While thumbing through online ads the other day, I came a across an ad where someone was offering a free wood-burning fireplace insert if the taker could manage the removal. The insert was from Elmira Stoveworks, and was a 2-door insert, the same as we had in our house when I was a teen.
A good fireplace insert counter-acts this by forming a mostly airtight enclosure around the fireplace, and controlling airflow when it is burning. As a bonus, the insert will have a built in fan to circulate air around the firebox and more effectively heat the room it is in.
I answered the ad, and was fortunate to be invited to remove the insert. The folks disposing of it were new homeowners with other plans for the fireplace.
The insert was VERY heavy. I estimate its weight at a gazillion. Units are not important.
Step one to removal was to take off as much trim as possible. The side screens popped off to reveal bolts holding on the backplate. Firebrick was removed from inside.
Very carefully I slid the insert forward and out of the fireplace.
I removed all the insulation to allow better access to the insert and started dismantling in earnest. A number of bolts held the back plate on and it took a long time to get them undone. Eventually, everything came apart.
I planned to slide the insert off the mantle and onto a four-wheeled piano dolly, but it had other plans. it rolled off the mantle and left a big dent in the floor! I was in shock and must have apologized a million times. The homeowners laughed it off - they had a new floor coming in the next day. Whew. Lucky!
With some effort, I managed to roll the insert onto the dolly and roll it to the front door.
The front steps of the house provided another challenge, but a stand-up appliance dolly took care of that. Pretty soon the fireplace was loaded up and in the trailer. Now it is sitting in the living room at our house, waiting for installation day.