ZC tips/hints/questions

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Aug 3, 2015
Hey everyone. I bought my first home about a year ago that has a prefab ZC fireplace, model is Superior SP38A, and although its an older model (I think it may of been installed when the house was built which was 1987) I was surprisingly happy and excited to see how well it actually performed. I grew up in an old farmhouse which we rarely used the old baseboard heaters, instead we used all wood heat from a Vermont Castings wood stove to heat the house so I'm familiar with wood burning and how much better it is and I prefer it by far. I used my ZC fireplace on really cold days (high temp 25 or below and lows in the teens and single digits, I live in a suburb of Baltimore MD.) The ZC fireplace has cast iron doors which are meant to be closed with the blower running for I guess you could say max efficiency, it takes about 5 hours to burn 5 good, well seasoned pieces of wood, starting off with 2-3 and then adding another 90 min later, and another 90 min or so after that and it keeps the room toasty and upstairs is comfortable and I let it burn out before bed. What I want to know is if there are any tips from you all (who I consider experts) on how to get the most out of this ZC fireplace. Any tips, hints, and suggestions are appreciated from all your experiences on anything I might want to do differently or add to maximize the use out of it. I put the link to the fireplace manual below if anyone wants to review to get a better idea. Thanks.



Minister of Fire
Nov 30, 2014
Wilmington NY
get good dry seasoned wood, best advice i can offer you, most complaints on here about stoves not heating well come from trying to burn wood that isn't dry, get yourself a moisture meter (about 20$ at home depot) split a piece and take a reading from the middle of it, if it is more than 20% its not seasoned.


Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
South Puget Sound, WA
Older ZC fireplaces may not be built for 24/7 burning. The manual notes that the SP38A is for supplemental heating only. If the goal is 24/7 heating with wood then consider putting a rear-vent freestanding stove in front of the fireplace connected to a liner run up the ZC chimney.
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