Fire Place cold air coming in


  #1  
Old 12-04-05, 11:24 AM
Charlie Brown
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Fire Place cold air coming in

Hello,

Our fire place is closed ect... however there is still a significant cold draft coming in. We do use this fire place maybe once or twice a week so we do not want to permanently block it off for the winter. Is there something we can do to block the draft yet still use the fire place and have it still look nice?

thank you
Charlie
 
  #2  
Old 12-04-05, 12:43 PM
jocelynj
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If you have a natural, masonry fireplace you may want to consider a top sealing damper - very energy efficient and excellent at reducing cold downdrafts.
However, if you have a pre-fab (a factory built unit with a metal chimney) there's isn't too much you can do as the metal itself is a very good conductor for the cold air.
 

Last edited by jocelynj; 12-19-05 at 07:52 AM.
  #3  
Old 12-04-05, 07:34 PM
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I had the same problem with FP at my last house. Is there a noticeable gap below the fire box?
I'm sure there are better solutions, but I put a strip of clear packing tape along the gap where the air was coming in. It wasn't that noticeable and it kept the air out. Good luck.
-jasper
 
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Old 12-05-05, 06:02 PM
C
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Charlie Brown,

That is funny.. I was going to post the exact same question. I'm in Connecticut and it just started getting really cold and its so noticeable how cold the room with the fireplace is.

I was wondering if there might not be some way of cutting out some insulation to stick up there when you aren't using it. And then taking it out when we are. something right below the damper in the fireplace. Ours is brick and there is a gap around the damper so the cold air is coming in like crazy.

someone has had to come up with some sort of solution for this.

Thanks!
Charlie, too
 
  #5  
Old 12-05-05, 07:03 PM
jocelynj
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Again, a top sealing damper is the most common method of preventing cold downdrafts. However, one thing to consider: is your fireplace chimney on an outside wall? If so, it is natural that the chimney will be cold. It is masonry (which is going to absorb the temperature it is exposed to) and is pretty much a hollow space. Is your chimney exposed to a high wind area? Some people do use insulation in the damper area, but short of insulating witha a vermiculite-type insulation around the clay liner so you essentially have a solid chimney there isn't whole lot anyone can do to stop the chimney from being cold.
 
  #6  
Old 12-07-05, 10:02 AM
J
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Inflatable bag

I recently saw a home improvement episode it may have been Ask this old house I am really not sure but they were talking about an inflatable bag that fits in the chimmeny, you install it when not in use or just remove it when you want to have a fire. I did not catch a brand or anything
Hope this helps,
Jeff
 
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Old 12-07-05, 10:11 AM
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Fire Place cold air coming in

Three cheers for the insulation between the flue liners and the masonry!!!

Few people do it and it makes everything better, including starting and drafting.

The really bad situation is filling the void with mortar - it is cold, doesn't start well and will cause the entire chimney to crack in the future.

Dick
 
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Old 12-07-05, 10:35 AM
jocelynj
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Thank you! Thank you! It's so nice to be appreciated (j/k)
 
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Old 12-07-05, 08:09 PM
C
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I wonder if you all would entertain another question along the same lines...

We have a sided chimney. And the fireplace has a wooden mantle. The fireplace itself has glass doors and vents running the length of the unit on both the top and the bottom.

When the fireplace is not being used - cold air darn near gushes from the bottom.

I think *think* - that a blower unit could have gone in the bottom - but really don't know a thing about fireplaces. We have a gas fireplace - I clean it every winter... other than that - who knows...

Can I take the black face off the front and shove insulation underneath it?

When it is really cold - I would bet the fireplace and exterior wall outlets cool the house 5 degrees by themselves - if not more. The house is only 6 years old.

uurrggh...

but any thoughts are appreciated!

cb
 
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Old 12-07-05, 09:47 PM
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Fire Place cold air coming in

cooderbrown -

Your wood chase is an uninsulated box that is usually the same temperature as the outside.

The tin chimney that runs throught it and to the outside is a great conductor.

The tin chimney acts as a cooling funnel and the cold air comes in as the warm air rushes out.

It is like a big, cold funnel that makes the wall outlets a minor problem.

Dick
 
  #11  
Old 12-12-05, 08:55 AM
C
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But - can I do anything about it?
 
  #12  
Old 12-12-05, 10:35 AM
jocelynj
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Unfortunately, pre-fab fireplaces tend to be the coldest, especially if they're on an outside wall. As far as I know there is nothing you can do to the chimney/chase to prevent cold air from coming in. Most people just try to seal it off or insulate it from the firebox area. As for insulation in the lower area, check with manufacturer or a local dealer, but you may be able to use ceramic wool.
 
  #13  
Old 12-12-05, 02:55 PM
SuperSweepTN05
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Originally Posted by Concretemasonry
The really bad situation is filling the void with mortar - it is cold, doesn't start well and will cause the entire chimney to crack in the future.

Dick
pour the cavity with thermix it is a vermiculite insulation specially formulated for use in masonry chimneys
 
  #14  
Old 12-18-05, 06:04 AM
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Charlie Brown, I had a similar problem but noticed it in the summer because I was getting smoke smell in the living room. My chimney does have a top damper but it's old and I'm not willing to replace it because I don't know how long we'll stay here. Here's what I did to cut off the draft from the chimney:

First, I did not put insulation inside. I seriously considered cutting a piece of foam board to fit tightly but feared that my wife or I would forget it was there before starting a fire. Seems to me that fibreglass is a non-starter because it'll be so messy to pull out if you want to start a fire. Also, what to do about a vapor barrier?

Instead, I cut a piece of good quality plexiglass (Lexan) to fit just inside the fireplace opening. As I recall, I left a gap of one-quarter inch all around. I got two six-foot lengths of foam insulation for half-inch copper plumbing pipes. I put the foam around the plexiglass. This unit fills the opening and the foam creates a tight seal. The charcoal gray foam fits right in with our old red brick and the plexiglass is clear. With a black screen in front, nobody has noticed the fireplace is sealed. Once you've confirmed the cover fits well, pull it out, drill a hole in the center of the plexiglass and install a black knob to make it easy to pull out whenever you want to light a fire. Now we get smoke smell very, very rarely and I haven't noticed a cold draft, even on windy days.
 
  #15  
Old 12-18-05, 10:48 AM
extusker
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Unhappy Log installation: Gas pipe is closed by design?

Hi,
I am not sure if this is the right thread.
I bought a new home that has a wood burning/gas fireplace. I bought Gas logs to install. I noticed that the pipe connected to the valve is "closed" on the other end. It is not an end cap. The pipe is threaded (from outside) and there is something sticking inside, seems like lead. It is not plastic. It is by design and not by accident.

Has someone seen this before? Is it a normal plumbing thing to prevet gas leaks by accidently turning on the gas starter?

How do I take it out?

thanks
 
 

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