EPA Zero Clearance fireplace burn time

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brokenknee

Burning Hunk
The wife and I are going to be adding an addition to the house this spring/summer. The size will be 20X18 this will be added to our small 1200 square foot slab home. We currently heat with wood in a wood furnace.

Now the question, wifey wants the look of a "real" fireplace. I would prefer a wood stove for overall efficiency and longer burn times. Do they make a zero clearance fireplace that would compare to a wood stove in efficiency and burn times?

The old wood furnace we have heats the place just fine, even to the minus 35 F we had last Friday. I would just like to get away from having to feed it so often. Sometimes I feel like a fireman on an old wood fired locomotive. :)

I did try to search the forum to see if this topic was covered before but only found something from 2009. I would think a lot has changed from then.
 

aansorge

Minister of Fire
Aug 12, 2011
962
Southern Minnesota

jdp1152

Minister of Fire
Oct 4, 2012
784
Massachusetts
Plenty of options.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,414
South Puget Sound, WA
At -35F your best friend is going to be a well insulated and sealed building.Once that is established an efficient zc fireplace might do the job, but a good freestanding stove will probably do it better if the floor plan is reasonably open.
 
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wkpoor

Minister of Fire
Oct 30, 2008
1,854
Amanda, OH
Heatilator makes the Constitution. There are older posts on here abut it.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
ZC fireplaces aren't going to get the kinda burn times that are achieved in a freestanding stove. It's just not gonna happen. Your only real hope to do so would be by oversizing the fireplace a bit, and with -35, it's not a bad idea.
The FPX 36 is a great unit that gets respectable burn times. http://www.fireplacex.com/ProductGuide/ProductDetail.aspx?modelsku=98500104

Have you given any thought to a freestanding stove with a huge glass to view the fire? A lot of stoves have a big glass that stays pretty clean, even when it;s burning slow. I couldn't be happier with my view!
 

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brokenknee

Burning Hunk
Thanks for the replies, as I said MY choice would be a wood stove, the WIFE wants the look of a real fireplace. I agree with the insulation comment, just got a quote to foam the room it came in at 4 grand, seems high for such a small room. I then looked into foam kits to do it yourself and that would be almost 7 grand. They must have gold nuggets hidden in the foam.

The FPX 36 is a good looking unit and if it gets close to the 10 hour burn time it advertises that would be great. Another concern is the noise of the fan. The one I put in my last house the fan was so noisy you could hardly watch TV. I would be looking for a very quite fan maybe a dc motor like on some of the high end pellet stoves.

After the wife gets up this morning we are going to fireplace shopping before the storm hits, we are not to get it as bad as those of you out on the east coast (6 to 12 for us), but living in the country the roads do not get plowed sometimes until the storm is over. I am hoping to convince the wife to go with the wood stove, maybe the will have a nice soapstone model on display she will fall in love with. One can only hope.
 

dave_376

Burning Hunk
Feb 14, 2012
115
central Ct
some of the ZC fireplaces use a bathroom type fan. The good thing about this type of fan is you can put it in a different room or hallway so there is minimal noise in the stove room.

I understand the difficulties of what women want vs what we want, I go through it daily and with patience and perseverance we come to a compromise. I am happy that I have a wood burning insert but I would trade my fireplace in a heartbeat for a wood stove. If I lose power I can heat that room, with the fan blowing I can get my whole house too hot, you will have a similar problem with a ZC. I would take her shopping and give her an opportunity to check out a nice stove like a T5.

No matter what you end up with it will be better than paying for OIL Propane or electric.
 
D

DexterDay

Guest
Thanks for the replies, as I said MY choice would be a wood stove, the WIFE wants the look of a real fireplace. I agree with the insulation comment, just got a quote to foam the room it came in at 4 grand, seems high for such a small room. I then looked into foam kits to do it yourself and that would be almost 7 grand. They must have gold nuggets hidden in the foam.

