Cold air leaks with zero-clearance fireplaces

mcubed3April 7, 2005

Do zero-clearance fireplaces, with or without outside air kits, generally leak cold air into the room when not in use?

We had a CFM Sequoia installed last October 2004 with an outside air kit and the room was frigid when not in use. While disconnecting the outside air duct improved the cold air problem, it did not solve it. I believe there is an airleak from the chimney stack that is cooling down the unit behind the wall, but I am having a hard time convincing the installers or CFM to investigate this. Because I am struggling with other issues with the Sequoia (the glass completely smokes up during each burn), I am tempted to insist on a refund and then replace it with another brand. However, based on reading through this forum, it doesn't look like there is a clear winner in this category of wood-burning, EPA, zero clearance fireplaces...or is there?

Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

I have a similar problem with our (very expensive) Medota propane fireplace; it pours freezing cold air into our family room during the winter!!!! The place where I bought it from says this shouldn't happen and "it must be installed wrong" but I think it's just part of the design -- there is air flowing in from the outside vent. I am really, really mad about this -- I sure wish we had just built a real fireplace.

    Bookmark   April 11, 2005 at 10:23PM
Thank you for reporting this comment. Undo

Boy it sounds if you and swissmiss have issues with zero clearance fireplaces. With yours though there are several things that could lead to what you are expiriencing.
1. Down draft from the chimney pipe. This is indicated if the room smells of old burnt wood or creasote when the draft is noted.

2. Air leaks from the framing around the fireplace. An easy check for air leaks is to take a lighter, long match, or candle and move it slowly around the outsides of the fireplace where the construction materials meet the face of the actual fireplace if there is an air leak it will either blow the flame to point into the room or if it is sucking air it will draw the flame toward the wall.

3.When a fireplace is installed on an outside wall of a house there is a cavity that the fireplace sits in and the pipe for the fireplace passes through that extends above the roof area called a chase. This cavity in what we refer to as extreme climates such as winter conditions in the northern US the chase should be insulated from the slab all the way up to the point of termination above the roof. This would eliminate the draft or cool air coming in around the fireplace to a more tolerable level.

Any questions at all feel free to contact me at

    Bookmark   April 13, 2005 at 2:21PM
Sign Up to comment
More Discussions
Converting wood fireplace to gas fireplace
Help, I'm overwhelmed. Any link to a good site that...
Does this old fireplace have options?
Hey everybody! My home was built in 1930 and originally...
Kristin Jennings
Napoleon Fireplaces - Be Careful
I purchased an expensive Napoleon fireplace last summer,...
cleaning soot off rock fireplace surround
My rock wall fireplace looks dingy from 50 years of...
Can woodstove clog a chimney in a month??
We had a Quadrafire 5100 woodburning stove insert installed...
Sponsored Products
Anywhere Stainless Steel Bio-ethanol Fireplace
Nespresso Citiz & Milk Espresso Machine
$299.00 | FRONTGATE
Artemide | Tolomeo Mini TW LED Wall Light
$795.00 | YLighting
Meadowland Teak Grey Rug (3'4 x 5')
Silver Lavish Home Sheet Set
$49.99 | zulily
Landmann Bravo Premium Charcoal Grill and Smoker - 591320
$499.99 | Hayneedle
Darlee Nassau Dining Chair - DL13-1/101
$244.99 | Hayneedle
Tamsin Chinois Daybed - WHITE
$6,500.00 | Horchow
People viewed this after searching for:
© 2015 Houzz Inc. Houzz® The new way to design your home™