Home & Garden

Cold Draft air near the gas fire place floor

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  • Jan 31st, 2022 9:45 am
[OP]
Jr. Member
Sep 16, 2014
114 posts
15 upvotes
Canada

Cold Draft air near the gas fire place floor

Hello All ,
Our home is 2011 build with a gas fireplace(vented gas fire place) and i observe there is cold air leaking from outside and the area around the fireplace to too cold.
I feel the air coming from outside and the floor is too cold near the fireplace. we are not using the fireplace .
Would this be the same for all others ? or is there an issue with my fireplace insulation ?
23 replies
Deal Fanatic
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Jul 2, 2001
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Is the pilot light on? It should be on to keep the inside of the fireplace warm during the winter.
Go outside and inspect the vent, there should be some kind of sealant around it.
.
Newbie
Oct 28, 2011
47 posts
34 upvotes
Aurora, Ontario
I have 2 different house which have gas fireplace, direct vent. One installed by home builder, one by previous owner. Both have cold air entering, and the bottom tray is very cold.

I checked the installation manual of it, and found that there is no baffle in the duct to prevent cold air from entering. The design was that the front glass panel is tightly seal using springs. I did try to open the glass, and examine the seal. It is really tight, so not the source of draft cold air.

By carefully study the design of the pivot light, burner, and I found that the burner is just hold by screws, and metal sheets for all those parts. There is no rubber, gasket, or seal around that area to prevent cold draft air from entering through the pivot light or burner area. I reached my hand and touch the bottom of the fireplace unit by removing the front bottom cover, and confirmed that it is very cold.

This year, I even keep the pilot fire/light on to see whether it makes any different. The answer is clearly that the heat it generates is far below the cold draft air it is leaking through. The top part of the glass panel is warm, but the entire floor around the firewall is very cold.

I will buy 1" thick foam the cover the entire fireplace
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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feels1 wrote: I have 2 different house which have gas fireplace, direct vent. One installed by home builder, one by previous owner. Both have cold air entering, and the bottom tray is very cold.

I checked the installation manual of it, and found that there is no baffle in the duct to prevent cold air from entering. The design was that the front glass panel is tightly seal using springs. I did try to open the glass, and examine the seal. It is really tight, so not the source of draft cold air.

By carefully study the design of the pivot light, burner, and I found that the burner is just hold by screws, and metal sheets for all those parts. There is no rubber, gasket, or seal around that area to prevent cold draft air from entering through the pivot light or burner area. I reached my hand and touch the bottom of the fireplace unit by removing the front bottom cover, and confirmed that it is very cold.

This year, I even keep the pilot fire/light on to see whether it makes any different. The answer is clearly that the heat it generates is far below the cold draft air it is leaking through. The top part of the glass panel is warm, but the entire floor around the firewall is very cold.

I will buy 1" thick foam the cover the entire fireplace
Why not remove the fireplace if you never use it?
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Deal Guru
Jan 25, 2007
11550 posts
6715 upvotes
Paris
Gas fireplaces are leaky for cold air and rarely installed correctly to mitigate it as most are done by lazy builders.
Sr. Member
Jan 7, 2013
825 posts
493 upvotes
Oshawa, Ontario
With the pilot off, even if the fireplace is perfectly sealed, the firebox eventually becomes a cold metal box connected to the outside air by the vent, and you'll get a natural convection of inside air entering the top of fireplace enclosure, cooling down, and drifting out the bottom of the fireplace. (Ie: a reverse fireplace? Lol)

This creates a draft you feel. Keeping the pilot on helps to mitigate this.

You could also plug/cover the vent from the outside BUT MAKE SURE no one ever turns it on.

I found using foil tape to seal gas/ electrical penetrations and caulking between the enclosure and mantel helped to reduce these drafts.

My fireplace is in a "butt-out" from the house.

I've also seen magnetic, insulated fireplace covers online that you could look into. Easier to install/remove and prettier than foam.
Deal Fanatic
Feb 4, 2015
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Hmmm... we never use our gas fireplace either... pilot light off.

One time we used the mantle around it got hot and just didn't seem to be right... I'll have to post pics in separate thread one day.

Ours is like 2/3rds of the way to back of house and has glass opening on both sides [one to living/dining room and one to family room]. Family room side blocked mostly with sofa but not on living/dining room side AND is colder in that room but sure the small vaulted ceiling at front does not help keep heat either so combo of things.

