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zero clearance

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by nick01, Jan 4, 2012.

  1. nick01

    nick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    western indiana
    hello and thank all of you for your time and valuable advice. i am looking for some help on my heating needs. as of now i have an inexpensive big box store fireplace, no damper, no blower, essentially a hole to make fire in which i do and it puts off minimal heat and plenty of ambiance. i want to switch the ambiance with actual heat. i have been doing some research and have been looking at the Supreme Plus. i want to go with a a zero clearance because we really like the look of what we have now its basically what sold us on the house. the measurements are mantle to fireplace 15 1/2", height of fireplace 24 1/4", width 42 1/2" and depth 17 1/4" flu size from what i can measure is 6". i guess my questions are can i make it work and still keep the look i have now, and what do you think it would cost. we have propane heat now and even with the high efficiency set up it is still ridiculous the amount of money we spend on it every year. i have done the numbers and the savings would be great with a high efficiency fireplace. all number crunching and what is most economical aside, we love everything about having fires in the fireplace. guessing this will cost about 5k but really not sure. i appreciate all of your opinions and advice.

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  2. Kevin*

    Kevin* Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2011
    Messages:
    117
    Loc:
    Monroe, WA
    Are you wanting to put a wood burner in that space?
    At 5k your probably correct if you going to have your dealer install. I went to my dealer and they offered to come out and look at my factory Zero firebox for free and nothing they sold would fit. He also said the lennox and lopi's are some of the tightest fitting units out there.

    As for your flue ID of 6", that seems small, most stove/insert’s are 6" flue but that's ID of class A.

    I recommend you find a dealer and have them come by for a free estimate.
  3. mikeyd

    mikeyd New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    I did a total retro with a Lennox Ladera (aka BIS NOVA). Have a look as they are pretty small footprints. I also looked at the Supreme as an option. Couldn't get my head wrapped around their BTU claims and the stainless steel firebox if we're talking the same thing. $5k sounds about right and is in line.
  4. nick01

    nick01 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2011
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    western indiana
    yes it would definitely be a wood burner and thanks for the advice, i have done some more research and visited some local dealers. i cannot seem to find any local supreme dealers but have seen alot of nice units. 2 units i seem to be leaning towards are the Northstar and the Fireplace Xtrordiniar 44 Elite. i have come to the realization that no matter what, there will be some demo to get a unit in. we have a 2800 square foot house and i plan on using this as a primary heat source, so the 44 is looking pretty good. i am figuring cost will go up some but i would much rather spend it on quality unit than give it to the propane man. if anybody has other suggestions or opinions on these models or any others please share, i have no problems spending hours at the fireplace store researching.
  5. heatxchanger

    heatxchanger New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    31
    Hello nick01,

    First do some measuring to determine the depth of the hole avaible to install a new zero-clearance EPA fireplace. Pretend that you just ripped that inefficient builder box fireplace out of there. What is the depth of the hole (from the front surface (your wall) to the framing behind the fireplace).

    Here are some zero-clearance, high efficiency (EPA certified) fireplaces you should consider:
    (Note: Lennox own Security Chimneys (BIS fireplaces))


    Lennox Villa Vista (sames as BIS Panorama) This is a CAT (catalytic) unit.
    Lennox Brentwood (same as BIS Ultima)
    Lennox Solana (more basic unit, less expensive)
    Lennox Ladera - same as BIS Nova (more basic unit, less expensive)
    BIS Tradition (not sure if there is a corresponding Lennox branded unit)
    BIS Tradition CE (not sure if there is a corresponding Lennox branded unit)
    BIS Ultra (not sure if there is a corresponding Lennox branded unit)
    Kozy Heat Z42
    Osburn Stratford
    Napoleon NZ26
    Quadrafire 7100 - same as the Heat & Glo Northstar
    Fireplace Extrordinair 36 or 44 Elite. These are CAT units.
    Supreme Zero Clearance (www.supremem.com)
    RSF Opel 2, 3, Delta 2, Topaz, Onyx 2, Oracle (see through unit) fireplaces

    I was in the same situation as you. After ripping out my old piece of crap Majestic builder box fireplace I had a 24 inch deep hole in which to install a Zero clearance EPA fireplace. I then eliminated all fireplaces deeper than 24" from the above list. I wanted a fireplace with a firebox larger than 2.0 cubic feet because I feel 2.0 cubic foot or smaller firebox is too small. So I eliminated all fireplaces with 2.0 cubic foot or smaller fireboxes from the above list.

    Ultimately I ended up with the Osburn Stratford. It has a 2.5 cubic foot firebox. I really like it & it worked out great.
    You should also consider the KozyHeat Z42 if you can accomodate its greater depth than the Osburn.
    Both the Osburn Stratford and KozyHeat Z42 are reasonably priced & good quality. They represent good value in my opinion.

