Picking a Wood Burning Fireplace

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DJW84

New Member
Jul 22, 2021
10
New York
Hello all i am new to the website, and to burning wood for that matter. My wife and I are planning to install a wood burning fireplace in our home but the amount of options to choose from is a bit overwhelming. Some information with regards to the install. I plan to run a forced air kit to move heat to the basement ( directly below) and to the other side of the house (small 1200 sqf ranch) to help offset heating costs. Primary source of heat is electric heat pumps. Finding a unit that meets the EPA standard for the tax credit has been difficult. If anyone has recommendations it would be greatly appreciated. However this project is not contingent on the unit meeting that standard. 2 units we have been looking at are the Ambience Elegance, and Supreme Astra. I haven't come across any conversations with these units and wondering if there's a reason for that. Are these quality Fireplaces? good Manufacturers? Any and all information would be greatly appreciated.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,569
Eastern Long Island NY
I hope someone with more knowledge will chime in on the fireplaces. However, I can say that a forced air system to move heat down is not likely to be very efficient. I'm also not sure these fireplaces create enough heat to actually move some around?

There are instead folks (like me) who heat their home from the basement (with a higher output freestanding stove). Heat wants to rise.
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,398
Colorado
Last edited:

DJW84

New Member
Jul 22, 2021
10
New York
The ambience elegance has an optional factory forced air blower that says it can push the heated air up to 25 feet. I imagine that’s on the far end but my goal would be to run a flexible duct to the basement directly below. And pushing this heated air down with a fan.
More important then that though is the quality of the 2 units that Clancy linked (thank you for that). Was hoping someone should have some first hand knowledge of how these units hold up over time.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
That may work ok if the basement walls are insulated. If not, it becomes more dubious. Some folks have pulled this off using an upstairs ZC fireplace blower with a short duct run from the fireplace.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,405
NE Ohio
I'm saying this won't work out too well...if there are only ducts to the basement, you are creating a heat trap if the power goes off...I know that's not a legal install with a forced air wood fired furnace...and if there will also be ducts to upstairs, then the heat will not want to go downstairs, unless maybe if you install a power closed/spring open damper in the upstairs ducts so that the heat can gravity flow up/out in the event of power failure.
Also, flex duct is not allowed with a solid fuel fired heater...max temp is too low...plus it has very poor flow characteristics. You could use aluminum flex duct however...would need to add the insulation sleeve to it though...
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
Good cautions. I am not sure about the Ambience Astra, but the Elegance has a primary hot air vent above the door that is independent of the hot air kit, which is connected to a separate take-off. In the event of a power failure, the fireplace will still convect out in the front which addresses the concern about heat trapping. The ducting for the hot air takeoff has specific qualifications for clearance and temperature rating (min 210º). Hosecraft TD 10 flex duct is rated to 1000º.
 

DJW84

New Member
Jul 22, 2021
10
New York
Good cautions. I am not sure about the Ambience Astra, but the Elegance has a primary hot air vent above the door that is independent of the hot air kit, which is connected to a separate take-off. In the event of a power failure, the fireplace will still convect out in the front which addresses the concern about heat trapping. The ducting for the hot air takeoff has specific qualifications for clearance and temperature rating (min 210º). Hosecraft TD 10 flex duct is rated to 1000º.
So just a matter of making sure the proper flex duct is used to handle the heat?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
89,638
South Puget Sound, WA
So just a matter of making sure the proper flex duct is used to handle the heat?
Yes, follow the installation requirements in the manual. If the chase is generous and space is not too tight, then rigid duct pieces with an insulation wrap can also be used.
 

DJW84

New Member
Jul 22, 2021
10
New York
Yes, follow the installation requirements in the manual. If the chase is generous and space is not too tight, then rigid duct pieces with an insulation wrap can also be used.
I am
Planning to build the chase into the garage, so have as much space as I need. I am also going to have a professional install the fireplace. I feel that part should be handled by an experienced professional. After constantly looking at these ZC fireplaces I feel like the rsf 3600 is the unit that makes most sense. I think you recommended this company so thank you for that. Provides many options for moving heat around to other parts of the house which I like. It also appears to quality for the tax credit being 79% efficient.