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Advice for large Fireplace purchase in Northern California Foothills

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by gkucera, Jun 23, 2009.

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  1. gkucera

    gkucera New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 17, 2009
    Messages:
    16
    Loc:
    Northern California
    I would appreciate any help on a large purchase I am about to make. Based on looks, efficiency, and EPA & IRS Rebate compliance, we are down to the Quad 7100fp. If the Montecito Estate pulls of a miracle and qualifies for IRS rebate, we may go that direction. Others considered are the Fx44 and RSF Delta w (unfortunately "EPA Exempt").
    Location and plans: We live in Rescue, California, at 1100 ft. It only gets down to 20 degrees here (rarely that), but it is in the high 30s and 40s a lot, we are on the east side of a hill and it seems colder than the temp reading often with all of our glass. We want to heat 4000 sq ft from the main floor.
    The main floor (ground level from the front of the house), is 2400 sq feet in a mostly open layout, including a 700 sq ft great room with the existing gas decoration unit at the south end. To the north we have open spaces to the kitchen, breakfast nook, and dining area, a moderate opening to the front entry way, and separate rooms to the south of it, den, mud room and bathrooms. The great room is two stories high, with two balcony openings to the upstairs hallway. These are closed mostly with glass for kid safety, allowing only 6” x 5’ for each area of air access. On the north side of the great room (talking 2nd floor now since air is the traveler here) we have one bedroom. bedrooms on the west side (front of house) across the hall, which spans to the master bedroom, that literally is behind the chase of the fp location in question. Our large master bedroom gets cold since it has vaulted ceilings and is far from the nice propane furnace. One bit of good news is that the upstairs intake for the central fan intake (see below for details) is 2/3 the way up the great room on the way. This will help a bit with the upstairs as these fans are on 75% of the time on low speed.
    Tenative plan:
    Rip out the hearth and put in quality class A chimney. This means Excel 8” if we go with the Delta 2 and duraplus 8” if we go with the 7100fp. Total cost for unit & 26’ of chimney will be approx. $6,500 before (our outrageous Ca.) tax and about $400 less for the 7100fp DP combo.

    We intend to put the units in with aux inputs from to the bottom of the stairway going to the sublevel and, maybe, putting a gravity vent 10’ straight up the chaise to our master bedroom. Instead of a gravity vent, we may simply but a dampered opening straight through the shared walls of each bedroom to the great room...i figure a large vent near the top would allow a fair amount of heat through. I would also like to use a higher speed fan to suck air in from the stairway area i mentioned to increase the draw, as if it were outside air.

    Comments are welcome anything I have posted, but here are my specific questions:
    1. Considering the quad vs. the delta, assuming we decide the appeal is equal, which is better at primary home heating? I think we will use it 20/7 for 3 months and 12/7 for 2 months out of the year. We have very high end heaters & variable speed fans & high end duct work (Maytag IQDrive Seer 23 & 96%, 5 ton below & 4 ton on top). I suck through 1000 gallons of propane a winter currently and we are cold. I want to end that. I am really torn because I have read the the delta baffles and front rod bend every season (the guy who goes through 10 cords in maine; we will only go through 3ish) while the Quad has various idiosyncrasies, noisy motor, draft problems, heating walls, etc. Or should I ignore the negatives of ccs (like, a bear to replace, etc.) and go with the Fx 44 elite?

    2. Can I use the blower to suck air into the system from an internal location? Seems better and I read on this site someone had done this with an opel or onyx.

    3. Should I not suck air from a lower location like I am...creating negative pressure far from where I am pushing air out? I actually believe that just letting air go into the great room will get everywhere but the sublevel with a little help? Ideas?

    George

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  2. eggy261

    eggy261 New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2008
    Messages:
    5
    Loc:
    NEPA
    i replied to your original posting. feel free to email with questions.
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