Very drafty direct-vent gas fireplace

ianandmelJanuary 4, 2010

We have a new home (supposedy Energy Star) that was built in 2007. We have a direct vent gas fireplace in the outside wall of our family room. This is where we spend all of our time as it is an open concept home. In the winter the floor and surrounding room is unbearably cold. We need to keep the fireplace on in order to keep the room warm and the floor bearable (even if thermostat is set at 21 celcius 24 hours a day). The problem with that is that when we put the kids to bed, their rooms are freezing because the fireplace being on trips the thermostat. I decided to place a thermometer on the floor in front of the unit to see how cold it actually was and it very quickly showed us 1.5 degrees celcius!!!!!!! Somehow, I doubt this is normal! We have had the builder in MANY times and they have even pulled the roof off our outside chase and stuck in some more insulation. They try and tell us that it is normal for cold air to come in from the fireplace because it is vented to the outside and any amount of wind will enter...I honestly have no idea how this home even passed the Energy Star testing because we are always freezing!!!! Any suggestions of how to approach this one? The builder doesn't send anyone of any experience and we are at a complete loss...Thanks!!

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