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Interior Fireplace & warm upstairs wall questions!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by imalovesmax, Nov 20, 2013.

  1. imalovesmax

    imalovesmax Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Western Washington
    Good Morning!

    Our newly installed Matrix is in the center of the house. I noticed yesterday that the upstairs wall(s) surrounding the chimney are getting very hot. They give off wonderful heat to the upstairs but I started to get paranoid that they could be getting too hot.

    So, need I need some education here please!

    We had everything inspected prior to putting the insert in and we had a liner installed of course.

    I even feel like I can smell the fire a little when I put my nose to the wall.

    Is this ok? I am going to call the installer today to check.
    Thanks!

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  2. Grisu

    Grisu Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2010
    Messages:
    2,340
    Loc:
    Chittenden, VT
    What kind of walls are they? Solid brick? And how warm are we talking about? We also have an interior chimney where we can see a similar effect although its is only one floor. I surveyed it a few times with the IR thermometer and found the hottest spot to register ~140 F. Not enough to be concerned about IMHO.

    The smell could just be some soot in the chimney that has not been removed during the sweeping and that gets hot now. Doesn't hurt to have it checked out again still.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    We need a bit more info here. Can you put you hand against the wall and keep it there? Was the chimney professionally cleaned before the liner was installed? Is the liner insulated?
  4. imalovesmax

    imalovesmax Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Western Washington
    This is what I know (which might not fully answer the questions)

    1. I could keep my hand on the wall without any problem yesterday and today, it is very warm but certainly not so hot I need to move my hand.

    2. Ummm, hmmm, ahhh, the walls are lath and plaster and the chimney going up the center of the house is brick, not sure if that answers the question!

    3. We had the chimney cleaned and inspected and I don't think the liner is insulated.

    4. It is only my bionic nose that seems to smell much of anything. The wall that is most toasty is at the top of the stairs, right off of the living room and the chimney is inside (I keep saying the chimney is inside, not sure if that is technically correct, but my husband said it is all brick to the roof).

    The upstairs is really so nice and warm - I am thrilled about this! I work from home and my office is upstairs and I was worried I would freeze with only the insert running.

    Just getting use to this insert vs our other house and that insert.

    Thanks!!!
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    48,334
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    It's good to have it checked out for peace of mind. They could pour insulation around the liner. That would keep the wall cooler. But I am not too worried if you can hold your hand on the wall.

    FWIW our wall heading upstairs was plaster over the chimney brick, not plaster lathe or drywall. When we had a fire burning in the insert in the fireplace that wall always was warm to the touch in spite of there being a liner in the chimney.
  6. imalovesmax

    imalovesmax Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Western Washington
    I have a call into the installer, hopefully he can come over to check it out.

    I was guessing on what the walls is made out of I honestly don't know. I will report back.

    It is unusually frigid here today (28 when I got up) and the house was only down to 58 when we got up, not bad - we turned the air off to the insert about 9:00 last night. It is doing a good job so far!
  7. PLAYS WITH FIRE

    PLAYS WITH FIRE Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2011
    Messages:
    639
    Loc:
    Pittsburgh, Pa.
    Are you talking about the fan/blower when you say we turned the air off or the intake air? If you turn off the fan/blower then this maybe the source of your extra heat in the masonry. The blower moves heat from the insert, other wise the masonry soaks the heat up. It still happens with the blower but much less. My blower is temp controlled(snap disk) and will shut off when the insert cools to a certain level. I never just shut it off unless removing ash....it will run until it burns up cause I need the heat from it.

    Maybe this is the reason for excess heat? Btw an insert In an interior chimney is ideal! It sort acts as a masonry heater releasing heat for a long time.
    imalovesmax likes this.
  8. Oregon aloha

    Oregon aloha Member

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2013
    Messages:
    247
    Loc:
    Willamette Valley and the coast
    Back in my insert days I never used a fan. The brick could only hold so much heat then it gave it back to the room. Thermal mass has always been my friend when it came to heating my house. A lot of you seam like you try to make the insert do the job by itself. If you get that thermal mass up to full production you'll have much more even heat in your house and it won't cool down so rapidly. Wood heats objects not air. If the air comes in contact with the warmed items in the room the air warms up. So circulate the air for better warmth.If the bricks aren't warm then your house isn't either is what I live by.
    My thought is that the thermal mass of your brick chimney is giving off some nice heat to your upstairs. If combustible material is more then 2" from your brick it should be fine even without a liner. The fact you can hold your hand there leads me to believe all is well. Having it checked out is great for peace of mind. You can't be too safe, but we can all be too careless.
  9. imalovesmax

    imalovesmax Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2009
    Messages:
    46
    Loc:
    Western Washington
    All is well with the Matrix and our toasty walls! We have the Osburn recommended liner and the installer said everything looks good and to enjoy the heat upstairs!

    As for the Matrix, we love it so far, easy to load, easy to clean, gives off great heat and is sleek.

    Thanks for all the wonderful feedback!

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