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Came home & kissed my insert.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Iembalm4aLiving, Dec 9, 2012.

  1. Iembalm4aLiving

    Iembalm4aLiving Feeling the Heat

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    Went to a friends newly constructed 5,000 sq ft home for a Christmas party last night. He's an enthusiastic wood burner, but won't listen to me about the awesomeness of a modern stove or insert. Had his brick mason buddy build a HUGE Rumsford fireplace in his living room. Since it wasn't particularly cold last night, he had a small fire going. Like my old fireplace (pre-insert) it was hot when you were up close, and cold more than 5 feet away. And the worst part was that there was a fair amount of smoke leaking into the house. People as far away as the kitchen were complaining about the smoke.

    When we got home last night my wife's hair and my sweater smelled like a campfire. My wife thanked me again for pushing her into getting our insert. It just works SO much better than an open fireplace.

    I tell everyone who will listen that if you LOVE burning wood, you simply MUST get yourself an insert or a stove. It just makes the experience so much more enjoyable.

    Will my friend ever learn? We'll see....I don't know how long he'll be able to put up with that setup.

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Hope it wasn't lit when you kissed it! :)

    Is his fireplace on an exterior wall? If so he may hard time running that fireplace until the flue is warmed up and that could take a lot of heat to do this. He could try a newspaper fire on the smokeshelf to preheat the chimney. But if this is a massive exterior unit, it may always be cold.
  3. Woody Stover

    Woody Stover Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like he burns wood for the fire, not the heat. To get both is a lot nicer. ==c
  4. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Pa used to say, "You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink." Same with burning wood. You can teach or attempt to teach but you can't make them learn.
    Pallet Pete likes this.
  5. etiger2007

    etiger2007 Minister of Fire

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    Invite him over to your house to check out your insert
  6. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    Next house I build Im not even going to bother with a fireplace, If I cant do a masonry heater or decide not to, I would build a nice big hearth with built in wood storage, I would set it up so I could put any size stove I wanted.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'd invite him over for a beer on a cold day and don't say a word about the insert. Let him just sit in the stove room and start asking questions.
    corey21 and Woody Stover like this.
  8. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Certainly wont disagree that he isn't getting any usable heat.... but the smoke spillage is a sign his mason didnt know how to build a fireplace properly... Either the ratio of the hearth opening to the flue is off, or the throat is constricted, or he didn't build the smokeshelf right or the house is too tight and he needs an OAK, or something.

    I have 2 tall and shallow open rumford fireplaces (in addition to the stove) and they never spill smoke ever. Even stone cold you can light a piece of newspaper and in under two minutes the draft will practically suck it out of the house.
  9. bag of hammers

    bag of hammers Minister of Fire

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    gd9704 - always nice to read about good experiences of other Osburn owners (I run the 2200 freestanding - very happy with it).
  10. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    I have to preheat my open fireplace with a lit newspaper....which of course I always forget about with the first fire of the season. I've only had two fires in it this year and plan on converting to another insert next year. We tend to congregate in the room with our insert which isn't the most comfortable room. Finding a flush insert, contemporary enough looking that the wife doesn't mind, and bigger firebox hasn't been the easiest task.

  11. weatherguy

    weatherguy Minister of Fire

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    I have the same problem, the Morso is nice and fits but pricey, the alterra fits and is on my short list. Theres been a couple new flush inserts that came out this year that might fit and get the wifes approval.
  12. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    Before I had my insert installed, I had the same problem with smoke. The fact that your said your friend's fireplace was HUGE was a tip off. I have a very large firebox in my fireplace, and had to put a restrictor across the top of the opening just to get it to draft properly, and even that didn't always do the trick, so I was wasting even more heat with glass doors. I too have fallen upon my knees at the Power of the Insert().
  13. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    Not intending to hijack the thread, but wanted to reply. If you go with the Alterra, definitely get the blower. We didn't have power for 8 days after Sandy and until I ran an extension cord to a circuit on the generator, it did very little to radiate enough heat (and it was pretty warm outside on those days and I can close off 1200sq feet of my home and only have to leave that third to exit the house). With quite a few skylights and large custom windows and a really bad lay out for moving heat, I can keep that third of the house in the 68-70 range which is plenty warm for me. Actually, the thermostat is back behind where the blower is pointing, so the area we sit in is probably considerably warmer.

    It's definitely a lot better than an open fireplace, but if you can get something bigger I'd go that route. You'll have to burn the coal bed down quite a lot before being able to get a couple of splits in for reload and the temp of the room will quite drop a bit. The plus side is the wife is pleased with the ambiance and isn't opposed to putting one the main room like last year. I'm actually stalling since the State of MA and Feds have made geothermal heating/cooling considerably more affordable (install this month).

    That being said, it produces positive heat gain, uses a heckuva lot less wood than the heatilator box that was in there, and did a lot to lower my heating oil costs last season. Have only had one oil delivery this season so far, but hard to say if its just the insert, improved practices, or some of the remodling I've been doing....probably some combination of it all. It is supposedly insanely easy to install, so you might want to give it a try yourself. I had it swept this year by a pro, but will do myself moving forward since that chimney is very easy for me to access.

    If you remember, please keep me (us) updated with your decision/purchase process. Contemporary styles are few and far between in the wood burning industry, though it seems to be improving. Unfortunately, most modern looking stoves are pricey. Alterra being an exception.

  14. gregbesia

    gregbesia Burning Hunk

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    Let me get this straight - the guy can afford to build a 5000 sq ft home? I dont think he needs or wants to mess with wood heat :) :)
    jharkin likes this.
  15. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    If I am understanding correctly, he is not HEATING with wood; he just wants the fireplace for ambience.
  16. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    Well, with the shallowness of a Rumford, chances are he'll never fit an insert in there anyway.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I'll bet a nice Isle Royale would fit and look great there and would put out a lot more heat.
  18. rover47

    rover47 Member

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    Jdp1152
    Had the same problem with sig. other, thats why we ended up with the
    Montpelier. Actually once she saw it it was the only one to get. Looks and works great.
  19. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

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    That's true - probably has a nicely sized hearth already.
  20. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    The sad part is that the Rumford fireplace design was invented to fix the smoking problems of the common square box fireplace in use up through the 18th century.

    If anyone is interested in what a real Rumford looks like I got an interesting little book on the subject as a gift last year. Its a very quick read, but you might want to skip over the authors 1950s political rantings ;) I never knew that the count was an American colonial who turned Tory and fled to Europe during the revolution...

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