Small Cabin

Small Cabin Forum
 - Forums - Register/Sign Up - Reply - Search - Statistics -

Small Cabin Forum / General Forum / Fireplace too powerful.
Author Message
Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 11:04
Reply 


I have a vent-free propane fireplace in my 16x16 two story. I knew going in that the fireplace was too big (thermally) for such a small space, but I got one hell of a deal on it, and the physical size works perfectly in my cabin.

I would love to be able to sit in the dark in front of the fire with the wife and a nice drink, but after a few minutes, it gets pretty darn warm in the cabin. I have it on a thermostat, and even on very cold days, it only runs for a few minutes at a time, even on its lowest setting.

The problem is that it's a vent free model, so ALL the heat it makes goes straight into the cabin. I have the cabin very well insulated, so it don't take much keep it warm. I don't run the fire at night, and even our 2 110vac ceramic heaters (one upstairs one downstairs) can keep it too warm inside. The fireplace is mainly for aesthetics.

So what I am thinking about doing is cutting a hole in the top of the fireplace housing and putting in a flue with a damper. That way I can run the fireplace for the mood and dump most of the heat outside, but I can still close the damper when I want the heat to stay in the cabin.

I'd put in a double wall flue, just for peace of mind, and exit it out the back side of the cabin with a proper wall outlet. Does anyone see any issues with doing this?

Tim

sparky30_06
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 14:24
Reply 


just open the window

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 15:38
Reply 


take up some internal space with some fire brick, or just build smaller fires.
I overcook my cottage also, windows and doors open is usually my solution.

hueyjazz
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 15:43
Reply 


Being "Vent Free" you also want to make sure you have a good carbon monoxide detector installled. Sound like you are installing this in a pretty small space where it would not be too hard to exceed CO levels

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 16:10
Reply 


Sparky, Opening a window is what we did this weekend, but it makes for a bit of a draft.

Fishhog, I cannot 'build' a smaller fire. I have the logs turned down to their lowest setting.

Huey, A properly set up Vent-free system does not make CO. CO is the product of incomplete combustion, and a good set of vent-free logs is engineered for proper combustion. That is why I won't mess with the logs/burner at all. Don't wanna screw that up. What a vent-free fireplace CAN do in a small cabin that is fairly tight is deplete the O2 levels. A good fireplace will have an O2 depletion detector that shuts if off if the O2 levels get too low.

But... With that said, I do have a combo LP/CO detector as well as a smoke detector in the cabin. I occasionally get a single 'warning' chirp on the LP alarm when the fireplace starts up, but I have never gotten anything on the CO alarm.

Tim

martym
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 16:25
Reply 


It sounds like a big screen TV on the fireplace channel would have been a cheaper and more versatile option.

But now that its in place my approach would be to convince the little lady that clothing IS optional. Nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean? Say no more

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 16:36
Reply 


Quoting: martym
But now that its in place my approach would be to convince the little lady that clothing IS optional. Nudge nudge wink wink know what I mean? Say no more


I have seen me naked, and trust me... It does NOTHING for setting the mood.

Tim

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 14 Nov 2016 20:21 - Edited by: MtnDon
Reply 


Replace it with a smaller direct vent type. It'll will be more comfortable inside and safer. Or run a video of a fireplace on a TV.

Asher
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2016 08:17
Reply 


why not make a small powered exhaust vent at the highest interior point of the room? Duct it like a bathroom fan with a flapper on the end... Maybe a couple high output computer fans, of any other kind of quiet fan that would move a small amount of air. You could even wire in a thermostat switch to kick the fan on..

Another idea (if you could make it look right) install a stove vent hood above the fire place and allow the heat to get directed out that way... Just let physics take effect, heat rises into the vent and pipe it out the side wall..

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2016 09:00
Reply 


Quoting: Asher
why not make a small powered exhaust vent at the highest interior point of the room? Duct it like a bathroom fan with a flapper on the end... Maybe a couple high output computer fans, of any other kind of quiet fan that would move a small amount of air. You could even wire in a thermostat switch to kick the fan on..Another idea (if you could make it look right) install a stove vent hood above the fire place and allow the heat to get directed out that way... Just let physics take effect, heat rises into the vent and pipe it out the side wall..



