Fireplace Inserts

Joe,

I purchase a house in Riverview,Michigan that has a wood burning fireplace insert.

The fireplace has a solid 2 door "Forestor" cover that I have been told by others that it is an insert.

The "insert" has a blower and makes the actual area to burn wood a lot smaller and the solid doors do not allow for us to see a "fire".

The house was built in late 70's.

1. Do you think this is an insert or is it actually the original fire place?

2. We do not like the insert ...can we take out the insert?

Thank you

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Would Like To Have A Fireplace Insert, but...
by: LP

I have the open fireplace which I have been told is an insert,
it was put in, and the chimney built ect.

It has rock around it on the inside and a rock chimney on outside.

I was wanting to switch to a wood burning insert with the doors that are more efficient,
but was told,
unless I go to gas or electric that all my rock work would have to be taken out and redone.

I hate the open fireplace, it looks great, but burns lots of wood, and most of the heat goes up the chimney.

So, how to get an insert in and not tear all my rock up?

The current fireplace could be taken apart in pieces.

Thanks in advance.

Reply

Might want to get a second opinion from another fireplace supplier...

I was able to install a wood burning fireplace with glass doors into the space of my natural fireplace.

The additional step was to line the chimney with a stainless steel flue that connects directly to the fireplace.

There is a local fireplace shop that was helpful in the planning. However, fireplace shops on line were helpful too.
I took pictures of my fireplace set up and sent them to an online fireplace supplier, (Some have tech support), and they were able to advise.

I did not have to re-brick my fireplace on the inside because I had the steel firebox where the brick was laid around it originally.

Hope this helps you some... Good luck :-)

Joe

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Fire Place inserts
by: Chuck S

I am proceeding with the removal of the existing Forestor fire place insert. The family is leaning towards a large open fire that we can see.

I will post our results!

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Fire place clean , inspect and listen
by: Anonymous

First start with having the fire place inspected. I have used Top Hat Chimney Sweeps.

Do not use the fire place unless it has been cleaned and inspected.

Always clean the fire place yearly and in the spring, spring cleaning doubles the life of the pipe vs fall cleaning it clears the acid off the flue pipe. I learned this from Top Hat.
When you have a pro out they can tell you what you have and what it can be changed to.

My fireplace runs 5 to 6 days a week 14 hours a day.
My gas bills are way lower than my neighbors, but my electric are a little higher due to running fans to move heat through the house.

Remember I spend 5 to 10 days a year cutting, splitting and stacking wood. There are several inserts you replace what you have. I went with a higher end unit that would heat my home and had glass to view the fire.

Note: I found the glass cleans the easiest with a towel and straight ammonia,
Caution: when the glass is cold.

Wayde Koehler

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Fireplace Inserts with Glass Doors
by: Joe the Rehabber

You can usually tell if an existing fireplace has and insert or,
the area was built for a fire place insert by the construction.

Real indoor fireplaces are built with firebrick, usually with a brick chimney, and a brick face and hearth on the inside of the house.

New style fireplace inserts can be placed in a non-brick opening inside the home and will have a metal flue liner up through the roof.

Fire place inserts are more efficient and
will burn logs for about 12 hours compared to an open fireplace lasting 1-3 hours.

Open fireplaces will also suck the air out of the house (needed for combustion) and up the chimney...

...That may cause a draft of outside air leaking into the house from all cracks and crevices throughout the entire house.

Open fireplaces are not very efficient although,
they are very aesthetically pleasing!

I've found that open fireplaces may tend to leak smoke into the home as well,
that may cause a gradual build up smoke damage or stains thought the house, especially on the ceilings.

A few options to consider:

If you remove the fireplace insert, I would want to have the have the chimney inspected, if the damper is in place and operational, for a safe open fire.

If it were my fireplace, I like to see the fire too;
I would contact the Forester Fireplace company, ask them about their Fireplace Insert/Heater, and see if they have replacement Glass Doors for the insert you have, or...

I would get some pricing on a new fireplace inserts with glass doors that would be both very efficient and I would get to enjoy the view of the fire.

It's a choice...

As much as I like an open fireplace, they burn a lot of wood in a short period of time.

That means more

  • Wood supply

  • Cutting

  • Hauling

  • Clean up

  • Stacking and storing

  • and all the labor I didn't like so much having my fireplace.


So with my last high efficient wood burning stove,
3 nice logs would last 12 hours and keep my home hot and cozy. And I needed about a third of the amount of wood.

Fireplace for occasional use?

By all means, the open fireplace is the most enjoyable.

Hope this helps,

Joe the Rehabber

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