbuilt etc. Some are the price of a small car. Another similar double burner to the Mystique they looked at, was about 9k.  At least with wood burners the installation costs are  a lot less.  I would expect a decent discount too by shopping around etc.




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  Reply # 1710290 26-Jan-2017 20:52
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I would also be very keen to hear your thoughts about the mystique

 

 

 

mattwnz:

 

Wheelbarrow01:

 

I had a Masport Mystique installed in my 100sqm house back at the start of October. I can't rate it highly enough. I actually just wrote a really long spiel about it, and just as I was about to post it, I pressed some random key on my laptop by mistake and I lost the entire post.

 

When my mood has sufficiently improved, I will write it all out again :)

 

 

 

 

I am looking at installing a couple of  these on a new build, which has two large living areas. Although was hoping they were going to bring out a second gen soon, which doesn't have the need for the fan.The sales person said that that was a possibility.  They seem better value than many similar types on the market, and also look really good and modern. So much better than some of them you see.  So would be interested to read your thoughts when you do get around to it.

 


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  Reply # 1710464 27-Jan-2017 09:43
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I apologise in advance for the length of this post...... It's a bit ridiculous but the more info the better right?

 

OK, so My Masport Mystique was installed in my 1960's house in Christchurch at the start of October. I only bought my house the previous December and it was fine over that first summer, but as winter descended last year it became clear that the house was freezing, and I found myself running the heatpump on 25 degrees 24 hours a day just to keep the lounge at 18-20 degrees (while the rest of the hose froze). This caused my power bill to rise from around $100/month in summer to around $450-$500 over those winter months.

 

Here I digress slightly and advise that my house had a cathedral or skillion ceiling with exposed beams in the kitchen/lounge/dining area. While the rest of the house with normal ceilings had good ceiling insulation, after a bit of investigation I learned that there was no insulation in the cathedral ceiling, and no space to add any. I also discovered that there was none in any of the walls of the house either.

 

I had to decide how best to spend my budget (around $10k) to get the most out of it. The house had an old fireplace which had been gibbed over, and I subsequently learned that I was not allowed to open it up and install an insert type log burner due to Christchurch's clean air rules. My only option was a ULEB, gas or pellet fire.

 

I knew I couldn't afford to insulate and re-gib all the walls in the house, so I concentrated on the living area. I pulled the wall gib off the two outside-facing walls of the lounge myself and installed pink batts, and also wired in new HDMI, aerial and power sockets etc to enable me to finally mount my TV on the wall with no messy wires showing. I also installed pink batts between the ceiling beams and affixed gib to the underside of the beams, retaining the cathedral look. I then paid a contractor to complete the plastering and painting of these areas. This made an immediate and noticeable difference to the heat retention of the house in cold weather. I have since also noticed it is not so hot on summer days too.

 

Anyway, back to the fire: I ruled out gas as an option as we have no mains gas option in my area, and I couldn't face the drama of having to rent LPG cylinders. I have also heard anecdotally from friends who have gone down this route that it doesn't seem cheap to run - not with a cylinder setup anyway. I also ruled out pellet fires purely because Solid Energy seems to have a near monopoly on pellet production, so can charge whatever they want. You are in effect at their mercy.

 

I looked at several different brands of ULEB, and saw most of them in action at heating shops accross Christchurch. But I was most impressed by the Masport Mystique. To me, the front of it is beautiful - the frameless glass doors are very aesthetically pleasing to me. It's not the smallest ULEB on the market, but it's also not the biggest. This is a fine balance - the larger Jayline for example seems enormous and would take up a lot of floor space. The Danish Bionic woodburner is a lot smaller, but I wondered how often it would have to be stoked given that the firebox was so small - and even just getting firewood small enough to fit could be an issue. The high cost (around $10,000 RRP) also put me off this one.

