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Heatilator ND4236

Post in 'It's a Gas!' started by Mike49024, Oct 20, 2011.

  1. Mike49024

    Mike49024 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SW Michigan
    For a little introduction.. I've been using this site since I installed my Harman P35i insert last fall in my upper level of my raised ranch. I'm pretty happy with results of that insert. So anyway, this if my first time on this site away from the pellet mill..

    In my lower level, the previous owners installed a ND4236 running off natural gas, and direct vented out the rear of the fireplace. That unit - not so happy with. I fired it up today, and was reminded how disappointed I am with the heat output from that.

    So my question is, what do I need to do to get good heat output in the lower level? I know another p35 could do it, but that set me back about $2800 or so, if I remember right. Which was fine because it is used in my main living corridors. Would I have to spend similar money to get a more efficient and high heat output NG insert? The brochure on the heatilator says 73% steady state efficiency, with 54% AFUE. Seems pretty poor to me.

    In my rookie searching, I see there are nice units out there by mantis and central fireplace, but those appear to be big money.

    I'm just like everyone else, trying to get alot of heat for a little cost. Thanks for taking the time to read.

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  2. Shane

    Shane Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
    1,830
    Loc:
    Casper Wyoming
    Replacement is about your only option. The ND4236 is a "builders box" and meant to be more decorative than anything. There are tons of Direct Vent Fireplace manufacturers, do some shopping around and you should be able to find one that is 80+% sse and 70+afue for a decent price. Be aware that replacement of a direct vent fireplace requires removal of your mantel and facing and possibly some drywall. I think it would be worth it though if you want some real heat in your lower level.
  3. DAKSY

    DAKSY Patriot Guard Rider Staff Member

    Joined:
    Dec 2, 2008
    Messages:
    5,117
    Loc:
    Averill Park, NY, on Burden Lake II...
    Does your unit have the blower kit installed?
    If not, sometimes that can make it feel like
    the "Builder's Box," as Shane correctly called
    it, is putting out more heat.
    IIRC, the unit is rated at 25K BTU input & with the efficiency
    of that unit taken into consideration, it MAY put out 18K,
    which is not much, but a blower will distribute what heat there
    is & maybe make it more useful to you.
  4. Mike49024

    Mike49024 Member

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2010
    Messages:
    35
    Loc:
    SW Michigan
    Thanks for the replies..

    Yes, it does have the blower installed. However, it moves very little air compared to my p35i - I'm not sure what the cfm ratings are on either distribution blowers. I vacuumed out underneath the heatilator and did a visual inspection on the blower. It all appeared to be ok. Unless there is something blocking air flow in the back of the fireplace, but I'm not sure that the unit is able to pull out to check behind.

    So far I'm seeing I have a few options..

    - Spend big bucks on an empire gas insert. Look really nice, not that I want to spend that kind of money though.
    - Run another pellet stove - also not sure that I'm looking to spend $2500+ for a heat source for my basement
    - Wood burning inserts? From what I've seen, it doesn't look like they are capable of a direct vent though the wall, they need a chimney?

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