Q Is there anyway to totally ballpark with no commitment the cost of install (even a broad range would help)?
A It’s really not as bad as one would think. We’ve modularized the core and the veneer (though you can choose any veneer you like) and it simple gets glued together like lego blocks but with refractory mortar. We will be video taping how to build the core this week i will send you the link. Generally we charge $650 for install of the core. Usually $55 for delivery (within 30miles) mostly for a handling charge. Pre-made modular veneer systems are the way to go on price and quality. We do it all in advance. Even brick work in some cases or I’ll send my Dad out to brick it up (75yr old work horse) So you see we’re really in the engineering side of the masonry heater business, we want to focus on making this available to many as opposed to only a few and spend our time on research and development.
Q I don’t know about the hearth, but the carpet will be gone as part of this anyway, so I’ll cut a piece and see.
A Its not necessary, usually one can tell by looking in the basement. If there is a hearth there it will be cantilevered off the original fireplace structure look something like below, disregard the comments at the bottom of the photo it’s from another project…
Q I wonder about the existing chimney through the 2nd floor that stops…make it all go away and use the vertical channel for insulated pipe (which would continue up through attic and out)?
A More than likely use the existing remaining chimney as a chase for a non-insulated stainless steel 7″ pipe then convert to insulated where the chimney stops and up through the roof. Or if there is a clay liner in the chimney already we can salvage that section and convert to either non-insulated or insulated for the final run…
Q I wonder about making sure the basement level is fully supporting the new install’s weight.
A Not as big of a project as most think really. Very common and several methods one can use to accomplish this. We like to use small 4″ steel i-beams as a platform that the Eco Firebox sits on (we hide it within the unit) and usually use a lally column or 2 in in the basement to support the floor joists (joist can easily handle the compression load) Many times we place the lally column on another steel i-beam (or wooden) to further distribute the weight through out your basement floor. (I used to jack up houses with my Pepere, Grandfather, growing up) but this is how an engineer would accomplish this as well.
Q I’m getting more familiar with the concept — I really like it. Can we burn any wood? pine? hardwoods are probably better, but if we can burn any wood, I feel like we will be getting enough from the land for quite a while.
A Oh ya, that’s the beauty! You would need to make certain the heater is baked-in and dried out well enough, usually after 2 weeks of use. Pine gets very hot which we like but burns fast. And by the way its impossible to create tar and creosote in a masonry heater. Burn away my friend. You will be amazed at how clean these burn. You will not be able to see any smoke exit your chimney while a fire is going.
Q Also, I’m thinking about how to get heat all around – ceiling fans I imagine. Also, perhaps one vent or something should go to the 2nd floor? 3rd stays warm already with no direct vents just with heat rising.
A Usually not a problem. This is radiant heat with is much much different than convection heat like a wood stove. Radiant heat is an infrared (read wiki on infrared) is electromagnetic radiation like our Sun. Usually theres only a few degrees difference form room to room and floor to floor because of this. Unlike convection heat it doesnt heat air it heats objects which then reradiates. This is also why is rated as the best air quality when heating ones home. Heating the air is not healthy especially if your using wood to heat the air. Very very bad for elders and young children. Wood smoke is 40x worse than cigarette smoke. Our Tamworth NH customer installed an Eco Firebox because he wanted to burn wood but his 4 yr old is allergic to wood smoke.
Q At some point, a site visit? a visit to your place to see some things and learn? I’ve got my father-in-law interested now.
A Absolutely! Would enjoy meeting you all! We’re also doing the Eco Firebox (Tuscan style) in New Castle NH next week and can show you real world install etc. Plus we’ll have combustion analyzer computer plugged into the Eco Firebox tuning it like a carburetor to get the fuel to air mix perfect. Funny we have all these environmental laws especially for car exhaust but nothing for wood burning appliances “in our homes” where sleep and breath most of our air. weird