The weather is getting cold and a lot of people do not understand the way a fireplace is designed.  In order to allow the smoke to draft out of the fireplace and up the chimney, the fireplace must have a continuous flow that take the smoke out of your room.  This is called an updraft.  This updraft, tends to go on all of the time, even when not burning a fire.  Most dampers are warped or broken, so they are not closing off the air gap.  In the case of gas fireplaces, the damper must be in the open position all of the time, to allow for any gas fumes to go out and up the chimney.  

     To remedy the problem, I covered the fireplace with an insulated, magnetic fireplace cover.  I discovered this solution 6 years ago and have saved a lot of wasted energy going up the chimney.  My room is warm in the winter and much cooler in the summer.  The humidity was entering the chimney and causing the air conditioner to run more often than necessary.  

     There are many energy solutions out there, but none to address the fireplace.  I know everyone does not have a fireplace, but those of us who do, are cold and tired of paying for the heat going up the chimney.

Tags: Fireplace, covers, draft, fireplace

Views: 1205

Attachments:

Reply to This

Replies to This Discussion

I'm surprised no one has mentioned the external air source; in many parts of the country it is a code requirement for new construction.  As a retrofit, a damper-like plate and chute can be purchased through a brick supplier, let into the hearth and piped outside.  Three other points:  1.  A fire needs to burn hot to keep the chimney from becoming so cool that combustion byproducts do not condense on the flue wall.  It might be worthwhile to insulate the chimney through an unconditioned attic, and most certainly the gap between the chimney and siding.  2.  Even an air tight wood stove or insert requires minimal air sources to support combustion. 3.  Glass doors prevent sparks from starting fires and supply the only damping of what is otherwise unrestricted combustion, besides the amount of wood added to the blaze.   

In existing homes I have not seen the outside air intakes executed very well. Most times they are without dampers. Worse yet, in prefab fireplace configurations they terminate inside chimney chases instead of outside. So they just end up being another penetration that has to be dealt with. 

I presume that you are referring to rooms with a fireplace and chimney which is left without modification after central heating has been installed, to allow for the occasional use of the fireplace on high days and holidays?

I think that the main points to make about this are, for damp climates when closing the chimney off from the room:

a) Leave a small vent permanently open in the room

b) Don't concrete over the top of the chimney at the top.

We bought a house almost 10 years ago, in the UK, where a chimney had been blocked off at the top and there was no longer a chimney pot. The previous owner was finding it hard to sell, due to dampness in the bedroom below the chimney. We were able to get the price down due to that, but all it took to solve the problem permanently was to open up the flue again and replace the original chimney pot! There was already a vent in the fireplace opening at the bottom. It only took about 2 hours of work. No drafts.

Steve, Chimney dampness is a much bigger problem in the UK than it is in the US. It is because of the weather difference and the chimney structural differences combined. But you are correct that you do not want to trap moisture inside of a chimney structure, or you could have a mold problem.

In your UK home example I would bet the chimney pot removal resulted in precipitation seeping in at the crown of the chimney despite the plug at the top. Then there was no way for that seeping moisture to evaporate out, so it grew mold inside the chimney. That is exactly why a functional chimney pot (or cap, as they are known in the US) is important especially if the fireplace is not used.

In USA  83% of houses have AC  so there is a way to get some water vapor out.   I think its more about A) keeping bulk water out of building, roof and flashing does this  B) draining water away from building  C) vapor barrier to keep RH out of building D) some type way of getting RH% down  like AC.

RSS

Forum Discussions

Efficiency of furnace

Started by Jignesh in General Forum. Last reply by Barbara Smith yesterday. 7 Replies

Best brands for furnace

Started by Jignesh in General Forum. Last reply by Barbara Smith yesterday. 1 Reply

Insulation Blower Recommendations?

Started by Jim Conlon in General Forum. Last reply by Cameron Home Insulation yesterday. 2 Replies

2005 EPAct tax credit

Started by Mandy Leazenby in General Forum. Last reply by Sean Lintow Sr on Thursday. 3 Replies

Latest Activity

Sara Watson posted a blog post

6 Tips to Pick Out The Best Solar Outdoor Lights

You have a beautiful home in Florida and plan to add a little sparkle to your front garden, patio,…See More
12 hours ago
DesignTech liked DesignTech's photo
14 hours ago
Anthony Roy is now a member of Home Energy Pros Forum
yesterday
Barbara Smith commented on Barbara Smith's video
yesterday
Barbara Smith replied to Jignesh's discussion Efficiency of furnace
"Installation and proper sizing is important to getting the best performance out of your furnace.…"
yesterday
Barbara Smith replied to Jignesh's discussion Best brands for furnace
"Check ENERGY STAR and Consumer Reports.…"
yesterday
Barbara Smith replied to Diane Chojnowski's discussion Support Mike Rogers, a long-time home performance hero, as he battles sinus cancer. in the group News & Announcements
yesterday
Barbara Smith joined Diane Chojnowski's group
Thumbnail

News & Announcements

Share your news and announcements with the community in this group.To post news or an announcement,…See More
yesterday
Diane Chojnowski added a discussion to the group News & Announcements
Thumbnail

Support Mike Rogers, a long-time home performance hero, as he battles sinus cancer.

Support Mike Rogers, a long-time home performance hero, as he battles sinus cancer. Write a note, a…See More
yesterday
Eric Kjelshus replied to Jignesh's discussion Efficiency of furnace
"I like looking at system efficiency - Lets say the you have a 95% gas using furnace 100,000…"
yesterday
Cameron Home Insulation replied to Jim Conlon's discussion Insulation Blower Recommendations?
"Hi, Rent a Cellulose Insulation Blower from your local Home Depot. Get more information about…"
yesterday
Todd Abercrombie liked Barbara Smith's video
Saturday
Jim Hensen replied to Jignesh's discussion Efficiency of furnace
"Great question - what the efficiency rating means is one of the most common questions we we asked.…"
Saturday
Michael Schettine's blog post was featured

Framing production combined with air sealing

Building Tighter Homes with Gasketed FramingIf you follow our blog, you know that we talk quite a…See More
Friday
Profile IconMichael E and Jason Dion joined Home Energy Pros Forum
Friday
Jason Dion joined Sean Lintow Sr's group
Thumbnail

Best Practices (Residential)

Best Building, Retrofitting, or even Auditing Practices - what are they, what should change, what…See More
Friday
Jason Dion joined Michael Stuart's group
Thumbnail

INFRARED THERMOGRAPHY USERS

This group is dedicated to knowledge sharing and discussion of infrared thermography for building…See More
Friday
Jason Dion joined allen p tanner's group
Thumbnail

Energy Auditing Equipment for Sale, Trade or to Purchase

Discuss the pros and cons of the equipment you are interested in prior to purchase. Post equipment…See More
Friday
Jason Dion joined Allison A. Bailes III's group
Thumbnail

HVAC

HVAC design, Manuals J, S, T, & D, Duct leakage, Air flow, ENERGY STAR new home requirements,…See More
Friday
Jason Dion joined Bob Krell's group
Thumbnail

Healthy Indoors (IAQ)

The Healthy Indoors group is focused on indoor air quality (IAQ), mold, moisture control, radon,…See More
Friday

Photos

  • Add Photos
  • View All

© 2018   Created by Home Performance Coalition (HPC)   Powered by

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service