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Modern Affordable Zero Clearance Fireplace

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Mr. Evan, Aug 30, 2013.

  1. Mr. Evan

    Mr. Evan New Member

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    Hello. We're in the finishing stages of designing our 2,000 sq ft house and we want to have something that gives us the feel of a fireplace, the heat of a wood stove, and also is relatively modern and not extremely expensive nor terrible for the environment. We'd like to have the option of having the door open when the mood dictates it. We've looked at the Wittus Phenix the Caminetti Montegrappa Light 06 and the 36Elite from Fireplace Xtrordanair.

    The local dealer I spoke to said the Wittus was very expensive (the box starting around 9K), that the Caminetti wasn't yet available or would be just as expensive (some cheaper versions do appear on Ebay from Europe, but maybe it's not the same thing), while the Elite isn't as modern as we would like and doesn't have the option to vent/duct to other rooms.

    Any other suggestions for a larger (at least in terms of viewing area), modern, open-able, more affordable wood fireplace would be much appreciated. Thanks!

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Food for thought...With the new (EPA) inserts having large viewing areas - is being able to open the doors a real deal breaker? I too thought I would want this option when I purchased my stove (and the option was available with an add on screen). I returned the screen within a week. Again - just food for thought.

    And welcome to the forum. Pull up a chair and kick yer feet up. Lots of good folks will be chiming in pretty shortly.
  3. A1Stoves.com

    A1Stoves.com Minister of Fire

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  4. sticks

    sticks Member

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    Double check on being able to duct into other rooms. Great unit though . While SBI makes some solid products it not the same as a 36 elite.
  5. Beerdog

    Beerdog New Member

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    Mr Evan...


    Check out the zero clearance fireplaces made by RSF. I selected the RSF because it has the option to duct heat to rooms, it uses outside air and doesn't require a fan. My concern was heat when teh power goes out. RSF makes some models that have gasketed doors, but they can also burn without the door shut.

    Here's a link to the RSF web site:

    http://www.icc-rsf.com/en/rsf-woodburning-fireplaces

    We chose the Opel 3 but the Topaz model has a door that slides into the wall, allowing an unobstructed fire view.

    John


    "....We're in the finishing stages of designing our 2,000 sq ft house and we want to have something that gives us the feel of a fireplace, the heat of a wood stove, and also is relatively modern and not extremely expensive nor terrible for the environment. .. cut...
    Any other suggestions for a larger (at least in terms of viewing area)...cut..."
  6. Mr. Evan

    Mr. Evan New Member

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    Thanks for all of the great input thus far. To reply to some of the earlier suggestions/comments:

    Jags: You are probably right and we may not end up opening the fireplace door too often, but we definitely want the option, even if we don't use it as much as we expect. We think we want some crackle from time to time.

    The Osburn model looks good, but we'd much prefer a unit with a single door for a better viewing area. We'd also much prefer a model with a clean-looking face, like some of the RSF models have that John recommended. But it seems that the model with the disappearing door doesn't have the clean look option that some of the other models do. (By the way how does the price of those models, like the Opel 3, compare to the 36 Elite?).

    If we did stick with the Elite 36 can it really heat the whole house on multiple levels (2 X 800 sq ft. floors and a finished attic above 400sq ft)? Is the blower loud?

    Regardless, our preference would be for a cleaner look than the Elite and with some ducting/venting options at a similar or lower cost. Thanks again for all of the help and I look forward to learning more.

    Thanks!
  7. Coog

    Coog Member

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    I've got a Quadrafire 7100 and it is a great heater. I would go with a free standing stove if I could do it all again, though. Make sure your wood is dry, most importantly.
  8. Beerdog

    Beerdog New Member

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    Mr Evan...

    I picked up my RSF Opel 3 and chimney pipe yesterday. Got the chance to uncrate and inspect the items today and I am impressed with the quality of the unit. It is solid and well constructed. You asked about cost... I don't have the total cost but I think the total was in the $4-5,000 range. I purchased the clean face option and chose to rely on natural convection to circulate the heat. My home is a 2000 sq ft T ranch with hot water radiant heat and the fireplace is at one end, and the bedrooms at the top of the T so I don't expect to have much heat circulate to the bedrooms. I just don't have a way to move the heat. But my wife and I did not want an air heating system, although it would have been mush less expensive to install and integrate into an energy efficient home with the Opel 3.

