Author Topic: Fireplace  (Read 4513 times)

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Fireplace
« on: October 10, 2014, 09:00:59 AM »
We have 2 "fireplaces" in our house. I have that in quotes because I'm not exactly sure what type they are. Assuming they are in usable condition, I'm thinking of making them functional.

We have the occasional power outage during the winter if we get an ice storm. My dad told my mom the other day that he wants her to go ahead and order their whole house generator because "Trey will need somewhere warm if the power goes out." Trey is my 3 year old, lol.
 
What type of fireplace do y'all recommend? Wood? Pellet? Gas (Propane out here. No natural gas lines.)? Electric?

Here's a photo of each "fireplace"

Living room: (I thought I had a better photo of this one. Our entertainment enter is in front of it right now.)



Master bedroom:


Prairie Stash

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1796
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2014, 09:13:39 AM »
Definitely not electric, they don't do well in power outages ;)  With a generator supplying electricity a $20 space heater is better, I have 3 in my house for when the natural gas furnace breaks.


GizmoTX

  • Handlebar Stache
  • *****
  • Posts: 1446
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2014, 09:27:42 AM »
A "whole house" generator shouldn't be selected to power the entire house unless it is very tiny, otherwise it will be very expensive. We have concentrated on essentials: heat in 2 rooms, limited lights, refrigerator/freezer, selected power outlets, garage door. We also have a gas range & wood burning fireplace.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2014, 09:42:05 AM »
Definitely not electric, they don't do well in power outages ;)  With a generator supplying electricity a $20 space heater is better, I have 3 in my house for when the natural gas furnace breaks.

Hah, no they don't! I was just throwing that out there.

A "whole house" generator shouldn't be selected to power the entire house unless it is very tiny, otherwise it will be very expensive. We have concentrated on essentials: heat in 2 rooms, limited lights, refrigerator/freezer, selected power outlets, garage door. We also have a gas range & wood burning fireplace.

The whole house generator is for my parent's house.

Since our house is more of a closed floor plan, I was thinking of just being able to heat one or two rooms in case of an outage. My husband wants a small generator to power the fridge (and stove?)

paulkemp

  • 5 O'Clock Shadow
  • *
  • Posts: 7
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2014, 09:43:57 AM »
If the room is not too big, I can recommend a flueless natural gas fireplace. They have a 100% efficiency (a catalyzer keeps the output clean) 

It ignites with a battery, so no external power requirements.  Only drawback is their limited output of 2 kw.

Open fireplaces with chimneys are not very efficient : they tend to suck out a lot of hot air out of your home, and dispensing only (a lot of) heat in a small radius.

GoldenStache

  • Stubble
  • **
  • Posts: 239
  • Location: Washington, DC
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2014, 10:17:54 AM »
It looks like there used to be a wood burning stove in your living room, or there was one there at some time.  If you have the room for one that would do the trick, possibly for the entire house.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4928
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2014, 05:55:39 AM »
I was about to say the same thing; the fireplace with the round hole has been converted for a woodstove at some point. That's much, much more efficient than an open chimney fireplace like your other one.


You'd probably need to move that baseboard heater, and the stove should not sit directly on the wood floor - some sort of heat shielding like tile, though it doesn't have to be anything more than a "pad" for the stove. It will take space - it also needs safe clearance from the wall. But cheap, efficient, and yes, might do the whole house. Might cost less than your current heat without any emergency, in fact, as your primary heat, perhaps supplemented if it doesn't get to all of the rooms quite as well.


Again, let me suggest you talk to the local agricultural extension office. They'll be able to give you pointers about either a stove or that wood-burning fireplace (in a bedroom?) and recommend someone in the area to inspect and probably clean the chimney (don't skip this).


You'd have to keep the little one away from it, of course, but that goes for any fireplace or stove.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #7 on: October 12, 2014, 09:18:02 AM »
Thanks for all the input!

I know open fireplaces are pretty much useless. More for the ambiance.

I'm leaning towards ventless propane. We don't have natural gas out here.

I like the idea of wood, but getting free wood and seasoning it is a little more than I want to put into it. It would definitely require getting a chimney person out here to inspect the flues.

Spork

  • Walrus Stache
  • *******
  • Posts: 5748
    • Spork In The Eye
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #8 on: October 12, 2014, 10:15:05 AM »

Another vote for a wood stove here.  They seriously put out heat.  If you can get it central to the house (or with 2 of them... if you can cover the house)... you will get much more heat than with a traditional fireplace.

Also, for wood stoves, you want to "plumb" them such that the air that feeds the fire comes from outside, not inside.  You don't want to suck the warm air out of the house when the chimney warms up and starts sucking air.  This is, by far, the biggest problem of traditional fireplaces.  They pull more "conditioned air" up the chimney than the amount of warmth they put off.

We pretty much heat our whole house off of one wood stove.  (And it isn't centrally located... which is why I say: better if centrally located.  We get cold spots in the extremities.)

Mother Fussbudget

  • Pencil Stache
  • ****
  • Posts: 840
  • Age: 58
  • Location: Indianapolis, IN
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #9 on: October 12, 2014, 10:41:42 AM »
+1 on the woodstove. Not only make sure the air intake is from outside, and the exhaust flue is airtight, but invest in a Carbon Monoxide alarm.

Rural

  • Magnum Stache
  • ******
  • Posts: 4928
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #10 on: October 12, 2014, 11:17:15 AM »
Thanks for all the input!

I know open fireplaces are pretty much useless. More for the ambiance.

I'm leaning towards ventless propane. We don't have natural gas out here.

I like the idea of wood, but getting free wood and seasoning it is a little more than I want to put into it. It would definitely require getting a chimney person out here to inspect the flues.


The problem with ventless propane is very high humidity (they pump out water vapor). If you have any trouble with dampness at all, or any mold, avoid these like the plague. Our rental house prior to buying this place was heated with only ventless propane, and I nearly died of respiratory problems two winters in a row - turns out the blackish mold I kept seeing was, you know, black mold.


Doesn't mean you'll have the problem, but it's something to be carefully considered with ventless propane.

Zoe

  • Bristles
  • ***
  • Posts: 253
  • Location: Upstate SC
Re: Fireplace
« Reply #11 on: October 12, 2014, 01:11:48 PM »
Thanks for all the input!

I know open fireplaces are pretty much useless. More for the ambiance.

I'm leaning towards ventless propane. We don't have natural gas out here.

I like the idea of wood, but getting free wood and seasoning it is a little more than I want to put into it. It would definitely require getting a chimney person out here to inspect the flues.


The problem with ventless propane is very high humidity (they pump out water vapor). If you have any trouble with dampness at all, or any mold, avoid these like the plague. Our rental house prior to buying this place was heated with only ventless propane, and I nearly died of respiratory problems two winters in a row - turns out the blackish mold I kept seeing was, you know, black mold.


Doesn't mean you'll have the problem, but it's something to be carefully considered with ventless propane.

Crap, I forgot about that! As far as I know, we don't have any, but could be in the walls!

Decisions, decisions.

If we go with wood, I'd prefer a fireplace insert, instead of a woodstove sitting in the floor. We don't have much open floor space.
The other thing is that both the fireplaces are in the front of the house, not central at all.