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Fine a new thread...blowers on an insert.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wg_bent, Feb 1, 2006.

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  1. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    ote author="MountainStoveGuy" date="1138780021"]There are many opinins out there on the effectiveness of blowers, if you have a old inefficient fireplace there wonderfull, if you have a ultra high efficient insert, they can actually cool the box down and not make as efficient combustion. So i would agree with your dissagreement, but there is a time and a place for blowers, they dont work as well in some situations, and beautifully in others. The same goes for high effiencey gas appliances. But you know what opinions are like......

    I sense a possible hijack.. we should start a new theread if we want to continue this topic this direction. :zip:[/quote]

    I'll bite. Blowers on an insert, purchased in 2005 so it's a brand new one, DO with out a doubt, improve the efficiency of the unit. Only 3 weeks ago, we had power go out for 18 hours. Our insert did heat our home, but there is no doubt that heat was not as effectively moved into our home. Now, this is a total system statement of my wood stove in my home. The stove is designed to work with the blower on high. If the stove cools too much the thermalcouple turns it off. When the stove is hot enough to support the blower, it turns back on. If you mean by "some situations" that when the stove is first fired and the stove does not react to it's own temperature, then I do agree with you, but on a modern stove they ARE designed to handle the temp changes.

    I really wanted to react to this since your post may talk someone out of a blower on an insert. Make no mistake here, if you have an insert, you really should get a blower. An insert is primarily a convection stove, and that is what blowers are all about.

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

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    I agree warren that you DEFINATLY need a blower on a insert, no question, but does the blower need to be blasting to get maxium effectivness out of the unit? And what do you think about freestanding stoves, do you recommend a blower? I will say i usually dont, actually i always dont if they have a celing fan, if there is no fan then i will recomend a blower for circulation.
    let me ask it a different way, if the blower is on low-med on your insert, with the ceiling fan on low and reverse, is the heat in the house the same with the blower on high and no fan?
  3. JAred

    JAred New Member

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    I much agree, My insert has a blower as well and is controlled by a thermostat. During coaling stages it will click off and on to distrubute all the remaining heat my stove has to offer. On low the blower takes less heat away and contributes to a hotter fire box. or so it seems
  4. Corey

    Corey Minister of Fire

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    Sorry I didn't mean to start a hijack on the previous thread :) ...but since we are on the topic. My position is that the more air you blow across the stove or insert, the more heat you get into the house - just like blowing on a bowl of soup. Airflow can turn a radiant space/room heater into a full house furnace. As already mentioned, though, if you somehow cool the stove off and cut out the secondary combustion or cool the flue and reduce the draft it may be counterproductive. Other than that...the more air the better.

    As someone already mentioned about firing the stove...it's a chess game. I guess same goes for airflow.

    Corey
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    IN theory, a blower on an insert is a must. In fact, in MOST realities, it is also so....

    BUT, when I had my store we were introduced to a new stove in 1986. It was called the Avalon - and the ONLY model at the time was the unit that had a C -shaped convection chamber around the bottom and rear. The unit came about 1/2 way out on the hearth and there were not "grates" but rather large opening around the sides, top and bottom for the air to flow out. The design engineer explained the convection design to me and I immediately saw the light....

    As a result, our shop sold about 1,000 or more Avalon 945 models (different name now), and less than 1/10 of them had blowers - and the customers were extremely happy. We used to demonstrate it by holding a match near the top air outlet and blwoing it out - that think was moving a LOT of air without a blower.

    However, most inserts on the market do not have such a fine convection design...hence the need for a blower.....

    This goes back to the old "hearth stove vs. insert" debate....the Avalon was a little of both, and that is why that same updated design is still popular today!
  6. CrazyAboutOrchids

    CrazyAboutOrchids New Member

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    We have a Lopi Freedom insert, similar design to the Avalon mentioned above (same manufacturer) but a bigger box. Install extended out on the hearth. When we bought the stove, the dealer told us to save out money and not purchase the blower. He said to run the stove for a while, get comfortable with it and then make a decision. It was his feeling that the stove is designed in a way to not require a blower. Now if we had bought another model or another manufacturer, his advice would have differed. We now use an EcoFan on the insert that my mom ran across in a stove shop and thought was interesting as well as a corner fan that cost me 30.00 on Ebay. Glad the dealer saved us the 200.00! I went round and round with an old forum member on blowers and inserts, bottom line is that most do need them, but some are designed in such a manner to go without. You can't make a blanket statement that all inserts require blowers.

    Love that we are NOT tied to the electric company to get heat from our unit, especially since my rates just increased 23%.
  7. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    I'm a fan of insert blowers. They do make them more efficient in my opinion. The outer shroud stays much cooler with them on, and more heat is transferred to the air. I find them to be a godsend in spreading the heat around. My blowers force 150 CFM's. That translates to every hour fifteen minutes all the air in my house is heated to 150-200 degrees, then repeats. You can imagine how well my entire house is heated. Using nothing but the blowers on my insert the room with my insert is 72, the dining room next to it is 73, the kitchen 72, the hallway 70, and the rooms on the far side of my house 69. How perfect is that and my house is very inefficient.

    Now, without the blowers on. First, the outside shroud starts knocking as it starts to get very hot. With the blowers on, probably doesn't get much over 200. With them off, it probably gets to 400+ degrees. That 400 degrees, now releases heat into my fireplace which it must work its way out so I lose some heat there. Next, this air flow is compromised and I don't get as even heat in my house. I go from 150 CFM's to probably 10-25 CFM's. So, I use more wood to compensate for the greater loss now to my fireplace combined with trying to get more air flow moving in the house and less comfortable.

    To me the blowers are extremely important, and I paid $180/cord of wood and I think the blowers saved me at least a cord of wood single-handedly. They transfer more heat out of a fire and into my house so I get more miles out of my wood. Plus I sleep like a baby with them on. Running my blowers costs me $96/yr to run, and saved me I'm guessing a cord ($180). So, in the end they net me a savings of $84/year and a very comfortable house. Electricity is increasing in price, but so isn't my wood. Next year, I estimate my wood will cost me $225/cord the way things are looking. I had to pay for my blowers, as they were an option. It only took me 3 hours without them on to realize just how important they are. They're not required, but to be honest going from a freestanding stove to an insert with blowers, give me the insert with blowers any day as I've never been able to have even heat like this before.
  8. the_guad

    the_guad New Member

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    Not that this is the reason to get a blower, but it's a plus. In the event of an overfire the blowers will help bring down the temperature of the firebox rather than just letting the heat radiate. I've seen at least one thread on an overfire in this forum and I've never heard of it happening when the blowers are on.
  9. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Well, good point Craig. My insert is designed to have a blower from the get go. The Quadrafire had a similar story about blowers that he's sold a boat load of 2700i's and something like 5 blowers. That stove seems less in need of a blower.

    I haven't really experimented with blower settings much, I just use High mostly. I only turn it down when the stove is loafing on warmer days. Usually the blower will turn off anyway, so I find that fiddling with it isn't worth it.
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