Op: The sealing ideas suggested above may be options to take... if do then turn off pilot light.
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Deal Fanatic
Mar 21, 2002
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I had an old fireplace, maybe 50 years old with significant cold draft problems in the winter. I never use it and last summer I had the gas turned off to it, I ripped it out and disposed of it and I removed the gas line going to it all the way back to the meter. I closed off vent openings and temporarily sealed them. This winter the drafts are gone. I'll eventually be installing an electric fireplace insert into the empty opening. It may not look as nice but it will be problem free.
Deal Expert
Feb 29, 2008
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Having the same problem. It's really bad during the -30 days. Brand new. This can't possibly be normal, the temperature check in front of the fireplace is extremely cold. The floor feels like ice.
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Sep 27, 2006
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JayLove06 wrote: Having the same problem. It's really bad during the -30 days. Brand new. This can't possibly be normal, the temperature check in front of the fireplace is extremely cold. The floor feels like ice.
Old thread but common problem. I put the pilot light on in mine for January because it's been super duper cold outside. I believe part of the problem is you get convection currents inside the fireplace. In winter with the fireplace off, it's the reverse of what you want. The warm house air is doing the convection thing with the cold outside air that's inside the sealed fireplace and metal box. Once it warms up a bit I'm going to see if i can seal the outside exhaust somehow. Probably a garbage bag or maybe clear plastic and rope or a bungee cord or two.
Deal Expert
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Feb 11, 2007
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fergy wrote: Old thread but common problem. I put the pilot light on in mine for January because it's been super duper cold outside. I believe part of the problem is you get convection currents inside the fireplace. In winter with the fireplace off, it's the reverse of what you want. The warm house air is doing the convection thing with the cold outside air that's inside the sealed fireplace and metal box. Once it warms up a bit I'm going to see if i can seal the outside exhaust somehow. Probably a garbage bag or maybe clear plastic and rope or a bungee cord or two.
Yea, if your fireplace isn't on it will be drafty cold. So you need to cover the exhaust hole above the burners to prevent air flow, after you turn off the gas. I use some packing tape and bright strip of paper so you don't forget to remove it.
Otherwise the pilot light should emit enough heat to negate the cold draft.
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engineered wrote: Yea, if your fireplace isn't on it will be drafty cold. So you need to cover the exhaust hole above the burners to prevent air flow, after you turn off the gas. I use some packing tape and bright strip of paper so you don't forget to remove it.
Otherwise the pilot light should emit enough heat to negate the cold draft.
Do it from the inside after removing the glass? I'll have to check that out. It would look less tacky. I hope there's access room. If there is I could maybe stuff some fiberglass insulation in too. I'd turn off the gas valve under the fireplace with a note taped to it.
Sr. Member
Dec 4, 2009
517 posts
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Unbelievable! We use our fireplace almost EVERY DAY after Halloween, until April... I renovated the family room that the OE fireplace was in with a modulating unit that pumps out heat like nobody’s business. My wife loves it! The family room is always so cozy!

Anyway, why don’t you upgrade it to something that works properly? No drafts, no cold, all kinds of radiant heat that is awesome backup if the power goes out.
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Sep 1, 2005
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Todd96srv wrote: Unbelievable! We use our fireplace almost EVERY DAY after Halloween, until April... I renovated the family room that the OE fireplace was in with a modulating unit that pumps out heat like nobody’s business. My wife loves it! The family room is always so cozy!

Anyway, why don’t you upgrade it to something that works properly? No drafts, no cold, all kinds of radiant heat that is awesome backup if the power goes out.
I have not idea what your post means. Perhaps more information or a YouTube video link might help.
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Oct 23, 2008
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If you don't use the gas fireplace, close the gas valve (both at fireplace and in basement if there is a branch), and then you can cover the exhaust with a heavy plastic bag.
DO THIS IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY INTENTION OF USING IT AT ALL FOR THE SEASON


I still have young children so I have no use of it for safety reasons. When they get older then I will likely start using it, but for now, it's just a spot for a draft to enter.
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chimaican wrote: If you don't use the gas fireplace, close the gas valve (both at fireplace and in basement if there is a branch), and then you can cover the exhaust with a heavy plastic bag.
DO THIS IF YOU DON'T HAVE ANY INTENTION OF USING IT AT ALL FOR THE SEASON


I still have young children so I have no use of it for safety reasons. When they get older then I will likely start using it, but for now, it's just a spot for a draft to enter.
My gas fireplace had been shut off for over 20 years. Shut off the gas, covered in/outside exhaust vent, covered bottom grill, covered with window film (winter time). It should block the draft 99.9%.Slightly Smiling Face
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teoconca wrote: My gas fireplace had been shut off for over 20 years. Shut off the gas, covered in/outside exhaust vent, covered bottom grill, covered with window film (winter time). It should block the draft 99.9%.Slightly Smiling Face
Shut our gas fireplace many years ago as well, including pilot.

Didn't like that mantle would get hot as well when used 2-3 times before shutting off.

Perhaps normal but not chancing it.
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2017 to 2018: BOC raised rates 5 times and MCAP raised its prime next day each time.
2020: BOC dropped rates 3 times and MCAP waited to drop its prime to include all 3 drops.
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Feb 29, 2008
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So, first thing you do after paying a premium for a gas fireplace is to.......seal it and never use it again. This just doesn't sit right with me.
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georvu wrote: Shut our gas fireplace many years ago as well, including pilot.

Didn't like that mantle would get hot as well when used 2-3 times before shutting off.

Perhaps normal but not chancing it.
Some fireplaces have fans that blow the hot air further into the room but I suspect the builder installed units probably don't. Its an option on mine and many others. Fans are available on Amazon. They also increase the efficiency slightly.
https://www.amazon.ca/s?k=Fireplace+blo ... nb_sb_noss

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teoconca wrote: My gas fireplace had been shut off for over 20 years. Shut off the gas, covered in/outside exhaust vent, covered bottom grill, covered with window film (winter time). It should block the draft 99.9%.Slightly Smiling Face
You covered just the bottom grill or the entire unit with window film?

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