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Results of improvements

Post in 'The Green Room' started by Rhone, Dec 7, 2006.

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  1. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
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    Just want to update everyone on the changes I made and how things worked out. I was having problems last year. Smoke spewing out on reloads, couldn't start a fire unless 45F or less, setting the smoke detector off, difficult start ups, long warm up times, bad burn times. I purchased a new section of round flex to replace the ovalized through the damper and cut the damper opening to fit it. Increased my chimney height 4' with an Extend-a-flue and the pipe inside the extend-a-flue insulated. I removed the original leaky blockoff with one I made using directions on this site and caulked it. Stuffed each seam with furnace cement, replaced the original home-made 30 with a true 30, removed a mis-matched connector, put 6" slag insulation above the block-off, enclosed the chimney penetration in the attic, lastly I'm now burning 21" split lengths instead of 16". My house improvements this year was adding R30 to the attic, replacing a leaky window in the basement , and insulating one wall of my foundation with R10 XPS that was a walk-out.

    Results are better than I'd thought. No smoke into the living area, cleaner glass, start-ups are a piece of cake now. The attic insulation reduced my heating by 13%, insulating the walk-out wall of the basement I'm pretty sure it reduced my heating 20%+. The other things, like fixing the chimney penetration in the attic I'm experiencing the mass of the fireplace inside the building envelope now especially the room behind it which is a bathroom, nice the bathroom is the warmest room in the house in the morning. I suspect I've cut my wood use 30-50%. When we light a fire the house increases temperature 8-12F on the lowest setting lowest amount of wood we can burn efficiently. Getting close to oversized unit at this point!

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  2. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 9, 2005
    Messages:
    917
    Loc:
    Deltaville,VA
    Good Job Rhone! The wife happy?!
  3. precaud

    precaud Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2006
    Messages:
    2,293
    Loc:
    Sunny New Mexico
    That's outstanding results. What a wrestling match you've had with some of this.

    One question: when you say "The attic insulation reduced my heating by 13%" what do you mean by that?
  4. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2005
    Messages:
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    The 13% is from a program that takes the area one lives in (heating degree days and cooling), square feet, the before R-Value the after, how efficient the appliance. I then compensated for using fiberglass batts. The first layer is R19, the second layer is R30. Technically that's R49 but you know with fiberglass it's nearly impossible to install it to get the full R-Value, plus the bigger the temperature difference the lower it's R-Value, I did install the R30 perpendicular to the first and got the 24" wide. I'm pretty sure after looking at the charts & data of fiberglass, my first layer is acting 25% below rated which is R14. I'm also confident my ending R-Value is acting 25% below rated as well, instead of R49 I entered R37 as the ending R-Value.

    It showed that I'll save 226.3 killowatts/year cooling and 0.52 cords/year wood using a 70% efficient insert (9.8 million btu's) for $46.76 in electricity savings in cooling and $96.23/year wood heating. It showed I need 4 cords/year to heat my house originally, and now with the attic at R37 I need 3.48 cords, a 13% reduction. I wish I could calculate what affect insulating the walk-out foundation does. I know it was losing a lot of heat, the biggest wall of my basement was like a huge single-pane piece of glass, always in shade, always completely exposed to outside air temps. By insulating the outside of it, its mass is now part of the envelope of the house to help buffer heat/cold spikes and now the most insulated wall I have! I suspect my basement can now maintain 5F warmer and linger around 42F instead of 37F. My floors being 5F warmer that should reduce my wood use 1 - 1.4 cords and I'll feel more comfortable in the same air temp also. So, that's 1.5 - 2 cords savings without even getting into the insert, block-off, and install improvements and taking a guess what that did, and boy my wife and I could not be happier about adding the extend-a-flue.

    The wife does love it, insulation not only reduces heat loss it increases the mean radiant temperature so we feel more comfortable in the same air temperature. My wife is especially sensative to mean radiant temperature so it's made all the difference to her comfort. I'm not sensative, for me it's more the savings and seeing results that bring about my happiness.
  5. Turner-n-Burner

    Turner-n-Burner New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2006
    Messages:
    184
    Loc:
    North of Boston
    Nice Job Rhone !!!

    BTW - I haven't forgotten to measure my Clydesdale temp profile from start up... it just had a full cool down yet.

    as far as draft goes... I was actually able to light a fire last Fri night... it was 63 degrees outside, humid and raining - figured I'd get smoked out of the house, but really didn't have any trouble at all.
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