Draft Problem with Quadrafire 7100fp

dave_the_britDecember 27, 2007

I am having an issue of 'poor draft' with my fireplace, I have a quadrafire 7100fp with at least 15 feet of chimney, often I have to open the doors of the fireplace just to make the wood burn, when burning good I can close the doors and it does OK - but never as fast burning as a quadrafire 4100 insert my brother has. My wood is nice and dry (more than 2 years drying). If anyone has any ideas of what I can look at, I would nuch appreciate it. The dealer in Holland, MI has not been much help.

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A conventional fireplace was the latest technology in about the 12th century, but they are inherently grossly inefficient at heating space. Maybe 10% efficient, maybe net losers of heat.

That's for two reasons: 1) the fireplace sucks huge quantities of heated room out of your house and up the chimney. Every cubic foot of heated room air going up the chimney is replaced by a cubic foot of cold aire infiltrating the house from outdoors.

2) the fireplace flames tend to shoot up the chimney, giving up only very little of the heat produced to the house.

A fireplace insert GREATLY reduces the room air used for combustion, and some even take combustion air from outdoors. Secondly, they hold the hot combustion gasses in until they have a chance to give off a significant part of the heat to the room air.

A woodstove is usually significantly better at producing heat than an insert.

But your fireplace as it is is bound to be a poor heating appliance. It's really effective only for appearance, and produces a small amount of radiant heat if you stand in front of it.

The usualy reason why it wont burn properly when cold is 1) lack of sufficient combustion air and 2) a chimney that's cold.

That's why you have to open the doors--- to let more air in from outdoors so that the fireplace can vent. Once the chimney is warm, you can close the doors because there is then enough draft to suck the heat out of your home even when the door is closed!

You might be able to avoid problem #1 by using newspaper to warm up the chimney and getting a draft started, but that's not going to reduce the heat losses going up the chimney.

Installing a good tight set of glass doors can reduce the heat losses up the chimney, especially in between the times you use the fireplace.

Do you close the damper on the fireplace after a fire goes out? If you don't and you don't have glass doors to restrict the flow of heated air up the chimney, you will be losing heat at a good clip 24/7.

    Bookmark   December 28, 2007 at 12:44AM
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