Now that we have piles of wood, thanks to my Wood-Chopping-Champ-Hubby, I am happy to report that we are using the recently installed Heat Champion fireplace!

You may recall that the old fireplace was also a wood burning fireplace, but we rarely used it because with the flue open, it sucked all the heat out of the rest of our house. Because we heat with oil, it was just too expensive (and too cold) to enjoy a fire on a chilly night. Also, since our fireplace happens to be on the enormous side, it just was not efficient at producing heat before.

So, after completing renovations on the hearth and brick facade, we purchased a custom-made Heat Champion unit from Hearth and Home Shoppe. It was installed a few days ago and we have enjoyed a fire pretty much round the clock ever since. The best part is that we are now able to supplement (instead of subtract) the heat in the house just by burning a fire.

This new product made by Stoll has a built-in firebox that concentrates the heat and uses internal fans that blow out the warm air produced by the fire, thus heating the house. Due to the ceramic class doors and other insulation, unlike before, we do not seem to lose any heat through the flue when we burn with the doors closed. Plus, isn't the new fireplace a handsome fellow?

Albus the cat is pretty darn handsome, too!

So with the installation of the Heat Champion, our fireplace renovation is now about 80% complete. We only have 2 items left on the list for updating this part of the house:

1). We need to decide what to do for the mantel. We are leaning towards using a rustic wood slab salvaged from the old barn.

2). After we replace the carpet, we need to install trim around the new granite hearth to frame it in.

In the meantime, I think I might grab a good book and go read by the fireplace. It's a tough job, but somebody has to tend to the fire, right?

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