 

I settled on the Mystique, and the guys from Heatstore in Christchurch came and measured up. I chose to have mine installed in a corner where the required space seemed minimal. I also felt that to install it in the middle of the wall would make it a focal point of the room, which in my situation is not something I was after. I wanted it to be incidental to the room (as much as a 150kg lump of steel can be...)

 

The price I paid was $7249. This included the fire, the flue kit, the council permit, installation and they threw in a 3 room thermostatically controlled heat transfer kit (but not installation of this). Based on pricing of other ULEB models I believe I got good value for money, and to be honest anything was better than continuing to throw almost $500 away on electric heating for every month. The installation was completed in around 3 hours and was pretty painless. I had to supply the hearth, but I had this custom made by a tiling guy in Christchurch and it was only a couple of hundred dollars.

 

All up, including the insulation, plastering, painting etc, I hit my $10k budget almost exactly.

 

OPERATION: I have found the fire to be fantastic. I basically used it every night in October, and for much of November, and have used it sparodically over summer when we have had one or two ridiculously cold days. I have not used my heatpump at all in that time. The fire burns hot and relatively fast, although I have been burning untreated pine timber off-cuts simply because they are cheap. In the coming weeks I will be buying my winter wood, and I intend to get a mixture of oregon and larch, with some pine offcuts just to get it started each night. This should dramatically slow the burn rate as split logs are far bigger than the offcuts I have been burning. Larch and oregon also burn a lot slower than pine. Hopefully this change in fuel will mean I don't have to get off the couch as often as I have been - my only real criticism (although it's partly my own making due to the offcuts). Generally speaking, these fires do not burn long and slow like the old school burners, and you certainly can't load it up and expect it to still be going in the morning. So it's definitely best to switch to medium or hard woods once it has been lit for optimum results and decent burn times.

 

The fan on the log burner has two selectable settings, and is designed to switch on automatically when the fire is sufficiently hot. I have found the high setting of the fan to be quite loud and pretty annoying, however the low speed setting is fine - you can sort of hear it in the background, but it is not distracting. The manual makes it clear that the fire should not be run with the fan switched off except for short periods - in a power cut for example. Long term running of the fire with the fan switched off apparently damages the fire due to excess heat.

 

I have found that if I light the fire after I get home at around 5.30 and run it for around two hours, that will keep the house warm for the rest of the night. because the firebox is heavy steel, is large, and has decent ceramic material inside, it retains a good amount of heat for a long time - sort of like a night store heater. The fan will also remain on to circulate warm air until such time as the fire has cooled right down. This is a nice feature.

 

The Mystique also has a clever LED light on it - the light is turns green when the fire is hot enough to change the damper to 'afterburner' mode. This takes the guesswork out of it. Then when the fire cools down later in the night, the LED turns red again sto indicate the damper position should be reversed again. If I can work out how to get it off my phone, I will post a video of me switching the afterburner on - I don't think I will ever get tired of it, and it's a great party trick when friends come over lol.

 

I have not installed the heat transfer kit yet, but I difinitely need to. My lounge/kitchen/dining area is not huge (around 6 x 7 metres), so the fire is a bit too hot at the moment - I found myself sitting around in a singlet and shorts and opening windows sometimes as it got too hot. Although some of the heat went down the hall to the rest of the house, I need the transfer kit to do this more efficiently, which will in turn make the temperature in the lounge a bit less extreme.

 

All in all I am very happy with my choice, and although $7249 seems like a lot of money when compared to the $2k or $3k models you see at the likes of Mitre 10, I know that I am still going to reap huge power savings over winter, and I think my house will be more appealing if I ever decide to sell.

 

I am happy to answer questions if you have any.

 

Simon


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  Reply # 1710513 27-Jan-2017 10:05
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Here's a short video: https://youtu.be/Tgewmkxzqe0

 

 


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  Reply # 1710514 27-Jan-2017 10:05
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Hi Simon. 

 

Thanks for the detailed information. Genuine question, what makes you think this is better/more fuel efficient for $10K than a $4K model? 

