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Old 10-03-2011, 08:27 AM   #1
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


I moved into my new house almost a year ago. I had my attic space and exterior walls sprayed with poly foam to seal it up nice and tight I also purchased two ventless gas log fireplaces with the intention to use them as nothing more than a secondary heat source and ambiance. I chose ventless because I though I was being more efficient. Everything I read made me feel that way.

Long story short, we discovered that the gas by-products produced by the the ventless logs were making us ill if we used them for more than a few minutes. I found that most typical fiberglass insulated homes had enough gaps and cracks to allow these gases to exit without problems. Foamed houses do not.

My question is - short of buying two new vented units - what can I do to get these gases out of my home? Can I do something as simple as installing exhaust fans near my log units and run them when the logs are on?

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Old 10-03-2011, 11:06 AM   #2
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


Vent free logs "should" not put out any gases but carbon dioxide and water vapor and usually the water vapor is the problem in tight houses. after being in the fireplace business for 10 years here are common problems:

1. Some people are just extremely sensitive to the .01% "other" combustion products given off.
2. Dirty logs, logs not in correct position, logs have not been run for a significant amount of time to "break in"....open the windows, run them on high for atleast an hour.
3. Improper gas supply pressure to logs....supply pressure should be checked with ALL gas appliances running on high.

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Old 10-03-2011, 12:01 PM   #3
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


ventless fireplaces should be outlawed.
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:20 PM   #4
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


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ventless fireplaces should be outlawed.
Agree completely
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Old 10-03-2011, 12:31 PM   #5
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


apewrangler, what are you using to take readings for air quality, co monitoring, etc? If you are talking about the fact that your home is probably too air tight, that would be the first place that I would make changes. Get a fresh air intake fan installed, have a home air quality taken. If you wish, you can also contact your local fire department and the crew if they are not busy, can come and take readings when the fireplace is on and running. If the readings are too high, then they would be glad to open up the home, turn off all gas fired devices, tag out the meter or propane, until fixed.

Here is one of the better CO monitors out there http://alliedsalescompany.com/8505.html

ALARM BASICS
9V DC Battery Powered Commercial Carbon Monoxide Monitor
Alpha-Numeric LCD Display
Memory with 7-Day History
Manual Backlight
Electrochemical Sensor
Sensor Life Monitor
Sample Frequency: 5 seconds
Display Resolution: 1ppm
Accuracy: t/-5% or 5ppm*
Flashing Green LED Power Signal
Instant Test/Reset/Mute Feature
Separate Memory Recall Button
Self-Diagnostic Circuitry
Operating Temperature 40F to 100F
Case Color: White
Case Size 5" x 3" x 1"

ALARM SIGNALS
Chronic Alarm Time - 30ppm < 7 hours TWA
Standard Alarm Time - 45ppm < 6 hours TWA
Acute Alarm Time - 95ppm <1 hour
Evacuation Alarm Time - 190ppm @ 15 seconds
85dB Pulsating Alarm @ 10 ft. - 4 Beeps Every 6 Seconds
Visual Alarm Signal - Flashing Red LED
Unit Malfunction - 2 Beeps Per Minute; Flashing Red LED
Low Battery Signal - 1 Beep Per Minute; Flashing Green LED

DISPLAY AND MEMORY
Alpha-Numeric LCD Display with Backlight
Continually Displays Current CO Levels Detected from 10-500 ppm
Memory Recall of Peak Level Detected from 10-500 ppm
Memory Recall of Time Duration for Peak CO Level
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:28 PM   #6
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


Well, that's a vast array of responses. First, why should they be outlawed?

Secondly, I have 3 carbom monoxide detectors in the house, but that is the only thing I have to really monitor them.

Third, I meant to ask about an air exchanger. The foam guy mentioned it in passing, but I never thought about it unitl this problem arose.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:54 PM   #7
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


Quote:
Originally Posted by apewrangler View Post
Well, that's a vast array of responses. First, why should they be outlawed?

Too many people mis-use them.

Secondly, I have 3 carbom monoxide detectors in the house, but that is the only thing I have to really monitor them. If they are UL rated, then they won't alarm until the CO rate is already too high.