    The cost adds up quickly. If your home is tight you'll also need an outside air kit. The one RSF sells is too short and the outside louver is not worth writing home about. If you want to duct the heat you need to plan ahead to locate the dict work. The clean face option I have requires the heat be dumped either by convection or moved by a fan. You may also need to vent the case wall enclosure housing the unit if clearances are tight. So for the clean face option in my situation, I need to plan for two heat registers, one return air intake, an outside air kit, a vent for the wall enclosure if install the unit with less then 7' clearance to the enclosure ceiling from the bottom of the unit, and a chimney, a total of either 5 or 6 ducking items to consider.

    Take a look at the unit installation manuals and pay particular attention to clearances and installation requirements before you make a choice based on glossy photos.

    John


    ...cut.... our preference would be for a cleaner look than the Elite and with some ducting/venting options at a similar or lower cost.
  9. Mr. Evan

    Mr. Evan New Member

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    Thanks for the reply. May I ask why you went with the Opel 3 compared to the Focus 320? I was looking at both. Also, anyone know anything about the Lennox Brentwood LV? Would that be appropriate for what I'm looking for. Thanks!
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    There is a huge stylistic difference between the fireplaces. Do you intend to heat with the fireplace? Does that heat need to be ducted to other parts of the house?

    Some others to look at would be the BIS Traditions, RSF Opel, and the Pacific Energy FP30.
  11. Mr. Evan

    Mr. Evan New Member

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    I hope to get some heat from the fireplace, but am okay if it needs a boost from other heat sources when it gets very cold. We'd like something that heats well, but can also feel like a traditional fireplace when we feel like sitting around the fire and hearing a crackle. The ones that seem to do that, like Focus Topaz don't have the clean look we are going for and others that do, like the Wittus Phenix series are very expensive. One of the problems with the RSF Focus 320 is that it doesn't come with a firescreen and, therefore, isn't designed to be opened. Is there an after-market screen I could make work somehow?
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If the fireplace is not designed to burn opened, then don't. Maybe buy a cd of fireplace crackle and play it for those romantic moments?
  13. Beerdog

    Beerdog New Member

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    Re why we went with the Open 3 and not the Focus 320... The Focus 320 was not yet on the market when we did the design work and my other half was happy with the Opel 3 after seeing it at a dealer. I've learned that with her, better is the enemy of good enough and to stick with a plan once a decision is made. I haven't looked at the 320 and don't know the differences.

    John
  14. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Sounds like you want your cake and eat it too... Based on your initial post your preference would be to have a large clean face - but should throw heat as well. The RSF Renaissance & Valcourt line has clean face with guillotine door & screen. They will throw heat but mostly radiant.

    It may be better if you started with a budget. For example, a high-efficiency ZC will be around $4K, then you have to factor in the chimney, installation etc.... So as a rule this project will be at around $10K minimum. Depending if you contract out the install or do it yourself. So if you have a budget in mind, all the fine folks here will help you stretch your dollar.
  15. Mr. Evan

    Mr. Evan New Member

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    Thanks FyreBug for the good suggestions. You are right, we want the best of both worlds. Perhaps the Renaissance & Valcourt would be better options, since you can have a traditional fire. We came down this road because we like fires, but want to be responsible about it and so if we were going to burn one we figured we might as well try to be eco-friendly and lower our emissions and provide heat to the house at the same time. As far as budget, we had been originally thinking about the 36" elite, which was going to be close to 5K will the doors and screens plus, as you put it the chimney and such. So something similarly priced or lower would be ideal. Does anyone know the rough costs of the Renaissance & Valcourt lines models mentioned?

    Thanks again.
  16. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    Both the Renaissance and Valcourt models are EPA certified under the 'decorative' ASTM low mass label. It basically means they are cleaner burning than non-certified units. However, neither will have efficiency ratings and neither can you plumb the heat somewhere else in the house.

    The Valcourt FP7 Antoinette is about $4,700 retail on 8" chimney while the Renaissance Rumsford 1000 is about $6,000 on 10" Chimney.
  17. kingquad

    kingquad Minister of Fire

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    I would check out the Kozy Heat units too. Very solid units that are competitively priced.
  18. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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  19. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    We put in a Napoleon NZ3000 and, after figuring out the quirks and bugs, its an amazing heater with fantastic old-world looks. As firebug mentioned, there is quite a bit of cost that adds up on an install of one of these modern ZC fireplaces......we did every facet of the work ourselves and, after a ton of hard work, it paid off. Still have almost 10k in it (that's MY cost, with me doing the work).......
    Here's a link to my build to show you the work involved.....

    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/building-the-hearth-for-my-napoleon-nz3000-what-a-quest.74273/
  20. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

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    Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, "fireplace"......;-)
    ScotO likes this.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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