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Thinking about an insert

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by 8686, Mar 4, 2014.

  1. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    Where is a good place to start reading about inserts? I assume an insert is a lot less expensive than installing a wood burning stove? The fireplace that i would want to put the insert in is downstairs, but would love to put a wood burning stove upstairs (where we spend most time).

    I know nothing about this stuff. Do all inserts have blowers? This doesn't seem very economical to me. If the blower requires electricity, i don't want to start feeding that bill.

    Anyway, anyone have any tips on where to start learning about this stuff?

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  2. Wooderson

    Wooderson Member

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    My experience is that I could have purchased a wood burning stove more inexpensively than my insert; however, the chimney pipe and installation would be much more costly than my 6 in liner. I think the question you first answer is if the fireplace size could accommodate a free stander, or if you have the floor space to extend the hearth and thimble into existing flue. Perhaps there is another, more functional location for a free standing stove. Stoves are great for radiant heating and not dependent on electric for fan to circulate the heat.

    That said, I have a Napolean 1402 insert in a 2400 sq ft farmhouse and love it. All in what your house dictates and you prefer.
  3. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    An insert finishes the look of a fireplace, and is more efficient then the fp, it is a space heater, so you need to know how much space you are trying to heat...
    A free standing wood stove is a bigger heater, you still need realistic expectations with the amount of space you want to heat. The look and the amount of heat that you want will determine which way to go. The electricity on the fan is negligible I believe.....
  4. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    Electric Lipa, now pseg is not that cheap here in ny. Curious how much elec the blowers pull.
  5. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    I don't think that should be a deciding factor.......
    But mine is 115v at 60hz
    Maybe someone can do a conversion to find out......
    Mine is also adjustable, I run mine on low for the most part.....
  6. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    Part of the appeal is heating with wood only. If im involving electric i might as well use this fake stove that plugs into the wall that has a little electric heater on it. :p

    But if the electricity pull is low then it doesn't matter.

    Is it true that if i get an insert that doesn't have a blower it will not really heat the room up much at all?

    Love the look of this one.

    Im not a fan of the huge surrounding plate cover and the tiny glass window. I want to see as much of the fire as possible.
  7. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Whatever you do, don't get an insert with no fan, worst case you don't have to turn it on.... I use mine all the time on low... Here is a pic of mine, it has large glass area... All my wood is free, don't worry about the electric.... image.jpg
  8. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    That stove is not EPA approved and it has no fan, you should start a thread about that particular stove if your thinking about it.... Some people can help you understand what your getting with it....
  9. rkofler

    rkofler Burning Hunk

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    The electricity used is negligible, especially when compared to the money you will save not burning oil.

    Ram, that Monty looks beautiful. I would love to redo my brick fireplace to look like that someday.
  10. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    Thanks, it wasn't expensive, $180 for the brick, $20 for the mud, $100 for the guy to make all the cuts with his saw, 5 hours and we were done. It looks totally different then the crumby red brick that I had.....
  11. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    I just don't know where to start. I'm going to take pictures of my room with dimensions and pics of my fireplace.
  12. Paul L

    Paul L Member

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    If you spend your time upstairs, that is where you should turn your attention first unless there is another reason to put an insert downstairs that you have not mentioned yet.
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That is a good place to start.
    The power used for an insert fan will be low. If you want to get the best performance without a fan you will need to stay away from flush inserts. As a general rule, the more the insert projects into the room the more heat it will radiate and convect naturally. Note that the Horse Flame is not EPA approved. I would also be concerned about long term support for this rare model. For flush look at the Hearthstone Clydesdale. For non-flush, the Pacific Energy Summit, Buck 74, Regency 3100i.

    Note that you do not have to install the surround. The insert will work fine without it as long as it is properly connected to a full stainless liner.
  14. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    Thanks Begreen. Here is probably a different question to answer, how much on average would the whole thing cost, insert and labor? I'm talking middle of the road insert. I'm trying to judge the difference in price between getting an insert downstairs or a wood stove for upstairs (where we are 75% of the time).

    Having an insert with a blower is not a big deal. I am most concerned with a large window. I really enjoy looking at the fire.
  15. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    What about tv's over inserts? Right now my fireplace (even rip roaring) produces almost zero heat above it, so mounting a tv is not a problem. Now with an insert (and blower) does it get hot directly above? Or does the blower kind of just blow it into the room leaving the top kind of cool?
  16. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    First you need to determine whether a big insert will fit. That and the height of the flue will determine rough costs. For a big insert & liner I would estimate it being in the $4000 range.

    The TV will need some protection. An insert will project much more convective heat into the room. A mantel may need to be added or a subtle heat shield mounted an inch below the tv.
  17. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    Hmmm, for that price I wonder if it will be worth it to just get a wood stove for the upstairs.

    Ok, gonna take some measurements and pictures and report back.
  18. Ram 1500 with an axe...

    Ram 1500 with an axe... Minister of Fire

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    In general it is better to have it in the room that you spend most of your time...
  19. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    I am planning on having kids soon too. Wondering if having a blazing hot metal box in my living room is such a good idea. lol
  20. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Kids learn quickly at a young age to respect a stove. But there are kid gates that can surround a stove for additional safety.
  21. Lanningjw

    Lanningjw Feeling the Heat

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    On my insert, because it went in to the fireplace this did not effect my home owners insurance rate.
  22. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    I'm thinking about a wood stove in the living room upstairs vs. putting an insert in the existing fireplace downstairs.

    We spend about 75% of our time upstairs. This might decrease a little with an insert downstairs though;lol. I know it seems obvious to concentrate on where we spend most of our time, but if the cost difference is huge....

    I'm concerned about expense. Based on the area size and pics below, what would you guys recommend, and could you estimate cost? Maybe just a ballpark. I'm not looking to eliminate gas heat. Maybe just to use the wood stove/insert on evenings and weekends.

    For the insert downstairs, I would love to get one with the biggest window possible. And for the wood stove, I have no idea.

    Would love to see what your creative minds come up with! Thanks everyone.
    -------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    The upstairs: 26' x 17' (8' ceiling). Was thinking about putting the wood stove where the fake electric one is. I guess the exhaust pipe would then go straight through the ceiling, attic and out to roof? (The chimney from the downstairs fireplace runs outside behind where the tv is.)
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]


    The downstairs: 21' x 18' (6'8" ceiling).

    [​IMG] [​IMG]


    The Fireplace: Gold cover: 44'w x 29"h. Inside dimensions: 32"w x 23"h x 29'd.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]

    inside the fireplace looking up the chimney:
    [​IMG]
  23. 8686

    8686 New Member

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  24. ryjen

    ryjen Member

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    Secret option C: BOTH!

    Insert may be cheapest option. I would think an insulated liner, block-off plate, and cap would be cheaper than building a surround, running stove pipe through the wall, etc. If you are budget minded, buying used stoves can save you up to $1000 on the stove itself.
  25. 8686

    8686 New Member

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    we are going back and forth. Putting in a stove u.s. and leaving the fp open ds for when we want to light a fire for the hell of it. If we ended up doing both we would probably start with the stove upstairs.

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