wood burnig fireplace - doors?

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  #1  
Old 03-11-09, 07:12 PM
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wood burnig fireplace - doors?

Hi. I have an old brick woodburning fireplace. Its great to have a nice fire, but there are a few problems. Its completely open in the front. I have a mantle, but still I am worried that a spark can be exited over the mantle and on the floor. As well, there is a lot of heat loss since there are no doors. I'd like to keep the fireplace, but I'd like it a lot more if I could close it up once the fire is lit, as well as close it when its not in use. Any ideas? Thxs
 
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Old 03-12-09, 05:51 AM
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Closing the damper when the fireplace is not in use will significantly stop heat loss.

As for doors,I've heard pros and cons.Fireproof mats and various screens are easier to use/install and less expensive but might not be as attractive and will have no effect on the fire itself.

If you go with doors or similar,buy from a retailer that can adequately answer your questions concerning the set's effects on the fire etc.Various designs have different values and purposes.Some are just for looks.

It is also helpful to find a retailer that can arrange installation.
 
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Old 03-12-09, 07:01 AM
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Hi 47, my first home had a nice fireplace, but even way back then it always seemed to need another stick of wood. Today we have learned that a traditional fireplace provides no heat at all, in fact it steals heat from your home during and after use. The worst times are when the fire is smoldering, little or no heat, and yet you canít close the damper without flooding the house with CO. In my work as an energy auditor I have seen few doors that seal adequately. The best solution, a bit expensive but a great value, would be one of the fireplace airtight inserts. They come is gas, wood, or pellet fuel versions and operate at a very high efficiency. The better ones will have a combustion air source from the outside. I prefer something that can be operated when the power is out.

These units can actually save on your heating costs while providing an enjoyable alternate heat source. I sound like a salesman, but I do love to watch a fire and feel the warmth. Plus they add value to your home, where a simple sealed door is not very attractive for future buyers.

Good luck,
Bud
 
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Old 03-12-09, 07:43 AM
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disalvo
btw..just to clarify...a mantle is the shelf mounted above a fireplace opening...I believe you mean "hearth". The hearth is the part that sticks out below and in front of the opening and is noncombustible material. Often brick, tile or stone.
 
  #5  
Old 03-12-09, 09:55 AM
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You've got me thinking now. I would consider a gas fireplace insert. I have a natural gas line to my outside deck for the bbq that is within 15feet of the fireplace. I'm pretty handy, I've worked with electric, gas, building and finishing. Where could I go to learn how to install a gas insert? thxs for the advice.
 
  #6  
Old 03-12-09, 11:25 AM
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Well we happen to have a forum on Fireplaces under the plumbing and heating catagory. If they can't help you locate a store in your area and talk to their sales people.

Bud
 
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Old 03-12-09, 12:13 PM
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Any alterations to the line itself must be done by a licensed plumber.In some areas this is a code requirement and your insurance company will require this as well.
 
  #8  
Old 05-20-09, 01:28 PM
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I was just perusing this forum and saw this thread.

I have to agree with Bud on this one. We converted our wood burner to a gas insert and couldn't be happier with it. It throws a temendous amount of heat. It has an external intake and exhaust so we didn't have to have the chimney relined. If the power goes out it will still work, just the fan won't blow. We were lucky that there was a gas starter already in the fireplace so there wasn't any gas work that needed to be done. We had it installed but I probably could have done it myself if it wasn't wintertime when we did it. It wasn't very cheap, I have to admit, but it's very convenient with the remote control.
 
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