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Topic # 144246 12-May-2014 16:42
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Hi all.

I just read the thread about heating a house and thought to ask this question. I currently have a fireplace at my house and was looking to start using this for winter. 

But from what I know about fireplaces, they let cold air in the house and give a draft. Just wondering what are people's thoughts about keeping a working fireplace or sealing it up. If sealing it up is the option, could someone give me a rough estimate of how much it could cost? Also, what are other things that you can do with the fireplace (eg gas fire place).

Cheers.


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  Reply # 1042468 12-May-2014 16:44
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When you say fireplace... is it a modern, sealed fireplace? Or an old school open fireplace?



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  Reply # 1042475 12-May-2014 16:49
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whoops, my bad. It is an old school open fireplace

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  Reply # 1042477 12-May-2014 16:51
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They're not very efficient.  You would be better blocking it off and installing a heat pump or similar.  If you are wanting quotes for this, you'd be better off having a look on http://nocowboys.co.nz for a builder.

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  Reply # 1042497 12-May-2014 17:13
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Unless you have access to free firewood, they are just a great way to warm up the air above your house...

Get it sealed up good and proper,

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  Reply # 1042505 12-May-2014 17:23
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Or consider installing a log burner into the space.  Or even better, closing up the existing fireplace and install a freestanding log burner.

We had a freestanding log burner at an old house and that thing really pumped out the heat.  We had to open up all of the doors for relief sometimes.  The house we are in now had a log burner built into the old fireplace, so you have less surface area to radiate heat into the room.  The disadvantage of the freestanding burner is that it takes up more space in the room.

I would prefer to snuggle up with the Mrs in front of a fire rather than a heat pump.  :)

We spend $250/year on firewood.




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  Reply # 1042511 12-May-2014 17:34
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Unless you have free firewood and you like feeding fires get rid of fires completely. Any chimney lets cold air in, even a freestanding one needs space around the chimney. Cold air blows in all the time. Air quality in the neighbourhood suffers, I look forward to the day when fires are banned in urban areas. Removing my freestanding fireplace was a huge step toward a warmer house. Depending if you want to completely remove it or just block it off is different, but insulate the opening if you block it off.

Insulate, heat pump. Win.




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  Reply # 1042519 12-May-2014 17:43
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Oh I do have a heat pump as well that I use. I just recently moved into this new house and currently the fireplace is being used to store wines. Lol. but I was thinking of cleaning it up and putting some logs there for this winter and see how much it warms the place up. if anything it might have a good ambiance. but then the discussion about heat loss kinda got to me and thought, well how much heat is actually being lost and what should i do about the fireplace then.

has anyone here had their fireplace covered up before? What are the costs involved?

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  Reply # 1042524 12-May-2014 17:49
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Krishant007:  currently the fireplace is being used to store wines.


There's a good use for it! Put some insulated airtight doors on the front..

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  Reply # 1042607 12-May-2014 19:54
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Before I removed our chimney entirely, I balled up a bunch of old shrink-wrap and stuffed it up the bottom of the chimney to help stop the draft coming down it. It worked pretty good.




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  Reply # 1042649 12-May-2014 20:53
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we have a wood burning Kent installed in the old open fireplace (previous to our purchasing the property) and this WAS rather inefficient, until I installed a row of old PC fans along the bottom intake vent.... EXTREME improvement for 0 cost... the Missus now regularly opens the passages and bathrooms to regulate the warmth when running the fireplace, and though we don't have 'free' firewood, $50/m is WAY cheaper than any heatpump that could heat our whole house this well :)

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  Reply # 1042773 13-May-2014 09:04
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^^^ Pics?

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  Reply # 1042818 13-May-2014 10:00
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In Rotorua , all wood fires have to be under 10 years old or you cant sell your house . BOP regional council supply 10 year interest free loans, if you qualify, of up to $4500 to replace them, added to your rates. We did it 3 years ago and put a heat pump in and part of the deal was that they had to take the old fire away and seal up everything, My sub woofer now sits where the fire once was. Best thing i ever did.  Wood was costing us $300 a year, the heat pump about $180 a year to run.




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  Reply # 1042845 13-May-2014 10:30
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$180 per year is CHEAP, I think most people would spend a lot more than that. I guess our power bills (for two adults) are around $100 - $150 in summer and $200 - $350 in winter. That's with a very old house that I've insulated as well as I can, some double glazing, thick carpet, and curtains. We like to be comfortable though, in the coldest months the main living area heat pump (to heat a big lounge, hallway, one bedroom) runs from 5pm to 7am, the kitchen heat pump runs a bit, and on weekends they run 24/7.

According to consumer from a year or two ago, most peoples power bills go up when they get a heat pump, often significantly, but so does the temperature of their home, with potential health benefits.




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  Reply # 1042860 13-May-2014 10:41
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timmmay: $180 per year is CHEAP, I think most people would spend a lot more than that. I guess our power bills (for two adults) are around $100 - $150 in summer and $200 - $350 in winter. That's with a very old house that I've insulated as well as I can, some double glazing, thick carpet, and curtains. We like to be comfortable though, in the coldest months the main living area heat pump (to heat a big lounge, hallway, one bedroom) runs from 5pm to 7am, the kitchen heat pump runs a bit, and on weekends they run 24/7.

According to consumer from a year or two ago, most peoples power bills go up when they get a heat pump, often significantly, but so does the temperature of their home, with potential health benefits.


A big part of the bill rise will be that heat pumps get used in summer to cool the place down, which other heating products don't do. So rather than using it for 4-5 months of the year, they end up using it for 7-10 months.

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  Reply # 1042867 13-May-2014 10:51
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BlueShift: A big part of the bill rise will be that heat pumps get used in summer to cool the place down, which other heating products don't do. So rather than using it for 4-5 months of the year, they end up using it for 7-10 months.


We did use it to cool occasionally this summer, but the bill never went above $150, but winter heating costs far more for us than summer cooling. Heating is used every day in winter, cooling for us is for a couple of hours per day max and not every day.

I'll eventually get around to putting in a flexible ventilation system that can throw a lot of outside air in quickly for summer, but also that has a heat exchanger to reduce wasted heat in winter.




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