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Fireplace Not Hot Enough

 
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:44 PM   #1
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Fireplace Not Hot Enough


Maybe this is more of a DIY question but how do I get more heat out of my fireplace?

Fireplaces in most older homes that are made of brick with an iron fire box seem to put out much more heat than mine.

My fireplace is one of those double walled steel boxes with the faux brick backing. It looks just like one of those gas fireplaces but without the fixture attached. Given that this fireplace is a much cheaper model (I guess the previous owner was being a cheapskate) which stands the reason why it's not as good as my grandmother's fireplace.

So my question- Is there anything that I can do to increase the heat output?
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Old 02-09-2012, 08:45 PM   #2
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


Build a bigger fire?

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Old 02-09-2012, 10:52 PM   #3
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


LOX.
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:01 PM   #4
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


Look at a contraption like this:

http://www.fireplaceguys.com/catalog...93ui4rte31luj7
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Old 02-09-2012, 11:32 PM   #5
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


Bigger fire with dry, well seasoned hardwoods.
Put fans in the intake vents of heatalator.
Add a fireback.

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Old 02-09-2012, 11:35 PM   #6
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


What about an insert?
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:16 AM   #7
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


Fireplaces aren't really much for heat output as it is.

How tall is it?

I think solid masonry fireplaces just capture and distribute more heat through the mantle.
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Old 02-10-2012, 08:57 AM   #8
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


The hearth is 18 inches off of the floor and the top of the opening sits at 48 inches.

When I burn oak and maple I can feel the heat but it just doesn't radiate the same way that the solid brick ones do. And before I gut it out and have a "real" one built I was hoping that someone here knew something that I didn't.
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Old 02-10-2012, 09:32 AM   #9
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


not sure exactly what you dealing with but it sounds similar to what i have, just smaller.

what kind of damper is in it? mine is a slot with a spring loaded door and a lever in the box.......5" x 34" so when it used to be fully open ALL HEAT went up it. it was originaly an open or shut thing but a coat hanger and a few holes drilled and i could vary it.

how far back in the box is the fire? closer to front the better

You can buy a decent blower motor and construct a manifold that goes under the fire up the back and out again for $100 if you can weld. I saw plans for one that incorperated an attic thermostat and was automatic...... My grandad was a farmer and built his own in the 80s it made a huge difference and even saved wood.

I gave up on my firplace, wood is expensive here, $300+ a cord or a 200 mile drive to get your own and that ends up costing more with ventfree gas my entire heating bill for winter runsabout $200
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Old 02-10-2012, 12:21 PM   #10
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


Quote:
Originally Posted by Red Adobe
not sure exactly what you dealing with but it sounds similar to what i have, just smaller.

what kind of damper is in it? mine is a slot with a spring loaded door and a lever in the box.......5" x 34" so when it used to be fully open ALL HEAT went up it. it was originaly an open or shut thing but a coat hanger and a few holes drilled and i could vary it.

how far back in the box is the fire? closer to front the better

You can buy a decent blower motor and construct a manifold that goes under the fire up the back and out again for $100 if you can weld. I saw plans for one that incorperated an attic thermostat and was automatic...... My grandad was a farmer and built his own in the 80s it made a huge difference and even saved wood.

I gave up on my firplace, wood is expensive here, $300+ a cord or a 200 mile drive to get your own and that ends up costing more with ventfree gas my entire heating bill for winter runsabout $200
Wow,that is expensive.

I got a chord and a half this fall for $180.

OTOH, I have a duel fuel(hybrid) system in my house. If i'ts above 40 it runs on electric,but 40 and below and the gas kicks in. They just came yesterday to refill and 98 gallons is gonna run me about $400.

Needless to say I'm going to have to start throwing the wood in again. It's just been such a warm winter that i haven't got in the habit of doing it.
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Old 02-10-2012, 04:26 PM   #11
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Re: Fireplace Not Hot Enough


I'm a stove guy myself. I run it wide open for about an hour in the morning then damper it way down to get a good pile of coals burning slow all day.

I can do wood or coal too, so for those long trips away from the house, just fill the box with coal and it will be fine for 24 hours.

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