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Old 09-15-2012, 10:06 PM   #16
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Do fireplaces have vents?


Jo, I have only said that a fire place is an inefficient means of heating. They were inefficient when they were highest state of the art in heating they are inefficient now. I do not understand what your point is. You can add all sorts of improvements, they are still inefficient. The fact that are so many add on "improvements"; some work to a certain extent, some are worthless money making gadgets; just underscores the point. I'll repeat it is not only a "popular belief" it is a proven fact.

What other puprpose, heating or other, does miami's unit serve? (Hmmm, the heatilater I mean, besides being a sppoky chamber that leads somewhere?)

I can only think of four categories that a fire place can be tested in; heating, cooking, aesthetics, and as a means of entry and egress for a right jolly old elf. It does not excel at heating and cooking, its certainly more aesthetically pleasing than an oil burning furnace, and the blower in a central unit is likely to make Santa fillets. A fire place can be used to burn old love letters or evidence, but from what I see on Tv and read in novels somebody sherlock always figures a way to read them, so it does not excell at that. When we test something we should be testing it for the purpose for which we will be using it. What is the point in testing something in everything but what it excells at? Besides we are not testing the fire place in what it excells at, but what, in comparison, it fails at.

There is only one category to test any heat source as a heat source, "How well does it produce heat?" Every thing else is a consideration and/or comparison , fuel costs, cleanliness, ease of operation and maintenance, distribution of heat, etc. An air flow meter is just one tool used in some tests. In conjunction with a thermometer it can tell if more heat is coming in from or going out through the fire place.

Here's what the EPA says ",...a fireplace is an inefficient way of heating your home. Fireplaces provide less heat..., since most of the heat goes out the chimney...a fireplace tends to suck all the warm air in a home... up the chimney. ... expect other rooms... to be cooler due to escaping warm air. If using central heat while burning in a fireplace, expect your heater to work harder to maintain temperatures throughout the house."

The Masonry Advisory Council, with which you may be familiar, says, "air that fuels a fire...( Ok, they're masons not nerdy engineers. nmj) ... has to come from somewhere. the air drawn into the firebox comes from the house and has already been heated by the central heating system. As the air is expelled up the flue, it has to be replaced by more air. (Replacement air) must infiltrate the house from the outside, be heated up by the central heating, and then fuel the fire." Air as fuel what will they think of next? There's also a nifty chart, drawn up by unpopular engineers who had nothing better to do on Saturday nights. http://www.maconline.org/tech/design...fireplace.html
miami, You'll be glad to see that ypur frigid 40 degree winters are just above the break even point for an open face fire place, produces just a tad more heat than it loses. With that heatilater, I bet you can get down to ohhh 38 or so.
jim, my lad, if you put the fire out when the central isn't running you'll be even more efficient. The pupose of the "vents" is to add some heat to room so central doesn't come on so often.If you had powerful enuff fans on the vents and tied into central ducts you might get some results. But then you'd just have an inefficient wood burning central heat system. Inefficient even for wood burning and as a central system . However, your vents might be giving a slight prewarming to that infiltrating cold air your central unit is drawing in to replace the centrally heated air the fire place is sending up the chimney.

I'm going into jim's ducts to check it out, you wait here. Say, what happened to the warrior?

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Old 09-16-2012, 07:58 AM   #17
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Do fireplaces have vents?


Quote:
Originally Posted by notmrjohn
jim, my lad, if you put the fire out when the central isn't running you'll be even more efficient. The pupose of the "vents" is to add some heat to room so central doesn't come on so often.If you had powerful enuff fans on the vents and tied into central ducts you might get some results. But then you'd just have an inefficient wood burning central heat system. Inefficient even for wood burning and as a central system . However, your vents might be giving a slight prewarming to that infiltrating cold air your central unit is drawing in to replace the centrally heated air the fire place is sending up the chimney.
1. My name isn't Jim. Read more carefully.
2. I'm not your lad. I am my father's lad.
3. You assume too much. Why do you assume the central unit is drawing in cold air?
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:33 AM   #18
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Do fireplaces have vents?


