zero clearance wood burning insert

mgabriel Posted By mgabriel, Sep 23, 2008 at 4:59 PM

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  1. mgabriel

    mgabriel
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    Sep 16, 2008
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    TN
    In the process of building a 2800 SF house in middle TN and would like to put a Zero clearance wood burning insert in the fireplace. This will not be our primary heating source. Was hoping to only spend about $2500 for the complete setup. I have also considered just having a wood fireplace and install a grate heater.

    Can someone point me in the right direction?

    Thanks,
    MIchael
     
  2. gpcollen1

    gpcollen1
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    Oct 4, 2007
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    Why a fireplace and an insert and not just a zero clearance fireplace??
     
  3. the_dude

    the_dude
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    Feb 26, 2008
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    Southern WI
    The right direction is a zero clearance fireplace, not an insert. Zero clearance inserts are intended to be fitted into an existing masonry fireplace. You could also do a free standing stove, which might be an option based on your budget. The only zero clearance fireplace I have seen that would come close to your price requirement for fireplace and pipe is the Magnum ZC. The last time I saw the price was in the spring, so that very well may have changed. I have a Kozy Heat Z42CD, but the fireplace will run you right around $2,500. Then you still have pipe and install costs.

    Ignoring cost, other brands of ZC fireplaces include:

    Fireplace Xtrordinair
    Quadrafire/Heat n Glo/Heatilator
    BIS
    Napoleon

    Again, there are many free standing stoves that may fit the bill as well. If I was building from scratch, I would likely go the stove route. There are more options and I think you likely get more radiant heat out of a stove.
     
  4. kd460

    kd460
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    Feb 5, 2006
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    For clarifications sake: I believe a zero clearance fireplace is a prefab type of fireplace. Some inserts can go in a zero clearance fireplace, some inserts can only go in a masonary fireplace.

    Not sure if there is such a thing as a zero clearance insert. KD
     
  5. mgabriel

    mgabriel
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    Sep 16, 2008
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    I'm referring to a insert that can go into a prefab fireplace.

    thanks,
    Michae
     
  6. Elderthewelder

    Elderthewelder
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    Nov 1, 2006
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    I have a insert approved for a zero clearence fireplace, it is installed in my "non masonary" zero clearance Majestic fireplace, All the houses in my little community have these same Majestic units and they put out ZERO heat into the house, some of us have put in wood inserts and others have went with gas inserts, but to say that zero clearance inserts are intended for masonary fireplaces is false
     
  7. DiscoInferno

    DiscoInferno
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    Nov 7, 2006
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    If you are building from scratch it makes no sense to put in a non-EPA prefab fireplace and then install an insert into that. Inserts are retrofits for existing fireplaces. Why pay for a cruddy prefab fireplace and chimney and an insert and a chimney liner? Far cheaper to install a freestanding stove, and somewhat cheaper to install a zero-clearance EPA fireplace. Both would probably be better looking to boot.

    If all you want is the cheapest wood fireplace that throws some heat, then you can get a Majestic or whatever prefab fireplace with a blower and glass doors. Still very inefficient and needs frequent reloads compared to an EPA unit, though.
     
  8. InTheRockies

    InTheRockies
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    Aug 15, 2008
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    I agree that it makes more sense to install a free-standing wood stove. If you want the look of a fireplace but the cost efficiency of a wood stove, maybe you could build a stone/masonry alcove that will house a free-standing wood stove. That's what houses my wood stove in my great room.
     
  9. kd460

    kd460
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    Feb 5, 2006
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    I agree with others, a freestanding wood stove in an alcove that normally would have been the space for a fireplace would be your biggest bang in heat and in money (lowest cost), or the other route would be one of the newer EPA rated wood burning fireplace. This is just an example and there are many models and brands out there:

    http://www.quadrafire.com/Products/Wood_Burning/Wood_Model.asp?f=7100fp

    It is sort of installed like a cheaper builder basic prefab (zero clearance) fireplace, but is a drastic improvement over that original concept. It actually produces useable and efficient heat! They are sealed units like a stove or insert, but are already in a metal box that gets framed into the structure.

    Still, I personally would go with a free standing stove. Easiest to install, better prices, largest selection, many different styles, many different budgets, easy to replace, most heat for the buck. If you design an alcove into your new house, then no floor space will be "stolen" by the stove. Good luck, KD

    EDIT: Look at some of "BrotherBart" posts. He has some pics of a nice looking alcove install (if I remember correctly).
     
  10. the_dude

    the_dude
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    Feb 26, 2008
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    Sorry, I read my post over and it was kind of misleading. When I was talking about zero clearance fireplaces, I was referring to zero clearance EPA high efficiency fireplaces, not pre fabs. And yes, I am aware that inserts can be installed in prefab fireplaces. I was trying to avoid the confusion here as this person is building from scratch. I agree with others that the last thing I would do in this situation would be to put in a prefab and an insert. I didn't even want to mention that as the original poster seems somwhat confused on what to do.
     
  11. mgabriel

    mgabriel
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    Sep 16, 2008
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    Loc:
    TN
    Thanks for all the input. What I'm wanting is a fireplace that produces some heat but don't want to build a masonry fireplace. This will not be our primary heating source. Sorry for all the confusion.
     
  12. the_dude

    the_dude
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    Feb 26, 2008
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    Loc:
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    You want an EPA certified zero clearance fireplace. See my first post for brands. Regency also makes a small ZC that may meet your needs.
     
  13. jrousell

    jrousell
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    Feb 26, 2008
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    Loc:
    Adirondack Mtns. NY
    RSF Opel I can recommend in addition to the Security BIS and the KOzyHeat tha the other user mentioned all three of those are very viable options worth researching...
     
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