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  1. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    Well, we are finally ready to install our fireplace. We built our log home a few yrs ago but because of contractor issues, we had to hold off on the fireplace.
    The base of the fireplace flue is built (on the outide of the house)but stops just below where the fireplace would start.
    We want this fireplace to actually heat the great room and not just for looks. If we already had a traditional fireplace I would simply install a wood insert into the fireplace and call it a day.
    But, since we dont have anything in place, I have been looking into what exactly we need. It looks to me like the Zero Clearance wood burning fireplace is what I am looking for. But not totally sure about this.
    I guess my question is this. If you wanted something to heat your great room and first floor if possible, what would you install? ( other than just a simple wood stove)

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  2. Milton Findley

    Milton Findley Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    313
    Loc:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    The last thing I would install for heating a space would be a fireplace, zero clearance or otherwise. If all I wanted was heat, I would buy a Blaze King of the appropriate size for the space. If I wanted beauty, I would buy a Hearthstone of the appropriate size, and if I wanted a pain in the butt, I would buy something else that looks like a wood stove. I would also buy a good chimney system, insulated and tall. Then I would sit back and enjoy the benefits.

    Of course, that is just me, having read just about everything on this forum. Others have other views, and you can learn a heck of a lot by reading here.
  3. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    763
    Loc:
    NW MI near nowhere
    A wood burner with BEEF:
    * First choice: weighty all masonry and I mean heavy [$$$]
    * Second choice: combo cast iron with masonry (as much as they'll slap on it) [$$]
    * Third choice: cast iron or steel [$]

    knowing

    Most wood burning stoves are "area" heaters, despite many wanting them
    to act as their primary home heat source.

    "Tending" your fire is required in the reverse order of the above choices.
    How much time do you want to spend with your heater?

    Aye,
    Marty
  4. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    Thanks for the quick reply Milt. I guess i should clarify that this is going to be in our great room so it has to have some beauty. but, building a tradional fireplace just so i can install a wood burning insert into it doesn't seem like a wise financial choice.
    I guess what I am asking is, is there some sort of fireplace type wood burner that would be semi flush to the wall that actually heats a room (not just for looks) that I can install. Or will I have to install a conventional FP and then install the wood insert into that?
  5. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    Marty, Iam quite familiar with tending fires. My primary heat source is an AHS Multi Fuel boiler in my garage . I burn 95% coal and %5 wood in that. I also have a harmon Mark II in my rec room / Basement for when it isn't so cold out that i need to fire up the boiler.
  6. Martin Strand III

    Martin Strand III New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 20, 2005
    Messages:
    763
    Loc:
    NW MI near nowhere
    Oh.

    I wouldn't have guessed since you already have made
    an elementary mistake by building your fireplace on
    an outside wall wanting "to actually heat your great room
    and first floor if possible".

    Aye,
    Marty
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    There are good units out there by RSF, Kozy, BIS, FPX, Quadrafire, Regency, etc.. Some can supply heat via a duct with a blower to deliver heat to another part of the house. Size it large enough for the area that needs to be heated. Get a modern unit that is a clean and efficient EPA approved burner and it will heat the place well.
  8. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    The design of the home does not lend itself to doing it any other way. This was a big debate when we were building. In the end is wouldnt have made financial sense to change to whole homes design.
  9. Milton Findley

    Milton Findley Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2010
    Messages:
    313
    Loc:
    Whitefish Bay, WI
    KTM,

    It was not only a quick reply, it was a damned well informed one as well. Nor was it facetious in any way.
  10. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    i didnt take it as being such.
  11. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    We have several posters heating with top quality ZC fireplaces. PM LLigetfa for info on his RSF Onyx. His has been keeping them warm for several years.
  12. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    Are these units Zero Clearance and made for an original install or are they all retrofit?
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Both, though a retrofit would need opening up the chase. You can download the installation manuals for most units. However, I am confused by the current flue arrangement. These units require specific flue venting. Do you already have a masonry flue? Post a picture if you can.
  14. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,983
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    Listen to BeGreen. I've been waffling between a zero clearance fireplace with ductwork or a boiler of some sort. Those darn boilers can get complex. Here's an example of a Quadrafire 7100 that can be ducted as well:

    [​IMG]
  15. Hogwildz

    Hogwildz Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2006
    Messages:
    7,125
    Loc:
    Next to nuke plant Berwick, PA.
    BG gave good advice. If it is a fireplace you want, your can get a good EPA fireplace that actually heats and doesn't let heat all up the stack.
    You could also go the stove route also, with an alcove or not.
    Don't pay any attention to the negative, miserable know it all(s) that lurk here.
    You have what you have, make it work the best to your advantage.
    Good luck and don't feed the troll.
  16. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    Thanks for the advice guys. I am going fireplace for sure. But I also want heat of course, not just looks. Which is why I was asking about ZC fireplaces. I don't want a woodstove smack in the middle of my great room.

