Most economical solution for ZC replacement?


New Member
Sep 14, 2017
So I have a current ZC fireplace that I would like to upgrade (Heatilator EC42), and my current setup is your typical ZC manufactured fireplace with a metal chimney. I'm really interested in the FP30, however I understand that would involve essentially having to gut my existing chimney and starting new with a new liner, possible additional floor support of a 600lb stove, etc. A local installer came out to look at my setup, and he said to do all that, plus the cost of the stove itself, along with anything else I want to do (remote heat duct to basement below, hearth, stone work, etc) easily will cost me 10-12K or more, with the chimney modification work needed alone eating up 1/2 this cost; maybe more.

That's a lot of money obviously, and we are not sure if we will be staying in this home for many years to come, so we are hesitant about investing this amount currently. With that in mind, if there are any ZC type options you'd recommend looking at that wouldn't involve having to revamp the chimney itself, I would appreciate it. I'm aware there are ZC approved units out there that would help cut costs considerably, but I'm not sure which would be best for us. Our main goals are to: 1. get more efficiency than our current setup, 2. enclose the fireplace to keep smoke from exiting into the living room, and 3. build a hearth in some capacity to give the space more of an updated look. Finally, FYI, the fireplace itself is located in the middle of an open, 2 story living room, with approx. 3300 sf. of space between the two levels.

With all this said, if our best option is to bite the bullet on cost, essentially start over and go with something like a PE FP30 instead, I'd appreciate those thoughts as well.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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Minister of Fire
Jan 4, 2018
Central PA
I removed a prefab, Heatilator I think, and installed a Regency ex90. The existing chimney that served the prefab was also listed for use with the new Regency so all we needed was an adapter and a couple elbows of matching material. And we had to build out the chase and extra 4" because it wasn't deep enough.