Old style heatilator update

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Updatemyfireplace

New Member
Jul 7, 2021
6
Ohio
Old style heatilator update Old style heatilator update Old style heatilator update

We are purchasing a house with some unusual (at least to me) fireplaces. I really want to update them (and the tile) and I need some input. After researching, I found out, I believe, they are old style heatilators since they have two vents above them. I don’t like how they stick out without anything built around them. I also don’t like the off white rounded tile on the one, nor the green tile. Looking at the condition on the inside, do they need to be replaced? Do new ones still use the two vents on the wall?

I was thinking about just trying to leave them and making a mantel frame around it. But I realized the rounded white one has an HVAC vent beside it and the black one has a wall right beside it too so that limits building around it for a built in look. I really would like to have a mantel for decorations. I was thinking of a wood shelf above and new updated tile around it but can you buy new frames to get rid of the rounded offwhite faceplate?

We have never used a wood burning fireplace since my son has lung conditions so it probably wouldn’t be used if we didn’t replace it. Even replacing it with a new wood burning, we wouldn’t use it. But It needs some updating no matter what. Any ideas would be appreciated.
 
I think these are Vermont Castings 1280 Winterwarm large fireplace systems, but inspection is needed to determine if they are installed in an existing heatform fireplace or in the VC fireplace cabinet, model 1283. Do they have metal chimneys coming out of the roof or a boxed chase on the exterior of the house? The fireplace with the green tile is a very clean and nice installation. The white surround on the other was an option. The only source for matching the black one would be to locate a used one for parts. They show up every once in a while on eBay and craigslist, but are not that common. The fireplace could be replaced with a modern zero clearance fireplace, but it will be costly. Regardless, one must honor the mantel clearance requirements for the insert. If the chase was constructed per the manual then there may be a horizontal framing stud 61" above the floor.
 
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Thank you so much for the great information! I attached pictures of the chimney. Does this give you enough info to see that it was installed according to manufacture’s directions?

I would love to put a mantel above it 61” off the floor and retile. But you cannot build around it to make it look like it doesn’t stick out? Maybe just new tile and a live edge mantel might be enough to make it better.
 

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Yes, it looks like they are chased fireplaces, so it looks like these are the ZC versions of the VC Winterwarm large in the #1283 energy cabinets. Did the manuals for these units come with the house?
 
Yes, it looks like they are chased fireplaces, so it looks like these are the ZC versions of the VC Winterwarm large in the #1283 energy cabinets. Did the manuals for these units come with the house?
I’m not sure yet. We don’t close on the house just yet. I’m just trying to determine what needs to be done to make them better as we will need to replace the carpet with more dog friendly floors :) but I felt the tile around the fireplace should be addressed first since we will be putting new floors down.
 
After researching the Vermont Castings Winter Warm and seeing other people’s pictures, they don’t seem to have those two vents I have on the wall above the fireplace. Do I have to have those vents? I don’t like the looks of them.
 
After researching the Vermont Castings Winter Warm and seeing other people’s pictures, they don’t seem to have those two vents I have on the wall above the fireplace. Do I have to have those vents? I don’t like the looks of them.
There really is no way for us to know. You will need to have a chimney pro look at it
 
After researching the Vermont Castings Winter Warm and seeing other people’s pictures, they don’t seem to have those two vents I have on the wall above the fireplace. Do I have to have those vents? I don’t like the looks of them.
That was an option for the energy cabinet installation which was not common. The vents should be ducted off of the top of the insert in the cabinet.
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If you end up getting the place, I have the manual.