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The Lounge>Fireplace and chimney - value vs function
007 03:41 PM 02-09-2019
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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Rain Man 04:08 PM 02-09-2019
Is it just radiant temperature change through the bricks or stones or whatever, or is it a draft through the flue?
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007 04:09 PM 02-09-2019
Originally Posted by Rain Man:
Is it just radiant temperature change through the bricks or stones or whatever, or is it a draft through the flue?
The fireplace opening is completely boarded up. We haven't used this since 2004. I feel this is all radiant.
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Mennonite 04:19 PM 02-09-2019
Was your "entertainment center" a giant ball of insulation by any chance?
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Rain Man 04:19 PM 02-09-2019
It seems like there's nothing that can fix radiant problems other than to put something in front of it (inside or outside) that would slow it down. But the flow would be based on distance, so I wonder if a fair amount of it is cold air in the flue, since that has a shorter distance to travel.

We had a water line that would freeze in our house whenever the temperature got below zero, and we couldn't figure it out. We assumed it was on an exterior wall, which seemed really wrong. Eventually we mentioned it to a contractor doing another project, and he figured it out. The line was inside an interior wall, but it ran next to a vent pipe that went up and out the roof. In subzero weather, the cold air inside that vent pipe was cold enough that it would freeze the water line that was running parallel an inch or two away from it.

So I bet your flue is part of the problem. If you don't use it, can you put a hard cap on the top of it? Edit: or blow it full of foam insulation or something nonflammable so a cap doesn't kill the next owner.
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displacedinMN 04:23 PM 02-09-2019
In our old house we did a gas insert. Best move!!! Warm when we needed it. Off when we were done.
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TrebMaxx 04:33 PM 02-09-2019
Originally Posted by displacedinMN:
In our old house we did a gas insert. Best move!!! Warm when we needed it. Off when we were done.
This!
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007 04:42 PM 02-09-2019
Originally Posted by displacedinMN:
In our old house we did a gas insert. Best move!!! Warm when we needed it. Off when we were done.
It's already equipped for gas. We sealed the front of the fireplace but didn't put a hard cap on the chimney. This thing was even worse before I boarded it up. The brick chimney runs from the ground to the roof which doesn't help.


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O.city 04:48 PM 02-09-2019
I’ve got a gas one upstairs in the kitchen eating area that we rarely use but a real wood one in the basement that I’ve been using a lot lately.

I’m just a fan of the real wood heat and smell but it is kind of a pain to have to clean and such
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notorious 04:57 PM 02-09-2019
There is a TON of thermal transfer. The great thing about brick is it retains heat.....but it also retains cold.

All you have between you and the outside is a layer of sheetrock and a mass of chilled brick.
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Bwana 04:58 PM 02-09-2019
Originally Posted by displacedinMN:
In our old house we did a gas insert. Best move!!! Warm when we needed it. Off when we were done.
Yeah I have a wood insert with a blower that is great on the coldest winter nights.

Today's high was 0 and there is a nasty wind chill on top of that. I should have it going now.
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Rain Man 05:01 PM 02-09-2019
Originally Posted by O.city:
Iíve got a gas one upstairs in the kitchen eating area that we rarely use but a real wood one in the basement that Iíve been using a lot lately.

Iím just a fan of the real wood heat and smell but it is kind of a pain to have to clean and such
My house in high school had a wood stove in the basement, and it somehow became my job to get/keep the fire going after I got home from school. It was a major pain in the ash.

I got home from school around 3:30 and went to work around 4:30, and my mom got home around 5:00. They wanted it roaring by the time she got home. If the fire was still going it wasn't terrible - just put some more wood in it and stir it around. But if the fire had gone out, which was a 50/50 proposition, I'd spend half an hour messing with it, which was generally my only free time of the day. Having a wood stove is a great way to get your teenage kid to move out of the house if you want to launch them.
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Rain Man 05:03 PM 02-09-2019
Originally Posted by notorious:
There is a TON of thermal transfer. The great thing about brick is it retains heat.....but it also retains cold.

All you have between you and the outside is a layer of sheetrock and a mass of chilled brick.
Our house is brick, and I've noticed over the years that it's nice in a place like Denver, where the nighttime temperature drops a lot. I think it keeps the house at a more even temperature in the summer. But if you have a week where it's 100 degrees, then it eventually turns into a kiln.
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007 05:04 PM 02-09-2019
Originally Posted by notorious:
There is a TON of thermal transfer. The great thing about brick is it retains heat.....but it also retains cold.

All you have between you and the outside is a layer of sheetrock and a mass of chilled brick.
Kind of what I thought. Basically an icebox on my wall. The flu needs repaired as well but I've ignored that since we don't use it. Wish I could just tear it all off but that costs about a much as repairing it.
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frozenchief 05:07 PM 02-09-2019
We have a wood stove that we use when it gets cold. Really helps. The 7.0 earthquake in November, though, cracked our chimney and so now we have to wait till summer to repair because mortar repairs need the chimney to be 45 degrees for 48 hours in a row.

We’ve really enjoyed our wood stoves. They really warm up the house. I’d find a way to make yours functional but that’s just me.
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