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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4

    Hmm fireplace cold air leaking from vents

    Hi,I have a Heatilator EC36 woodburning fireplace installed in a new my house in 2003.
    Cold air leaks through the front face vents of the fireplace, when not in use,its a cold draft coming in the living room on the floor. How can I minimize the cold draft from coming in when the fireplace in not in use?

    Is there some insulation that can be fill in to stop the cold draft, I also have a outdoor air kit, but it has a lever on the front face of the fireplace and it is closed, and the damper is closed when fireplace not in use.

    Please any suggestions,do it yourself,or materials on how to minimize the cold draft coming in through the fireplace front vents?

    Thank You, Help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Location
    Hudson, WI
    Posts
    27
    The EC36 is a non insulated firebox so there is nothing you can do to help in that area. Is the chase insulated? At the firestop is it insulated or at the termination point. That is about all you can do is try to insulate the chase the best you can.Make sure to use ceramic wool insulation(most hearth shops should have this) around any pipe or the unit itself.Do not use regular insulation in areas of the non combustible areas (pipe / unit).

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    My guess is the builder did not bother to insulated the chase behind the fireplace. This basically leaves your fireplace mostly "outside" the envelope of the house and acting as a window. Fireplaces don't make very good windows (quite leaky).

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4
    Can I get a builder to inspect the chimney insulation condition and do remodeling insulation on the chimney? Is it a detail job,What's the average cost for a chimney chase insulation? Will I see a major improvement of cold air leakage stopped? Wood burning fireplace.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,137

    Exclamation

    Insulating the chimney and unit will burn the house down. You must observe listed clearances. If you are getting cold air infiltration, fix the house. That means insulation with a vapor barrier and vertical fireblocking per the IRC 602.8 . The best way to achieve this is to caulk and foam large gaps then use ordinary fiberglass insulation in the wall stud cavities sheathed with Thermoply with the seams caulked. Per UL, do NOT caulk the listed firestop. Do NOT pack insulation in, on or around the unit or shoot foam. The problem with insulation is, it works. It keeps things hotter. The unit was tested and listed with stated clearances for cooling air. You pack the unit, you over heat nearby combustibles. The warranty and listing then go out the window.

    Next, seal all upper level penetrations and insure the thermal envelope is intact with no gaps in insulation. Seal all external duct work such as in the attic.

    Then, provide makeup air low in the home. You can contact Heatilator Tech Services for support.

    HTH,
    Hearthman

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2005
    Location
    Madison, WI
    Posts
    1,078
    Your first step would be to talk to the builder who built the house, as well and the fireplace dealer. Between the two one might be able to tell you if the wall behind the fireplace was insulated. If it is not, then I hope you have vinyl siding. The siding will have to come off and then the sheeting. Then you put it back together again inside out drywall, insulation, sheeting, siding.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Dec 2000
    Location
    Michigan
    Posts
    724

    Hmm Physics

    There is only one reason outside air is entering your home:
    INSIDE AIR IS LEAVING!

    There is only one way to STOP outside air from entering a home:
    STOP INSIDE AIR FROM LEAVING! (Physics 101 Delta P)

    So your choices are: stop inside air from leaving, or to stop outside air from entering through your fireplace, open a window on the opposite side of the house.

    You can do a search on why outside air enters a home or read my site.

    Questions:
    1. Do you have recessed lights and where does the replacement air for your clothes dryer re-enter your home i.e.?

    2.. Do you open a window when you operate your fireplace or clothes dryer? You will as soon as you understand this concept!

    Good Luck and I hope you pass this physics class with an "A"!
    The quality of my performance, sometimes depends on the quality of my audience.
    Imitation (Plagiarism) is the best compliment one can get -- "Open A Window"

    To improve Indoor Air Quality: Control Indoor Air QUANTITY = "I.A.Q.Q."

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2008
    Posts
    4
    The front vents on the bottom of fireplace is where the cold draft is coming through,the top vents not a noticable draft any reason why. (Heatilator EC36 woodburing firplace)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,137

    Cool

    Why cold air infiltration only at base of fireplace?

    1-cold air is heavier than warm air thus it settles low
    2- path of least resistance- more openings in the chassis of the fireplace down low such as electrical and gas knockouts

    Open a window on the upwind side of the house and the cold air won't come in through the fireplace. Need a permanent solution? Been posted here many, many times so please read the archives.

    Hearthman

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