I just found this site (love it!) but I am a total newbie to fireplaces/stoves. I'm hoping I can get some good answers for my question which is.. WHAT WOODBURNING FIREPLACE SHOULD I GET for my new home?
Here are the details that I think are important to my situation.
We are building a home next month via a semi-custom builder. The current home design comes with a propane fireplace in the family room (20x15). But I also want to add a wood burning fireplace in the living room (13x18) which is on the other side of the home. See .jpg floorplan which I hope you can view.
The home is around 3100 sq ft., around 1500 on each floor. Center hall colonial with 2 story foyer. It will have forced hot air and the heating system in the specs is a propane furnace but with the price of propane here (Philadelphia PA area), I am leaning towards an electric heat pump with either propane or electric backup. Gas line is 700 feet away and thus not available.
Regardless of main heating source, I want to install a wood burning fireplace (we like the look of a fireplace, not a wood stove) to supplement heat when it gets a bit colder (under 40 degrees or so?). And I'm an outdoorsy and fire person so I like the idea of making and tending a real fire, not flipping a switch. The propane fireplace would be more for simplicity and low maintenance (for the wife), and it would likely pain me to run that all day, knowing how much the propane (3x the cost of my current gas) is costing me.
1. I know this may be a broad question but what wood fireplace should I look to? I've been to 2 fireplace stores and they both suggested a Travis Industries Xtrordinair Elite model, either 36 or 44. Would one of these make sense for my situation, which is that I don't need it to heat my entire home, but would like it to be supplemental heating, and ambiance. Although if it COULD be used to heat the whole house, that'd be fine since it'd be cheaper than propane and electric. I'm just worried the fireplace heat alone (forced hot air not running) won't make it upstairs to the far bedrooms.. e.g. we'd have a family room at 74 degrees and a bedroom at 65 degrees. I believe the 36 heats up to 2500 sq ft, and the 44 does up to 3000 sq. ft
2. For my needs, should the woodburning fireplace be in the family room or the living room? I'm sure most would say it's personal preference but I'm thinking from a heating efficiency perspective. We would spend most of our time in the family room and kitchen, and little time in the living room. So if I wanted to burn the wood all day in the LR on a cold day, would the heat reach us in the FR/kitchen, or would that heat just stay in that side of the house, and eventually find it's way upstairs via the 2 story foyer that is right outside the LR? Again, see floorplan attachment. Similarly, I'm wondering if the wood fireplace was in the FR and we ran it all the time, would the FR and kitchen get TOO hot? I just have no idea of how the heat would travel and circulate.
Sorry for all the verbiage but I figured more info was better than not enough.
Thanks so much in advance!