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Old 02-18-2014, 01:19 PM
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We just bought our first home a few months ago and this has been our first winter here. Our electric heating bill has been outrageous. We were thinking of getting a fireplace insert for our wood burning fireplace.

Any thoughts? Experiences good or bad? Will it actually save money on heating bills?

The inserts I've priced are a bit spendy ($2K-$4K new/installed). Is it worth it? Our current bill has been close to $400. per month. (Ouch. )

This is the first home we've lived in that has had a wood burning fireplace, and we have never had an insert - so I welcome all kind replies.
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Old 02-18-2014, 03:22 PM
Location: Alexandria, VA
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Maybe ask in the house forum? Folks there might be more familiar w/the fireplace insert.
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Old 02-18-2014, 09:04 PM
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We've had them before at our three previous houses. Not sure how much we saved cost wise. We liked them because the heat made the house feel warm and cozy unlike the ducted heat. After having been through three major ice storms with no power for several days, the insert was also a part of our emergency plan. We thought the cost was worth it.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:32 AM
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What will the source of your wood be?
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:53 PM
Status: "Things change. Can I?" (set 21 days ago)
Location: in the miseries
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Originally Posted by Threestep View Post
What will the source of your wood be?
Very good question. We had a wood fireplace,very laborious.
Changed to pellets, very pricy. Cheaper to just use heating system in house.
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Old 02-19-2014, 02:59 PM
Location: Keosauqua, Iowa
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Why do you want to install an insert rather than just using the fireplace? If the concern is with the condition of the firebox, I'm pretty sure you could have it tuckpointed for much less than the cost of installing an insert.
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Old 02-19-2014, 06:19 PM
Location: Dover, DE
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We put a propane insert in our wood burning fireplace up in PA and loved it. We didn't have natural gas, so had to go the propane route. We were told that our fireplace box was too close to the wood framing and we shouldn't use it but I really love having a fire. So this was a great alternative. Had 2 100# tanks in the back of the house. The biggest pain was having to take them and have them refilled.

But if you have a natural gas hook-up, that I would recommend it. We have one down here (natural gas) and use it when it gets cold outside as it seems to take the chill off without having to raise the temp on the thermostat. We have a vented one because my allergies don't allow for unvented.
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Old 02-19-2014, 08:06 PM
Location: 2016 Clown Car...fka: Wisconsin
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For us, there has never been a question about having an alternate heating source for one reason: power outages. So when we purchased our current home in 2007, we installed an air-tight EPA certified insert, stainless steel chimney liner and spark cap. And we did it ourselves for less than $2000.

Best decision we could have made.

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Old 02-19-2014, 09:41 PM
Location: Southwest Washington State
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We had one. We didn't use it except for the occasional power outage. I think DH was overly enthusiastic about it. He found that he didn't enjoy chopping wood, or hunting for good wood to burn. And then we were sold some green wood and had a chimney fire. Lucky it didn't do anything except damage the stack. (Honestly, we were quite lucky.) I think that dampened his enthusiasm.

When we used it, it honestly didn't heat the house. And the fire went out overnight.
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Old 02-20-2014, 12:20 PM
Location: North Idaho
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If you have a traditional fireplace with a chimney, the heat you are paying for is going right up the chimney.

My recommendation is that you have the chimney inspected and if it is sound, install a regular woodstove in front of the fireplace, with the stove pipe going up the chimney and the openeing to the fireplace well and thoroughly closed off.

The whole point of the wood stove is to have all that iron heated up and giving off all it's heat, from all four sides, into the room. If you have an enclosded insert, then it will seal off the drafts, so that is plus. However, the heat from the sides, back, and top of the insert is still going up the chimney.

I love wood heat, but it is not cheaper unless you have a cheap source of firewood. You also must have a place to store the firewood and age it, because nobody, no matter what they swear to you, is going to sell you firewood properly dried and ready to burn.
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