What is a built in metal firebox in a masonry fireplace called?

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johnray13

New Member
Dec 8, 2010
16
Northern Virginia
And who still sells them?

My dad had a masonry (brick) fireplace added to his house in the early 80's. It was a masonry fireplace with a metal firebox that drew outside air for combustion and had a fan fed air jacket around the firebox that blew the hot air out of a vent over the lintel. Mom calls it a Heatilator but I cannot find one anywhere on the internet. I am considering having a masonry fireplace added to my house and want the same type of set up.

It seemed to the the best of both worlds. It cranked out the heat while still having the ambiance of a traditional fire. Can anyone get me in the right direction?

Thanks,
First time poster,
John
 

certified106

Minister of Fire
Oct 22, 2010
1,472
Athens, Ohio
Is this what you are talking about?

http://heatilator.com/products/fireplaces/woodfireplaces.asp

If I was going to go as far as buiding a hearth I would put in a woodstove insert way before I put one of these in.
A secondary combustion EPA woodstove also gives quite the light show while giving alot more effeciency.
These are just my opinions and you should look around this site a bit you might be suprised by todays woodstoves.
 

johnray13

New Member
Dec 8, 2010
16
Northern Virginia
No, I also saw those and they are not the same. Essentially is was a traditional brick fireplace with one difference. The firebox was a heavy metal insert (instead of the standard refractory brick). The fireplace and chimney were built around the metal firebox. It had two intake grills on the sides with internal fans. The air was forced through and around the metal firebox and out another vent over the lintel. The air coming out of the top vent was extremely hot.

My dads is still in great shape 30 years later.

John
 

Hogwildz

Minister of Fire
Yeap, sounds like Heatform to me. I have one here with a Summit insert in it.
I was told by the folks in this area Heatilator, but found its a Heatform.
 

johnray13

New Member
Dec 8, 2010
16
Northern Virginia
DAKSY said:
https://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/wiki/Heatform/
Yes! That's it. I did a quick google search and not many hits came back. Do they still use this type of firebox? My dads works so well and he hasn't had any problems with it in thirty years of use. I just stopped over his place and took a couple pictures. I would love to have one of these. My mason will be out Sunday to start talking ideas.
 

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jtp10181

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
3,734
Madison, WI
They are useless. Its an open fireplace. Imagine all the CFM's of air being sucked up the flue. Now how is that air going to be replaced in your house? It will leak in anywhee it can, windows, doors, etc...

If you want to add on a built in wood fireplace you should get something like this: http://www.quadrafire.com/en/Products/7100-Wood-Fireplace.aspx

Overall the cost cannot be much more, or even less. When you consider the labor and materials saved by NOT building a full masonry flue and chimney.
 

johnray13

New Member
Dec 8, 2010
16
Northern Virginia
Actually, this is more of what I have in mind. The Heatilator firebox would be a plus.
 

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jtp10181

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
3,734
Madison, WI
Might as well just cut a 4' x 4' hole in the side of your house and put a fire pit right outside. It would have about the same effect.

If you want to just burn occasionally, and for enjoyment only, that is the only way I would suggest an open fireplace.
 

johnray13

New Member
Dec 8, 2010
16
Northern Virginia
Do they still make the metal firebox inserts?

I know what I am considering in not the most efficient option available, but Dad's really puts out a lot of heat. I know I could do better but I am considering aesthetics as well. IF they are still made, I wanted to add it to the consideration list.

Thanks, John
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,306
South Puget Sound, WA
It puts out the heat, then sucks it up the chimney as it cools down. This equals a lot of wood consumed and a lot of pollution. But if you do put in a fireplace, at least put in in the interior of the house and not on an exterior wall.
 

jtp10181

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2007
3,734
Madison, WI
johnray13 said:
Do they still make the metal firebox inserts?

I know what I am considering in not the most efficient option available, but Dad's really puts out a lot of heat. I know I could do better but I am considering aesthetics as well. IF they are still made, I wanted to add it to the consideration list.

Thanks, John
I am not aware of anyone that still makes them. There is more interest in removing them nowadays.

Something like this might be your best bet. Its an open style fireplace with built in heat circulating tubes like the heatform units had.

http://www.heatilator.com/products/fireplaces/woodFireplaceDetail.asp?f=MLSC
 
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