Rear vent and damper...which to use?

kluczenk Posted By kluczenk, Dec 1, 2010 at 10:00 PM

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  1. kluczenk

    New Member 2.

    Dec 1, 2010
    Hi all, new member here so thanks in advance for your input.

    We moved into a new house with three has fireplaces. They are all gas powered and vent through two chimneys, one on either side of the house. I noticed some sort of vent on the outside of the chimney that services the family room. After getting my head into and behind the gas log set for the family room I found something that appears to be a vent and can twist it counter-clockwise to line up holes and allow outside air through the opening and into the firebox. There is also a standard damper that allows exhaust gasses up the chimney. So my questions are:

    1. What is the name of this device in the back of the firebox that appears to be a vent?
    2. When I have a fire in this fireplace what should I do with each of the venting devices (both open, one open and other closed)?

    I believe the rear vent (for lack of the correct term) is meant to allow outside/cold air to be combusted rather than simplly combusting the already warm air in the house. Can someone confirm this and tell me how to best use the device with the best efficiency? We're looking at having it replaced with a sealed high-efficiency unit but until that happens I want to be sure I'm using what I have correctly.
  2. jtp10181

    Minister of Fire 2.

    Feb 26, 2007
    Madison, WI
    The device in the back would be called a big hole in your house.

    If you have vented gas logs (most likely) there there is no real efficiency or heat output. If you do open the outside air it will make it so not quite so much of the air, heated by your furnace, is sucked up the flue.

    The flue damper (exhaust) should ALWAYS be in the open position, and technically it should have a locking clamp on it that prevents it from moving.

    Doors should always be fully open when running the gas logs, for most models.
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