That might be an idea. The fireplace is mounted in the corner and has a 'facade' that goes all the way to the ceiling.

How it's framed up

With the stone veneer installed

I can pull the fireplace insert out so I can get to the back side. I could maybe put a bathroom type exhaust fan in the wall behind it and blow the heat outside from above it.

Tim

FishHog
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2016 11:23
Reply 


Quoting: Cowracer
Fishhog, I cannot 'build' a smaller fire. I have the logs turned down to their lowest setting.


sorry, I totally miss read this. The "propane" part should have given that away to me.

Asher
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2016 18:31
Reply 


That looks great, I would hate to see you have to break it down...

so here is a idea... what would happen if you extended the mantel from wall to wall... make the mantel into a U-shape (with the opening facing down) and duct out both ends with low noise fans to pipe the heat outside?? I bet that would get rid of a lot of the heat...

MtnDon
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2016 20:00
Reply 


I can't get my mind around a solution that means purposely blowing $$ to the outside.

Asher
Member
# Posted: 15 Nov 2016 22:06
Reply 


The local birds, squirrels, and deer will be grateful... every evening they will be huddled around those vents warming their little paws/hooves...

I know what you mean (it would suck for me to know I am intentionally loosing heat), but if this is a weekend place??

You might loose a couple bucks each time you fire it up, compare that to the cost of a complete tear out and replacement, I bet it would take a lot of time to make up the difference... now if it was a full time living place then things might be different..

I think ventless units are great (I have one myself) but I also think that they must be well maintained and cleaned very well to keep from producing bad gas... with that said, I would rather have a little air getting moved around with vents then a tightly closed up small living area..

Steve_S
Member
# Posted: 16 Nov 2016 07:08
Reply 


I have a similar fireplace, Majestic / Vermont Castings DVRT36, currently stored away so I am familiar with the type. I think you would find that while the top area does get pretty warm, it all vents out through the upper grill, so tearing apart your fa├žade won't really help you much... unless you want a workout and redesign.

Does your fireplace have the fan to blow the hot air through the vent or is it just the passive version ? If you have the fan in it, you can disconnect it and that would slow the heat transfer down but NOT eliminate it.

Aside from a full on replacement as other's have suggested, possibly using an HRV or ERV may be an alternate solution that would bring in fresh air while removing stale & humid air. I am presently looking at the small unit's which are tagged as "Single Room HRV" like this http://vents-us.com/cat/664/ unfortunately getting Canadian Pricing is tough.... (going start a thread on that topic)

Cowracer
Member
# Posted: 16 Nov 2016 10:56
Reply 


MtnDon - It's only money. LOL. The fireplace is more for 'ambience' than any real functional use. I just always thought that a cabin should have a fireplace. In retrospect, I probably shoulda just put in an electric one. My new camper came with an electric fireplace, and it does a very good job of simulating an actual fire. See attached pic.

But I am in it this far, and the excess heat is not a deal breaker. I'm just thinking it would be nice to light a fire on cool evenings to set the mood without roasting us out.


Asher - Yes. this is just our weekend getaway. I doubt if we will ever stay in it at sub-freezing conditions, but you never know.

Steve_S - I noticed that too, about all the heat coming out of the upper grille area. I know there is a fan you can put in there to blow the heat out, but I don't have it.

Next time I get down to the cabin, I will take a better look and some pictures to see what options are available. According to the gas log owners manual, I can use them in a vented application (such as in an existing fireplace with a flue). I'm thinking installing a fluepipe with damper would be an easy solution using what I already have.

Tim
camper_football.jpg
camper_football.jpg


Your reply
Bold Style  Italic Style  Underlined Style  Thumbnail Image Link  Large Image Link  URL Link           :) ;) :-( :confused: More smilies...

» Username  » Password 
Only registered users can post here. Please enter your login/password details before posting a message, or register here first.