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llckll 12-22-2011 04:44 PM

wood burning fireplace

I just started using my wood burning fireplace. It doesn't seem to give off as much heat as I thought. Any suggestions? Do heat reflectors really work?

joecaption 12-22-2011 04:51 PM

Most wood burning fireplaces give off very little heat and tend to suck the air from outside rooms drawing in cold air and making them even colder because they need so much oxygen to keep burning.
An insert or wood burning stove will give off far more heat and use less then 1/2 the amount of wood for the same BTU's

llckll 12-22-2011 05:19 PM

Gas insert? Wood a wood burning stove fit in the fireplace? It will lose the romantic feeling I suppose.

joecaption 12-22-2011 05:43 PM

Some have glass windows on the front so you still get the look but the differance is there air tight and most have a blower so the heat can go into the room, not up the chimmney.

llckll 12-22-2011 05:43 PM

Can I put this in the fireplace? I know it'll stick out half way but will heat my living space nicely. I guess the only issue is when not in use, how will I close the fireplace doors.

Daniel Holzman 12-22-2011 05:45 PM

I have a Jotul wood burning fireplace insert, glass doors, airtight, efficient. Works quite well. Also not cheap, but you get what you pay for sometimes. I heat my house approximately 60 percent with wood (2000 sf house).

joecaption 12-22-2011 05:57 PM

A gas insert would give you the look and no dust, soot, smoke, no having to store wood, no bugs being brought into the house.
There's no reason a wood burning insert would need to stick out at all.

PoleCat 12-22-2011 05:58 PM

We used to have a hollow tube grate that was C shaped. Little squirrel cage blower hooked to a manifold and forced air in the bottom of the tubes and it came out on the top real hot. It could not be run for more than a half hour cause it would heat the whole house to over 80.

llckll 12-22-2011 06:01 PM

Leaning towards the wood stove insert next season.

llckll 12-22-2011 06:09 PM

in the meantime, might try the fireplace heat reflector.

Daniel Holzman 12-23-2011 08:19 AM

A fireplace heat reflector will add a little bit to the efficiency of a fireplace, not much. The reason an open fireplace is so poor from an efficiency standpoint is that there is no control on the amount of air entering the fireplace, so you end up with a large amount of excess air, which of course goes up the chimney and the heat is wasted. A fireplace reflector does nothing to correct the excess air problem. One of those curved steel tubes previously discussed helps a little because you extract a higher percentage of the heat from the fire, however it does not help the excess air problem, which is the largest cause of lost heat. The only way to control the air intake is to put doors on the fireplace, or install an insert. The insert has a higher efficiency rating than doors because it is tighter, and there is typically a blower to help extract more heat from the firebox.

llckll 12-23-2011 08:37 AM

Yes, I am planning to get a wood stove insert next season.

Blondesense 12-23-2011 11:02 AM


Originally Posted by llckll (Post 801054)
Yes, I am planning to get a wood stove insert next season.

Good choice!
We installed a wood burning insert into our old fireplace last March.
Before this, when not in use the area in front of the fireplace was always the coldest, draftiest spot in the house.
Just plugging the huge heat sucking hole in the wall that was the fireplace has dramatically cut our heating cost.

There are lots of choices out there. Start with measurements and some research about installation. Most manufacturers will have all this info online.
Last thing is to notify your insurance. It didn't affect our rates, but they will need to know.

Bud Cline 12-23-2011 11:06 AM

How much wood would a Woodchuck chuck if a Woodchuck could chuck wood?:)

llckll 12-23-2011 11:08 AM

As much wood as a woodchuck could chuck wood.

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