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Now we're thinking insert...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Holzstapel, Jul 29, 2013.

  1. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2013
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    106
    Loc:
    New Jersey
    This is one tough decision, but with a few thousand dollars on the line, we really want to make the best one.

    We've been mulling over the fireplace again after the installer came out and he made some suggestions. We could go with the hearth on the floor, a stove, pipe it into the chimney, do all this finish work to make it nicey nice.

    OR

    Go with an insert and a simple hearth on the floor to make it legal, have an electrical outlet installed and be done. The installer said that the massive block structure of the fireplace/chimney will start to radiate heat once we get the insert going and people heat their homes just fine with inserts.

    We didnt ask him the price difference between inserts and stoves but now we are curious.

    I do know that once we do make the final decision we will have researched everything and will be happy. I think i said we made a final decision in my other thread, but we havent pulled the trigger just yet, which is a good thing!

    This is my original thread with photos and some members suggesting we go with an insert. None of you that suggested an insert ("this thing is screaming insert") have been forgotten.


    Now I am going to investigate inserts!

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  2. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

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    Don't do it unless you have no other choice. The perfomance of an insert is inferior. They can look nice and certainly take up less floor space but they will never heat as well as a freestander.

    I tore out an insert and a full masonry chimney to install my freestander. Far superior heating without the noisy blower.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Link to original thread:
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/in-need-of-advice.110464/

    Can't say I disagree. I had a friend that heated a similarly sized A frame with an Alderlea T5 freestanding stove. A ceiling fan is a necessity, and even with one, the loft area will be about 10 degrees warmer than the first floor.

    If insert, you'll need to get a 2-2.5 cu ft model. A little oversizing won't hurt here. First make sure the fireplace is large enough to handle a decent sized insert. Is this a prefab or masonry fireplace? Some inserts are for masonry only fireplaces.
  4. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    Jun 7, 2013
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    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Thanks for relinking my original thread - I just realized i didn't.

    This is a masonry fireplace with existing opening at 28"H x 30"W x 34"D.

    Are inserts generally more expensive than stoves in the same ballpark of heating capacity?
  5. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    From reading here, I think generally yes. What adds to the cost is the surround and the blower that you usually need for an insert. Just a ballpark figure from what I got quotes on ~3.5 years ago. Medium size insert+surround+blower, +flex liner, +installation: $3300 to $3800. That may be a bit more by now so you would probably look at $3500 to $4000, potentially more if you want to get really nice looking one. On the other hand, not having to build a hearth, taking out the little hearth you have etc. may just make both options cost pretty much the same in your case. In any case, getting quotes does only cost you a little bit of time. Take your pictures and measurements and ask around.

    Given that huge masonry chimney you have and that we get a lot of radiant heat from our much shorter one, I would guess an insert will not perform much worse than a stove in your case. If you keep the back door you could even open that in case of a power outage. May not look pretty but will give you plenty of heat for a few days. Since you don't have that much room to work with I would also suggest going with an insert. When a stove is going full tilt in the winter you do not want to have anything closer than maybe 2 ft around it. Hence it "takes" much more space then the hearth and clearances would suggest.
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Given the large size of that opening one option would be to put in a legless stove with no surround. There are a few of these on the market that can be installed as a freestander (with legs) or insert (no legs). Buck models fit this category, as does the Avalon Rainier. A Buck 74 would be a good fit here. If you didn't like operating it this way you could convert it to a freestander by adding the legs and full hearth.
    http://www.buckstove.com/model-74.html
  7. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    If you do go insert, go the biggest that you can, you need a house heater not a space heater. An insert will give you a cleaner look. I hope you make the right decision.
  8. Holzstapel

    Holzstapel Member

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    Loc:
    New Jersey
    Im hoping to go check out the prices and sizes sometime this week. The dealer we are in contact with sells many brands so we should have a nice selection to look at. I picked out a few that would fit and some of them are rated for higher BTUs than the Jotul F45.

    I have to keep telling myself that we are making headway on this project and are getting close to the end. It is overwhelming with all the different directions we could head. I'm thankful for the help and wealth of information here on this site.

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