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Old 10-17-2012, 11:06 PM   #1
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


In my kitchen fireplace I was going to install a fireplace insert to heat the upstairs of our ranch house. I did notice in that there are two grills on both sides of the brick fireplace and the inside of the firebox is metal. I flipped a switch beside fireplace and both blowers started working. There are a row of solider bricks where the air was coming out from. I did some research and found this is a heatilators firebox. This fireplace is in an addition that was added on in 1985. House built in 1973.

Would it be beneficial to burn wood in firebox with blower running or use a fireplace insert? The chimney has a clay liner and is clean. I did install new flue cap when on roof repairing wash cap. The damper works properly and needed some liquid wrench since it has not been opened for so long. I worked the damper several times and it now opens with ease.

I did notice that there was a gap between the metal firebox and brick that was at least an inch. I have some mortar type S left over from the wash cap repair. Could I use that to fill in the gap or is the gap needed for the blower to work properly?

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:13 PM   #2
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


# Get a sweep to come look the whole thing over.
An insert with a blower will put out far more real heat and use at lest 75% less wood then an open fireplace.

Very surprized someone chose to have a fireplace in a kitchen.
It's going to be super hot in that room already then add the heat of the oven it may be unbearable.

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Old 10-17-2012, 11:21 PM   #3
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
# Get a sweep to come look the whole thing over.
An insert with a blower will put out far more real heat and use at lest 75% less wood then an open fireplace.

Very surprized someone chose to have a fireplace in a kitchen.
It's going to be super hot in that room already then add the heat of the oven it may be unbearable.
Thanks. The kitchen is a open floor plan and fireplace is in den then kitchen is on other side of room. We have fireplace in the formal living room and basement also. Since the basement only has about 900 sq ft finished (other side garage) I want to efficiently heat upstairs which is about 1600 sq ft. Primary heat source is natural gas furance but wanting to offset heating cost. Have cord and half of wood already.
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Old 10-17-2012, 11:46 PM   #4
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


An open fireplace is by far the least effeant way to try and heat a home. All the heat goes up the chimmney. It also causes a negative pressure in the home drawing in cold air from outside for make up air to keep burning.
A cord and 1/2 is not a whole lot of wood if your trying to use it for heat.
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Old 10-18-2012, 11:22 AM   #5
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


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Originally Posted by marriedmanw View Post
In my kitchen fireplace I was going to install a fireplace insert to heat the upstairs of our ranch house. I did notice in that there are two grills on both sides of the brick fireplace and the inside of the firebox is metal. I flipped a switch beside fireplace and both blowers started working. There are a row of solider bricks where the air was coming out from. I did some research and found this is a heatilators firebox. This fireplace is in an addition that was added on in 1985. House built in 1973.

Would it be beneficial to burn wood in firebox with blower running or use a fireplace insert? The chimney has a clay liner and is clean. I did install new flue cap when on roof repairing wash cap. The damper works properly and needed some liquid wrench since it has not been opened for so long. I worked the damper several times and it now opens with ease.

I did notice that there was a gap between the metal firebox and brick that was at least an inch. I have some mortar type S left over from the wash cap repair. Could I use that to fill in the gap or is the gap needed for the blower to work properly?

"Would it be beneficial to burn wood in firebox with blower running or use a fireplace insert? "

The heatilator is an insert!!
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Old 10-18-2012, 04:44 PM   #6
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


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Originally Posted by joecaption View Post
An open fireplace is by far the least effeant way to try and heat a home.

I take it you mean "efficient", but that doesn't really make sense either, as the fuel to make the heat would be free, so I'm not sure how much more efficient you can get than that......

All the heat goes up the chimmney.

No it doesn't..........

It also causes a negative pressure in the home drawing in cold air from outside for make up air to keep burning.

It doesn't have to........

A cord and 1/2 is not a whole lot of wood if your trying to use it for heat.
It could easily save the HO a few hundred dollars in fuel costs though.........


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Originally Posted by Canarywood1 View Post
The heatilator is an insert!!

Technically they're considered "masonry inserts", but completely different from the FP insert that the OP is considering.

To the OP, you'll have to consider how much a new efficient insert is going to cost, along with labor to install it and the cost of a newly installed liner. Odds are, it's going to take years to make up any cost savings of a new insert, but that really depends on how warm you want the space, and how many BTU's it takes to make that much heat.

Some here will try to tell you that you're somehow magically cooling your house by running an open face FP, yet you're somehow using less fuel and the house is warmer. Have the FP inspected by a certified chimney sweep, try it out, and see what kind of effect it has on the heat in the house.
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Old 10-19-2012, 12:11 AM   #7
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


To the OP, you'll have to consider how much a new efficient insert is going to cost, along with labor to install it and the cost of a newly installed liner. Odds are, it's going to take years to make up any cost savings of a new insert, but that really depends on how warm you want the space, and how many BTU's it takes to make that much heat.

The fireplace insert is free since my uncle wants it gone from his basement after having the basement remodeled. The insert has been rarely used, and is in good shape. It has all the componets to install. I'm just debating whether it would be to heavy for the brick hearth. It says "The Mountaineer" across the front of the insert door.

I took some pictures of the firebox to show the gap between the brick and metal firebox. I do not believe the gap in for the blowers and should be mortared in.
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator-100_2285.jpg   Fireplace insert vs heatilator-100_2289.jpg   Fireplace insert vs heatilator-100_2287.jpg  
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Old 10-22-2012, 11:36 PM   #8
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Fireplace insert vs heatilator


Well, I used mortar and sealed the gap between the brick vaneer and the metal firebox. I did not want smoke to go between wall. I opened the flue then installed our free insert. I did use a silicone and non-faced insulation to make an air tight seal with the insert back board. I'm eager to see how well it heats house.

I cut down several oak trees last year and split on my family property, so each week I go and get a load. I have about 3 cords on the land to bring to the house.

I appreciate all the comments that was offered.
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