Looking to install woodstove in a fireplace

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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,229
Long Island NY
Of course they do.

The point is that the heat output in the room also changes a lot.

I.e. 75% of the BTUs get to go into the room and 25% into the flue.
Dial up the thermostat, and 75% of the BTUs go into the room (per BKVP) and 25% into the flue. Given that you are producing more BTUs per hour, the temperature of the flue will be higher (and the same for the room, if the heat loss of the room would be the same) .

The point I'm hammering on is that it makes NO sense to talk about (changing) hours burning if that is not accompanied by a statement about the efficiency (remaining the same, as claimed by BK, or not).

I have no knowledge of the Regency.
All I know is that there are testing data that don't show big differences in efficiency between the two stoves, and for the BK between different burn rates. ANd I know your personal experience is what it is - you're not on here lying. And I don't know how to reconcile these two :)
 
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dznam

Burning Hunk
Jul 31, 2008
126
Coastal ME
What a great and productive thread - thoughtful question (and response!) by a thoughtful homeowner and excellent responses by knowledgeable individuals. This is a fine example of "the best" attributes of hearth.com!
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,602
Philadelphia
What a great and productive thread - thoughtful question (and response!) by a thoughtful homeowner and excellent responses by knowledgeable individuals. This is a fine example of "the best" attributes of hearth.com!
Yep. These debates get less passionate each time we have them. ;lol

The reality is you're not going to find many bad stoves among the top brands, and while new users fret endlessly about which is "best", there really is no such thing as "best". All you can do is trade-off one compromise for another.

We can say conclusively that, if you want lowest possible burn rate or longest possible burn time over anything else, buy a BK. No one is going to touch them on that. But short of that sole aspect, it really comes down to so many other factors, that there's no single star shining brighter than the rest.

I do think the convective vs. radiant thing can be very important for any install exposed to exterior masonry, such as a basement or in a fireplace (see my avatar). Other than the "BK's can burn real long" thing, that might be the only other distinction I'd really argue, when comparing one stove to another.
 
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stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,229
Long Island NY
I always say that you're going to have to look at the thing for many many years. So make sure you buy one that your significant other likes (b/c who cares about what you like...) :)
 
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Deere-nh

New Member
Aug 30, 2022
3
NH
Thanks all for the input. After doing some more reaserch maybe it would be best to do an insert. With my fireplace opening a lot of the woodstoves are out (H28.5x 31W) and all the heat would be out the front.

One issue I have with the insert is that it will not sit flush due to the rocks of the fireplace. However, I was thinking if I could put some sort of non flammable foam or insulation on the surrounding so there's no gaps.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
96,350
South Puget Sound, WA
One issue I have with the insert is that it will not sit flush due to the rocks of the fireplace. However, I was thinking if I could put some sort of non flammable foam or insulation on the surrounding so there's no gaps.
Not foam, a strip of kaowool insulation is possible, but another option is to either do without a surround or to have a custom one that insets in the fireplace opening.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,815
Fairbanks, Alaska
I have observed that at higher throttle settings for shorter burns in colder weather my flue gas exhaust temp does increase. Same Condar probe, same stove etc, with 12 hour burns I am seeing flue gas temps in the 300-400dF range, but with a 4 hour burn when it is really cold out the exhaust probe will be licking the 600 mark.

I have no way to measure exhaust gas velocity, and no good way to measure stove top temp either, since the A30 is a box in a box. I frankly don't care if I am losing a little more heat up the chimney in this situation. What I want at -40dF is a dry wood with a lot of sugary sap in it to go with the carbon in the cellulose, and I want a really short coaling stage so I can reload a bunch more BTUs without waiting around for coals to burn down.

I am looking at maybe 4-8 weeks of winter running the stove this hard once daily, with maybe 3-5 or 10 days of really cold weather when I might be burning two boxes per day in four hours each.

It is, to me, a testament to what the BK30 boxes can do, 24 hour burns in the shoulder seasons and then way up the dynamic range ladder to running with (or near) the noncats.

I agree with Ashful the resale value of a lightly used BK 30 box is going to be very very good. I am pretty sure the factory warranty on the combustor does not extend to the second owner, and someone is going to have to move a 400# chunk of metal. Other than that a BK 30 box should have excellent resale value.
 

