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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 10:02 AM   #21
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Re: A way to heat the house

A big part of the cost is the chimney liner. We looked at an insert for our livingroom fireplace. Our chimney is nearly 40 feet tall. The liner would have cost more than the stove. Sorry though, I can't remember the numbers anymore. Something like $1500 to $2000 for just the stove, with the stainless steel liner extra.
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 10:33 AM   #22
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Re: A way to heat the house

In October we had a Quadra-Fire 3100-I Wood Insert installed in our wood burning fireplace... the total cost installed with a stainless flue liner was $3272.

It has not been too cold here yet but it heats much better on much less wood.

Gonzo
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 10:52 AM   #23
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Re: A way to heat the house

Just curious if a little resistance electric heater might not work just as well. I figure a 1500 watt heater running 30% of the day on the highest setting with 30 cent per kilowatt-hr power would be $3.24 a day, or around $100/month. Would that keep the house hot enough in the rooms where you were staying? How big is the house? What would the operating costs of a gas fireplace be? How long do you plan on being in the house? Are you there all winter?
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 11:06 AM   #24
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Re: A way to heat the house

I looked at the link CT provided for the fireplaces and I'm a little confused. Bear in mind that I live on the Gulf Coast and heating is only an issue for a very brief period that we call winter and you would probably call a brisk day.

What I have now is a masonry fireplace with a gas line that is basically a firestarter. We burn wood in it about 10 - 20 days a year. It would be more than that, but once the fire goes out, the open fireplace flue results in a cold house. I thought I wanted to install some gas firelogs, but after reading this I think I will pass:

Quote:
Originally Posted by Ed_The_Gypsy
We had gas logs in our fireplace in Houston, which retained the ability to burn wood. Fairly useless. Not recommended.
Other than some disagreement about how well/efficiently they work, what difference is there between an insert and the kind of fireplace that CT uses? I see that the inserts need a flue pipe to protect the mortar from disintegration but I'm not sure I understand the difference other than the insert route seems to be more expensive.

Ed, if you still had the house in Houston how would you configure your firepace?
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 11:32 AM   #25
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Re: A way to heat the house

The inserts I've seen are basically a woodstove that fits into your fireplace opening. Provides an air-tight, damper-controllable, forced-air capable way of using an otherwise decorative fireplace...

Back in the 70s my folks had a Buck stove insert; that sucker would run you out of the room...
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 11:59 AM   #26
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Re: A way to heat the house

Justin, I have thought of that myself. And you are currect on the .30 per kw hour.
As there are two of us, often in different parts of the house that would be x 2.
However, when you compare the cost of a insert, it becomes real appealing.

They also have some cheaper ($250) small propane heaters (vent free) that can be attaced to the wall and connected to an outside propane tank, as well as portable ones. I haven't spent an entire winter there yet, so I'm thinking I will probably have one or two of these plus maybe one of those electric radiator types for the bedroom at night, and see how that works out first before spending a bundle. I would not consider running any vent free gas aparatus in a bedroom while I slept. Then check my energy consumption costs and make a decision what to do. I see there are a number of alternatives out there.
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 12:09 PM   #27
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Re: A way to heat the house

When I was checking out cost effective various alternative ways of heating our house, none of them were wonderful. Our free standing gas stove has an insulated stainless steel chimney installed inside our old one. The price at the time was $50/linear ft. in addition to the stove price, plus about $100 for the labor. Code in our area required double layered stainless steel. Check with a local retailer of gas or wood stoves for your code requirements. You might be surprised and not necessarily need an insulated gas flue, although national code, I think, recommends it inside a standing chimney. Our model uses interior air for combustion.

I believe CT has a specially built fireplace which allows him to run his gas stove (with full heating benefits) without an electric fan to force the heat into the room, a reverse-gravity run system where cold air comes in thru the bottom and hot air flows out of vents higher up. Lucky him if so. Those doing a retro-fit to an existing house may not be quite so lucky. I like the newer air-intake and -exhaust free standing gas models that vent directly outside, thru a wall and attached to two pipes, but they're usually two ugly PVC tubes you'll need to hide with some landscaping bushes. But they also require a fan to operate (if you get one, you might look at a battery back up in case the electricity goes out for an extended period.)

All of the newer-type and better, more efficient gas systems have a sealed fire chamber that is isolated from the heated air. The direct vent models draw cold air from the outside for combustion purposes but use interior air for heating. The fan sucks and blows that combustion air and an additional fan may blow the interior air--depending on the model you choose.

