I know this should probably be in the fireplace forum, but not a lot of action over there . I'm looking at one of those wood burning inserts to warm up a below grade family room. In the winter warming this room up a reasonable amount with the gas furnace makes the upstairs too hot.
Anyone have any experience with these things. They claim to put out on the order of 60 thousand BTU's (the smallest units). Could I run my fan on the furnace continuous to take some of this heat through the cold air return and send throughout the house?
The advertised BTU is enough to heat 1200 square feet according to the literature. My house is approximately 1900 square feet.
How much savings could I reasonably expect on my heating bill?
Had a wood-burning fireplace for several years.
Cleaning and disposing of ashes became too much of pain in the neck.
Installed a natural gas insert. Much easier to handle and it has a control to reduce heat output to meet room requirements. Also, the control valve on insert gets its "activation" power from the pilot light thermocouple which allows running the fireplace during power outages (fireplace fan not required for operation).
Don't know about combustion air requirements for wood-burning fireplaces but new gas fireplaces are available with direct venting. Don't have to open window to draw combustion air from outside with such units.
My present natural gas furnace runs at 38% of rated cfm while furnace does not produce heat with the fan control on the thermostat is set to "ON". Old furnace was single speed.
Yes, they are GREAT! There are a few things to consider:
- Cleanup (like deme said) is not always fun
- wood prices in your area
- Get a model with a Fan, circulates the heat back into the room
I heated a similar sized house by running the furnace fan continously, along with the fan on the insert. Once I got good, I could load 'er up with wood at night, and it "could" last all night. Lot's of times I had to open a window to cool things down in that room though.
Savings on your heating bill is totally under your control and directly related to how much trouble you want to go through. I've seen people who have turned off their central heat entireley, and used the insert all winter. Too much trouble loading wood for me, but if you're up to it.
i can get my hands on as much free wood as I want and the use of a log splitter. Cleaning the ashes is a drag though? How often are we talking here?
At least once a week.
yes go for it
Just get one with a good ash pan and its not that bad. We sell Applalachian Wood stoves and the feed back that we get on them is that most people just have to take out one pan (not full) of real fine ash a day. If you wait until the pan is full there is more chance of the ashes blowing out or spilling . These units do a very good job and last a long time . We pulled out one that was used for twenty years and it looked almost new . The only reason he got a new Gas insert was that he was tired of carrying the wood in.
[Edited by rkious on 07-27-2005 at 12:55 PM]