EcoRenovator  

Go Back   EcoRenovator > Improvements > Conservation
Advanced Search
 


Blog Register 60+ Home Energy Saving Tips Recent Posts Search Today's Posts Mark Forums Read


Reply
 
Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 11-01-14, 04:25 PM   #1
2000mc
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default Improvement from blower on gas fireplace

Last summer we moved to a new apartment. One of the down sides was that the furnace is electric. Which seems ridiculous to me because it has a gas fireplace, also surprising, no gas meter. I guess it's meant to be a perk of a fairly upscale apartment for the town, either way the gas is free / costs already part of the rent.

So I'm hoping to primarily use the fireplace for heat, and supplement with the actual furnace. So to the question...

How fast could adding a blower to the fireplace pay for itself? How likely could it in a single winter? Maybe a better question would be, how much does a blower increase the efficiency of a gas fireplace? I'm thinking the rate it consumes fuel is about constant, so how much can a blower increase the total output?

Also i figure a blower would lower the temperature on the wood mantle above, which I think is built to code, but if I'm running the fireplace 24/7 for a couple months, how hot is safe with constant exposure?

2000mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-14, 07:20 PM   #2
NiHaoMike
Supreme EcoRenovator
 
NiHaoMike's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2008
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 1,131
Thanks: 15
Thanked 249 Times in 235 Posts
Default

Put some copper tubing in the fireplace and pump water through it to make a boiler. Then route the hot water through a cheap car radiator.
__________________
To my surprise, shortly after Naomi Wu gave me a bit of fame for making good use of solar power, Allie Moore got really jealous of her...
NiHaoMike is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to NiHaoMike For This Useful Post:
Daox (11-17-14)
Old 11-01-14, 07:43 PM   #3
ecomodded
Supreme EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Vancouver Island,Canada.
Posts: 1,036
Thanks: 116
Thanked 100 Times in 87 Posts
Default

I have Gas fireplace installation manuals where they claimed no efficiency was gained threw the use of in unit blowers.

Which sounds counter intuitive but a loose fact because of the radiant heat.

A fan directed at the glass could / might recover heat that may otherwise end up the chimney.
ecomodded is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-14, 08:35 PM   #4
2000mc
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by ecomodded View Post
A fan directed at the glass could / might recover heat that may otherwise end up the chimney.
Does the glass conduct heat a lot better than the back and sides do?
2000mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-14, 10:06 PM   #5
gtojohn
Journeyman EcoRenovator
 
gtojohn's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2014
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 314
Thanks: 39
Thanked 50 Times in 45 Posts
Default

There should be no risk to your wood mantle, assuming it was installed per instructions, usually 1" clearance from flue and firebox. The fireplace box is usually well insulated, so the glass might be warmer, I'd check with a infrared thermometer. The blower might not make the fireplace "more efficient" but it will circulate that heat further from the fireplace. It will also help average the temperature so its not crazy hot by the fireplace and cold further away. You might consider a couple of computer fans near the sides, even running the ceiling fan backwards if you have one might be just as effective.
gtojohn is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-14, 11:36 PM   #6
ecomodded
Supreme EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Vancouver Island,Canada.
Posts: 1,036
Thanks: 116
Thanked 100 Times in 87 Posts
Default

The heat around the sides and back will not go up the chimney , its already yours so to speak.

Last edited by ecomodded; 11-02-14 at 12:02 AM..
ecomodded is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-01-14, 11:50 PM   #7
ecomodded
Supreme EcoRenovator
 
Join Date: Sep 2012
Location: Vancouver Island,Canada.
Posts: 1,036
Thanks: 116
Thanked 100 Times in 87 Posts
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by 2000mc View Post
Does the glass conduct heat a lot better than the back and sides do?


The front gets much more heat directed at it, from the flames and fire bricks making it the "sweet spot" or hot spot to draw hot air from.

and a spot with the most heat loss up the chimney due to its high heat placement.
ecomodded is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-14, 06:06 AM   #8
Mikesolar
Master EcoRenovator
 
Mikesolar's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2012
Location: Toronto
Posts: 958
Thanks: 40
Thanked 158 Times in 150 Posts
Default

The only real way to make it more efficient is to reroute the flue through a secondary HX. Is it is natural draft fireplace? If so, the flue is about as hot as it can get and the beast is probably only 60% efficient so any heat you can take from the flue will drop its temp. You then have to make sure the venting doesn't condense too much.
Mikesolar is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-02-14, 02:48 PM   #9
2000mc
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mikesolar View Post
The only real way to make it more efficient is to reroute the flue through a secondary HX. Is it is natural draft fireplace? If so, the flue is about as hot as it can get and the beast is probably only 60% efficient so any heat you can take from the flue will drop its temp. You then have to make sure the venting doesn't condense too much.
I don't think this is a natural draft, I can see the flue where it leaves the top of the fireplace, but I'm not sure where it draws air in. It's a monessen bdv400nv if that's helpful. The identification tag under the fireplace says "blot fan or blower may be used" so I didn't think there would be an issue of cooling too much if using an appropriate blower

Its sounding like adding a blower doesn't really help get more total heat into the house, or if it does the difference would be very small
2000mc is offline   Reply With Quote
Old 11-16-14, 10:58 PM   #10
2000mc
Lurking Renovator
 
Join Date: Nov 2014
Location: Kansas
Posts: 5
Thanks: 0
Thanked 1 Time in 1 Post
Default

Figured I should tie up this loose end of a thread. Eventually found that the unit claims 80% effiecentcy, so I wasn't thinking a fan could make a very significant difference. With the recent cold I found out that it could keep up down to about 10F, which would be below the avg low in January here. So I switched to just maximizing useage, and replace the switch for the unit with a thermostat

10f was optimistic, maybe down to a windchill of 10f


Last edited by 2000mc; 11-17-14 at 11:24 AM..
2000mc is offline   Reply With Quote
The Following User Says Thank You to 2000mc For This Useful Post:
Daox (11-17-14)
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -5. The time now is 01:03 PM.


Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.11
Copyright ©2000 - 2021, vBulletin Solutions Inc.
Ad Management by RedTyger
Inactive Reminders By Icora Web Design