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Old 01-29-2011, 12:19 PM   #1
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Installing a fireplace insert in older home.


Fireplace insert – Should I buy a vent free or vented?
The fireplace insert I have now is about 20 years old. Originally it was set up for gas. The chimney is not brick. About 10 years ago I began burning wood. I didn’t have any problems and the smoke vented up the stainless steel vertical pipe okay. A few weeks ago I noticed that the mortar boards at the back of the insert were cracked. I tried to fill in the cracks with mortar cement but the cracks reappeared. I would like to replace the fireplace insert. I was looking at Heatilator wood burning fireplaces. If I have my local fireplace expert install one do I have to completely remove the old insert? Do the installers need to replace the vertical vent pipe from floor to roof? Can I burn wood in a vent-free fireplace insert? What is the advantage in installing a blower? Any local codes I should be aware of? I live in Georgia. Please help. Thank you.

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Old 01-30-2011, 07:36 AM   #2
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Installing a fireplace insert in older home.


Too many questions............this is a DIY forum, so with that in mind..... Fisrt check local codes regarding fireplaces and inserts. What was once Ok may not be now.
Heatilator makes quality products that you can trust. The chimney pipe system may not be compatible with the new insert.
If you have a manifold around the insert for circulating air, a blower improves efficiency.
Although unvented gas ubnits are available, I would always recommend a vented unit. Even if the burner is working perfectly, the combustion process still produces CO2.

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Old 01-30-2011, 07:55 AM   #3
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Installing a fireplace insert in older home.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Fixitgeorge View Post

Fireplace insert – Should I buy a vent free or vented?
I don't think that I have ever seen a vent free wood burner, corn maybe, not wood.

The fireplace insert I have now is about 20 years old. Originally it was set up for gas.
Is there something wrong with this?

The chimney is not brick.

About 10 years ago I began burning wood. I didn’t have any problems and the smoke vented up the stainless steel vertical pipe okay.
This is no problem if the vent you are referring to is "Type A", that would be stainless steel inside and out.

A few weeks ago I noticed that the mortar boards at the back of the insert were cracked. I tried to fill in the cracks with mortar cement but the cracks reappeared.
Not sure what you are getting at here, if the chimney is not brick, where is the "mortar boards" Pics may help!

I would like to replace the fireplace insert.

I was looking at Heatilator wood burning fireplaces.

If I have my local fireplace expert install one do I have to completely remove the old insert?
Usually the more you DIY, the less expensive the job is. You would have to check with the design of the insert to see what pre-installation requirements are.

Do the installers need to replace the vertical vent pipe from floor to roof?
No, as long it is the right diameter and of the right type, and is in good enough condition.

Can I burn wood in a vent-free fireplace insert?
Have never seen one that could do it vent free.

What is the advantage in installing a blower?
The fan will circulate the heat generated by the insert, I believe this is the whole idea of having an insert.

Any local codes I should be aware of? I live in Georgia.
You would have to call your local building department for this information.

Please help. Thank you.
Good luck with the insert, they really are a great source of heat in the winter.

Mark
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Old 01-30-2011, 10:08 AM   #4
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Installing a fireplace insert in older home.


The problem you are having with the mortar boards is because you should not be burning wood in a gas insert unit.
I'm surprised you didn't burn the house down to the ground.
Call in a professional to do whatever work you're planning.
Keep the instruction book handy.
Ron
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Old 02-02-2011, 11:09 AM   #5
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Installing a fireplace insert in older home.


go to www.hearth.com - you'll find the info you need
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