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  1. #27
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,305

    Thumbs down man loves his stinky logs

    Randy, burning VF logs is not a guarantee you'll have problems. However, statistically, they do carry a higher rate of certain complaints than their vented cousins. These complaints include: odors, excessive heat for the space, humidity, odors, frequent dropout of ODS pilot due to lack of simple maintenance, odors, lack of realistic burn, odors, damage to fireplace headers and mantels, odors and more. Did I say odors? THEY STINK! I can smell a VF burning the moment I walk into a home. I have never walked into a house with a VF burning that I failed to smell it as I entered the home.

    You mentioned no problems with CO2: are you referring to the amount of CO2 you and your family exhale in any given day or from combustion spillage as CO2 displaces O2 which can lead to CO production? Do you have some sort of carbon MONOXIDE alarm or monitor? FYI, it is CO that is the deadly poison-not CO2.

    You mentioned no problems with sooting: have you had a professional take lab samples and have them analyzed? If not, then I can assure you, you do not know that you don't have sooting issues.

    Be advised, there isn't a single building scientist or industrial hygienist out there who is willing to publicly endorse any sort of VF appliance in a building. Moreover, if you have an energy audit done and want to claim a tax credit, they are required to remove any VF appliances from the home. Doesn't that tell you something right there?

    Why do you think the largest fireplace company in the world turned their back on the VF business? Because the cons outweighed the pros.

    If you read the 2009 IRC, you'll see there are very few applications where you can legally install VF logs in most houses, esp. once they have been weatherized.

    VF logs are not intended or tested as a primary heat source and should not be run continuously for more than 4 hours regardless of home construction or mechanical systems. Moreover, the last thing you want to do is blow large volumes of air around VF logs. Stay air currents can cool the flames or cause flame impingement, which leads to sooting, CO and odors.

    If you're hell bent on burning them, do yourself a favor and get an unlisted low level CO monitor--not a UL listed POS alarm.

    BTW, we call VF logs "lung vented"--think about it.

    HTH.
    PS-- VF logs stink!

  2. #28
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    396
    Hearthman, why are VFs not allowed for a tax credit energy audit? Wouldn't it make sense for the government to promote a very efficient appliance? ........or is it a way for the powers that be to give business to companies that contribute to their party heavily?
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  3. #29
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,305

    Cool

    Rob, when they finish weatherizing the home, it is much like Tupperware. Not a suitable environment for VF. Part of the BPI and HERS protocols include Worst Case Depressurization Testing for CO spillage from combustion appliances after remediation. They want to ensure the home is not going to make the occupants ill. As I said, if you read the IRC, you will see there aren't a lot of conditions under which VF can be installed in any home but virtually none in a weatherized home. It isn't just about saving energy but living in a healthy environment. Energy is only part of all this GREEN movement. Air quality and a healthy environment goes hand in hand. VF is not considered a healthy choice by the experts-period. If things continue the way they are headed, pretty soon, you won't be able to sell a house unless it passes an energy audit and this will result in the steady removal of VF appliances just as fast as they are being installed.

    Q for you: how many VFs would you say are installed into factory built fireplaces in your area that were pre-17May 1999? This includes all those such as Majestic who state in their manuals they approve of VF installation into their fireplaces. Just curious....

    As for the politics of fireplaces, understand the current administration is doing all they can to run us out of business. We are spending gobs of money battling the EPA, DOE, CPSC and dozens of air quality districts and legislatures. The hearth industry is a tiny industry and it is broke. There is NO money for political contributions by anyone. We are the red headed step children getting beaten and kicked around as the bullies see fit.

    You missed a good class in Richmond if I must say so.

  4. #30
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    396
    I can see where a very tightly sealed home could run into moisture and other issues with VFs, but in our moderate climate, few homes would be considered "tight". I guess our entire industry will cease to exist before too long due to govt. regulations and pressure from the "green" movement. They will have us driving a Prius and living in a hermetically sealed hamster cage.

    I would bet there are many out there that are installed before May 1999. The majority that I come across are VFs installed in a VF specific firebox. I have seen some VERY scary VF installations though !!!! I saw one once that someone had installed a VF in a cast iron, freestanding wood stove !!!! Eeeeek

    I am sure all of your classes are are greatly informative. Sorry I couldn't attend the Richmond class. I am looking forward to the time when our paths finally cross !!! I may have to drive up to PA and pay you for the privilege of just following you around and absorbing some of the fireplace knowledge emanating from your pores !!!
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  5. #31
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    29
    I guess you are right they do have a smell. Its not something that I find disgusting like a sewage leak or anything like that. But, come to think of it I have never been in a house with a wood burning fireplace and not smelled some smoke. Its code here to have Carbon Monoxide alarms in your home. I have never had one go off. As far as soot goes if I dont see it then, in my opinion its not a problem. I am sure I could have a professional lab take samples for all kinds of stuff and them come back positive. I dont use them as my primary heat source and I have never blown large amounts of air around my gas logs. I am very happy with my gas logs. I know lots of people with them around here and they just like me like them also. I cant seem to remember ever reading about or seeing on the news about people dieing from a set of vent free gas logs.

  6. #32
    Join Date
    Aug 2004
    Location
    S.E. Pa
    Posts
    6,305

    Cool

    Randy, I'm glad you are not seeing problems with your VF logs. Consider yourself lucky. CO death and injury reporting is a joke so the numbers reported are far below actual numbers. Understand that off the shelf CO alarms are a joke. They rarely alert when they are supposed to and they take too long to alert at lower numbers---up to 4hrs at 70ppm/ 30 days at 69ppm. A lot of people are being made sick to varying degrees. For instance, VF have been found to produce higher levels of NOx, which causes respiratory irritation.

    Find a tech like logdoc rob to clean and service it annually and be sure the logs are precisely in the correct placement.

  7. #33
    Join Date
    Jul 2006
    Location
    Virginia
    Posts
    396
    If the government is so concerned about indoor air quality, why dont they make it easier to acquire a CO detector that registers and alarms at a lower threshold? What can we do to help that along? I inform my customers about the higher alarm threshold of the "approved " CO alarms.
    Common sense is NOT common !!!

  8. #34
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Posts
    29
    Is co heavier than oxygen? If so, would the co detector need to be placed at a lower level to detect the high levels beofre they got to head height? Say lower than you head would be laying on the couch or floor? Mine are combination fire/carbon monoxide alarms.

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