    The Quadrafire 7100 (Northstar) & Fireplace Xtronodinairs appear to be good quality but are quite expensive. They will blow your $5000 budget.

    Your actual choices of zero clearance, EPA fireplaces will depend on what your local Hearth dealers carry or how far you want to drive.

    Plan on having to replace your chimney. I highly doubt your existing chimney pipe will be compatible with the type required for an high efficiency EPA certified fireplace. . Most builder box fireplaces use 10 inch chimney pipe due to their inefficiency - they need big pipe to transport all that heat outdoors! My builder box fireplace chimney was 10 inch. I had to replace it with 6" of the type recommended by Osburn for the Osburn Stratford fireplace. You MUST use the chimney pipe model as recommended by the manfacturer of the fireplace.

    Good luck!
  6. babzog

    babzog Member

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2011
    Messages:
    231
    Loc:
    Eastern Ontario, Canada
    Add the RSF Opel 3 to the above list. We considered this, the BIS Tradition CE (and Nova, but found the Nova too small) and the Napoleon NZ26-WI. The BIS lineup use a 5" heat duct and 200-something cfm blower which is too small for heating our home, whereas both the Napoleon and RSF use an 8" duct and 600+ cfm blower. The firebox on the RSF is 3.6cf so you can really pack it for long burns. It's a catalytic fireplace (the cat is an option) whereas the Napoleon uses the secondary burn tubes, which I'm more familiar with from the Regency stove in the basement. We liked the look of the NZ26-WI but the price was just too high (over $5k vs $3500 for the Opel 3). We wound up with the RSF and it's really working nicely. We're using it for primary heat so we have the central heating blower installed and hooked up to the forced air plenum (relegating the geothermal to backup status). As well, we've ordered the cat option to further enhance heat extraction and boost efficiency. You will need a new chimney with the RSF - 7" excel chimney (or liner if installing into a masonry chimney) by the same company.
  7. webby3650

    webby3650 Master of Fire

    Joined:
    Sep 2, 2008
    Messages:
    4,203
    Loc:
    southern Indiana
    If you are interested in a insert, then the 5K is about right after the liner. If you are wanting to remove the entire thing and go high eff. fireplace, then the price will go up substantially. We have done exactly what you are talking about recently with a Supreme Plus and most recently with a Kozy Z42, both very nice units. Not sure where you are at, but we travel pretty far, come see us. http://www.thefireplacecenter.net/
  8. heatxchanger

    heatxchanger New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 25, 2005
    Messages:
    31
    I have updated the list of zero-clearance, EPA certified, fireplaces with those units from Supreme and RSF. I feel that the list is pretty complete.

    Zero clearance, EPA fireplaces all use a blower of some sort to extract the heat from them. The blower circulates air around the inner shell and out into your home. In some units you can choose between an internal blower or a remote blower for remote heat ducting to other rooms.

    Webby makes a good point. Many of the fireplaces on the list are $3000+ . This will blow a $5000 budget because you still have to buy the stainless chimney pipe and pay for all of the labor to have the fireplace & chimney installed.

    I was able to have the Osburn Stratford + chimney system installed for like $5500 but that is because the basic Stratford only costs $2100. However I did equip the Stratford with the optional 24K gold plated doors which added maybe $300 I think. Oh yeah, my install was pretty simple. The previous builder box fireplace was surrounded by just drywall (no stone or brick to demolish). Also the back of my house is just covered in vinyl siding so the installers were able to remove the old crap builder box fireplace through the outside wall. They did this by removing the vinyl siding and then cutting out the OSB and 2x4s to create a hole.
  9. kartracer

    kartracer Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2009
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Vale NC
    We have a 2400 sq ft house and have a bis ultima.We built the house 3 years ago last Christmas.The stove will run you out of the great room,but doesn't do very good at heating the remainder of the house.

    Our house is an open floorplan ranch with a bonus room over the garage.I'll turn the fan on,on the heat pump and run the ceiling fans and have a small fan blowing fro the colder areas towards the stove.

    It'll keep ya from freezing.After burning this insert for a few years.I wish I would have gone with a freestanding stove.
  10. mikeyd

    mikeyd New Member

    Joined:
    Jun 15, 2009
    Messages:
    51
    Just as a point of reference I believe the NZ26 requires 6" clearance to combustibles on the sides so take that into consideration if you consider Napoleon.
  11. mitchinpa

    mitchinpa Member

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2008
    Messages:
    78
    Loc:
    Western PA
    I ripped out a crappy home builder Heatilator and replaced it with the Northstar. Open floor plan, and it will easily heat my 2200+ sq ft home. We were able to keep the brick firelace and hearth, and just rip the old unit straight out the back. Releveled and slid the new unit in. I was able to save some money, as the Heatilator was already using the correct Chimney pipe. It wasnt cheap to do, but I was able to take advantage of the tax credit at the time.

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