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bldfw

Q&A Forums Registered User
Posted: 7/14/2011 9:34 AM EST

Related Link:
My Texas Round House

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Fireplace Drafting
I'm having the roof and walls sealed with closed cell foam. I'm also replacing all of the windows and doors with low E vinyl. Effectively the movement of air will be severely restricted.

Given that, someone asked about the ability to find sufficient replacement air in the house to allow the proper drafting function of the fireplace. I hadn't really thought about it until now but it does pose a problem.

My fireplace is in the center core of the house. The glass doors are vented to provide air from the room but if the house is sealed, where is the replacement air going to come from? The firebox does not have a source of venting aside from potentially a return pipe down the flue. To add a source elsewhere would create a source of unconditioned air into the house.....

Has anyone encountered a post install problem with there being insufficent air supply for the fireplace? And if so, was there a viable resolution?

Thanks!

brightalt

Q&A Forums Registered User
Posted: 7/14/2011 1:50 PM EST

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RE: Fireplace Drafting
A direct vent fireplace insert.....

The chimney is the largest intentional hole in a house, and many times a fireplace that uses house air for combustion actually causes you to use more heating....

If you find you have problems (which would present itself as smoke spilling in your house) you can crack a window when you have a fire...

Get the insert for best results. Also you seem to be a very good homeowner.... I would recommend having a blower door pre and post foam, and maybe combustion testing....

airpro  

Q&A Forums Registered User
Posted: 7/14/2011 2:38 PM EST

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RE: Fireplace Drafting
brightalk has the best solution with the direct vent insert because then the fireplace will become a sealed combustion system.

You could also install a fresh air intake close to the fireplace with a cold air trap or barometric dampener, but it may be impractical to install a 6inch air supply.

And of course opening a window is the cheapest solution or capping the flue and not using the fireplace.

Also what kind of heating are you using? If you using any kind of gas or oil you will need to provide them with combustion air.

Airpro

bldfw

Q&A Forums Registered User
Posted: 7/14/2011 5:21 PM EST

Related Link:
My Texas Round House

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RE: Fireplace Drafting
The place is all electric so no problem there. I'd rather have had propane/natural gas heat and stove just to have an alternative heat source in the event of an extended outage but decided to pass on the idea. I can get a portable propane heater and store it in the shed for those few times it might be needed.

Also, I just spent $900 to have a dead 100yo+ oak tree cut down (unfortunately) by my front drive so it wouldn't fall on my carport and new roof. I had them cut it down to fireplace size so now I have this 5' high wall of logs which I plan on using. By the time I get through them, I may be cured of ever wanting to use the fireplace again! ;-)

You're right in that it would not be practical to install a source of air outside the fireplace. Perhaps vented pipe down the chimney. I've browsed on line and will see if I can find a source of fireplace info/service in my local area.

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