 

Obviously, with more insulation you could have used the heat pump and solved cooling and heating as another option. I assume those options were considered and discarded and I was curious what the reason might have been? Wood will still have a cost, and the time taken to cut it and cart it inside etc.

 

How much ash do these burners use per say 20KG of wood, is that a stat you know? I know our pellet fire produces 200g of ash for a 20KG bag of pellets, and the marketing surprisingly was pretty accurate in that regard. 


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  Reply # 1710554 27-Jan-2017 10:57
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In terms of efficiency, I can only compare it to the standard log burner I used at my old house. Obviously I didn't have this luxury prior to installing the ULEB at the new house - I took a calculated gamble on it really, based on the research I did beforehand.

 

That old burner consumed a lot of wood every night - The large wood basket I had by the fire would start out full, but would be empty before going to bed, and sometimes I'd have to refill it halfway though the night. With the ULEB I can carry in my bare hands the amount of wood I will need for the whole night, so in that respect the evidence seems to be pretty compelling.

 

If we look at RRP prices for just the fireboxes themselves (excluding flues, installation etc), the RRP of the Mystique ULEB is around $5k, whereas standard fireboxes can be bought for as little as $2k. I guess I probably would have bought one of the cheap standard ones if I had been allowed to, but Christchurch's clean air rules prevented me from doing so (and saving quite a bit of cash in the process). In terms of fuel efficiency between the different types of burners, all you can do is compare the published figures and make a selection from there (eCan has a good spreadsheet with all the figures for most current models). While I value efficiency as much as the next guy, I had no option but to buy a ULEB - My only choice was in which ULEB I went for, and that came down mostly to total installed cost, the space available, and the appearance of the unit. The efficiency across the ULEB range is so similar that choosing one based on that statistic alone would have been pretty difficult.

 

I agree that installing the insulation in the cathedral ceiling and lounge walls has helped with the overall comfort of the house, but the heatpump would never have been able to heat more than the lounge/kitchen/dining area of the house due to just not having enough guts, especially in freezing temperatures. The ULEB fire can and does heat the whole house now, although the heat balance is currently not quite right yet, but installing the heat transfer kit should alleviate this.

 

Yes the wood does certainly still have a cost, but it is a lot less than the $300-$400 I save each cold month we have. I have a firewood merchant just a few kms from me, their loader drops it in the back of my ute, which I back up to my woodshed, and I just toss it in there - it's really not that much effort, but I accept other people can't be bothered with this. I also have access to free timber logs from time to time. I don't mind getting a bit of excercise chainsawing and carting this, and a hydraulic log splitter hired for a few hours takes the sting out of splitting it.

 

I can't say I have measured the ash that comes out of it, but what I can say is that for the standard burner at my old house, I used to remove a 10 litre metal bucketful of ash at least every second day of use, and a lot of it was heavy, not-completely-burnt charcoal type stuff. With the ULEB, I have emptied it three times in total, and each of those ash piles was about a spade load, and it was very fine float-in-the-air-annoyingly type ash.

 

 

 

 

 

 


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  Reply # 1710559 27-Jan-2017 11:01
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Thanks, that's good to know. 

 

One last question, when you were talking about a saving of $400 a month, I am not clear if that was pre or post new lining in your walls? I would be surprised if it were that much if you were well insulted. Our power bill is $400 a month average with about 70 electrical items going including 3 heat pumps, though none of them operate near 24/7 at any stage. 

 

 


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  Reply # 1710675 27-Jan-2017 13:45
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networkn:

 

Thanks, that's good to know. 

 

One last question, when you were talking about a saving of $400 a month, I am not clear if that was pre or post new lining in your walls? I would be surprised if it were that much if you were well insulted. Our power bill is $400 a month average with about 70 electrical items going including 3 heat pumps, though none of them operate near 24/7 at any stage. 