Poindexter

Minister of Fire
Jun 28, 2014
2,815
Fairbanks, Alaska
Thanks all for the input. After doing some more reaserch maybe it would be best to do an insert. With my fireplace opening a lot of the woodstoves are out (H28.5x 31W) and all the heat would be out the front.

One issue I have with the insert is that it will not sit flush due to the rocks of the fireplace. However, I was thinking if I could put some sort of non flammable foam or insulation on the surrounding so there's no gaps.

Well, yes and no. I am, at 64 degrees north latitude, biased against inserts. Bear with me.

A fireplace, especially a vintage fireplace, is a marvelous thing. In my dotage I am down to two remaining hobbies, with open fire cooking one of the two remaining. Spending a few hours over an open fire to produce a Dutch Oven full of chili or West Indies Pepper Pot Soup is just a joyous thing. Besides the food and the experience, I like the smell of hickory smoke in my beard the next day. They are just wonderful. But they are lousy heaters.

Consider instead the original Franklin stove, a metal box out in the room with all six sides pushing heat into the room and the existing fireplace serving only as an exhaust outlet.

If you want ambience, want experiences, an open fireplace is very hard to beat. If you are trying to heat your home (as I am) an open fireplace is useless but a six sided metal box surrounded by room air on all sides is a very efficient way to put heat inside the house.

Now consider an insert - and see a poor compromise. You lose all the ambience of the open fireplace, and give away 5/6 of the metal sides that could be giving off heat into the house. If your electricity is dependable you can buy an insert with a blower fan to recover some of the heat from the five not exposed sides and pump it into your house, but when the power goes off you are up the proverbial polluted tributary.

My one advice at this juncture is to carefully consider your heat v- ambience goals. If you really want both, consider very carefully if you could install a (likely top vent) freestander stove within you home somewhere else, and leave your lovely ambience burner unmolested.

You can pop popcorn in that thing, with an inexpensive wire basket you could do a spatchcock chicken or some fish fillets, you could mix up some broccoli and white sauce in a metal pan and get them baked near the hot coals, or build a blazing coal bed to grill flank steak directly on the coals for amazing fajitas, pop a quart sized retort in there to make some charcoal for, ahem, homesteader use. With a spit and a child to turn it you can leg of lamb or rib roast of beef with Yorkshire pudding as a side.

With a freestanding stove somewhere else in the house you can enjoy maximum BTU efficiency, independent of electricity, and have a warm cozy room for the family to gather no matter how cold the forecast.

With an insert and the power out on a cold night you get nothing, unless you just want to look at flames while slamming schnapp spiked hot chocolate under four blankets. I understand fireplace inserts are (a compromise) for people who don't like to roast marshmellow over an open fire with their partner, and don't have enough square footage or desire to make room for both a fireplace and a freestanding stove in their homes. As someone who counts my freestanding wood stove as a utility like the dishwasher or a clothes dryer, the luxury of an indoor fireplace is quite tempting.

My two cents.
 
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Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
17,602
Philadelphia
My one advice at this juncture is to carefully consider your heat v- ambience goals. If you really want both, consider very carefully if you could install a (likely top vent) freestander stove within you home somewhere else, and leave your lovely ambience burner unmolested.
This is good advice, and what I'd have been doing, if either of my primary fireplaces were safe for use. I do miss the open fireplaces of my prior homes, woodstoves are a poor second-best on ambience.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
3,546
SE North Carolina
I’m running a stove in a 29” high x42 wide opening and an insert in a 29hx32w. My stove is 1.7 cu ft insert is 2.4 cu ft no surround. Bigger is better. Cooking is the same in both. No top access. Actually the insert has a 3”wide top that you “could” cook something on but why. Get a decent grill, and two real Dutch ovens, big and medium, and your your ash bucket to carry coals out to a decent cooking spot.

Think back to the last 5 years how many meals were prepared during a power outage? None for me. I was just about to light my grill when it came on after a 5 hour outage.

There just is not a good selection of rear-vent stoves to get under the lintel.

Does the BK Princess insert fit? Have you ruled out punching a new hole for top vent stoves? (Apologies if it’s already been answered). Have you made any cardboard templates?