I currently have a good (Majestic) zero clearance fireplace with a fan
around the box that we use to heat our entire (2200sf) 2 story house. The
problem is that we go through a lot of firewood (approx 5 cords) each year.
I am interested in installing a wood burning insert. Some say that I would
need to replace the existing flue, which is approximately 25 ft long, with
one that is a narrower diameter in order to get the correct draw. Other say
that it's not necessary. I am interested in hearing about the experiences
from those that have installed wood burning stove inserts.
I have two wood burning inserts, one in the basement and one on the second
floor. They have been in for 20 years and were installed using full size flue
tiles. One (basement) will heat the whole house, 4000 sq ft., except on the
coldest days. I live in west central Alabama however. G.
I'm using a Avalon Rainier insert which has the optional blowers.
Last year I used one cord but had to ration my usage. This year I
started with two cords.
As a single home owner my insert use is in the evenings after work and
my days off. So far this year my gas usage is under 40% of what I
used at this time last year when I was rationing. Average temp inside
the house is much nicer :)
I hope you don't live or ever go to a major city. I wouldn't want you to
wreck your virgin lungs on any of that nasty smog....in fact I hope you
don't drive a car or work in an office, those might be detrimental to your
I agree that there are many health hazards out there and you can't avoid all
of them. But every house I've ever walked into that burned wood had a very
strong smoke smell to the house and the air was very, very dry. My wife and
myself can't tolerate the smoke that is added to the air we breathe. My
father-in-law burs wood in his house in Vermont (too cheap to use the
propane and he has cash) and we stopped going because of the stove. We
would wake up with dry throats and the smoke smell became sickening. I also
have a wood burning insert and stopped using it. My ceilings also needed to
be painted not to mention all the mess that goes with wood - dirt, bugs and
trying to get the darn thing lit. Personally I think gas logs are the way
to go. But some people like to be fire tenders and save money. Although,
I'm not sure how much they can save........PS HD sells wood pellets for most
stoves. These pellets burn super clean. This might be an alternative to
wood. Bugs don't eat the stuff and it doesn't freeze together like wood or
Something is wrong then. I have a wood burning stove. There is
absolutely no smell of wood in the house from burning. I am very
sensitive to smoke and I have no problem at all. Dry is an issue
but that can be handled.
Yeah, I had to paint mine after 15 years too. LOL.
If you've got bugs in the wood you are bringing in then you didn't
store it properly. Lighting a stove is easy.
I don't save anything over oil, unless it's a really bad year for
oil. But, I don't have my own woodlot either. I burn because radiant
heat is much better than FHA.
If your wood is full of bugs, frozen together, or rotted, you are not
storing it correctly
We had one custom made 22 years ago. It's great. I can burn 1/2 of a 24"
round at a time. That'll generally burn 6-8 hours unless it's really cold
and we crank
'er up good. the thing that I find makes this one so good, it the
circulation features we had built in to it. We had a basic shell, then an
outer shell with wide front, powered air inputs on both sides that circulate
around the shell, then out the to over the front which serves to hear the
air further. We can move one helluva lot of air. the zero clearance feature
mostly serves as a cold air return that pulls cooler air from the back of
the house to the stove. BTW, the bottom, back and sides 1/2 way up. are fire
brick lined. Our flue is the original 8x10" masonry inside a 3x4' brick
The only thing that's sort of a pain in the _ss is having to pull it out
when the chimney needs cleaning. I only have to clean mine every 3-4 years.
Once every couple of days, I really crank'er up after having thrown in a
scoop of creosote preventer on a hot bed of coals.
We;ve got an old Ashley wood stove in the family room in case it gets really
cold but I've only used it 1/2 dozen or so times in 20 years.mostly when we
get in from the snow or hunting.
BTW we live near the Hells Canyon National Recreation area and get in the
neighborhood of 160" of snow with average temps of 10-25 from dec - mar. the
house is near 2200ft and we probably don't burn 5 cords yr.
I have some friends that had one built buy the same guy from our design but
they added propane capabilities to theirs so they could have heat when they
Have a good one,
Forgot to answer this part. The installation crew used a stainless
steel chimney liner on mine. Been a couple of years back now so I
don't recall all the details but I do recollect code being mentioned
as one reason.
The opinions here don't matter. What matters is what it says in the
manual with the insert. If your chimney is larger than what the
insert manufacturer spec's, then ask the manufacturer.
If you want to get more heat, a better idea would be to install
a wood burning stove (free standing) instead of an insert. You
get a lot more heat from a stove that sits entirely in your
house as opposed to one that is mostly in the fireplace.
Your Majestic has a thermosiphen triple wall chimney UL listed to UL103 to
1,700 degrees. A wood stove requires UL103HT which goes to 2,100 degrees.
You should not install an insert inside the Majestic unless it has been
tested and approved for use in prefab fireplaces.
Thank you to all for your inputs. I know that to burn less wood I need
something that I can close down. I was thinking that to save money I would
buy one of the many used inserts advertised in the newspaper classified ads,
as many people I know have simply put any insert that would fit into their
fireplace and have had no problems. I am also concerned about safety. So,
for piece of mind, I will find out what the manufacturer recommends - and if
needed have the flue reworked. BTW, I currently have a galvenized
two-wall - non-masonary flue. Thanks again for your replies.
HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here.
All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.