    As far as my current flue set up goes. i currently have a masonry flue for my Harmon coal stove that is in my my basement right now. It is simple flue block. My house is on the side of a hill so half my basement is exposed. I also have the foundation of the fireplace and the block laid up to the first floor where the fireplace will be added. This fireplace flue and the coal stove flue are connected together but the Harman has its own flue of course and it does extend all the way up. hard to expalin and I sure wish i could add the attachment I drew to explain this better.

    My flue basically loos like a small cap 'h'
  17. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,983
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    I'm totally not sure, but I think most of these ZC fireplaces require specific flue systems, and I'm not sure if you can vent it into a masonry chimney. Maybe it would be cheaper and look good as well if you built an insulated chase to include the existing coal chimney.

    (edit: I would prefer a free standing stove, but the wife nixed it.)
  18. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    well, I haven't built the flue for the fireplace as of yet. (just the foundation for it) i will have to do a bunch of research on this...
  19. Got Wood

    Got Wood Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    923
    Loc:
    Dutchess Cty, NY
    A lot of FPX 44 Zero Clearance owners here including myself. The biggest Pro's - looks awesome and provides massive amount of heat.

    Attached Files:

  20. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    Your FP looks awesome! What kind of flue syste are you using?
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    OK, if I understand correctly what you have is a complete cement block chimney in place for the coal stove, but just the foundation pedestal for the fireplace. Is that correct? That is there is no flue built yet for the fireplace? If so, you are fine. The flue system for the ZC would be a metal, chase enclosed chimney. The type of pipe is specified by the mfg..

    PS: Here's an article on how to prepare pics for the forums:
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewannounce/27_2/
  22. ktm rider

    ktm rider New Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2011
    Messages:
    14
    Loc:
    Western Md.
    This is 100% right on the money. Just hard to explain.

    As far as the "chase enclosed chimney" Can that chase also be flueblock with the metal flue system for the ZC inside that flue block? the reson i ask is that I plan to stone veneer the exterior of the chimney. Any thing else would not look right on a log home.
  23. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yes, it's common to clad the chase with a veneer of stone or brick. The chase is just a big box, with firestops at each floor level that encloses the ZC unit and chimney. Given that this is an exterior wall it's a good idea to insulate the chase too.
  24. kiltedpiper98

    kiltedpiper98 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 22, 2011
    Messages:
    26
    Loc:
    North Carolina
    I have a zero clearance fireplace, the Quadra-fire 7100. We tore out a bad install of a pre-fab, did a little more demo, and then installed the 7100. We like it a lot, it puts out quite a bit of heat. We heat most of our first floor (somewhat open floor plan) from the great room area (about 20x20, with cathedral ceiling from 8' to about 18'. The 2nd floor is open to the great room, and those rooms get heated as well. We have a master down a long hallway, and can "effectively" use a small fan to move the cold air out of that room, and have the warm air replace it.
    We get a lot of compliments on our 7100. I has taken quite a bit of learning (almost all from this forum) to get it working well, I have a long way to go, will take a few more seasons to get it down. We can load it up from a coal based start at 9pm, and still have enough coals to restart at 8am (with temps on the stove of about 200*). We have a gas furnance that generally comes on in the morning about 6am to heat the first floor up to 70*. The house isn't all that well insulated, but is fairly tight. When we go to bed, temp is about 73* on the first floor, 80* on the second floor. at 6am, the 1st floor is about 68, and the 2nd is in the mid 70's. One of the main differences between the FPX that someone mentioned and the 7100 is the use of a CAT (FPX) versus secondary tubes (7100), and cost. They both have options for "moving heat around". Lots on the forum about those options, and the CAT versus tubes. The FP puts out a fair amount of heat via radiant, but you really need the fan to get the heat moving in a ZC fireplace. So, if you want a fireplace, a ZC EPA fireplace can work well. I do think that a straight up stove option would work much better as a heater. You can see a pic of our set-up if you click on my profile.
  25. velvetfoot

    velvetfoot Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2005
    Messages:
    6,983
    Loc:
    Sand Lake, NY
    kp98, have you used any ductwork to move hot air around? May I ask what kind of fan (and where) you use to move the air?
    Another consideration is the type of flue pipe - some are more expensive than other.

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