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Inputs for new fireplace insert

Discussion in 'Off Topic' started by SIG383, Dec 3, 2014.

  1. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    My wife just told me that our fireplace insert is smoking from the sides, even with the door closed and honestly probably just needs to be replaces, as it has seen better days. I'm still deployed so I can't exactly go look for and buy a new one right now.

    I'm wanting to see if anyone has any experience with wood stoves and inserts who could give me some input on what brands to go with or stay away from. The wood stove is our primary source of heat since our furnace sucks. We also need new windows to replace the 70s era single pane ones that are currently at our house. Thinking stove first, then windows, since the stove will be cheaper. Thanks in advance!

    Oh yeah, house is tri-level 1980 sq ft built in 1979.
     
  2. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    How much insulation do you have in the attic area?
     
  3. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    if I had to guess, around 8 inches or so. Not sure what kind it is or the R factor though. We closed on the house 30 April and I deployed in June. Not much time for me to dig in to everything. I feel horrible that I can't do anything for her from over here and my unit hasn't even called to check on her.
     
  4. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    8" is better then nothing. New windows won't help much if all your heat is going through the roof.
    Little things like outlet/switch foam gaskets and door seals add up.
    I would have her get a chimney sweep to look at the insert and chimney flue first before you replace it.
    It might just need a good cleaning, and/or the fiberglass frame gasket replaced.
     
  5. parallax

    parallax eugene, or-gun Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Thank you for your service.
     
  6. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    Also check in to local power company rebates on insulation, wood stove replacement, windows and maybe even putting in a heat pump. Right now around my area after rebates windows are nearly free and a large heat pump (ductless) will cost under a grand out of pocket and might be cheaper to run than wood.
     
  7. jrprich

    jrprich PNW Well-Known Member

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    Many utility companies will also do a free energy audit on your home. This will tell you where the leaks are, how much insulation you have and how much more you need.
    Ditto on having the flue checked and cleaned as wood is dirty and the creosote can quickly build up and create a fire in the flue. :(
     
  8. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    We checked into the rebates, and it looks like we may qualify for ones for windows, but not sure what else. We are too rural to qualify for the wood stove one though. I thought the ductless heat pumps were only good for heating up small areas? How much should we expect to get the chimney cleaned and everything looked at?
     
  9. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Have her call around for prices. Cost depends on length of chimney and other factors.
    What's the problem with the house furnace?
     
  10. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    The furnace it old and outdated.
     
  11. jluck

    jluck Really,Really, Close to Newport Oregon 97365 Voted #1 Member

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    Negative. They have come a long long ways in a short time, A ductless will not heat throughout a busy floorplan as well but they do work great for many applications.
     
  12. SIG383

    SIG383 Graham, WA Well-Known Member

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    definitely something I will be looking at as an option. The other big plan is to add more insulation the the attic areas, along with any other place that could benefit from being insulated better. One good thing is that the garage is already fully insulated so not as big of a heat loss there. I'll add those foam outlet things as well.
     
  13. Rick4070

    Rick4070 Central Oregon coast Active Member

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    You can make foam outlet and switch insulators from those thin white foam packages like are used for meat and such, or from take out..
    I just replaced a bunch of outlets in our house, mainly because they were cream colored and "we" wanted white...
    For some reason, they were all upside down, with the ground up and the outlet slots down. I have heard of this before, in machine shops, where a chip might end up across the legs of a plug in an outlet, and short, but never in a house.
    The outlet boxes were filled with spray foam in an effort to insulate, I guess.
    What a mess to remove in order to change outlets....
    We also installed a fireplace insert in our house, the installer used a flexible liner through the existing chimney, and it has worked well.
    Usually, inserts have fire brick on the floor, back and sides, so I'm wondering if the sides of the box are the problem...
    I've had to replace the rope gasket around the door once so far.
    It's a really good idea to have a chimney sweep come out and inspect things first, as has been said.
     
  14. jbett98

    jbett98 NW Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    New wood stoves and inserts have catalytic converter's and that really makes a difference in the creosote buildup in the flue.