"Free Heat Machine" Fireplace Exchanger (not the outdoor boiler)

utidcapaco Posted By utidcapaco, Dec 6, 2012 at 12:22 PM

  1. utidcapaco

    utidcapaco
    New Member 2.
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    Jan 8, 2012
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    Loc:
    Northern NM
    Hello all. My family recently moved into an older (1961) home in northern NM. The house is 3700 square feet on two levels. Downstairs is a large fireplace with two openings (adjacent, not opposite), located approximately 2/3 to one end of the house. Ultimately, I'd like to remove the fireplace and put in a wood stove (we heated our previous home extensively with an awesome Jøtul wood burner). However, the fireplace is in a large open room, and I don't know how much ceiling support is behind the brick. The main issue right now is funds, but I'd really like to put a stop-gap in place to lower my gas bill (forced air furnace) and have an emergency backup.

    The dual openings make a fireplace insert tricky, but a "Free Heat Machine" heat exchanger made by Aquappliances is being sold locally for $75. This is a set of tubes through which a fan circulates air (see link below). It includes a second set of glass doors which would close off the side opening. Granted, without electricity, it is useless, and the unit is pretty old. Here's a link with the best description I can find: http://alturl.com/4b44j. I guess my question is whether anyone has used one of these, and if so, what is your experience/recommendation? Will I get enough bang for my buck to pay for the unit? For what it's worth, I cut my own firewood very cheap. I welcome any and all feedback. Thanks!
     
  2. pen

    pen
    There are some who call me...mod. 2.
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    Aug 2, 2007
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  3. utidcapaco

    utidcapaco
    New Member 2.
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    Jan 8, 2012
    3
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    Loc:
    Northern NM
    Thanks pen. Your link is the same one I posted above (I just shortened the URL). I'll measure the fireplace and post later today, maybe with a photo. It is not big enough to house part of a stove, yet it is large enough that putting a stove in front of it would substantially decrease the room's utility (and my wife would probably skin me).
     
  4. pen

    pen
    There are some who call me...mod. 2.
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    Staff Member

    Aug 2, 2007
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    sorry, I couldn't open the link you left. Might be the computer I'm on.
     
  5. utidcapaco

    utidcapaco
    New Member 2.
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    Jan 8, 2012
    3
    0
    Loc:
    Northern NM
    Main (front) fireplace opening is 29" wide by 30" high by 25" deep. Hearth sticks out 16" past the brick face. Overall fireplace/chimney size, not including the hearth, is 70" wide by 43" deep.
     

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