The FPX 36 is a good looking unit and if it gets close to the 10 hour burn time it advertises that would be great. Another concern is the noise of the fan. The one I put in my last house the fan was so noisy you could hardly watch TV. I would be looking for a very quite fan maybe a dc motor like on some of the high end pellet stoves.

After the wife gets up this morning we are going to fireplace shopping before the storm hits, we are not to get it as bad as those of you out on the east coast (6 to 12 for us), but living in the country the roads do not get plowed sometimes until the storm is over. I am hoping to convince the wife to go with the wood stove, maybe the will have a nice soapstone model on display she will fall in love with. One can only hope.

Have you looked at some of the Pellet inserts? Not only will it heat that addition, but will pick up the slack if you forget to fill the wood furnace? If you wanted to sleep in or be away for an extended period of time?

The Enviro M-55 Cast insert, Quadrafire Mt.Vernon, and Harman Accentra are all 50,000-60,000 BTU units, all Cast, and All of very beautiful units. Very capable of heating a large area.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
Another concern is the noise of the fan. The one I put in my last house the fan was so noisy you could hardly watch TV.
The FPX blower is motor is mounted in an outside wall near the fireplace. You will hear almost nothing but some air moving, if it's on high. On low it's nearly silent.
 

aansorge

Minister of Fire
Aug 12, 2011
962
Southern Minnesota
Why should Fireplaces get shorter burn times than wood stoves? I don't believe it. They are basically wood stoves stuffed in a box and then stuffed in a wall. How is this going to affect burn times?

I agree there are disadvantages: need blowers to produce usable heat, more difficult to monitor temps, etc. but the burn time argument I don't understand.

My 2.5 cu ft enerzone easily achieves overnight burns (did take out the andrions and this helps). This morning I didn't even load it up right away as I wanted it to burn down a bit more. I think that an EPA burn tube style stove and the same fireplace are going to have equivalent burn times.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
Why should Fireplaces get shorter burn times than wood stoves? I don't believe it. They are basically wood stoves stuffed in a box and then stuffed in a wall. How is this going to affect burn times?

I agree there are disadvantages: need blowers to produce usable heat, more difficult to monitor temps, etc. but the burn time argument I don't understand.

My 2.5 cu ft enerzone easily achieves overnight burns (did take out the andrions and this helps). This morning I didn't even load it up right away as I wanted it to burn down a bit more. I think that an EPA burn tube style stove and the same fireplace are going to have equivalent burn times.
Believe it!;)
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
They are basically wood stoves stuffed in a box and then stuffed in a wall. How is this going to affect burn times?
It might not effect "burn times" so much. The difference is that there is very little radiant heat from the ZC. So, when the load is burned down to coals, it's producing very little heat compared to the freestanding stove. If you are truly heating with it, the fireplace will need to be re-loaded sooner than a freestanding stove. Sure they might technically get the same burn times, but not the same amount of usable heat from a load of wood.
 

aansorge

Minister of Fire
Aug 12, 2011
962
Southern Minnesota
That could be. Still a fireplace does radiate, it just radiates into its enclosure which the blower then pushes out into the room. Many modern stoves are so insulated on the sides, backs and bottoms that they only really radiate out the top and front and they too use blowers to generate much of the heat.

I will agree though that a fireplace is slightly less efficient. I too would have chosen a standing stove, but the wife over-ruled me. I'm happy with the fireplace, but sometimes wish I had pushed for a nice looking stove mainly to have the ability to generate heat without noise. I do have the Enerzone basement dump and run this and turn off the fans in the main room during much of the fall and spring. This is one thing a stove can't do that I love as I can heat my basement with it whenever I desire.
 

webby3650

Master of Fire
Sep 2, 2008
11,133
Indiana
That sounds like a nice set-up! Enerzone makes nice stuff. I've ran several of there stoves and was very impressed with the burn.
Your right, alot of new stoves have shields on the sides and top, but it still pumps heat through the shields. The shields capture some heat for the blower to push out. But without the blower the stove is still Very effective.The blower is an option on a stove, not a necessity.
 
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