Wood burning insert recommendations not to be used for heat generation

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JCheat34

New Member
Nov 16, 2021
1
Richmond, VA
A recent inspection of my fireplace and chimney revealed that the original builders did not properly tile the chimney, and that an 11 inch sleeve would likely not fit inside the chimney as currently constructed. As a result, we are looking into wood burning inserts. That said, I have no desire to use it for heat generation. The room the fireplace is in is not all that large, and we don't have any issues heating our home with our heat pump. Are there any inserts out there without a blower, or that can be used with the blower off?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,319
South Puget Sound, WA
What are the fireplace dimensions top and bottom, front and rear, including L, W and D?

Inserts can be run without the blower being on.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,713
SE North Carolina
Find one that comes with a fire screen that allows you to burn with the door open.
 

thehiggy

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
9
New York
Does anyone know of an insert that allows you to use with door open?
All my research leads to either "the manufacturer's guide says explicitly not to" or models that they used to make but no longer can sell in the US due to regulations.
 

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
705
Wildwood MO
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TradEddie

Minister of Fire
Jan 24, 2012
947
SE PA
Why do you want a fire that doesn't heat? Ambiance? A wood burning insert is just about the most expensive possible way to achieve that. Even for ambiance, you'll need to keep a supply of well-seasoned wood on hand, perhaps more so, because unseasoned wood will smoke up the glass. Heat pumps are nice, but if you have a supply of firewood, free heat is better.

TE
 

thehiggy

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
9
New York
Why do you want a fire that doesn't heat? Ambiance? A wood burning insert is just about the most expensive possible way to achieve that. Even for ambiance, you'll need to keep a supply of well-seasoned wood on hand, perhaps more so, because unseasoned wood will smoke up the glass. Heat pumps are nice, but if you have a supply of firewood, free heat is better.

TE
It's not that I don't want one that heats, it's that the heating efficiency isn't the driving factor for me (I'm in a municipality on hydroelectric that causes my electric heating to be beyond dirt cheap). Many times I've asked about open wood burning fireplaces and people immediately respond to tell me that they are heat negative or how much more efficient wood stoves are for heating (which I always appreciate information, but just trying to head off those responses).
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
91,319
South Puget Sound, WA
Check out non-cat inserts that have a screen option. That will provide you with the best of both worlds. If the power goes out, keep the insert door closed.
 
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thehiggy

New Member
Nov 15, 2021
9
New York
Check out non-cat inserts that have a screen option. That will provide you with the best of both worlds. If the power goes out, keep the insert door closed.
I think some of the only ones I've found with the screen / open door option are some Osburns - any one know on any others?
The only way I've been trying to differentiate is if a screen is listed as an accessory on the website, or if the owner's manual doesn't expressly state to never operate with door open.
Also, will the only ones I find with the open door option be non-catalytic? Not as familiar with the actual burning mechanisms, but I guess that might make sense.