Looking to upgrade my existing fireplace

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davidlincoln

New Member
Dec 9, 2021
2
Chicago
We moved into our home about 10 years ago and one of the things we loved about it was the huge wood burning fireplace. In addition to that, we also have a natural gas vented fireplace with a blower. Over the years, we find ourselves using the natural gas fireplace much more just because of the ease and the warm air it provides.

I wouldn't want to get rid of the wood burning fireplace, but it would be nice to upgrade it so I can increase efficiency and have something that warms up the room. I was looking at a wood burning stove insert and had a few questions:

1) Just a ballpark, but does anyone have a guess at how much it would cost all in? My opening is 46" wide and 27" Tall. I would imagine I would need to extend my hearth to meet current code, which means I'd probably end up re-doing the entire mantle area.
2) Does a wood stove significantly heat up the room?
3) Fireplace is not on an outside wall, so there is no outside air intake. Is this an issue for a wood burning stove?


Thanks!
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,151
South Puget Sound, WA
Welcome. Yes, a wood insert can make a major heating contribution to the home. It is much more efficient at delivering heat into the room, with the caveat that it will need fully seasoned wood to burn well. The costs are going to vary quite a bit depending on what insert is chosen and the difficulty of installation. Cost could be as low as $2000 for a DIY install of a good value stove kit to $7,000+ for a high-end insert and a difficult install where a clay liner needs to be broken out. Unless the house is exceptionally tight, it probably will be ok without an outside air connection, but this is a difficult thing to determine over the internet.
 
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Reactions: Dix

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,520
Long Island, NY
What Be Green said.

I can tell you that my PE is in an interior chimney, with no air intake, but that's my set up. Your mileage may vary.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
93,151
South Puget Sound, WA
I can tell you that my PE is in an interior chimney, with no air intake, but that's my set up. Your mileage may vary.
Yes, no OAK on our stove either.
 

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,520
Long Island, NY
2) Does a wood stove significantly heat up the room?
Mine heats the entire house. Depends in layout, air flow, etc.

House layout, even rough drawn, would be a huge help here.
 

davidlincoln

New Member
Dec 9, 2021
2
Chicago
Great, thanks all for your input. I'm excited about this, I wasn't aware until yesterday that you could do a wood stove insert, I thought they were all standalone.

A couple of follow-up questions if you have a moment:

1) I've read there is a tax credit available. Is that something that is pretty straight-forward or any things to watch out for?
2) It seems like this would be a no-brainer investment if you have ready access to wood and want to use it as a primary heating source. Is it still a worthwhile investment for someone that just wants a more efficient fireplace? I guess that's a personal decision, but I would imagine the payoff isn't quite as quick when you're not using it all day/everyday during the winter.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,406
SE North Carolina
Tax credit is only offered for units with HHV of 75% or greater. I have two fireplaces. both now have wood burners in them. I will never break even on the install cost. But I really like them. If we ever had a power outage I could keep the entire 3000 sq ft nice and warm.
 

Dix

Minister of Fire
May 27, 2008
6,520
Long Island, NY
Great, thanks all for your input. I'm excited about this, I wasn't aware until yesterday that you could do a wood stove insert, I thought they were all standalone.

A couple of follow-up questions if you have a moment:

1) I've read there is a tax credit available. Is that something that is pretty straight-forward or any things to watch out for?
2) It seems like this would be a no-brainer investment if you have ready access to wood and want to use it as a primary heating source. Is it still a worthwhile investment for someone that just wants a more efficient fireplace? I guess that's a personal decision, but I would imagine the payoff isn't quite as quick when you're not using it all day/everyday during the winter.
Can't help with the tax credit question.

I purchased the PE in 2008, when oil was at $3 a gallon. Paid for itself in 1 year. Installed the 13 in 2010, when oil was at $4. It paid for itself the first winter, including buying firewood.

Be forewarned, it's addictive, and you might find your self using it more often than not :)