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Open wood fireplace question

  • Last Updated:
  • Nov 20th, 2020 8:04 pm
[OP]
Member
Jan 14, 2012
391 posts
102 upvotes
Oshawa

Open wood fireplace question

Hello I have an open to room traditional wood fireplace. I just started to use it. I open the damper, prime the flue and start the fire. The fireplace has these two small doors that open on each side and they both lead to the same vent to outside, straight out. I assume its for fresh air.

When do I use them? How long do i keep them open? Any help would be appreciated.

Here is a pic of each that lead to same vent leading to outside.
20201102_104331.jpg
20201102_104348.jpg
10 replies
Deal Guru
User avatar
Sep 1, 2005
13302 posts
8007 upvotes
Markham
Did you have the fireplace checked out before you "just started" using it. Fireplaces are not just a simple light it and use it.

Rachel Ray recently went thru a house fire

After investigations, it turns out that the fire was caused by creosote buildup in their chimney. Although their home was less than 15 years old and they got their chimney cleaned twice a year, an ember from the buildup spit out from their chimney and caused the fire. If you asked me, that seems like she actually took care of her chimney and wasn't even negligent like probably most ppl.

https://www.delish.com/food-news/a34042 ... e-footage/
We're all bozos on the bus until we find a way to express ourselves...

Failure is always an option...just not the preferred one!
[OP]
Member
Jan 14, 2012
391 posts
102 upvotes
Oshawa
Yes was WET inspected and cleaned Nov 2018. Report says everything is in working order and clean.
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1645 posts
739 upvotes
Supperfly wrote: Yes was WET inspected and cleaned Nov 2018. Report says everything is in working order and clean.
Did you use it regularly since then? I just got mine inspected and cleaned and officially you're supposed to get it cleaned/inspected each season. Not sure about how realistic that is, but for the money I paid last week, it's a cheap form of house fire insurance.

My fireplace ONLY has the upper damper and is totally enclosed around the sides, so your vents are interesting. Possibly to help with giving the fire more air?
Deal Addict
Sep 22, 2009
2032 posts
696 upvotes
Markham
Supperfly wrote: Yes was WET inspected and cleaned Nov 2018. Report says everything is in working order and clean.
I inspect my chimney and fireplace annually. Jut because it was inspected 2 years ago, it doesnt mean it is still good today.
Newbie
Jun 10, 2007
16 posts
toronto
I’m in gta area
Any one hired “top hat” to clean inspect your wood fireplace?
Deal Addict
Apr 26, 2003
1645 posts
739 upvotes
I used this company - https://a1qualitychimney.com/

He fixed the top of my chimney as well where a top cap piece was slipping and looked like it was going to fall. Saved me from having to get the entire stack rebuilt this year. Will monitor it and will have to do it eventually.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
788 posts
357 upvotes
gr8dlr wrote: Did you have the fireplace checked out before you "just started" using it. Fireplaces are not just a simple light it and use it.

Rachel Ray recently went thru a house fire

After investigations, it turns out that the fire was caused by creosote buildup in their chimney. Although their home was less than 15 years old and they got their chimney cleaned twice a year, an ember from the buildup spit out from their chimney and caused the fire. If you asked me, that seems like she actually took care of her chimney and wasn't even negligent like probably most ppl.

https://www.delish.com/food-news/a34042 ... e-footage/
That's quite scary that fire happens even after cleaning the fireplace.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jul 5, 2004
25512 posts
4619 upvotes
Katedontbreak wrote: That's quite scary that fire happens even after cleaning the fireplace.
If you burn wet wood, expect to get a creosote buildup. Also, it's important to build hot fires. If the fire is smoldering, creosote will quickly buildup. Cleaning twice a year may not be enough in those cases. Still, it's extremely rare for an ember to exit the chimney and start a fire. I'd love to know what the ember ignited, because roofing materials don't easily ignite.

As for the OP, it's hard to get a clear picture of your exact setup to figure out what they are for, but it sounds like they bring in air for the fire. Try starting a fire with them both closed and see what happens. If you don't need to bring cold air into the house, then don't. If the fire is starved of oxygen, then you'll need to play around with the vents to find the sweet spot.
Sr. Member
Aug 29, 2019
788 posts
357 upvotes
Shaner wrote: If you burn wet wood, expect to get a creosote buildup. Also, it's important to build hot fires. If the fire is smoldering, creosote will quickly buildup. Cleaning twice a year may not be enough in those cases. Still, it's extremely rare for an ember to exit the chimney and start a fire. I'd love to know what the ember ignited, because roofing materials don't easily ignite.

As for the OP, it's hard to get a clear picture of your exact setup to figure out what they are for, but it sounds like they bring in air for the fire. Try starting a fire with them both closed and see what happens. If you don't need to bring cold air into the house, then don't. If the fire is starved of oxygen, then you'll need to play around with the vents to find the sweet spot.
I dug a little deeper and she said she had level 3 cerosete (glazed) and an ember landed on her roof. I guess she's pretty ticked at the chimney maintenance company she was using.
Deal Fanatic
Dec 5, 2009
5691 posts
3447 upvotes
OP , the fire needs lots of air and oxygen to burn. Therefor , you can keep those intakes to outside open to pull air from the outside. This prevent your fireplace from drawing warm air out of your house and up the chimney.

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