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Old 02-09-2019, 03:41 PM  
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Fireplace and chimney - value vs function

We have recently renovated our family room (thanks Bugeater) and exposed our fireplace that had been blocked by our entertainment center. Now the cold air that radiates off it has caused our room to be 2 degrees colder. Out of curiosity, I checked the temp at the base of the fireplace and its 54 degrees.

So now I'm debating what makes more sense. Remove it or renovate it so this is less of an issue. Not sure I can afford either option right now but curious what others have done in similar situations.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:19 AM   #31
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I have always owned a FP my entire life and would not have a house without one. That said, I am NOT an "expert" FP technician . My following advice is provided with that disclosure in case your house burns down. Please contact a professional prior to making changes.

1. You are so lucky to have a fireplace/chimney! Some people would kill to have one!


2. You mentioned that the temp at the BASE of the FP is 54 degrees. If the problem was simply "radiant", coming through the brick chimney, it should be cold up higher as well as below. Most FPs have a metal box and possibly a metal flue liner that should also provide more insulation separation from the outside bricks. Some FPs have "fire brick" in the box that are more dense than other brick.


3. You said that the problem was better when your entertainment center was blocking the FP. That also seems to indicate that the problem is with the FP opening itself and NOT "radiant" cold from the outside bricks. Have you checked to see if you have a FP damper? This helps to close off the chimney opening going through the roof. You mentioned that the FP had been converted to gas, perhaps they removed the damper when the conversion took place?


4. A leaky or missing fireplace damper can cost as much as several hundred dollars of heat loss right up your chimney. Also, the damper can be manually opened and closed depending upon your needs at any given time.

5. If your entertainment center helped insulate the area, why don't you purchase a glass FP cover for the opening? Some of them are very attractive, have doors that open/close, and can serve the same purpose the entertainment center provided. You can even buy one that has very dark, smoky glass that hides anything behind it (except the fire light). Lose the plywood cover.

6. If it has been converted to gas already, why aren't you using it? Gas fake log fire inserts don't cost very much depending on the quality and they are very nice in the winter. They also provide a nice ambiance during other parts of the year. Alternatively, perhaps you could go back with using wood. Cleaning the ash isn't such a big problem as some have said.


7. I have always owed a wood burning fireplace and I have never experienced the issues you have described.

7. Gas or wood, install a carbon monoxide and smoke detector.
Long post. Short answers.

It wasn't converted. It was gas and wood from day one when the house was built based on house plans.

It has a damper but didn't stop cold air in the winter. That's why I put up the plywood. Only way to stop it.

I posted pictures earlier in the thread so you can see the current setup.

It also had glass doors that did nothing to stop the cold either. The other reason I opted for the plywood.

Now it's exposed so I need to do something to solve all the issues. I'm never going to burn wood so gas or electric are my only options.
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My dear girl, there are some things that just arenít done. Such as, drinking Dom Perignon í53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Thatís just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.

Last edited by 007; 02-11-2019 at 11:19 AM..
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Old 02-11-2019, 03:59 PM   #32
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Just got off the phone with a local fireplace dealer. They were talking about $7000 units. **** that.

I just need something that fills the hole and at least looks presentable. I don't even care if it heats.

Yeah yeah. Get your mind or if the gutter.
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My dear girl, there are some things that just arenít done. Such as, drinking Dom Perignon í53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Thatís just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.
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Old 02-11-2019, 05:24 PM   #33
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:04 PM   #34
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New TV would be cheaper lol
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My dear girl, there are some things that just arenít done. Such as, drinking Dom Perignon í53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Thatís just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.
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Old 02-11-2019, 10:28 PM   #35
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Originally Posted by 007 View Post
Just got off the phone with a local fireplace dealer. They were talking about $7000 units. **** that.

I just need something that fills the hole and at least looks presentable. I don't even care if it heats.

Yeah yeah. Get your mind or if the gutter.
Do you have any friends or know anyone in construction? They may be able to help you out a lot cheaper
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Old 02-11-2019, 11:24 PM   #36
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Do you have any friends or know anyone in construction? They may be able to help you out a lot cheaper
I do but he's busy with other more important things right now.
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Old 02-12-2019, 12:55 AM   #37
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Old 02-12-2019, 05:35 AM   #38
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Have you considered starting and maintaining a fire in the fireplace to offset the radiant cold until March rolls in?
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Old 02-12-2019, 06:01 AM   #39
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Have you considered starting and maintaining a fire in the fireplace to offset the radiant cold until March rolls in?
I've lived in three homes with fireplaces and never used any of them. None have given me this issue.

To answer your question, no. I really have no desire to put an open flame in my house. I know your comment was in jest but decided to take it seriously anyway. I really don't even like having the gas line next to the fireplace. Its amazing after all these years, none of my kids ever turned it to release the gas. Probably the one thing they never defied my instructions on.
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My dear girl, there are some things that just arenít done. Such as, drinking Dom Perignon í53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Thatís just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.
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Old 02-12-2019, 07:31 AM
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:25 AM   #40
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I had a chimney knocked out when I redid my roof.

It had (at one time) served as the vent for the hot water heater. Seems like serious overkill, but they did build the shit out of old houses.
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:30 AM   #41
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Might have to just burn the house down and start over...
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Old 02-12-2019, 08:56 AM   #42
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I used the cardboard from one of my daughter's science fair experiment.

I taped it inside the base of the fireplace just above the glass exposure so that nobody can see it, and it actually made a lot of difference in our room at virtually no cost.
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:40 AM   #43
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 007 View Post
I've lived in three homes with fireplaces and never used any of them. None have given me this issue.

To answer your question, no. I really have no desire to put an open flame in my house. I know your comment was in jest but decided to take it seriously anyway. I really don't even like having the gas line next to the fireplace. Its amazing after all these years, none of my kids ever turned it to release the gas. Probably the one thing they never defied my instructions on.
If the gas line is right there, why not put a gas fireplace insert in?

We have one and it saves our bacon when the power goes out. It can easily heat half the house (or more with fans).
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Old 02-12-2019, 09:58 AM   #44
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I did a study of heating fuels once for a client. If you can get off propane, it's worth a lot of money to you. Propane was way more expensive than gas or even electric heat.
I basically do heating comparisons for a living, now granted up here is different and Nat Gas isnít an option in my city. Oil is the most common, but between oil, electric, and propane propane is considerably the better option if the person can afford the upfront cost to upgrade. New construction itís not even close.
You canít beat gas, 96% efficient and little to no maintenance costs.
I sell a lot of gas fireplaces too, itís the least efficient way to burn gas but people like the aesthetics of them.
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Old 02-12-2019, 04:10 PM   #45
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Originally Posted by htismaqe View Post
If the gas line is right there, why not put a gas fireplace insert in?



We have one and it saves our bacon when the power goes out. It can easily heat half the house (or more with fans).
It already had a gas log in it. Heat just went straight up the chimney. Barely warmed the room at all when we tried it. Saw no point even using it at that point.

I'm only going to do gas or electric once we remove that plywood so whatever we get has to blow heat into the room.
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My dear girl, there are some things that just arenít done. Such as, drinking Dom Perignon í53 above the temperature of 38 degrees Fahrenheit. Thatís just as bad as listening to the Beatles without earmuffs.

Last edited by 007; 02-12-2019 at 04:30 PM..
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