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Air cooled, Solidpack or Class A?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Chad S., Feb 13, 2008.

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  1. Chad S.

    Chad S. Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    127
    Loc:
    West Bend WI
    I am hopefully going to be buying and putting in a new ZC fireplace in the spring. I like the northstar a lot but it has an air cooled chimney which I hear is bad. Everyone tells me to get solidpack or class a but you can't with this unit. I also like the cost of air cooled. The unit will be in the basement against an outside wall with the chimney running straight up in an inside chase, into the attic and out the roof. Sometime we get artic cold weatherfor a few days to a week, say -10 or so. Generally all winter is around 0 or above. Will I have condensation issues and too cold of flue gases or are air cooled generally o.k. with this climate? The chase and basement are insulated too.

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  2. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

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    Nov 17, 2005
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    12,381
    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    It is not condensation that I am worried about, it is the downward convection of air when the unit is not in use. With other air-cooled ZC pipe, I have seen this result in the air making the unit very cold. I think proper installation can avoid most of this. Check the manual carefully and look at the suggested installations...

    Most 2-wall ZC pipe has openings at the bottom to let air into it - that is the cooling air. My concern is that those holes can let air OUT when the unit is off. At least this seems to be what happens with cheap builder boxes. Maybe one of the dealers here will confirm or deny that this happens with the fancier units.
  3. Chad S.

    Chad S. Member

    Joined:
    Nov 27, 2007
    Messages:
    127
    Loc:
    West Bend WI
    I could care less about cold air coming in as my current unit does this anyway and its just the basement , unless its an insane amount that drops the temp of my basement to 50 deg, it doesn't bother me.
  4. jtp10181

    jtp10181 Minister of Fire

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    Loc:
    Madison, WI
    The Northstar and 7100FP both REQUIRE a chimney air kit when using the SL300 air cooled pipe. Basically the CAK is a shroud that covers up these holes you speak of and ducts them to a 4" pipe. You run the 4" pipe to a cap on the outside of the house. Keeps the cold air out of the chase.

    All other "builder box" Heatilator and Heat & Glo wood burners have the CAK as an option, we install them on 100% of the units we put in for the reasons mentioned above.
  5. webbie

    webbie Seasoned Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Western Mass.
    I think then, based on what you and jtp said, that you would be ok....with the northstar
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