We have a small zero-clearance/factory built fireplace from the mid 1980s. The chimney is in good repair, with no rust or pitting. The problem is this fireplace doesn’t add any heat to the house, and actually takes our heated air out the chimney. We are looking for a replacement that will add some secondary heat to our home, and some ambiance.
Local installers fall into 2 camps. Some say that the Regency Alterra insert http://www.regency-fire.com/Products...ts/CI1200.aspx can fit into our fireplace with a new chimney liner. Others say they would never put an insert into a factory built, and suggest going with a modern zero-clearance, the Accelerator by Heatilator http://www.heatilator.com/Products/A...Fireplace.aspx The Accelerator would be more work, as it requires a new chimney, but we would end up with a bigger view of the firebox.
Although the maximum BTUs on the Accelerator is much greater (55,000 vs 100,000), I can’t find any information on efficiency, and the dealers won’t say for certain the new models aren’t as drafty as the old ones, and I am afraid we will still lose more heat than we will gain.
Any thoughts on which would be better, or if the new factory builts still suck out air from the house? We are in Canada, and although we have other primary heat, we still like “feel” of wood heat, and would like something than can at least provide a little heat if the gas furnace goes out - that is more important than the viewing area of the firebox.