Sunday, February 12, 2012

Chimney and Stoves, Part III (Finally)

It's DONE!  Our secondary source of heat is finally installed.The crew from Fireworks Hearth and Home of Haddam, CT, arrived around 10:30 AM on February 10, 2011.  They completed their installation around 2:00 PM.  Thanks to my wife, the following are photos depicting the installation:

Mounting the roof:

Liner installation:

Damper removal:

The stove!
...being installed:

Connection to the liner:

Liner ready to be trimmed:
Bracket for liner at chimney cap:
Thanks to the crew, here's an awesome view down our 250 year old chimney showing the bracket and liner installed:
The Avalon 1190 installed and working: 
The original plan was to install two liners.  One for the fireplace and another for the oil boiler.  When the crew took off the 7" exhaust, it was immediately noticed that the clay bell that received the 7" pipe was not large enough to accommodate the liner with a 90 degree bend.  The installation of the larger liner was cancelled.  The owner was frustrated that he was unable to complete the job, but was kind enough to remove the cost of the large 7" liner and it's installation cost from the final bill.  Although he could not return the liner to the manufacturer, he may be able to use it on another job.

Starting the stove was a bit difficult at first.  There are also fumes from the paint that are given off in that first burn.  My pregnant wife left our home for 2 hours to avoid smelling them.  She was instructed to go spend money... luckily she didn't take it so literally.  Two hours later with a new addition to her maternity attire, she arrived.  The fume smell persisted, however, for the next two days.  I only hope there is no impact on her.

This stove is a monster.  It took about an hour to get the stove up in temperature, but once it was, the heat output was awesome.  With the oil heating off and the outside temperature in the mid to low 40's, inside, the library's thermostat read around 50 deg and the kitchen around 45 deg (bare minimum setting on the thermostats).  With the stove running at full power for a couple hours, the temperature in both locations climbed a minimum of 10 degrees.  Now, there is a more even temperature distributed throughout the home.  It's an incredible feeling to not have to put on the liquid gold and still be warm... hot in fact.  We can walk into the kitchen without dreading it.

Efficiency wise, we'll have to see over time, but some quick math found the following.  I purchased three boxes of hardwood from Walmart ($6.24 per 0.75 cu. ft.) then another 10 cases from the local Stop and Shop (2 for $12 at 0.75 cu. ft. each).  The boxes from Walmart had mold growing in them, Stop and Shop kept there's outside and had two different brands.  One brand was covered in mold and the other dry without mold.  I am on the lookout for a supplier of seasoned hardwood.  Pricing should be around $250 per a chord (128 cu. ft) which should equate to $1.95 per cu. ft.  These small bundles from our local stores are at $8.00 a cu. ft.  We went through three cubic feet of the store bought hardwood from Friday night and then relighting for all of Saturday.  Assuming we have a mild winter the rest of the season, we'll go through 9 cu. ft. a week, one chord should last us roughly 14 weeks.  Obviously we'll go through much more wood as temperatures are more winter like.  

Let's compare this to oil.  Now, of course, please take into account the rather mild winter that we are having and the power outage in October/November.  We spent $2503.99 on heating oil since moving in on October 1, 2011.  That's $1,321.24 since winter started on December 21, 2011, 53 days ago.  If we offset the oil heating with our new wood stove, burning 9 cu. ft. of wood per 7 day period, each day will cost $2.51 (using a bulk buy of $250 per chord).  Over the same 53 day period, we would've spent approximately $133.  That's an insane difference!  Another thing to keep in mind is that our heating system also heats the hot water.  So regardless, if we used wood everyday, we'll still use the oil for hot water.  I'm curious to see how this fair during a bitterly cold winter.

So, how much did this cost us? (I hope the store won't mind this part...)

Avalon 1190:              $2,000.00
Optional Cast Iron Legs:    $100.00
Optional Blower:            $200.00
6" by 35' Liner:            $650.00
Custom support bracket:      $25.00
Black exposed pipe:          $50.00
Installation Fee:           $600.00
Taxes:                      $230.18

Grand Total:              $3,855.18

So was it all worth it?  Absolutely!  The pricing was quite reasonable since other places charged more for all the items listed and installation was questionable due to the nature of the home's age.  Fireside completed the work as promised with no major damage to our historic home.  I am very pleased at this point.  The stove looks the part and functions quite well.  We'll eventually buy a cauldron and stick it on the arm over the stove, just to add to the look and perhaps even put a pot of water on the cook top surface for humidity.  I do plan on having Fireside come back for an annual cleaning.

Now onto the next project!