Monday, February 13, 2012

DIY Installation of the Fireplace Insert

We have been looking into a fireplace insert for the past year. Our home is heated with propane which continues to rise in cost Last year alone we paid $2,600 in propane. We wanted to make a purchase before the end of the year due to the income tax credit return
which would reimburse us 30% of the cost of the insert. 
The brands we looked at were Country, Pacific Energy, Lopi, and Avalon (Olympic)
We found the brands to be similar heat output and features. The prices did vary with individual brand.
We used the websites to narrow down what we were looking for in style and heat output.
We then took out list to a local dealer.

We Narrowed our search down to these 3 options

The beauty and grace of the Olympic insert (Avalon) is manifest not only in its looks, but also in its remarkable efficiency. At just 2.6 grams of emissions per hour, the Olympic is one of the cleanest-burning large wood inserts ever approved by the EPA. Its large firebox can handle logs up to 24” long, providing up to 12 hours of continuous burn time. It also features a single control to adjust heat output and a by-pass damper to prevent smoke puff-backs while starting and reloading. Several sizes of surround panels are available to accommodate a wide range of fireplace openings. Etched glass, a solid brass door and a variable speed blower are options to enhance the appearance and performance of your Olympic insert. Cost was $2,384.00

Cost  $3,246.00
Pacific Energy Fireplace Inserts heat homes beautifully. Made with Pacific Energy's engineered floating fireboxes, each Insert is designed to slow the combustion process and force warm air back into the room. Wood is burned at a higher temperature  for a longer period of time, creating more heat from less wood. And unlike an open fire, you control the heat output. Each Pacific Energy Insert comes with a simple, easy to use one-touch control.

Cost for this one was $4,468.00 (that's why it was my Favorite)
Transform your old masonry fireplace with the clean, contemporary, sleek design of the Perfect-Fit Plus wood insert with the Cypress face. With no visible grills or venting the insert adds a polished touch to a modern decor while serving as a super-efficient heat source. The insert also features the unobstructed air wash system maintaining clarity and cleanliness of the glass year round.
Easy To Live With - A single air control allows you to set the fire to your desired setting. Operation is easy and requires no guess work to burn efficiently . The Perfect-Fit Plus is also one of the only wood burning inserts to feature a bypass damper that lets you open the flue before starting or reloading your wood making fire start-up simple and preventing smoke spillage into your home.

I saw these flush mount fireplaces and immediately thought we found what we were looking for!
After talking to the dealer we found that the flush mount would not be as efficient as the larger insert. The firebox size was smaller and the maximum burn time was not as long
not to mention the cost was almost double.

We selected the Olympic ( Avalon) fireplace insert with cast black door and extended onto the hearth, it also provided a handy cook-top surface.
It's firebox size is 3.1cubic foot and Log size is up to 24".
74,300 BTU/hr
Heats up to 2,500 square feet ( True)
Burn Time 12 hours ( this is False...ours max is actually 7hours)
Heats our home to an average of 69 to 71 degrees
Overall we have been very pleased with our choice
although we did have to get the fan replaced due to a bad sensor. 
The pay off was when our propane provider came to fill our tank
and left due to the fact it was still full!!!!

Installation Process
We paid $2,384 + $450 for the Chimney liner and the store charged an additional $500.00 for delivery and installation...So here we are with another Busy Days DIY Projects!

What Every DIY Home owner must have!!! A Friend with a John Deer Tractor!

The Little Red Wagon at our home has had some fun adventures!
Seen here with it's maximum weight of 470 pounds...

In order to get the Liner down the Chimney we had to cut out the heatilator.
Using a Milwaukee Jig Saw, 3 blades,and some Saftly glasses this task was completed in about an hour

The length we will go to save $$$...This was a dirty Job

 Our Fireplace is located in the center of the home and is dual. Which means in order to get the liner down the chimney and to the insert it has to turn a corner. ( NOT EASY with a double fireplace) We tried pulling it down by attaching a string and then pushing it up...nothing was we quit for the day...

Now we took the  string and wraped it around a board to get more strength on the rope. While Todd pushed from the top I pulled from the bottom and we eventually got it down...
( might have been worth the extra $500.00 installation fee)
If you have a stright chimney it would have been simple to slide it down and attach.

We used insulation and then attached the fireplace surround which was included in the price

 Measurements Required for Installation