I lucked out the other day and ended up getting a fireplace insert for $50. Of course it was used, but the fan worked and the overall structure seemed to be without any visible flaws. Yesterday I stopped by the local wood stove shop and picked up the insulation I needed to install the insert and get it ready for use this winter.
We have regularly used our fireplace, but have found that it doesn’t work as well as we really would have liked. There always seems to be more of a draft and less heat produced than what we need to truly heat the house. My father has fireplace inserts in his home, both upstairs and downstairs, and they heat his entire house quite efficiently. Getting this insert should really help us out, especially on those cold nights where anything but wood heat just seems to leave you chilled to the bone.
Here is a picture of the monster we picked up.
I know that I have some work to do with regard to the surface rust. At this point I have not decided if I want to use Rustoleum type grill paint on it or if I should treat it like a cast iron skillet and just season it. Either way I know that the house is going to get a bit stinky and the wife will have to be elsewhere when I do the work. I also know that I will need to get a fire resistant carpet in front of the doors to ensure I don’t burn my carpet. If that were to happen my wife’s dog, which is the butt you see in the picture, would not be happy. That spot she is sleeping in is really her “spot.”
For those that don’t have the money or desire to mess around with wood burning stoves, I highly suggest fireplace inserts. They are easy to work with and do the same job without all the installation hassles. The insert also keeps all the cold air and drafts from fighting with your electric heat if you have that. Either way it is definitely a win/win situation if you can get one at a reasonable price.