Heatilator Wood Burning Fireplace

By Todd Fratzel on Air Conditioning, Safety

picture of heatilator wood burning fireplaceThe new house that we’re building at work features a Heatilator Wood Burning Fireplace. Prefabricated wood fireplace inserts are becoming very popular especially with the price of heating fuels. Our customers chose the Accelerator by Heatilator which is a wood burning fireplace insert.

As you can see from the photo we’ve installed the fireplace early in the construction process. By installing the fireplace early on we can properly install it and make certain that all clearances are maintained as we build the house around the fireplace. Typically these type of fireplaces require some minimum distance between combustible materials. In this case we need to maintain a minimum of 2 inches between the fireplace components and any combustible materials.

This fireplace features two options that make this a great way to supplement your heat. First of all the unit comes with a dedicated fresh air intake. You can see the fresh air intake duct on the left side of the fireplace. It’s really important to use outside combustion air in order for the fireplace to work properly. Outside air helps prevent effects from negative air pressure. This fireplace also features a circulating fan to help push warm air from the firebox out into the room. These type of fans really make fireplaces very effective in heating large spaces. This fireplace is located in a large family room that’s open to the dining room and kitchen.

Probably the most important part of any wood burning fireplace is the chimney. The chimney has so many different requirements that I’ll leave some of it for another day. For this house we’ll be building a chimney chase on the roof (the chase will be sided to match the house). Inside the chimney chase will be a UL approved Stainless Steel Class “A” Insulated Chimney pipe. Most fires cause by wood burning fireplaces originate in faulty chimneys. I HIGHLY recommend you hire a certified, reputable company to install your chimney.

I’ll write another post when we finish the chimney chase so you can see the finished product.

About the author

Todd Fratzel

I'm full time builder for a large construction company in New Hampshire. I run their design-build division that specializes in custom homes, commercial design-build projects and sub-divisions. I'm also a licensed civil and structural engineer with extensive experience in civil and structural design and home construction. My hope is that I can share my experience in the home construction, home improvement and home renovation profession with other builders and home owners. I'm also the Editor-in-Chief and Founder of Tool Box Buzz. Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions, suggestions or you'd like to inquire about advertising on this site.

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  1. Kelly Barnes says:

    Can you install a heatilator into a fireplace that is already built? The house was built in 1980’s.

    Thank you for your time,

    • Todd says:

      @ Kelly – Very interesting question. I’ve never seen it done but that’s not to say it can’t be. I think the trick would be finding a heatilator that will fit inside the existing fireplace and meet the manufacturer’s specifications for clearances. You could start by creating a drawing of the opening you have an searching for a fireplace that would fit the space. Chances are you’d have some modifications needed to make it all fit and look right.

  2. Prewitt says:

    I have a heatilator woodburning fireplace in a home we just bought.
    The box is lined with firebrick; metal backing behind it. I noticed that there is a space, approx. 1/2 inch, on each side of the back portion of the brick. This back wall/portion also moves slightly when I touch it (for cleaning). Is this normal/safe? Also, the flue is a double wall pipe with stainless for the inner pipe. Any thoughts on this type of installation?

    We plan to use the Heatilator to burn wood this winter. Your thoughts on safety, given the above.

    Thanks, P. Prewitt.

    • Todd says:

      @ Prewitt – I’m really not sure about that space and I recommend you check with the dealer/manufacturer just to be sure. Double lined flue pipes are the standard now and required by law in most places. Best of luck and I hope you enjoy your new Heatilator

  3. Sharon says:

    I have a Heatilator E36 woodburning fireplace and would like to have something more efficient installed. The manual and on the fireplace says that unvented logs are not allowed (has not been tested for use in this firebox). Vented logs would not be efficient or produce much heat. I have access to propane gas. Do you know of a gas insert that would work in this unit? What would have to be done to the piping in the chimney as well?

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