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debating on getting a new insert is it worth it

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jaychino415, Jun 1, 2013.

  1. jaychino415

    jaychino415 Member

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    Jan 31, 2013
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    Loc:
    san bruno, ca
    remodeled house, added tons of denim jean insulation, double pane windows, new high efficiency heater 95% afue. Is it worth getting a $4200 installed lopi freedom insert, rigid stainless steel liner, chimney cap,etc. Hmmm. What are your thoughts? would you pull the trigger?

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  2. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    From a $ prospective, unless you you have a source for free wood I doubt you would ever break even.
  3. jaychino415

    jaychino415 Member

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    quote="fox9988, post: 1457078, member: 21133"]From a $ prospective, unless you you have a source for free wood I doubt you would ever break even.[/quote]
    t

    Thanks fox9988 for your input, wood isn't hard to get. We have a few sources giving away free wood ( ash, oak, eucalyptus, walnut, pine). I wonder how long to break even.
  4. J.Stempel

    J.Stempel New Member

    Joined:
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    oregon
    New owner of a Jotul 550 installed last month and have had about 10 fires. I can't really see the decision as an economic one, though eventually I imagine our lower gas bills in the winter will balance the 4k+ install plus firewood costs. We had a large open Rumford fireplace but have perpetually been aggravated by the smell, safety and inefficiency despite loving having fires in the winter.

    Of everything I love about our custom home, this tops it. The kids and wife and I all feel the same. Once the stove is fired up and running hot the heat it puts out is unlike anything we could ever get from a modern furnace even if we cranked it high enough to hope to achieve the temps that I get with a load of wood, i.e. 74 degrees and higher. It easily heats our main floor and the upstairs, about 2000 sq. feet. The thing that I don't hear as much about either is the overall feel. The stove is in a large room that is at one end of a 25 foot area with two huge sets of french doors at the other end. In 12 years that side of the room where we dine has never once felt warm no matter what the thermostat registers. Now you can sit over there in a T-shirt on a 40 degree rainy day in Oregon.

    One other thing that may just be my imagination, but I feel like the house retains the heat and radiates it back over several days. I don't run the stove overnight but this May has been cold - into the mid 40's overnight - and the am temp is still in the high 60's in the house. Maybe someone else can say if this is a real thing or just my hopeful imagination.

    We pour a ton of money into our homes for things we can't ever really recoup financially, just for the fact that it adds value to our lives. This is in that vein for me, but the value added to the long, dreary cold rainy Oregon winter here is incalculable. Plus I love stacking wood.
  5. jaychino415

    jaychino415 Member

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    san bruno, ca
    firewood in our neck of the woods runs about $350-400 a cord for oak, not delivered or stacked. You have to bring it home yourself.
  6. firebroad

    firebroad Minister of Fire

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    I would still have an insert--but it would have to have a smaller price tag for me. I am sold on my PE Alderlea, the looks alone was 50% of my decision.
  7. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Depends on the layout of the home, and how much of the home the insert heats, and how much it saves on the conventional furnace fuel.
    I have a forced air oil heat furnace. Heats the air, kicks off, air cools back down, over & over again.
    First fill up in 2006 was $2.00 per gallon of oil. $500.00 the first fill up. Granted, it was a complete fill from near empty.
    I tore the old junk insert out, installed the Summit, and it costs me approx. $300.00 to $350.00 per year to heat the house with wood.
    Plus the time and effort involved, which is my exercise and I enjoy the time outdoors.
    The oil furnace was demoted to back up status that very first year here. The Summit is the primary heater, and does one hell of a better job of heating.
    The payback on the Summit and liner was about 2 yrs.
  8. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    :eek: That 3x my local cost. What is your current heat source:gas, electric, ect? And what is the cost per unit or BTU?
  9. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    I don't know what I was thinking when I said this. $4200 must have shocked me. It all depends on the cost of BTU's. Some members used to spend $4200 a year on oil. Now they heat for "free".
  10. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

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    The Freedom is capable as a whole house heater, but it depends on the house. Mine would pump the heat!!
    Whats up with the rigid liner? A flex would be more affordable and would do the job nicely!
  11. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Heck yeah... I burn for the love of it, I have to burn oil In most of my house....boooooo....but I can burn wood in my family living area where we eat and watch tv, that is why I am so glad that I pulled the trigger to get my insert. The fire place was ehhh... The insert is totally awesome and makes me want to chop wood, it is super easy to light a fire and is such a pleasure to have going as much as possible....so I say yes....again
  12. My Oslo heats my home

    My Oslo heats my home Minister of Fire

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    I like the idea that your family has interest in the wood burner as well as the typical reasons of having it there. The experience of the wood heat vs oil or gas makes a difference. If money is ok and you are willing to do the work over time I think it will pay itself back and you will make out.
    The other thing I like is that you are teaching your kids about this way of heating your home as well, they may, one day, be wood burners too.
  13. woodgeek

    woodgeek Minister of Fire

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  14. jaychino415

    jaychino415 Member

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    currently we heat with NG. Our house is about 1800 sf.
  15. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    So many variables, so little time. Basically you will have to figure out if the work/time/lifestyle is acceptable to you. Payback? How much work do you want to put into it. If you replace your heating needs with %100 harvested wood - That would reduce your heating bill by what ever your current yearly costs are (and I have no idea what San Bruno is like for heating needs).

    Bottom line: If your heat costs you $2000 per year (???) and you replace it with %100 wood - you could save $2000 per year. Do the math and see if it makes sense. Remember - you have control over the use of the heater.
  16. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    According to that calc , with wood at $350 (eek) and NG at 1.3/therm (a reasonable guess), the wood is significantly more expensive per BTU than NG, That's assuming 95% efficiency for the NG furnace (according to the OP), and 80% for a stove.

    So it would be a negative return even if the equipment were free. If wood were more like $175. you would have a fighting chance.
    woodgeek likes this.
  17. jaychino415

    jaychino415 Member

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    Thanks Sprinter, yeah my ng and electric bill only goes up by $20 a month heating with my central heater. I only turn it on during the winter months. so, let's say I heat for 4 months out of the year equal to $80 +/-. it will take me forever to recoup the cost even if I was getting word for free.
    woodgeek likes this.
  18. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Your Bay Area situation is a bit unique with the high price of wood and mild climate. Here, for example, both wood and electric is pretty cheap. I didn't get my stove for economic reasons, though. It was for other, more aesthetic reasons, like Sue (firebroad) and others have expressed. Some of us also enjoy the work of putting up wood. Some of us just like collecting chain saws, but that's another topic LOL. It's not always about the economics, but your's is a pretty lopsided situation...
  19. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Stick with the gas, not worth the expense and time involved at that cost of gas.
    jaychino415 likes this.
  20. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    $20 a month extra, that's nothing. I say only burn if your a burner.... The question is....
    Are you a burner? If yes get the insert....IMHO image.jpg
  21. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I would go with a budget friendly insert as this will be more for your pyro side then it will be for actual heating with the cost of wood being so high.

    Englander/Timber Ridge 13-NCI can be had refurbed from www.amfmenergy.com for around $900 or sometimes less on sale.

    Or keep an eye out on CL in your area, pick up a used stove.
    jaychino415 likes this.
  22. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

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    Hell, just get a gas insert.
    firebroad likes this.

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