 

 

 

 

Yea the savings are pre the new insulation, but I only relined about 4 metres of one wall, and two metres of another - the rest of these 2 outward facing lounge walls is comprised of windows or doors (double glazed). Also, every other wall in the house (all bedrooms etc) remain completely uninsulated - we're talking 90%. But at least the entire ceiling is now insulated, whereas before it wasn't.

 

I am surprised the previous owners spent money getting new double glazing installed throughout the entire house, but never bothered sorting the insulation issues out.

 

So I am very much still in the "not that well insulated" category. But the time, effort, expense and mess of pulling down the gib, insulating, and relining every other room in the house is far too much for me to deal with in the short to medium term. Maybe in 10 years time when I've paid some of the mortgage off and can do it without overcapitalising?

 

If I conservatively estimate that the fire saves $200/month on power, net of firewood costs (which I think it easily will), for just 6 months of the year, then the fire will have paid for itself in around 6 years which I don't think is too bad.

 

 


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  Reply # 1710720 27-Jan-2017 15:36
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Thank you for the information. For those wondering about the price the Masport Mystique was the first NZ made ULEB and they came in at half the price of the others on the market (Masport Fires are actually a separate company to Masport lawn mowers etc). ULEBs are actually tested in real world conditions rather than with ultra dry very soft wood they are really a cool bit of engineering. My guess is over the next 10 years more and more counsels will require you to have one then we should start seeing more models coming out with a few more options :)

 

The new Ferva (made by woodsman in CHCH) is more powerful than the Masport and includes power generation built in so you do not have the issue of power failure (it also has a usb port on the front to charge your phone) I was going to go and see a live model in Christchurch this year but sadly due to time restraints I don't think I will be able to. But that is not to say the Masport is poor in comparison it puts out less emissions per kg of wood burnt and is around 5% more efficient.  

 

Do you tend to get sooting on the glass? it looks fairly clean in the video.


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  Reply # 1710723 27-Jan-2017 15:49
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Stan:

 

Do you tend to get sooting on the glass? it looks fairly clean in the video.

 

 

The glass does soot up a tiny bit, but only after many hours of use - most of the time it burns off pretty well. That video was taken only a few days or so after the fire was installed so it's likely to be pretty clean there.

 

Having said that, I cleaned the glass a couple of weeks ago for the first time and it was very easy - I just used a paper towel dampened with water. No real elbow grease was required either. That makes a refreshing change - I used to have to use oven cleaner on the glass of my old inefficient fire!


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  Reply # 1710739 27-Jan-2017 16:33
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Stan:

 

Thank you for the information. For those wondering about the price the Masport Mystique was the first NZ made ULEB and they came in at half the price of the others on the market (Masport Fires are actually a separate company to Masport lawn mowers etc). ULEBs are actually tested in real world conditions rather than with ultra dry very soft wood they are really a cool bit of engineering. My guess is over the next 10 years more and more counsels will require you to have one then we should start seeing more models coming out with a few more options :)

 

The new Ferva (made by woodsman in CHCH) is more powerful than the Masport and includes power generation built in so you do not have the issue of power failure (it also has a usb port on the front to charge your phone) I was going to go and see a live model in Christchurch this year but sadly due to time restraints I don't think I will be able to. But that is not to say the Masport is poor in comparison it puts out less emissions per kg of wood burnt and is around 5% more efficient.  

 

Do you tend to get sooting on the glass? it looks fairly clean in the video.

 

 

 

 

The price and look is why I was attacted to the masport one, and it is a reasonably new way of doing wood burners in NZ. Plus Masport are a good well known brand, so getting parts in the future I hope isn't going to be as much of an issue. The issue with requiring power is one reason I was waiting for the next generation. Also I was told by the saleperson that hey would hope in the next gen that the ned to switch the dampener on and off would be automated. But I think the first gen model will be fine. The next model may also be an upgrade model, so priced higher. Although that is only speculation. I guess there will be a lot of other companies bringing out these types of fires too in the next few years, which will hopefully bring the price down.


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