Ahh, for the simplicity of those stinky old 20% efficient wood burners.
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 04:29 PM   #28
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Re: A way to heat the house

Quote:
Originally Posted by modhatter

They also have some cheaper ($250) small propane heaters (vent free) that can be attaced to the wall and connected to an outside propane tank, as well as portable ones. I haven't spent an entire winter there yet, so I'm thinking I will probably have one or two of these plus maybe one of those electric radiator types for the bedroom at night, and see how that works out first before spending a bundle. I would not consider running any vent free gas aparatus in a bedroom while I slept. Then check my energy consumption costs and make a decision what to do. I see there are a number of alternatives out there.
Modhatter,
Really, the vent-free heaters are not a good idea. Bad for your health (potentially really bad), and not good for your house, either, due to the moisture issues I mentioned. They also deposit soot on your walls..
There's nothing scientific at this link, just a bunch of unsubstantiated consumer comments about their vent-free heaters. Maybe thousands of other people run them without any problems. http://www.chimneysweeponline.com/hovflett.htm

If you decide to go this route, running the ventless heater only during the day (as you mentioned) and providing fresh air (Consumer Reports says, if you are going to run them, that you leave a window open) is a minimum. (Link to CR report http://www.consumerreports.org/cro/h...-306/index.htm

Also, buy a good CO detector/alarm (one with a real digital readout, not a cheapie that just buzzes. Since you'll be deliberately introducing carbon monoxide into your house,you'll want to be able to actually read the levels that are there and spot the trends.)

Also, if you install an unvented heater and things don't work out well--can I have your computer?


(Edited to add CR link)
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-28-2006, 04:53 PM   #29
 
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Re: A way to heat the house

Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonidas
I looked at the link CT provided for the fireplaces and I'm a little confused. Bear in mind that I live on the Gulf Coast and heating is only an issue for a very brief period that we call winter and you would probably call a brisk day.

What I have now is a masonry fireplace with a gas line that is basically a firestarter. We burn wood in it about 10 - 20 days a year. It would be more than that, but once the fire goes out, the open fireplace flue results in a cold house. I thought I wanted to install some gas firelogs, but after reading this I think I will pass:

Other than some disagreement about how well/efficiently they work, what difference is there between an insert and the kind of fireplace that CT uses? I see that the inserts need a flue pipe to protect the mortar from disintegration but I'm not sure I understand the difference other than the insert route seems to be more expensive.

Ed, if you still had the house in Houston how would you configure your firepace?
These fireplaces are not add on types at all. We had our house built 9 years ago with 2 of these installed. I would contact your local dealer to see what they recommend. Once you get them, yhou will love them. No mess, no wood, very efficient and cozy! - They are sealed so there are no drafts to the outside ever! - They only maintence I've had in 9 years is cleaning the glass!

We have a See through one from our living room to our bedroom - With 2 mantles it's like we have a fireplace in both rooms. Also have 1 in the lower level. I'd never get wood again - too messy and too much work!
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-29-2006, 10:52 AM   #30
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Re: A way to heat the house

Quote:
Originally Posted by justin
Just curious if a little resistance electric heater might not work just as well. I figure a 1500 watt heater running 30% of the day on the highest setting with 30 cent per kilowatt-hr power would be $3.24 a day, or around $100/month. Would that keep the house hot enough in the rooms where you were staying?
That might work, although those electric heaters really don't put out very much heat. (I've been looking into heating equipment for our house too.) 1.5 kWh resistive heating = 5118 BTUs/hr. I don't know what the winter temperatures are in Ensenada or how big or well-insulated your house is, but our 3 bedroom home needs about a thousand BTU/hr for each degree (F) we want the inside to be warmer than the outside.

Depending on the outside temperature and the room's insulation, you can probably heat a small room, with the door closed, to a comfortable temperature with an electric space heater. But my guess is that the energy cost would quickly eat up any savings in equipment cost, and that you'd recover the cost of a propane heater or an electric heat pump (VERY efficient in mild climates) in a short time.

Here's a good calculator, to compare energy costs with different fuels and heaters:

http://www.eia.doe.gov/neic/experts/heatcalc.xls
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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-29-2006, 12:08 PM   #31
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Re: A way to heat the house

Quote:
Originally Posted by brewer12345
Anyone care to comment on the cost of putting in an insert? I have a wood-burning one in mind.
I just put a woodstove in myself...stove itself was $2400 or so, the chimey liner was $650 or so for a 25 foot kit. Labor would have been $400 but I did it all myself - its not very hard. My 25 foot flexible liner kit is SS and can be used with an insert or a woodstove, as long as it is going into an existing masonary chimney - for a complete chimney you'd need a much more expensive setup...probably as much as the stove if not more.

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Re: A way to heat the house
Old 11-29-2006, 12:56 PM   #32
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Re: A way to heat the house

We use space heaters occasionally. If I have to work in my office when the heat from the woodstove hasn't gotten up there, I put a radiant heater close to me pointing right at me. Instant warmth even though the rest of the room is still cold.

Sometimes DW turns on the oil filled space heater a half hour before taking a shower.
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