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External air supply for Travis woodburning inserts?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by schlemmer, Oct 17, 2006.

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  1. schlemmer

    schlemmer New Member

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    Oct 6, 2006
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    Hi.

    I have just installed a Lopi Declaration woodburning insert in our fireplace, along with a new 6" SS liner.

    The Travis line of inserts were the only ones I could locate that came in flush mount versions. As aesthetics and hearth size demanded the flush-mount, that's what we ended up with. Looks nice, though I'm still waiting for the inspection before I test it.

    I met with a friend for lunch today. He's an HVAC guy who specializes in air movement and monitoring. As far as I know, he doesn't have any direct experience with woodburning stoves but he is conversant in them. To that end, he was mildly appalled to learn that my insert uses house air for combustion. I, getting a bit defensive, pointed out that it doesn't draw anything like the air a fireplace does and that it not only radiates but has blower assisted convection working for it. He maintained that I'm not going to see anything like the rated efficiency drawing cold air in through the cracks in the house.

    I'm not really worried about it, though it does sort of hurt to know that the colder it gets outside the more my stove's efficiency drops off.

    But does anybody know if the Travis inserts even have something like an external air supply kit? I have not read or heard of such an option anywhere.

    Thanks,

    -jim

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  2. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Look in your manual or call the dealer.

    Also, I wouldn't worry about it that much...I think he's is over stating the problem.
  3. Mike Wilson

    Mike Wilson New Member

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    Orient Point, NY
    Its not like you are going to be sucking in a large quantity of outside air... in fact, unless your home is as tight as a drum, the air use from the insert will be negligible compared to the natural air flow through the walls, windows & doors of your home.
    Plus, the fact that its a Travis is immaterial, any stove or insert of a given size is going to use basically the same amount of air to sustain combustion. I have an insert, don't use outside air, and notice no difference in air flow through the house. On the flip side, its 74 degrees in my home in the winter, and it was never that warm pre-Jotul!

    -- Mike
  4. kd460

    kd460 Feeling the Heat

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    Show your friend your heat bill from last year and compare it with this years heat bill using your wood burner. That should clear things up. KD
  5. schlemmer

    schlemmer New Member

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    Oct 6, 2006
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    I didn't mean to imply that Travis stoves used any more or less air than others. Good to hear from folks that these inserts don't pull a perceptible amount of cold air from the outside in. Even if Travis did make an external air adaptor, it'd be a royal pain to put in.

    The inspector comes by tomrrow morning. Then I have to find a time to flush the wife and kids out of the house for a few hours while I do the paint burn off.

    -jim
  6. brian_in_idaho

    brian_in_idaho New Member

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    Jewel Lake (Sagle), Idaho
    schlemmer, I took a quick look at the manual for your stove online, I didn't see any comments about an outside air kit being available (may have missed it thought). A few years ago when I was looking the only insert I found that had one was the Quadrafire 5100i, I installed one on mine. It turned out to be problematic, when I got a strong, gusty wind on the side of house opposite the air intake, it generated negative pressure at the air inlet, causing the stove to draft backwards, both pulling smoke out the inlet, and smoking the house up badly. I ended up plugging the inlet with fiberglass and using room air, I never saw a problem after that. I doubt that you will have any issues with yours, unless perhaps you have a very "tight" house and perhaps have the stove located somewhere near a strong vent fan.

    Usual disclaimer, I'm not one of the pros at this, you will probably get better info from others.

    Bri
  7. yukiginger

    yukiginger Member

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    Hey, ever heard that indoor air is much more polluted than outdoor air, and that even in the heart of a cold winter you should open your doors and windows every few days and get brand new air in? Well, I look at my insert as drawing some cold outside air in constantly and recycling my air.

    And, I, like others here don't think the amount of air is a big deal.

    MarkG
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