Heatolater and Queenair fireboxes are both very effective methods of heating, especially when using forced air (fans) and outside air kits. Rumford fireplaces are also very effective. The added ambiance is a bonus.
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Old 09-16-2012, 04:34 PM   #19
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Do fireplaces have vents?


jLm,
1. Sorry, these old eyes ain't what they used to be, never was very good, glasses, thick glasses, since third grade. They really strain at a computer screen.


2. I apologize for the over familiarity and presumption on your good nature. 'Twas but a quotation from a novel by Robert Lewis Stevenson no longer apropos as your name don't be jim.



3. See the above thread. So far no one has disputed the EPA's or MAC's findings concerning fireplaces and central heating systems. But, you are right, I did assume too much, basing my assumption on the information I had concerning your vent arrangement. I assumed any air infiltration in the heating season would be cold. Perhaps you have a thoroughly sealed air tight home preventing any air infiltration at all, warm or cool, In which case, I assume, with trepidation, that you have carbon monoxide alarms and back draft protection in your fire place.


Mayhap, you have one of T's, (If I maybe so bold as to so yclept you so familiarly, and assuming you didn't get disintegrated in the latest campus non-bomb explosion, or lanced by the feared Cyclotronic Knight, while protecting the Queen, Heir to Waxahachie) But I digress. Mayhap, jlm you have a Queenair system, Remarkably similar to the idea I had, (how do they steal my inventions B4 I even think of them?) but using a 500CFM fan and bypassing the central air handler completely.. jlm, if you are satisfied with your system, I have no quibble with you, if you seek no refinement nor improvements, I shall not presume to make suggestions. Nor observations.


Instead I shall sit upon the hearth rushes
And tell sad stories of the death of kings;
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Last edited by notmrjohn; 09-16-2012 at 04:39 PM.
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Old 09-16-2012, 10:10 PM   #20
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Just the tip of the iceburg when it comes down to the inaccuracies of rating wood-fueled heating appliances.......................

http://www.omni-test.com/publication...ciency_Eye.pdf
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Old 09-17-2012, 12:25 PM   #21
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Do fireplaces have vents?


Remember jo, no one disputes that wood burning appliances can be efficient, just that open face fireplace is very inefficient. Fire place may be sufficient in some circumstances, perfectly acceptable, and even best way to go given circumstances, but still not the most efficient producer of heat in same circumstances. Article used pelletized wood stove as example, stove tops fireplace, pelletized stove tops wood burning, automated pellet stove tops that, in producing heat.

Article wasn't really about efficency or non-efficiency, sub-title said it best "A standardized efficiency test method needs to be adopted by the hearth industry." Says standard to use is "energy return on investment" (EROI) and says when comparing wood to electricity that electrical line losses, energy lost in converting heat from coal to electricity, energy used mining coal, etc should be calculated in. ( liked the way they used dirty ol' disreputable coal instead of natural gas, hydro , wind or other.) Wood by contrast, according to article, only "entails a chain saw and a small truck." No mention of loss of woodlands, building and agricultural timber, erosion, muddied waters, loss of air purification, etc. ( But artical was from Hearth and Home Magazine) That comprehensive EROI is important in big picture. But for home owner HROI (Heat Return On Investment, my acronym) is main consideration. Amount of heat produced and distributed vs cost to home owner of appliance, and fuel in $ and labor in fueling unit. Once that's determined, other concerns such as EROI, conservation, pollution, aesthetics of appliance, etc can be addressed.


Was mostly concerned with mathematical theoretical comparisons, especially role of water vapor. Nifty little arrow at bottom showed energy loss up chimney as smoke (potential energy in unburned particles) and water vapor (kinetic energy in warm water), leaving out loss of what we are trying to produce, warm air. Title said it all "Efficiency Is in the Eye of the Beholder" , here the beholder had vested interest in wood burning source of heat. I agree, some industry wide standard is needed, standard should be based on BTU's actually delivered to home by appliance at point of use. That should be determined by disinterested "beholders" using comparable actual measuring procedures, (similar to way Consumer Digest tests egg beaters for example) not "calculated " with mathematical formulae and perfect condition theories. ( Average egg has viscosity of X, Brand A has beaters of Y width, gear ratio of 5 to 7, ergo Brand a is best) Article even grants that "electric home heaters are nearly 100 percent efficient" at point of delivery and their "modern certified wood heater" has an "efficiency" of 75%, not counting actual heat up the chimney, hiding up in the text amongst a bunch of acronyms and Federal Register and appendix J, etc that the EPA rates "certified" stoves at 68%.
Comparing wood to other fuels is comparing apples to oranges. Comparing open fire place to even wood stove is comparing orange juice to apple juice, trying to carry OJ in a sieve or cider in a bucket.

