I have an unused fireplace in our living room. It has an insert-style front and blower-ventilated pipes for the fire to sit on, but when we bought the house the fireplace doors were missing (and the power cord cut). So as an essentially open fire pit in the living room it's a terrible energy loss when used, which we never do. I've looked into purchasing an insert or freestanding wood stove and holy cow they're like $4000!
So I'm thinking why can't I just buy a freestanding wood stove, even a portable one, and put it in the fireplace? I can place a proper-sized flue down the existing 10" flue easily that'll descend to the stove. The stove will sit in and slightly protrude from the existing steel firebox, no problem there. Why wouldn't this work? Apart from aesthetics of course. Just one reason I love SWMBO... her response when I gingerly asked about an ugly icehouse stove in the living room was "well is it gonna be worse than a broken fireplace we never use?!"
For reference, we could be talking anything from a $40 army surplus type deal to a steel barrel stove conversion or barrel stove to a Clarry pellet stove (probably the coolest of the lot ).
And just as to how I got to this place: our community had disastrous flooding in September. We all were trapped for days in our valley with no power, clean water, communications etc... essentially a time machine to the 18th century. Then we spent the next several months figuring out what happens to a vacant home with no grid access as winter freezes (think buying a generator to power an air compressor rigged to our house plumbing system to blow it out preventing burst pipes, for one). SO my wife and I have a newfound appreciation for the vulnerability of our home and are worried about future weather events in particular. We're not whole-hog SHTF preppers, and don't want to be. Just increasing our resiliency. We are aware of what it would take to heat our whole home and this won't cut it as a primary heat source, and is not intended to. We would use this as an auxiliary heater occasionally in the most chilly room of the house, and if push came to shove we could close off the rest of the house and live in as much as this thing will heat .