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Converting a stone fireplace to wood stove or fireplace insert?  RSS feed

 
Andy Loughney
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Hey everyone,

Recently moved into an old farmhouse with this beautiful and horribly inefficient open fireplace (see attached pic, I hope). I'm looking for options to turn it into a viable heat source for this upcoming winter.

I've been reading through the wood stove threads and have gotten some good leads on brands and the catalytic v. non-cat discussion. What I'm looking for now is the conversation comparing a stand alone wood stove that simply utilizes the existing chimney vs. a fireplace insert meant to sit flush with the stone facade. There is some great thermal mass with all the stones and I certainly want to take advantage of that and really warm those up.

Any ideas or leads out there? Thanks!

Andy
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stone fireplace
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Andy : Welcome to Permies.com , our sister site - Richsoil.com , and a Big Welcome to the Rocket, wood stove, and Cob Forum Threads!

Much depends on the skill of the original builder, and the history of use and Maintenance of your chimney. Hopefully this fireplace has a

ceramic tile liner in good condition, this should be determined by a professional, ether someone who builds chimneys / complete wood burning

systems. Also available and generally very talented though self trained are people who clean chimneys for people unwilling to learn to do this

job at least Once a year with-out fail !

Often they advertise their services as "Chimney Sweeps "

After you have had your chimney and the condition of the chimney damper and the smoke shelf checked !

As a possible 3rd choice you may be able to reshape your fireplace into a Rumford Fireplace which is the most efficient fireplace ever created

and has not ben improved on in 230 + Years ! See The Link below :

http://www.yankeemagazine.com/article/10things-interact-2/oldhouse/fireplaces-best-rumfords#_

For the Good of the Craft ! Big AL
 
Angelika Maier
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Location: cool climate, Blue Mountains, Australia
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They do this all the time here. The inserts are more expensive than a stand alone but you have the chimney yet. If you are used to central heating you might want another woodstove in you r house,
because with one fireplace the bedrooms are cold, but electrical blankets are cheap. Sweeping a chimney is easy but a bit messy. Nowadays they do a metal pipe instead of a chimney.
 
Andy Loughney
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Thanks for the responses.

The Rumford fireplace is too intensive of a project for me right now. I'm looking more for plug and play with either a wood stove or an insert. The chimney has been inspected and the liner is in good shape, so no worries there.

I guess what I'm really getting at is: is one of these installations "better" than the other, in whatever terms you choose: efficiency, aesthetics, even heat, etc.... A couple of the insert models that I looked at do have blowers, and I'm more interested in the resilience of something that requires no power to run. We moved from an off-grid situation and were really in control of all of our systems and are trying to get back to a similar state in our new grid-tied place. So, electric blankets are really not what we're looking for Angelika.

Thanks!
 
allen lumley
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Location: Northern New York Zone4-5 the OUTER 'RONDACs percip 36''
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Andy : A couple of links to help you help yourself :


http://www.permies.com/t/34193/tnk/permies-works-links-threads

http://www.permies.com/t/43625/introductions/Universal


Location : Look at Your Original Posters Name Space - and L@@K at mine !
( This will help make sure our answers reflect your location Climate )

Thermal mass + if the fireplace's other side is exposed to the outdoors then most of the heat energy
stored in that mass will '' Leak out '' the low Temperature side ! Poor Efficiency. *

Is that a clean out in the face of your fireplace just below the mantle - or a shadow ?

You judgement of the skills you bring to the job and the time you can give to this re-fit will determine
where you go from here.

If a Rumford refit is not do-able with the time and materials then a wood stove will probably serve you

better- I have not priced a catalytic insert for a Wood stove in some years and the expected life of this

pricey unit should be carefully considered, Unless things have changed remarkably the guarantee on these

units depends on your ability to " Prove it failed during approved usage ''

A quick word about fire wood DRY !!! Depending on location Your Standing Dead wood trees are drier than

anything else you can cut this year

Generally the goal is to cut More than one Winters supply - all firewood should be cut early in the year, split,

stacked undercover, for use Not this Winter But next !

On re-reading this message is Not as upbeat as it might be but is honest and met from the heart !

For the Good of the Crafts ! Big AL

* Insulating and then boxing in the out door portions of your fireplace/chimney can help but may

have low priority at first ! A.L.
 
I agree. Here's the link: http://richsoil.com/wood-heat.jsp
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