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  1. #1

    Should I wood stove or fireplace here?

    Garden web let me post a pic. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load...824074161.html

    I just bought a ski cabin and the stove is basicly dangerous and unusable so I'm totaly remodeling the alcove.
    For a stove if I open it up to the overhead beam and protect it I can get a pretty big wood stove in there (Jotul F500 Oslo). I worry though that because it's in a deep alcove the heat won't circulate well to the rest of the house without a blower = noise. The house is less than air tight so I also worry about the stove creating drafts.

    The other option would be a Fireplace Xtrordinair zero clearence fireplace. Con's are that it is mechanicaly complex, requires exectricity and may allow cold air to blow in when not in use. However I'm told that by the design relying on blowing air in from outside it will circulate the heat to all area's of the house rapidly, eliminate drafts and because the blower is remote, it's quiet.

    The bedrooms are downstairs and the weather sealing is not up to par for a winter cabin so the positive pressure design of the fireplace x sounds interesting. The one dealer is really giving me the hard sell on the FPX but I have no experience with them like I do stoves.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Fresno, CA
    Posts
    196
    It's in poor taste to recommend a brand as a tech from what I have been told. But as an American and a tech I love fireplaces that are tech friendly and the parts are inexpensive with a quick shipping time. So FPX is a Travis product, American product, and it's pretty easy to repair its a win win for me and the consumer . but if you live in Canada then that story changes in terms of pricing/repair

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,141
    Quote Originally Posted by edrrt View Post
    Garden web let me post a pic. http://ths.gardenweb.com/forums/load...824074161.html

    I just bought a ski cabin and the stove is basicly dangerous and unusable so I'm totaly remodeling the alcove. Whoa! Waaaay too small of an alcove. You may have pyrolized wood around that.
    For a stove if I open it up to the overhead beam and protect it I can get a pretty big wood stove in there (Jotul F500 Oslo). You don't sized stoves by the physical size of what will shoehorn in a space. You size it by the heat load. Very few hearth retailers are qualified to perform a heat calc. but many are pretty good at sizing by Kentucky windage. I worry though that because it's in a deep alcove the heat won't circulate well to the rest of the house without a blower = noise. Alcoves trigger special concerns for woodstoves. Some are not even approved for alcove installation so check the manuals. Shielding of combustibles may become problematic. The house is less than air tight so I also worry about the stove creating drafts. Yes, any atmospheric combustion appliance requires room air just as you do. Many stoves do offer a combustion air kit to address this.

    The other option would be a Fireplace Xtrordinair zero clearence fireplace. I suggest you forget that term "zero clearance" and replace it with "reduced clearance" Con's are that it is mechanicaly complex, requires exectricity Should have a battery backup option for ignition. If needed ,you might be able to run it off a car battery to inverter but some systems cannot tolerate square waves inverters so check firstand may allow cold air to blow in when not in use.Huh? if direct vent, how? Are you talking about a direct makeup air duct leading from the outdoors into the unit for convective circulation into the home? If so, does it have a snug fitting damper? Don't trust a mfr. or stove shop--ask for referrals and talk to owners However I'm told that by the design relying on blowing air in from outside it will circulate the heat to all area's of the house rapidly, eliminate drafts and because the blower is remote, it's quiet. OK, I see. This is a ducted MUA system. A lot of problems can occur. Cold air infiltration from poor joints, condensation with uninsulated ducting, no legal way to meet code requirement for sealing ducts and join this duct to this fireplace. There is no optional portion of UL 127 that addresses outdoor MUA ducts. Do NOT use Class 1 duct within stated clearances as it can fail.

    The bedrooms are downstairs and the weather sealing is not up to par for a winter cabin so the positive pressure design of the fireplace x You mean "direct vent"? sounds interesting. The one dealer is really giving me the hard sell on the FPX but I have no experience with them like I do stoves.
    You have a few terminology challenges in this post so its hard to make heads or tails. What is the size of the cabin, types of windows, flooring, etc.?

    Just curious but how does one "woodstove"? Is this a new dance? ;-)

    Definitely get a qualified hearth pro in there to do this. Not a DIY project

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2012
    Location
    Pacific NW
    Posts
    28
    Hearthman - I believe the OP is referring to a Fireplace Xtrordinair ZERO CLEARANCE fireplace such as a 44 Elite.

    http://www.fireplacex.com/ProductGui...elsku=98500113

    OP - the FPX zero clearance fireplaces have dampers that "close off" outside air while the unit is not in operation. They are very efficient and well engineered products. They are designed to provide excellent heat to an entire space through both radiant and connected heat.

    Really good unit and I would definitely recommend it.
    Last edited by illfixit; 10-23-2013 at 11:54 PM. Reason: Reply to OP

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Location
    Central WA
    Posts
    1,473
    The only complaint I have for the FPX is the blower is VERY slow to turn on - hours. The blower thermostat switch is located behind a steel plate, behind a brick and it takes a while to heat up. I have seen that switch bypassed before leaving only manual control.

    Travis makes a solid product, though. Everything is tested, listed, and certified. The factory tour is pretty impressive.

    Hearthman: That fireplace is direct vent, but also pulls in outside air via a remote blower, heats it, and pushes it into the home. I assume the idea is pressurizing the home, so infiltration becomes exfiltration. As far as ignition goes, they still go with the classic method of a match and kindling.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,141
    Yep, I figured out the FPX has a MUA kit. So do some other fireplaces but they all suffer from some similar faults.

    I have a problem with the term "zero clearance" because it has lead to many fires. Upon hearing that term, people don't read the manuals and see the clearances to combustibles so they built them in tight. Most fireplaces are rated a zero clearance to combustibles only to the floor.

    The stories I could tell you about the faults of a product that is 'listed'. Suffice it to say that is no guarantee and just one example, the UL127 std. does not have a provision for such air ducts per se. Also, any such ducts are regulated by the building code so look to UL 181 and NFPA 90a/b for more info.

    Gotta run,

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