Third, I meant to ask about an air exchanger. The foam guy mentioned it in passing, but I never thought about it unitl this problem arose.
You need a fresh air system. An HRV or ERV. However, you will need larger ones if you want them to provide enough air for 2 ventless gas fire places. Plus provide enough fresh air to meet IAQ standards.

One should have been installed to meet code when you built the house.
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Old 10-03-2011, 04:58 PM   #8
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


First they should be outlawed because nothing Burns 100% efficient hense the problem your having.
Second if you dont have a high quality carbon monoxide detector it will most likely not alarm until a higher ppm is reached for a period of time. Check the instructions to see when it alarms. Good ones cost about $100.00.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:19 PM   #9
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


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Originally Posted by apewrangler View Post
Well, that's a vast array of responses. First, why should they be outlawed?

Secondly, I have 3 carbom monoxide detectors in the house, but that is the only thing I have to really monitor them.

Third, I meant to ask about an air exchanger. The foam guy mentioned it in passing, but I never thought about it unitl this problem arose.
Because they kill people, and are energy wasters. You really do not have CO detectors, what you have most likely are "Hey, since you are already feeling the effects of CO, I am going to warn when only it is very dangerous, not a "Hey, there is enough CO in the air, that I should warn you that there may be a problem.""

Majority of the CO detectors out there are garbage and should not even be sold.
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Old 10-03-2011, 09:55 PM   #10
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


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Originally Posted by apewrangler View Post
I moved into my new house almost a year ago. I had my attic space and exterior walls sprayed with poly foam to seal it up nice and tight I also purchased two ventless gas log fireplaces with the intention to use them as nothing more than a secondary heat source and ambiance. I chose ventless because I though I was being more efficient. Everything I read made me feel that way.

Long story short, we discovered that the gas by-products produced by the the ventless logs were making us ill if we used them for more than a few minutes. I found that most typical fiberglass insulated homes had enough gaps and cracks to allow these gases to exit without problems. Foamed houses do not.

My question is - short of buying two new vented units - what can I do to get these gases out of my home? Can I do something as simple as installing exhaust fans near my log units and run them when the logs are on?
Open a window
We've got ventless fireplaces in several buildings, in my rec room as well and when installed and burning properly they produce no noticiable odor. More people are killed by vented units which are improperly vented than the actual vent free units. Gas water heaters, furnaces, both high effeciency and the old fashion ones have killed many people because of rusted flues, flues knocked loose during construction, etc. A carbon monoxide alarm is a must in every home with gas fired appliances. And there are air exchangers available as well, which are a perfect addition to any home, ventless appliances or not.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:16 PM   #11
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


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Originally Posted by Missouri Bound
Open a window
We've got ventless fireplaces in several buildings, in my rec room as well and when installed and burning properly they produce no noticiable odor. More people are killed by vented units which are improperly vented than the actual vent free units. Gas water heaters, furnaces, both high effeciency and the old fashion ones have killed many people because of rusted flues, flues knocked loose during construction, etc. A carbon monoxide alarm is a must in every home with gas fired appliances. And there are air exchangers available as well, which are a perfect addition to any home, ventless appliances or not.
Carbon monoxide.....silent,oderless, killer. We can not even sell or install them in our city.
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Old 10-03-2011, 10:28 PM   #12
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


UL listed CO alarms are so "dumbed down" the don't protect you. See coexperts.com I have seen off the shelf name brand co alarms, they are not a detector, put in a ziploc bag and filled with 100 ppm CO and they never alarmed even after sitting like that for 3 hours.

Dont rely on your home store bought CO alarm to protect you and your family! Take other precautions! Read your manual and it will say to use the ventless with the window open!
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Old 10-08-2011, 08:23 PM   #13
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Spray foamed house and ventless gas fireplaces


The odors that you are experiencing may be due to the logs/fireplace not properly burned in. Also, some manufacturers use logs made from ceramic fiber that are known for their obnoxious odors. You need a fireplace professional to evaluate your situation.

Quote:
Because they kill people, and are energy wasters.
I am in the gas fireplace industry and have never seen one documented case where a ventfree gas appliance used properly has ever taken a life, but I am always open to education. The largest source of disinformation on ventfree gas appliances is from people that have never seen one. Ventfrees are NOT DIY appliances !!! They MUST be operated properly and MUST be properly maintained!!! Those things are what can cause problems with ventfrees.

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