Looking for Wood-burning Insert

dblcrona Posted By dblcrona, Dec 2, 2018 at 8:22 AM

  1. dblcrona

    New Member 2.

    Dec 1, 2018
    Manheim, PA
    Hi Everyone,

    I’m new to the forum and I live in PA where we get some cold temperatures. My home is a split level that was built in 1970 and has a fireplace with an old wood-burning insert in the family room which is the lowest level of the house. With the blower I’m able to heat the entire house but the lower level gets very hot and the top floor is always a bit chilly.

    First, I am looking for a good catalytic insert with a blower that can give long burn times. I’m also interested in learning if I can connect it to my air handler so I can move the heat more evenly throughout the house. My fireplace backs up to my garage and there are a couple of holes in the block that could potentially (IMHO) be used for connecting to my duct work in the garage ceiling. If I could do this it would give me an improved alternative heating method on really cold days when my heat pump can’t keep up.

    Any and all input is appreciated. Thanks everyone.
  2. jatoxico

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Aug 8, 2011
    Long Island NY
    There are fireplaces that have the option for ducting but they are for new or purpose-built construction not retrofit into existing. So unless you're thinking to do some real remodeling it may be easier and safer to look into methods of moving heat around and there are many threads here on this topic.

    Simply "stealing" heat from the chimney from the garage could result in creosote formation and raises the possibility of passing flue gas around the house in the event of a flue leak/failure. Not sure what you're thinking here or what's going on in garage (sounds like those holes should be sealed) but I'd proceed carefully.

    Depending on your budget and taste there are a number of quality cat inserts. May also be possible to install a free standing unit in the opening.

    Dimensions, pictures (garage "holes" too) and layout would help for those who want to make a recommendation.

    If you have an "old" insert realize that the new unit may not use the old liner if you even have one. Most commonly a 6" stainless liner is required to be installed from bottom to top. This can cost as much as the stove depending on what you buy and your needs and layout.
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  3. begreen

    Mooderator 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 18, 2005
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Yes, drop the idea of connecting the air handler. It's not allowed.
    To help here we need:
    1. The size of the area to be heated
    2. Fireplace dimensions
    3. Budget expectations
    There are several cat inserts on the market. Are looks an issue or is the goal just to get it done?
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