wood stove vs insert

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Old 02-18-11, 09:58 PM
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wood stove vs insert

I had a fireplace with a very old heatilator that was unusable and unrepairable due to rust. A contractor removed the heatilator for me. Now I'm trying to choose between getting a freestanding wood stove that would sit inside the firebox or a wood burning insert.
Any suggestions?
 
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Old 02-19-11, 12:53 AM
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I lived in AK for a long time. I had Fire places and Wood stoves.
I can tell you from experience, if you really need heat, get a gas or propane recirculating heater.

If you want a Trash burner or an Ambience Fire, the insert is good. Make sure your Insert takes its air from the back of the original Fire place. The Ash Dump is good for that.
If you try to operate a fire place in an air tight Cabin you'll just have a smokey mess.

For absolute efficient wood heat, get an Air tight wood stove with a Fan, and an automatic air dampener, and takes its air from beneath floor.

Remember these two very important items.
Keep your stove pipe at least two inches from any combustible material. Like Rafters etc.

I used Triple wall over the Fireplace. Good safe and also will not accumulate so much Creosote.
I used Double wall over the Wood Stove. The brand I had was "Earth Stove" and was still working well after 17 years in my Trailer.

The Stove and Fireplace will heat the room, but will not heat anything below the floor.
So your pipes might freeze while your toasting your toes!

I hope you know about burning the Creosote out of your chimney!

Another plus is: Make sure your chimney top is well above the Rooftop with a good well fastened and breathable Chimney Cap.

If the effluent from the Chimney lands on the roof, it will ruin a Composition roof, and make a tin roof rust out quickly.
 
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Old 02-19-11, 08:08 AM
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Thanks for the reply and so much information! I've lived in my house 15 years and never been able to use the fireplace. During that time I've had power outages at least 12 of those winters. Some were just half a day but in 2009 it was a week. I want to be able to get some heat with wood burning when there's not power available. (Gas or propane isn't practical for my setup) A mason said a wood stove set inside the firebox wouldn't put much heat into the room but I don't know if an insert would do better. I would have fans with either system but obviously they won't help if the power is out.
 
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Old 02-19-11, 08:52 AM
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I lived in Seattle from 46 to 72. Then I went to AK. I graduated Franklin Hi in 57. What part of Seattle are you in?

A wood stove is cumbersome because it uses floor space. And the Wood comes inside the house with it's own Wildlife.
The Stoves that advertise a Fan system which allow you to put them within an inch of a combustible wall are dangerous when the power goes out and the Fan wont work.
There just aint no good compromise

A buddy up in NE Washington had a big wood furnace in the Basement. He'd throw a half a pickup load of wood in that thing at a time and it'd burn for 20 hours and keep the house so warm you needed to open a window. That was the Best thing I ever saw.
In Alaska (matanuska Valley) the Green houses were started that way in the early spring.
Wood furnace in the basement. Kept going for three months before the plants were set out.

That's a heckuva lot of wood to haul.


A little pot bellied round stove in the middle of the room is pretty good. I grew up in a Rock house on a farm in southern MO with one of those. We burned everything in that little thing. Even dried Road Apples.
The beauty of that little stove was being able to block off the pipe and take the stove outside for the summer.
It was so small and not air tight, that it needed to be tended several times a night though.
With an AirTight stove you can load it up, set the dampener on low, and sleep all night in warmth and still have a good bed of coals in the morning.

I did that for years. As long as you remember to burn out the Creosote pretty often!
 
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Old 02-19-11, 09:05 AM
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Smile Afterthoughts on Wood stoves.

To tend my wood stoves I had quite a bit of equipment and spent a lot of time on the 'wood stove' project.

I had a 1 1/2 Ton Truck. Three Chain saws. Splitting maul's and wished for a Hydraulic splitter every day of my life.
On the side of the stove I had a bit Tin square plate to hold the wood I brought inside.
I'd go to the woods and cut the wood allowed to me and steal as much as I could get away with.
At the site I'd cut the wood to fit the truck etc. It was a chore to cut it small enough to throw it into the truck. Jump up into the Truck and stack all that, then back to the ground and pitch some more up into the truck and repeat till the truck would groan!
Then the slow ride home.
Throw the wood out on the ground and re-stack it so the air could get through the stack and dry the wood.
Then pack it into the house....then pack it into the stove......then pack the ashes back out....
In the end, to burn a ton of wood, you carry that same ton six times.

However, there is no heat as comfortable as good even Wood stove dry air heat!
 
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Old 02-19-11, 09:23 AM
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Small world. I live just south of Seattle. And have a friend whose mom lived in the Matanuska Valley.. in Palmer. She was a kid and her family was one of the pioneers who did the homesteading.. maybe in the early 40's?

Thanks for the tip about the systems where the fan is needed. I hadn't thought of that. I'll check that the ones I'm looking at only use the fan to supplement getting the heat into the room... not for safety
 
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Old 02-19-11, 09:38 AM
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Red face

A ceiling fan is better to circulate the warm air about the house than a fan down on the stove. A lot quieter too.

I had all those little towns south of Seattle down to the Pierce County line when i worked out of Seattle. It's probably all built up by now though.
 
 

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