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Lopi Answer and Blower

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by daveswoodhauler, Sep 4, 2008.

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  1. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Hi Folks,
    Sorry for another thread on a blower vs no blower...but had a question to see if anyone has experimented with using an ordinary fan placed on either side of an insert to circulate air? Basically, this years budget doesn't allow me to spend the $200 or so for the blower...as I wasn't aware the plain door was $157 :), and I couldn't pass up a small $5 fan that I can either place above the hearth or on the side of the stove to blow air over the front of the insert. Basically, its a 2 story colonial house..insert is on the first floor...first floor is 900 sq feet, and the room with the insert is open from side to side...appx 36 X 12...no cathedral ceilings...ceiling height is probably 7" or so...no ceiling fans. I was thinking that I could place the small fan on top of the mantle (clearances are fine...and I can turn the fan on/off via a wall switch...which I like)
    Was going to post a pic, but I have to size the pics down as they are too large as an attachment.
    I know that the blower would be more efficient than an ordinary fan, so I'm just looking for thoughts if others have tried this method. Stove is a Lopi Answer (insert) Thanks.

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  2. smokinj

    smokinj Minister of Fire

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    inserts do better with the blowers! but sounds like your on the right track
  3. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    You shouldn't have any problem whatsoever heating that space. Getting into it might be another whole issue. %-P Rick
  4. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    The Answer is a pretty small stove and as an insert heat generation is going to be a problem without a blower. Try what ya gotta try but my bet is that running your primary heating system to offset the difference will cost ya a good part of what the blower would cost.

    Give it a try and see how it works but be ready to wish that you had the blower. And it can be added later.
  5. Larry H

    Larry H New Member

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    My brother has the Lopi Answer insert, and BroBart is right on the money. When their power goes out the house is chilly (but livable). When the power is on and the blower is running his wife is happy.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Agreed. Next door neighbor has the Answer installed. It is a small insert that need all the help it can get with heat delivery. It's unlikely to heat the house, but it should keep the room it's in warm. The factory blower will help a lot.
  7. Opportunist

    Opportunist New Member

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    The fan might blow some of the air out into the room from the mantel. A blower located some where below or behind the insert would extract the really warm air blowing it out of the enclosed area.

    I had a insert in a huge creek stone fireplace. I bought a stove blower on sale at Lowes and put it behind the insert towards the floor of the fireplace. I installed a small duct pipe with a elbow up from the blower and just over the top back of the insert. The trim around the insert was mesh so it allowed the hot air to be blown out from just above the insert. While pulling cool air in through the mesh at the bottom of the insert.

    This was cheap to setup. Especially considering that the blower was on sale. It really made a huge difference in heating the house. I didn't need the ceiling fan on after I installed the blower.
  8. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    My previous post in this thread was a feeble attempt at a tongue-in-cheek poke at the fact that the OP spec'd his ceiling height at 7 inches (obviously a typo). On a serious note, wood-burning appliances are space heaters, and depend to a large degree on radiant heat transfer for their effectiveness. An insert is inherently handicapped, since 5 of its 6 sides are pretty much buried into the fireplace structure. The designers do whatever they can to overcome this, but the plain fact of the matter is that if you don't do something to take room air and circulate around the outside of the buried firebox and then return it to the room (forced convection), then you're not taking full advantage of the appliance's heat production. An installed blower is far and away the most effective way to do this. Personally, I can't imagine installing an insert without one. My recommendation is to bite the bullet and get the blower kit. Yes, it can be retrofitted later, but that's a PITA. Sometimes you may not want it running...turn it off. Sometimes you may want it running...you can't turn it on if it's not there. Rick
  9. daveswoodhauler

    daveswoodhauler Minister of Fire

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    Thanks for all the information and those that have posted. I am going down to the delaer to pick up the blower today :)
    I have had a few fires going, and insert seems to work very well. One question I had was with respect to draft. When you have the damper in the full closed position, am I correct in that it still lets in a small amount of air?
    Reason I ask is that I have a pretty well seasoned large log burning now in it, and have the damper closed all the way and the burn still seems to be good. I am thinking that this is a good thing...just want to make sure I don't have too much draft? (Chimney is 25 feet or so on an end wall)
    Again, thanks for all the thoughts on the blower vs not blower. I placed a small fan and blew some air into the bottom where the blower would go, and there was a nice flow of warm air coming over the top of the insert. Many thanks.
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