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Basement vs. Living room for wood insert?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by emt1581, Jul 7, 2010.

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  1. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    No, it's not that simple. All of the appliances we're talking about have minimum required Clearances To Combustible materials (CTC's) all around the exposed perimeter of the appliance, as well as hearth size and thermal resistance requirements. These requirements are stove-specific, and they are described in detail in the manufacturer's documentation for each appliance. These requirements must be met or exceeded during the installation planning and execution to ensure a safe system. Stovepipe (also called connector pipe), wall/ceiling penetrations, flue liners and chimney pipe all must be certified as meeting requirements for heat resistance, must be compatible, and must be installed correctly. No, it ain't just a box with a pipe through the wall. Rick

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  2. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    If a house has good air flow from room to room and floor to floor then the heat/cold will travel into/out of those rooms and floors to distribute heat throughout the house. Walls, doors, floors and ceilings block that flow and make it more difficult for heat to move into a particular area of the house. A wood stove will heat the room or area it is in very well if it is the proper sized stove (space heater). Any additional area of the house that it heats is dependent on how the air flows through that space.

    As to the hearth, that is the "area" that the stove sits. Each stove has specific non-combustible clearances that have to be met, the hearth is to be built based on the requirements for the stove that will be placed in service. It can be made of many different non-combustible materials. The pipe going through the wall will have to have some non-combustible clearance also.

    I keep hearing about the eye appeal of fireplace vrs. stove. This is a personal preference that I really don't understand, but I am a function trumps eye-appeal person. If you want the best bang for your buck, then a freestanding stove is what will work the best for your money. I will say there are some high efficiency zero clearance fireplaces on the market that look real good, and should do a good job of heating, and even have the ability to tie into your furnace duct system, but by the time they are priced, I loose interest real fast. To me, you are either interested in heating with wood or want eye candy, anything in between will be a comprise one way or the other. (Putting flame suit on as I type)

    Hope this helps some. Keep asking questions.
  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I understand. When you first mentioned "stove pipe" I thought of something completely different. It's common terminology on gun forums.

    I just got off the phone with the place we'd probably buy from locally. He said the same as what I'm getting here...a basement stove/insert isn't going to heat a whole house this size. Furthermore he said that if there wasn't originally two flues built into this chimney that you can't add another one...you need a separate pipe/chimney built. He said there's a guy that can come out and take measurements/look around and it's a $75 fee that gets refunded into the price of a purchase...so it's basically free once you buy something from them.

    As I said, I'm learning but without that 2nd flue, it's going to be a little frustrating because efficiency will no longer be possible since we're restricted to just the basement.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  4. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I agree 100% with you. If it was up to me I could live in a one room cabin (with or without plumbing and electricity). Hell, I'm an Eagle Scout. I LOVE roughing it!! ;)

    Unfortunately if my wife isn't happy, it makes life difficult for me in more ways that one. So yes, there has to be a compromise here. If I can get her to go for a wood stove I will. I think it's a MUCH better option because there's no electricity and in the LIKELY event of a power outage, it'll heat the same. Maybe since it's down the basement she won't care as much...living room I think is going to be a different issue.

    I think the next step is going to be sitting down for a few hours and just reading through the links above.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'd still consider putting an insert in the basement fireplace if that is where you expect to spend a lot of time in the winter. How large an insert will depend on how well the heat can circulate. For that, we need to see a rough layout of the place.

    If the basement is only going to be used occasionally, then I would put the primary heater in the primary living space, the first floor. There are other options for heating the basement on an occasional basis including some that might liberate the chimney. And there are some beautiful, wife pleasing stoves out there. My wife is pretty damn fussy, but she likes the stove and it is in our living room. Be patient and try to be flexible and creative when considering options. This is infrastructure, so it pays to do it right the first time.
  6. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Check your PM's.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  7. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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  8. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    +1 on form following function, but a stove doesn't have to be a black box. There are some beauteeful stoves out there. Mmm. . .soapstone. . .or cast iron enamelled in blue, green, white. . .
  9. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    If there's no second flue in this chimney it won't work. We'd need to build a second pipe (no way she'll go for that look) or another chimney which we can't afford.

    If there is a second flue, then yes, that's what I'd prefer a stove.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  10. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    I'm not following the 2nd flue requirement. Does this mean that you're insisting on a stove/insert in the basement, and one would go in the living room only if there were a 2nd flue?
  11. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Well get ready for some pics gang! And a huge thanks to BeGreen! :)

    -Emt1581
  12. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    The flue he has comes up from basement if I follow correctly, needs the other one on the first floor.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Here ya go. Basement shots first, then the living room.

    Wondering if the throat of the chimney is large enough to accommodate a pair of insulated liners? Or perhaps a pellet stove + wood stove liner?

    Attached Files:

  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Right, but 2 flues would be necessary only if there were 2 stoves, which is a possibility, but not a requirement.
  15. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Well without a second flue we could only use the basement fireplace on that chimney. Now it was mentioned about sealing off from the basement and using it up on the main level but then that means the basement fireplace would be non-function which doesn't sit well with me considering it's potential.

    -Emt1581
  16. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Just an FYI...the yellow chair is where the second flue (if there is one) would be...in the wall/corner.

    Thanks again BeGreen!

    -Emt1581
  17. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I've seen it mentioned a few times about a wood liner and a pellet liner. I'm not a big fan of pellets because they were REAALLLYYY hard to come by around here a few years ago. I would have been screwed that winter. But I'm guessing there's a difference in size or construction of the liner...if so please explain.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  18. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Pellet is 4". Wood stove is 6". . .some 8".
  19. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Anyhow, why would a stove in the living room be possible only with 2 flues? Don't want to lose use of fireplace in basement?
  20. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Exactly!

    Are you on a phone or something? I'm guessing you are or else English isn't your first language. I just ask because your mesages are short and choppy.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  21. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    After reading your responses to these posts, and re-reading your first, budget is important here. In your first post, you mentioned that for a few thousand, a fireplace could be added to the living room upstairs (which is apparently what your wife wants). I would question what kind of fireplace could be added for a few thousand that will be of any quality compared to a wood stove install at the same cost. It could possibly be a heat loss situation instead of heat gain if a cheap inefficient fireplace is installed.

    Most of the high-efficiency zero clearance fireplaces will cost more than a few thousand by the time they are installed. You need to know what fireplace they would be installing before you can make a good decision on that aspect, it could cost more than you think in the long run.

    You might be better off just installing the insert downstairs and see what it will do for you. Then if you are not satisfied do the stove or fireplace upstairs when you can afford to do it right.
  22. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Been answered about three times, the flue he has now is in the basement, to put a stove on the first floor he needs another flue. Its a one holer.
  23. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Nice house, put the stove in the basement and stay down there.
  24. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I've thought about that. Cost-wise.

    Initially I'm betting we'll start downstairs. And if you look at the pics, a stove isn't possible with the small size of that hearth, and if we do go with something upstairs it'd almost have to be a stove because I can afford a hearth...I can't afford more than a few grand for a fireplace.

    One thing I was going to ask is if these are that easy to transfer? That is, say we get an insert in the basement and it doesn't do much to heat upstairs, can we rip it out and put it in a living room fireplace (if we did figure out a way to afford one)?

    Lots of homework to do yet though.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  25. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I agree. But she doesn't like the idea of going up and down the steps to a common area. Plus that's already been claimed as my man cave for multiple reasons.

    My main concern is that upper level. I suppose we can snuggle, but otherwise, and without using the cable/radiating heat in the ceilings (which is going to drive up the electric bill) ...there's going to be almost no heat getting upstairs from the basement.

    -Emt1581
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