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it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 24, 2018 08:37AM
I've got an unused fireplace in the rear of the house, and I've been contemplating an insert for years, but never sure if I can find one that will sit relatively flush to the wall,.and will support multiple fuel sources. I'd need one that did more than just pellet. Recommendations, or where to start looking online?
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: spacescape
Date: September 24, 2018 08:38AM
Following...
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: nwyaker
Date: September 24, 2018 09:01AM
Have had and used one of their freestanding medium wood stoves for 15 years +. Very satisfied. Low emissions, efficient.

[www.quadrafire.com]

This one ... [www.quadrafire.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2018 09:04AM by nwyaker.
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: cbelt3
Date: September 24, 2018 09:04AM
I would take photos of your room, the fireplace setup, the chimney (from inside the fireplace and outside), and then take them and go talk to a local shop that specializes in fireplace insert setups.

While you *can* just shove an insert into the fireplace, you can do some serious damage if your chimney isn't up to the chore of dealing with it. Also realize that inserts will involve a catalytic device that post burns emissions, hence the heat level in the chimney goes up. Also think about how you will store fuel outside and keep it dry, bring fuel inside and keep it from messing up the household. Then think about how you will remove ash. There are a lot of complexity issues with using a combustion stove to heat your home. There may be permitting requirements in your area. Talk to a local pro.
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: September 24, 2018 09:13AM
I wouldn't look online.

It seems like something that you might do yourself, but there are a lot of variables in respect of the materials used in the chimney and the hearth, framing, leveling, mods to the hearth and such. Also, you want it to be able to burn multiple fuel sources, but some states/municipalities may not permit the use of some fuel sources (or may permit them only during certain limited times of year) and some may require mods for the appropriate type of ventilation.

It's not expensive to hire a local specialist do do one, especially if you're concerned about getting it to sit flush to the wall or providing for multiple fuel sources.



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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: billb
Date: September 24, 2018 10:04AM
More than just pellet as in corn or cherry pits ?

First you have to start with your dimensions as that limits models within brands.
Flush isn't always very popular for heat radiation.

You'll need a stainless steel liner up the chimney or a type-accepted chimney. You can't do slammers any more. You'll never get a stove installed that way any more and your insurance company won't insure you. A slammer install will not pass inspection.

The very first thing you probably should do is go over to hearth.com to the pellet stove section and look for info. They have lots of owner reviews for different pellet stoves. Lots of reviews for hardwood/softwood pellets but you have to weed through the regionality of availability yourself.



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Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2018 10:07AM by billb.
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 24, 2018 10:42AM
All wood (can't see myself burning coal), but both logs and pellets, as I'd like the flexibility, and have access to free wood.
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: billb
Date: September 24, 2018 11:17AM
Quote
mrbigstuff
All wood (can't see myself burning coal), but both logs and pellets, as I'd like the flexibility, and have access to free wood.

Wood takes a 6 or 8 inch ID chimney, depending on the stove manufacturer and what they used for type acceptance.
You will need a liner up a old chimney with no clay liner.
A Stainless steel chimney will be recommended up a even a clay lined chimney
If you have a clay liner chimney it will have to be inspected for use first.
The days of slamming a wood stove in an old brick fireplace are long gone.

If you have a manufactured fireplace plan on having it removed as very few are type accepted to put a wood stove in them.

You'll almost always get more heat out of a free-standing wood stove in a fireplace, most certainly when the power goes out and you have no blower to force the heat.

With the new emissions controlled wood stoves a proper chimney is a requirement and they won't work right without a proper draft. A chimney can sometimes cost more than the stove depending on how fancy a stove you are looking at.
Firewood with less than 20% moisture content is a requirement as well.
Many people with wood stoves are now storing firewood for two or three years to get it properly seasoned to burn well as what gets sold as "seasoned" firewood is far too often way too green.
North of Boston the price of kiln dried firewood isn't too bad though. I've seen $330/cord. That's not too bad, it works out the equivalent of $2.25 home heating oil.


Pellets don't burn all that well in a wood stove.
They make compressed wood brick "logs" that are basically big pellets but you have to be careful with them. As in experimenting how many you can put in the stove without a stove damaging over-fire.
They are also kinda expensive.
Edit: some stove manufacturers state the use of them will void the warrantee on the stove. caveat emptor

I would still go over to hearth.com as it is a rich resource for wood and pellet stoves and they do have quite a (old) library of stove reviews
Be forewarned that that forum went through an upheaval similar to dealmac with a lot of users leaving and the forum being sold. The new owner is not using it as a bully pulpit for politics like the old one was and it has become a rather quiet place. But that's OK. It's still a resource.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]




Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 09/24/2018 11:43AM by billb.
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 24, 2018 12:03PM
In a quick search of "multi-fuel," I only found pellets/corn/pits. Hopefully the MRF hive mind will give better results. I don't know enough about pellet inserts, but my first thoughts was that getting a setup for wood and pellets would nearly double the cost. It's a totally different setup between a low emission wood insert, requiring a large volume to burn all night versus a small tightly sealed high efficiency burning chamber with 40 lbs of pellet storage.

If you have a location that is compatible with setting up a discrete stove that vents through the wall instead of a chimney, it might be much cheaper to get a free standing multi-fuel stove that doesn't need engineering to fit into a specific limited space.



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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: billb
Date: September 24, 2018 12:26PM
Chimney requirements:

[www.woodstove.com]


Woodstock in New Hampshire is at the forefront of clean burning wood stoves. They have some interesting designs, especially the new high tech hybrid ones. They're not for everybody and I'm not si sure I would recommend a hybrid stove for a newbie or non-technical minded person. But they certainly have some interesting engineering going on in Lebanon.


Also, an interesting fuel comparison calculator:
[coalpail.com]

They modified the last column to 100 million BTU from ( whatever they had before that was a lot more useful ). I'm not sure why but it must be more useful to someone.
The last entry is of course whimsical.



The Phorum Wall keeps us safe from illegal characters and words
The doorstep to the temple of wisdom is the knowledge of one's own ignorance. -Benjamin Franklin
BOYCOTT YOPLAIT [www.noyoplait.com]
[soundcloud.com]
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: Filliam H. Muffman
Date: September 24, 2018 12:49PM
Apple releases iStove. Slimmer, sleeker, but only uses Apple certified wood. Does not support pine. Requires a minimum $50/month iWood subscription.



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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: Don C
Date: September 24, 2018 01:15PM
Ah, but he Apple iStove comes with a usb scale to weigh the fuel before it goes in.
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: mrbigstuff
Date: September 24, 2018 02:13PM
Thanks, I did plan on a liner/flue redo, as it hasn't been touched in some time (built in the 80s, though, not ancient). Good recommendations, esp that place in NH, billb, I'll be travelling near there soon and may try to drop in on a retail establishment. The pellet part is for the convenience, of course, the logs are free or inexpensive, so I'd hate to forego that, but perhaps it's the only viable option to install.
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Re: it's that time of year: should I (finally) install a fireplace insert, and what type?
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: September 24, 2018 05:16PM
Quote
Don C
Ah, but he Apple iStove comes with a usb scale to weigh the fuel before it goes in.

Plus, it has Siri and although Apple promised it for the GM and didn't have it ready for the ship-date, some time next year a software update may provide the stove with FaceTime audio calls and fire.



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