Evan Caffrey wrote:You could build a rocket mass heater and exhaust it up the chimney. Or you could get a fireplace heat exchanger, which is tubes that act as a grate and heat air that is blown into the room. Fireplaces are not an efficient way to heat a room/home as you know. Much heat goes up and out the chimney. A fireplace heat exchanger helps a LOT. I just ordered one from HastyHeat.com. There are 2-3 companies that make and sell them. I like Hasty Heat's design, price, etc. Good luck and warm up! I'm planning on building a rocket mass heater in my detached garage-workshop.
Evan Caffrey wrote:Ah, yes, I missed the part about the insert. I can't really see it in the pictures - what kind/brand did you get? Good luck and stay warm!
Trace Oswald wrote:Thermal curtains can make an enormous difference, and it is a fairly inexpensive way to go, especially if you can sew them yourself. Look at Kume Curtain.
It sounds like you don't get really cold weather much of the time (at least compared to us), so I don't know that I would spend a lot of money on an elaborate solution. You can have a person come do an energy audit with an infrared camera to see where you are losing the most heat. That will help you proceed, but you are surely losing much of your heat through your windows and the Kume curtains will probably make more difference than any other single, inexpensive item.
Gerry Parent wrote:Gotta say Carla, that is one beauuuuuutiful house!
I can totally see why you want to keep the aesthetics intact.
I assume that since your posting in the rocket mass heater forum that your leaning in that direction?
If so, that's great because we would love to help you build the stove of your dreams.
One good way to help us see what your looking for is to find a picture of a RMH that you would love to see in your space and then we can help you adjust it to fit your situation.
Mike Haasl wrote:I suspect the issue is with heat quantity and delivery, not the construction. While the construction could be better, it's similar to what my folks and I are working with.
If you upgrade the fireplace I'd go with a wood burning insert or a free standing wood stove out on the floor that is vented into the fireplace chimney. Unless the heat from the wood stove/RMH/insert can get around your house, you may end up with a warm living room and chilly bedrooms.
John C Daley wrote:Double glazing the windows closest to the fireplace.
Installing a ceiling fan to push heat down from the ceiling.
Get a floor heating company out to inspect the floor heating.
Jordan Holland wrote:It would be more work and money, but you might consider keeping the fireplace you love as is, and building a RMH elsewhere in the house. Two heat sources with some distance between them would be better able to heat the house in the most extreme times, and if one has problems, you can still heat without needing propane or electricity with the other. It would also hopefully negate the expense and hassle of getting a bigger propane tank. It all comes down to whether you can make a RMH work elsewhere in the house. You said the fireplace is in a very large room, would the opposite side of the room be an option? Or maybe elsewhere may help heat more.
Douglas Alpenstock wrote:You won't believe how much heat a high efficiency wood stove insert will put out compared to your current setup. Make sure it has an outside vent for combustion air. Amazing!
Love the Irish Wolfhound BTW!
Gerry Parent wrote:
This looks like a lovely masonry stove that could be modified into a RMH at a fraction of the cost if you want to build it yourself.
Certainly not a beginner project, but could be in the cards for you if you have your heart set to go in that direction with some local and online (Permies) help. :)
Usually a stove like this is placed in the centre of the room for maximum heat distribution and enjoyment from all around which of course would also require another chimney.
Max Edleson & Eva Edleson over at firespeaking.com have some beautiful masonry heaters they have installed you may also want to check out.
The closest thing I can see to this that would fit into the RMH realm would be to build an 8" batch box, with a large stone clad bell and have some of it made with metal to give some immediate heat into the room.
Firebox cores, doors and other hardware are all available from various suppliers which greatly help with construction if your not up for building them from scratch.
John C Daley wrote:What 'key' would the bell be in?
thomas rubino wrote: We will build you a box to stand on shorty so you can see over the podium!
thomas rubino wrote:Hi Carla; Yes, you would loose some room but not to much. Bells can go up they do not have to spread out.
Max's idea of using the current fireplace by bringing a "plunger tube" down to the bottom is a very good one ! (I had not thought of it)
Your now sitting there... staring at your computer thinking , Tom what the xxxx is a plunger tube??? Ha Ha I'm right aren't I?
thomas rubino wrote:
A plunger tube in your current fireplace would effectively bring the chimney down (via stove pipe) to within a few inches of the bottom.
A tall brick (or metal) bell is built in front of the existing fireplace An 8" batchbox is built inside that bell. You could even incorporate a short warming bench ( a NEW Bailey BED!) Like bailey needs another new bed...
Rock veneer is added to the bell to match your existing fireplace.
I don't know what a suitable insert would cost installed. Lets guess at $1000+ and you hire someone to do it . I don't know, are these inserts wood burning or propane? Do they require electricity to work ? If they need power to run, then for me that would be a deal breaker.
Install time should be quick and painless as someone else is getting paid to do it.
thomas rubino wrote:
Now building a rmh and attaching it to your fireplace is a way warmer prospect. I'm going to guess that cost would be a less but not a whole lot. You have a lot of veneer work needed to make it look good.
Personally I would hire a pro to put up the veneer.
The real difference is the time involved. I could see this project taking you guys all summer to get finished. (so what its summer...) Not like you have any other projects going on... right???
thomas rubino wrote:
Which one is better? Well I'm biased so no contest for me, an RMH is always the better answer.
What one is right for you guys??? Well building a rmh is scary, until you build your first one. After that Kati bar the door!
You'll be wanting everyone you know, to come check it out and start planning converting their home to an RMH as well!
After catching the dreaded rocket scientist illness... you will soon be telling complete strangers all about rmh's and why they should want one...
By next Spring YOU will be moderating the rmh forum!
And in 2024 You could be the first female president! Running in the RMH party! We will build you a box to stand on shorty so you can see over the podium!