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zero clearance, wood stove fire place, wood burning fireplace??? Can someone help

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by captaintone, Oct 8, 2010.

  1. captaintone

    captaintone New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    43
    Loc:
    upstate new york/orange county
    Here is my dilemma. I am designing a house and would like a fireplace that can heat my home. I like the finish look of what I believe is a zero clearance wood stove. Shopping around I have been given different names for the product. I have heard zero clearance wood stove, wood stove fireplace, and wood burning fire place. What I am looking for is a masonry fire place with a stove inside that looks finished and can provide heat. Also are zero clearance stove good for heating? Can someone help me what I am looking for? And also, do these things comes with masonry units attached? Thanks

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  2. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2010
    Messages:
    771
    Loc:
    Kitchener, Ontario
    Hi there, what I think you're looking for is a zero clearance fire place. A stove is just that... a stand alone unit wood burning unit on legs or pedestal. A ZC is also known as a 'builder's box'. They are a factory built fire place with all the insulation and safety tested so all you have to do is place the 'box' against the wall and frame & decorate around it. Therefore the term Zero Clearance (there are still some spacer providing a 1" clearance but that is just a technicality). It also requires a matching stainless steel listed chimney system.

    Masonry fireplaces are built in place by obviously a mason, uses a clay tile flue and not overly efficient. There are fewer and fewer fireplace built this way.

    Some ZC's are rated as decorative which means they have limited efficiency or do not put a whole lot of heat back in your room. However, they are still more efficient than masonry fireplaces.

    Then you have your high efficiency units which go all the way up to EPA rating and even Washington State (4.5g /Hr) rating. In addition to blowers which brings more warm air into the room, many ZC's have optional forced air kit which allows you bring the warm air in your existing furnace plenum for distribution into your house. Depending on your house size etc... these can put out alot of heat.

    You may want to check both type of ZC's here to give you an idea of the range of looks and efficiencies. Download an installation manual to give yourself some idea of what is involved.
    http://www.valcourtinc.com/

    Since once installed your fireplace is there forever, you want to make sure you first get your wife involved. You'll have to look at it for a long time and if mama's not happy, aint nobody happy! :) Once you decide on the 'look' you're going for take some time to study associated cost to match your budget. The chimney cost will vary widely depending on the diameter rated for a particular unit. 6" is alot less expensive than 10". Then there's all the other stuff like the type of surround, chase etc...

    Nothing nicer than a fireplace! It adds value to your house and looks great.
  3. captaintone

    captaintone New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2008
    Messages:
    43
    Loc:
    upstate new york/orange county
    Thanks for the reply. It sounds like the Z C high efficiency is the stove for me.

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