Heating Homes with High Efficiency Wood and Gas

Heating Homes with High-Efficiency
Wood-Burning Fireplaces
Kim Kepchar, NFI* Certified (Master Hearth Specialist)
Jonathan Schnyer, NFI* Certified (Wood-Burning Specialist)
*For 25 years, the independent non-profit Hearth, Patio and Barbecue Education Foundation (HPBEF) has offered
certifications for professionals in the hearth industry. In 2001, the HPBEF formed the National Fireplace Institute® as
the national certification agency for the industry. A comprehensive review process was conducted with the help of
industry installers, technical experts, and hearth business owners to determine what industry professionals need to
Code Changes for Masonry Fireplaces
To gasket or not to gasket:
ICC Residential Code Changes
• N1102.4.2 (402.4.3) Fireplaces. (2009)
New wood-burning fireplaces shall have
gasketed doors and outdoor combustion air.
• R402.4.2 Fireplaces. (2012)
New wood-burning fireplaces shall have tightfitting flue dampers and outdoor combustion
Fireplace and Woodstove Myths
• Outside air kits improve open fireplace
• Tile, rock or other noncombustible material on
a wall acts as a heat shield, reducing the
clearance requirement to combustibles.
• Tile, stone or other noncombustible material
is sufficient floor protection for a wood stove
or hearth.
Fireplace Myths Continued
• Clearances are clearances, and they don’t vary
between make, model and type.
• A masonry chimney is safer than a hightemperature factory-built chimney system.
Costs and benefits:
Masonry Versus High Efficiency
• Costs and disadvantages
– Masonry fireplace chimney, foundation, hearth: $12,000-$20,000.
• Requires footer.
• Significant heat loss while in use.
– High-efficiency fireplace system, framed chase: $9,500-$20,000.
• Shorter lifespan than masonry fireplaces.
• Benefits and advantages
– Masonry fireplaces: aesthetics, ambiance, adds value to house.
– High-efficiency systems: aesthetics, ambiance, cost savings , backup heat source, little heat loss.
Assumes 20’ chimney, 60” wide by 24” deep.
Benefits of heating with wood
Environmentally friendly
Cost savings over most heating systems
Works without electricity
Aesthetically pleasing
NOTHING heats like wood!
High-Efficiency Fireplace Planning
Start early
Supplementary or primary heat source?
Venting plan
Appliance location
Forced air circulation? Other heat system?
Gravity and fan-driven vent kits
Hearth extension
Mantel, surround and facade
Efficiency and aesthetics are not
mutually exclusive.
BIS Ultima Clean Face with Louvers
2.0 Ft3 firebox, heating capacity 1500 ft.2 86.6% efficient, 3.7 grams per hour emissions
933 2nd St. SE in the IX Building in Downtown Charlottesville 434-760-8659

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