So, to answer your question, miami, yes, fireplaces have "vents." They are a method to make what in todays world is basically an aesthetic element of decor and ambiance (especially in Florida) into a more efficient practical appliance.
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Last edited by notmrjohn; 09-17-2012 at 12:29 PM.
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Old 09-17-2012, 07:10 PM   #22
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Do fireplaces have vents?


Quote:
Originally Posted by notmrjohn View Post
Remember jo, no one disputes that wood burning appliances can be efficient, just that open face fireplace is very inefficient. Fire place may be sufficient in some circumstances, perfectly acceptable, and even best way to go given circumstances, but still not the most efficient producer of heat in same circumstances. Article used pelletized wood stove as example, stove tops fireplace, pelletized stove tops wood burning, automated pellet stove tops that, in producing heat.

Article wasn't really about efficency or non-efficiency, sub-title said it best "A standardized efficiency test method needs to be adopted by the hearth industry." Says standard to use is "energy return on investment" (EROI) and says when comparing wood to electricity that electrical line losses, energy lost in converting heat from coal to electricity, energy used mining coal, etc should be calculated in. ( liked the way they used dirty ol' disreputable coal instead of natural gas, hydro , wind or other.) Wood by contrast, according to article, only "entails a chain saw and a small truck." No mention of loss of woodlands, building and agricultural timber, erosion, muddied waters, loss of air purification, etc. ( But artical was from Hearth and Home Magazine) That comprehensive EROI is important in big picture. But for home owner HROI (Heat Return On Investment, my acronym) is main consideration. Amount of heat produced and distributed vs cost to home owner of appliance, and fuel in $ and labor in fueling unit. Once that's determined, other concerns such as EROI, conservation, pollution, aesthetics of appliance, etc can be addressed.


Was mostly concerned with mathematical theoretical comparisons, especially role of water vapor. Nifty little arrow at bottom showed energy loss up chimney as smoke (potential energy in unburned particles) and water vapor (kinetic energy in warm water), leaving out loss of what we are trying to produce, warm air. Title said it all "Efficiency Is in the Eye of the Beholder" , here the beholder had vested interest in wood burning source of heat. I agree, some industry wide standard is needed, standard should be based on BTU's actually delivered to home by appliance at point of use. That should be determined by disinterested "beholders" using comparable actual measuring procedures, (similar to way Consumer Digest tests egg beaters for example) not "calculated " with mathematical formulae and perfect condition theories. ( Average egg has viscosity of X, Brand A has beaters of Y width, gear ratio of 5 to 7, ergo Brand a is best) Article even grants that "electric home heaters are nearly 100 percent efficient" at point of delivery and their "modern certified wood heater" has an "efficiency" of 75%, not counting actual heat up the chimney, hiding up in the text amongst a bunch of acronyms and Federal Register and appendix J, etc that the EPA rates "certified" stoves at 68%.
Comparing wood to other fuels is comparing apples to oranges. Comparing open fire place to even wood stove is comparing orange juice to apple juice, trying to carry OJ in a sieve or cider in a bucket.

So, to answer your question, miami, yes, fireplaces have "vents." They are a method to make what in todays world is basically an aesthetic element of decor and ambiance (especially in Florida) into a more efficient practical appliance.
This is where your thought process, although it falls in line with most folks who also don't understand the process, completely misses the mark. Open faced FP's don't heat air, it's merely a side benefit of the radiant heat they produce so well. When you use conventional testing of "air heaters" and apply it to something that's not intended to heat air, what do you think the results will be??????

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