Q&A Heat loss comparisons

QandA Posted By QandA, Jun 19, 2007 at 1:53 AM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I haven't been able to find anything on your web site that gives the results of heat loss comparison tests. What I'm looking for is a comparison of the amount of heat loss vs gain when using:
    1) an open fireplace
    2) a fireplace with an insert that has doors (glass or otherwise)
    3) a fireplace with an insert that's using outside air for combustion

    It seems I've read that the efficiency of the "outside air" system is significant but I can't find anything that states just how much more efficient it is.


    This stuff is discussed in certain articles and Q and A's, but here's a quickie.

    Open fireplace - about 0-15% efficient, sometimes even negative
    Newer Fireplace Insert - EPA approved - 60-75% Efficient
    Outside Air - No increase in efficiency.

    Outside air helps a lot with open fireplaces, since these use a large quantity of air. It may also help a small amount (less than 5%) with stoves, however sometimes the cold air introduction from outside can lower the combustion efficiency.
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