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Another Ralph Kramden idea from me

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Another Ralph Kramden idea from me

Old 11-05-2011, 04:02 PM
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Default Another Ralph Kramden idea from me

I've often thought of placing a couple of automobile radiators in the rear of a fireplace with hoses or copper tubing running around the baseboard of a room or 2 aided by a pump for circulation.

My thinking is that the hot water will heat the room far better than just the fireplace alone, saving you on wood or gas.

OK guys tear into it, pros/cons, crazy, whatever.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:31 PM
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Excellent thinking about efficiency! I have to ask whether there would there be a concern for getting the room too warm in the absence of a thermostat?

I'm guessing that a radiator couldn't stand up to the heat, but semi-protected (from too much heat) coils that contain water in movement (hot water pump that circulates a loop) sounds like a good plan.
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Old 11-05-2011, 04:54 PM
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Would it work like one of these?

http://www.centralboiler.com/applications.php
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:45 AM
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I think a car radiator would be to thin and melt in a fireplace. I second the notion of the thermostat. You might get driven out of the room if you have no way to regulate the heat.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:22 AM
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Originally Posted by CaptKennyW View Post
I think a car radiator would be to thin and melt in a fireplace. I second the notion of the thermostat. You might get driven out of the room if you have no way to regulate the heat.

If ever I get the oportunity to try this idea out I'm sure I could install a thermostat somehow, maybe a truck radiator or even an old cast iron radiator from a home.
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Old 11-06-2011, 05:37 AM
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Everytime you have an idea all your friends will tell you why it won't work. I guess they think they are protecting you. But it will if you really want to do it and stick with it. Anyway that said................

Just check out the melting or deformation (I forget the technical name) temperature of the radiator (copper or aluminum (remember many new ones have lots of plastic) . My WAG is fireplace temps may be to hi so placement and fire control may be critical. If you want to heat a room above you wouldn't need pump as liguids can autocirculate if they are heated and cooled in the right areas. Actually this MAY work on the same level also. You will also need a pressurized system and/or antifreeze type fluids or a very well designed pump and heat sink radiator to keep the temperatures of the fluid under 250 or so. The air passages in the radiator will also be subject to ash buildup and will need to be cleaned often.

Most commercially available fireplace (so called insert) heat systems use air as the heat transfer fluid for this reason. Have fun - a good idea but possibly lots of real practical problems to overcome. Let is know how it works

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Old 11-06-2011, 06:13 AM
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Originally Posted by 08087 View Post
I've often thought of placing a couple of automobile radiators in the rear of a fireplace with hoses or copper tubing running around the baseboard of a room or 2 aided by a pump for circulation.

My thinking is that the hot water will heat the room far better than just the fireplace alone, saving you on wood or gas.

OK guys tear into it, pros/cons, crazy, whatever.
Something simpler would be to place some mass "stones" in front of the fireplace that would get heated up while the fireplace was working. That mass would release its heat after the fire would burn out. You can also do some things with passive solar. Placing a mass, can even be a tank of water or tile floor by a window that can absorb heat then release it. I knew someone that had solar air panels on his roof. During the day the heated air was piped to a crawlspace containing tons of stone. At night the heat gain from the stone was released back into the house via air ducks and fan.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:49 PM
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If you are talking about new construction, build some vertical ducts into the brick work. When I was a kid in Vermont our house had one of these on either side of the fire place and you could feel the warm draft from the top vents.
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Old 11-06-2011, 03:57 PM
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We had that type in the basement in Chicago. Heat-a-later fireplace. Full basement under a 2500 sq ft L-shaped ranch house, that basement stayed warm...
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Old 11-06-2011, 04:10 PM
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Something similar to what you are talking about
http://www.frugal-living-freedom.com...c-heating.html
http://www.motherearthnews.com/do-it...r-heating.aspx
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Old 11-07-2011, 12:48 PM
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Assuming a lot of the heat goes up the chimney, what about some sort of heat exchanger in the flue?
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Mine Now View Post
Something simpler would be to place some mass "stones" in front of the fireplace that would get heated up while the fireplace was working. That mass would release its heat after the fire would burn out. You can also do some things with passive solar. Placing a mass, can even be a tank of water or tile floor by a window that can absorb heat then release it. I knew someone that had solar air panels on his roof. During the day the heated air was piped to a crawlspace containing tons of stone. At night the heat gain from the stone was released back into the house via air ducks and fan.
Very good - because the only really useable heat you get is radiant and that basically means it heats you if you are sitting in front of it. if not - all the heat goes up the chimney - very little conduction or convection. With these stones you basically have the features of passive solar - heat up a heat sink and then grab the heat as it cools off

Originally Posted by Kamper View Post
If you are talking about new construction, build some vertical ducts into the brick work. When I was a kid in Vermont our house had one of these on either side of the fire place and you could feel the warm draft from the top vents.
Yep I have seen these and they work fine!
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Old 11-07-2011, 01:23 PM
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put a wood stove in front of the fireplace and duct it into the fireplace. Passive system - no moving parts, nothing to break, no pumps using electricity. Get one with a glass front and you can see flames.

not as pretty as a fireplace but fireplaces send almost all heat up the chimney.

ever been in a house with a wooden stove? build a big fire and you have to open the windows!
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