Skip to comments.Is a wood stove insert warmer than a Fireplace, even without the fan?
Posted on 11/25/2009 9:12:49 PM PST by Sun
Is a wood stove insert warmer than a regular fireplace, even without the fan (if there's a power outage)?
yes, My folks had one and it would drive you out of the room if you did not modulate the air intake properly.
it butns more eficciently, doesnt suck as much air up the chimney and all that cast iron radiates heat into the room.
I’m looking into units that burn spent brass, as there will be an expanding market for that.....
So even if the electricity goes out, the house is very warm, even without the fan?
We don’t have either 1 but hubby and I have been around them and wood burning stoves definitely generate more heat then fireplaces.
Somebody told me that the inserts aren’t so warm without a fan, because only the front part is exposed. Have you been around the wood burning INSERTS (without the fan)?
Yes, about 80% of the heat goes up the flue without an insert.
We have one with a fan. It's an older model that uses inside air and does not have a secondary combustion chamber or catalytic converter. WE LOVE IT! Stoke it up and you have to open the windows and sit outside. In the event of a power outage, it has a shelf that you can place pots on for cooking. We keep a cast iron dutch oven on it full of water to act as a humidifier. The water will quickly come to a boil.
The modern inserts are even more efficient! We are thinking about putting a wood burning stove in the basement and if we do, it will be a free standing modern one.
Modern inserts and free standing stoves are very efficient and I would encourage you to spend the money on a modern one. The units with catalytic converters are a little more efficient that those with secondary combustion chambers but the catalytic converters require more maintenance. Consider a modern unit having a secondary combustion chamber that is feed with outside air.
Yes, if the inserti is tight, you should have a minimum of draft created and your home will be considerably warmer.
I live in central Maryland and we use a woodstove for about 85% of our heat. It’s a bit of work; splitting wood and maintaining heat around the clock.
I’d do it now. I have actually heard ~ and I don’t know that this is really true ~ that the stoves may be required to have a catalytic converter or some such nonsense to measure the amount of carbon that you are creating.
Essentially, even if you collect your own firewood, you may be taxed on it. I remember originally suggesting such a scenario as a joke and someone told me that it would be coming down the line.
Anyway, get the stove! You’ll love it and you’ll be pissing off greenies and won’t be sending your money to the Arabs.
It’s win win win!
This is the woodstove we have been using for over 20 years.
It is the Coalbrookdale "Darby" model. It is heavy cast iron and rates 2200 btu of heat. It has a removable ashtray so you never have to let the fire go out, and a flip-open cooktop, which can come in handy for making soup, coffee, toast, and other food in case of a long blackout where you don't necessarily want to fire up the backyard grill. It's got the glass doors so you can see the flames, and it also comes with a handy coal conversion kit (although we have never used it since we're in the middle of the woods and free fuel is plentiful).
Great stove, I highly recommend it.
Yes. You get the radiant heat and the insert is not sucking warm air out of your house like a fireplace does. That’ll do to keep YOU from freezing if you stay in the room that contains the insert. But if its cold and the outage lasts a while and your house is decent sized, your pipes that are not near the radiant heat can freeze and you have a mess when it warms up. The fan puts a LOT more heat into the house than just the radiant heat.
So try buying a marine battery or two and keep them charged. That’ll run the insert fan for a few hours per battery (on my insert at least). For longer blackouts, get a device to hook onto your car battery and convert the DC to household electricity and an extension cord (keep your gas tanks fairly full). That lets you run your fan off of gasoline power even when the power is out and your batterys have gone. If you are judicious, you can make a tank last a few days. (And make sure you have windup electrical light. It is almost impossible to get the car and battery stuff hooked up without light. Power always seems to fail at night. Flashlight batteries always seem to fail at the wrong time and then you are searching for batteries in the dark.)
Of course, recharge the battery when the power comes back on.
“Yes, about 80% of the heat goes up the flue without an insert.”
my question is....with a wood stove downstairs, can the upstairs fireplace (currently with a gas fireplace that works poorly) also have a wood insert?....does two fireplaces mean two chimneys?
Depends on the scale of your house and how you regulate air currents. Our stove keeps what I call “the core”of our home warm. It’s a small Cape Cod, but we have doors on non-essential rooms and to our upstairs.
We lost power for 3 days in an ice storm a couple years back and we stuck it out and kept pretty cozy. Though we did have to sleep in the living room. So, yes if you lose power you stay warm. Our 2 bathrooms are included in “the core” and we did not have an issue with water freezing during the lenght of our 3 day stay with nighttime temps in the 20s outside.
Don’t know, I’ve been living here on Maui for 40 years. No need for heat in our houses.
