1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)
    Caluwe - Passion for Fire and Water ( Pellet and Wood Hydronic and Space Heating)

Outside Air Kit - Normal to Leak When Not In Use?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by shp0908, Dec 27, 2012.

  1. shp0908

    shp0908 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Is an outside combustion air kit supposed to cool your house 24/7 even when the fireplace is not on?

    Regardless of where the outside combustion air lever is set, I get a solid draft into the house from the vents along the base and lower sides of the unit. Additionally, the whole hearth is cold, like outside temperature cold. It sucks the heat from that room, which is constantly 10°F cooler than the rest of the house.

    I covered the offending vents with duct tape which stopped a majority of the draft, but the hearth is still freezing cold. My uneducated guess is that there is outside air circulating throughout the hearth void (especially the 1' high ledge that extends out into the room by a foot below the fireplace).

    10 year old home with a builder-installed Lennox Superior BRI-36 (BR-36 I suppose). Never turned the thing on during my 5 years in the house. I believe we have an outside combustion air kit installed (otherwise unexplainable vent at the base of the chimney).

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    497
    We once owned a house with a builder installed fireplace with an outside air kit. Same vent location, same air control lever that didn't seem to do anything, similar results.

    I can offer only two solutions that don't involve tearing the thing out to figure out why it is leaking outside air so bad.

    1. Remove exterior vent cover and plug the sucker with something non combustible.

    2. Sell the house.

    Option 1 may not work because the installers did a crappy job and outside air can still get in through cracks and crevices, in which case you may have to do some major surgery to stop the leaks.

    Option 2 is pretty much guaranteed to work.
  3. shp0908

    shp0908 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Thanks!

    I'll give #1 a try as it seems a little cheaper.

    Failing that, is there any way to identify this problem when looking for a house when it's not 10°F outside?
  4. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    is there a lever or control rod inside the fireplace to open and close the air?

    I have a little rod just above the firebrick that allows me to open or close off the OAK.
  5. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    497
    Good question. I don't know the answer. We bought that house during very nice weather and didn't notice the cold draft until we had been in awhile.

    We used option #2, but that wasn't the only reason. ==c
  6. WhitePine

    WhitePine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Sep 18, 2010
    Messages:
    497
    Ours had one. It sounds like the OP's does too. The control had no effect on ours. I blocked off the outside intake, which made a tiny difference, but that's all. I'm sure the fireplace wasn't installed properly. Not much else in that house was done right.
  7. shp0908

    shp0908 New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    3
    Yes, there is a lever but it is ineffectual.

    Overall the house is holding up pretty well. HVAC/Insulation has been the worst complaint, but it's a mass produced starter home so they had to cut corners somewhere.

    Anyway, thanks to your suggestion, the wife is now set upon taking on a bigger mortgage payment for 30 years in order to fix our fireplace situation.

Share This Page