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Makeup air for an high-efficiency fireplace

Stephane Fortier (zone 6A) | Posted in General Questions on

After reading this article and all the comments, https://www.greenbuildingadvisor.com/article/how-to-provide-makeup-air-for-a-wood-stove, I’m now very concerned by the makeup air vent that was installed to my fireplace, a 4″ vent connected to the bottom right side that is wide opened (see picture). I thought the damper on the fireplace was basically closing/opening that vent but this is not the case at all and now hearing this could be a fire hazard, and a fireplace really needs only 15-25 CFM, I think I will disconnect it…

My new house will be very, very tight (still need to have the blower door test), I’m thinking of converting this vent as a hood range makeup air with a motorized damper and inline fan, controlled by a sensor on the range chimney. I know 4″ will not provide a lot of CFM but not intending to have a powerful hood range either. The fireplace is maybe 15 feet away from the hood range. Do you think this is a good idea? What about using the same makeup air vent for the dryer (I get I could not use both the dryer and range hood at the same time)? Maybe also add a switch nearby the fireplace to open the damper just to provide some makeup air when starting a fire instead of opening a window? Any expert opinions are welcome!

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Replies

  1. Expert Member
    Malcolm Taylor | | #1

    Stephane,

    Before disconnecting that air intake check both the manufacturer's instructions and the applicable parts of your building code. It may not be legal to do so.

  2. Stephane Fortier (zone 6A) | | #2

    Malcolm, good questions:
    - air intake is not a requirement of our building code
    - the manufacturer installation document says the fresh air intake kit is optional (https://www.occanada.com/us/en/heaters/high-efficiency-fireplaces/vb00018/)

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