“In the event of a power outage, it has a shelf that you can place pots on for cooking. We keep a cast iron dutch oven on it full of water to act as a humidifier. The water will quickly come to a boil.”
That must come in handy, and you could even put a can of soup to heat on the shelf.
“wont be sending your money to the Arabs.”
I’m sick of giving money to people who don’t like us.
Your stove is beautiful. I didn’t know they had stoves where you can see the fire 20 years ago.
That’s a beauty Lancey!
mine burns old stock certificates
We had an insert made for our fireplace when I was a kid. It actually projected out of the firebox onto the hearth somewhat. No fan. Kept us toasty warm.
Don’t forget to get an estimate on the lining of your chimney. his may be required. Ours had to be insulated.
It cost us about 2k on top of the stove, which we purchased for $600 used. It paid for itself a long time ago.
“So try buying a marine battery or two and keep them charged.”
We’ve had power outages for up to three days in the dead of winter, and our pipes never freeze. Maybe because my husband insulated the pipes.
Grandpa used to trickle a bit of water from one of the faucets, and that worked for him.
Yes. We put one in our downstairs fireplace over a year ago. Has a fan on it but when the power goes out we sure are happy to have it.
Absolutely- if you have an open fireplace it sucks air up and out of the room
I had a huge fireplace and it was barely effective at heating the one room
Then I added an insert and I used a LOT less wood, and the heat would drive you out of the room
I had to put fans to blow the heat around and it heated almost my whole house
“my question is....with a wood stove downstairs, can the upstairs fireplace (currently with a gas fireplace that works poorly) also have a wood insert?....does two fireplaces mean two chimneys?”
Maybe somebody here can answer your question, cherry.
“Our 2 bathrooms are included in the core and we did not have an issue with water freezing during the lenght of our 3 day stay with nighttime temps in the 20s outside.”
That’s good enough for me. :)
“We had an insert made for our fireplace when I was a kid. It actually projected out of the firebox onto the hearth somewhat. No fan. Kept us toasty warm.”
So the modern ones would certainly keep us warm.
We lived in the DFW area for 15 years before moving to SW Ohio ... granted not subzero weather, but a good constant 20’s at night. We had a a conventional mortar fireplace... and put an “airtight” insert in it. It did have a blower but we seldom used it. To hot with it in that room.
During the late after noon, early eve ... I wold open the intakes to burn hotter ... that minmizes creostoe build up, but at night I would shut the air off almost completely and 4 good sized logs would last all night.
2200 square feet on one floor .. we used a small box fan in the hallway to aid circular air flow through the house and very seldom did the furnace ever need to assist.
Big downside ... as in insert in an existing fireplace, there is no room for an ashbox under the firebox. Every two or three days I would let the clinker bed die down to almost nothing, shovel the ash into a metal ash can (metal is important ... hot hot clinkers) and haul them out. Messy job
A free standing unit is by far more efficient and easier to maintain. Most have an ash bin/drawer
I have a Soapstone airtight stove in my 32 x 28 wood shop in SW Ohio, and I stay nice and cozy with wood heat alone. It is 10x more efficient than the fireplace insert, and easier as well. Downside in a woodshop ... finishing unless water based is volatile. that and dust particulate. lol Was a good way to make the case for a complete dust system.
Actually, there's enough space on it to place several pots and pans simultaneously.
We here on FR tend to be averse to government regulations but I believe the EPA mandates on wood burning inserts/stoves were a good thing.
Here is a list of EPA certified wood stoves/inserts along with regional contact info for the manufacturers. Notice the efficiencies! 2009 list of EPA certified woodburning inserts/stoves
Be sure and check to see what government energy efficiency assistance programs may apply in your area. Also, make sure the insert is properly sized for the fireplace and that air can't flow around the insert and up the chimney. As part of this project, you may want to go ahead and instal an insulated stainless steel chimney flue.
I guess it all depends on the size of the fireplace. Our insert has an ashbox. Our insert also sticks out 14 inches from the wall and we can cook on the top of it.
We actually installed it almost 23 years ago, and I have a friend who got one in the early '80s.
This model has been around for awhile.
It uses special stove glass. I once had to replace the pane on one side (got cracked about 15 years ago by accidentally getting hit with a metal bar we use for stirring the coals) and when I replaced the pane I made the mistake of over-tightening the holding screws. First fire, the glass cracked because it couldn't expand. I didn't make that mistake again.
I have a Quadra-Fire pellet stove which burns wood pellets, corn or a mix of the two, and is wired to my emergency generator which kicks on automatically @ power interrupt. 1000 gal propane tank buried in the back yard ought to keep the feet warm and the meat frozen for a few days. (:^0)
Maybe somebody here can answer your question, cherry.
Depends. Contact a local chimney sweep and have him come out to look at your home.
I had one for about 15 years. Works great and three logs will last all night if configured right. I got lazy and went gas.
Not only that, but I saw a MythBusters about using a open fireplace, and it actually makes the OTHER rooms colder by drawing the warmer air from in them into the fireplace.
“Dont know, Ive been living here on Maui for 40 years. No need for heat in our houses.”
I hear you on that Fish Hawk, as we in Kea’au on the Big Island have not needed to even close the windows in our house ever, although up the road in Volcano they do use fireplaces and wood stoves. Wood stoves and or Fireplace inserts are far superior to just plain Fireplaces......where as stated correctly earlier 80% of the heat goes up the chimney.
Before moving here, we lived in the High Sierra Nevada mountains where we had minus 42 degrees for three straight days in 1972. Our wood stove kept us warm and when the electricity went off the stove top was put to good use making soups, stews and other creations.
To Sun. No question about it...go wood stove insert for the fireplace, or look into the newest efficient kerosene stoves.
A free standing woodburning stove will emit more heat than a fireplace. But if it is an insert into a fireplace, then it isn’t going to emit any more heat without a fan. Is there a battery powered fan system that you can add to your insert wood stove.
At one point we considered a pellet stove, but they also require electricity. I am currently considering a propane gas stove with a very large propane tank.
Same over here. Up country like Makawao, Pukalani, and especially the Kula area, most homes up there have some sort of heat. I live in Kihei close to the ocean and no heaters needed any where around here. We got Whales here now, seen any over that way? The Humpbacks are here for the winter.
didn’t realize you lived in Hawaii....lucky you.....
Is a wood stove insert warmer than a regular fireplace, even without the fan
I have yet to turn on my furnace, my insert is going and the house all 2200 sq ft stays toasty
check out httP://www.buckstove.com I have the Model 81
While my neighbors average gas heating bills are about $400/mo I average @ $65/mo during the winter for cooking gas and our clothes dryer. My furnace is typically for 'back up' only. I do use the cold air return and fan from the furnace (which is in the same room as the woodburner) to circulate the heat from the woodburner throughout the house without the burners in the furnace kicking on.
I go through @ 3 cords of wood in the winter heating between Dec 1st and the end of February. I get the wood for free (sans the work we do to in cutting down the dead trees on our property and hauling it 350 miles home) from family in the Upper Penninsula.
If you go with a fireplace insert, you will need a stainless steel chimney insert, that'll run you anywhere from $300 - $600 depending on the height of your chimney. Assuming you're paying for wood, consider how much you'll use the insert to provide actual heat. The economics of having an insert and heating with wood works for me only because I get the wood for free.
BTW I prefer the heat from the woodburner, it goes through my arthritic bones, something the gas furnace can't do.
When we built our retirement home in ‘03 we had a masonary fireplace installed not knowing whether to use the firelplace, or to install gas or wood insert stove. We finally decided to go with a wood insert stove: Dutchwest Model DW2500 Series with fan.
We made a wise choice. It’s rated to heat 1500 sqft (we have 1468 sqft living space) at 9600 - 58,000 BTU (low end -high end of air intake setting). We also have a cathedral ceiling and fan which we reverse to circulate the air as it rises. Also, since we live in the woods, we “spec’d” an emergency generator hookup so when the power goes out we can still use the wood insert/fan to heat.
The cost in 2005 to install was $2400.00 ($600 Labor/$1800 Parts)
We have it enjoyed the stove immensely. It has become an attraction for friends and family during the holidays. They enjoy the warmth and seem to get fixated on the fire through the glass aspect... very soothing and no smoke!
I forgot to mention that we bought the stove on-line for $800 and had it delivered.
“..does two fireplaces mean two chimneys?”
Not if the fireplace upstairs is right over the one downstairs...then they would be sharing the same chimney. They would each have their own seperate flue liner “run” in that one chimney, though. Depending on the age of the house this set up of sharing the same chimney but seperate flue liners would have been done due to the building code...it’s safer, in other words. Enjoy.
I found this out the hard way when I purchased a home that the previous owner had built. He used the wood burner as his back up heat but certain code issues had not been addressed and I had to get rid of it before I could get homeowners insurance from USAA.
A couple of years later, I did install a zero clearance insert in the downstairs fireplace and have had a lot of nice service from it ever since.
It will give you heat even if you lose the fan due to a power outage but it won't give you as much heat as with the fan operating.
I posted this on another thread a while back, you might look into it as an alternative to a battery operated fan system should your power go out.
If I had a wood burner, I’d certainly consider using one of these as a backup to the blower fan.
Also, it cut the amount of wood he burns by about 50% if I recall correctly.
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