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  1. #1
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Air Intursion Issue

    From a client of mine:
    1. Fireplaces: we spec’d Heatilator units but the builder installed a different brand (Lennox) from Williams Insulation and Fireplace Co. We didn’t know about the switch until we moved in and had some problems with a lot of cold air seeping and blowing thru the vent openings on the front of the fireplaces. It is like the fresh air vents and the flue are completely open all the time but they are actually closed. Williams repaired the fresh air vent in one of the fireplaces and it made no difference. They were very defensive and belligerent when confronted with this problem. I have had to tape up all the vents on the front of both fireplaces to keep the cold air from flowing in all the time and causing the rooms to be cold and very energy efficient. We cannot use the fireplaces when the vents are taped up and it is impractical to remove and replace the taping each time we want to use the fireplaces. I fear that to correct the problem, the fireplaces will have to be accessed from the exterior (remove 4” stone veneer, exterior wall board, insulation) and seal and/or insulate the metal fire boxes to prevent air from infiltrating the air space between the outside metal and the inside metal of the box.
    The units in question are :

    Family Room is Lennox Elite- LBC- 3824 (this was supposed to be a 48” opening but is only 37”, so we got shorted by 11” wide on this fireplace)
    Master B R is Lennox Elite- BR-42-2 (It also has a SUPERIOR label)
    Printed on the outside face of the fireplaces is “SUPERIOR”, a brand made by INTERTEK/Warnock Hersey; it doesn’t say Lennox on the units themselves, but the install and owner info does)
    I have the install specs and they call for 2 draft stops but the fireplaces don’t act as if they have them. We can here the wind blowing into and thru the chimney tops on the roof and down into the fire box as if it is wide open all the time. It is like the flue is always open.

    Any ideas?


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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
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    Near Philly, Pa.
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    Cool Re: Air Intrusion Issue

    They need a hearth pro to perform a level II inspection of each and document for probable fraud with construction defects. Tell them to pay the pro to make a head up comparison of units spec'd versus installed.

    Cold air infiltration has been discussed here before I'm sure. Caused by negative pressure with leak points. Correct the pressure gradient and seal the leaks at the outer wall---not the fireplace itself.

    Intertek bought Warnock Hersey test labs. Lennox bought Superior Fireplaces. Lennox is your mfr. and Intertek your listing agency.

    Why are they putting a 42" woodburner in a bedroom and do they have the room size/ MUA?

    Blower door test w/ infrared thermography will show the leaks but in a case like this, they should pay for a level III inspection of the chase interior.

    Where is this located?

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  3. #3
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Air Intrusion Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    They need a hearth pro to perform a level II inspection of each and document for probable fraud with construction defects. Tell them to pay the pro to make a head up comparison of units spec'd versus installed.

    Cold air infiltration has been discussed here before I'm sure. Caused by negative pressure with leak points. Correct the pressure gradient and seal the leaks at the outer wall---not the fireplace itself.

    Intertek bought Warnock Hersey test labs. Lennox bought Superior Fireplaces. Lennox is your mfr. and Intertek your listing agency.

    Why are they putting a 42" woodburner in a bedroom and do they have the room size/ MUA?

    Blower door test w/ infrared thermography will show the leaks but in a case like this, they should pay for a level III inspection of the chase interior.

    Where is this located?
    BH: The house is in Heath, TX near the D/FW area. The independent builder is being cooperative (sort of) and is attempting to make the necessary repairs (albeit very slowly) and the client is concerned about losing his cooperation by being too aggressive; at least at this point in time.

    I should add here that the house was designed by the owner - architect - and is of very tight construction.

    Can you recommend someone in the D/FW area to perform these inspections? How much should they expect to pay?


  4. #4
    Join Date
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    Smile Re: Air Intursion Issue

    A.D., you can click on the FIRE Service buttons on this site and look for a Certified Inspector. Then click on Texas and it will show Derek Borg in Princeton as the only Certified Inspector currently in the State.

    Otherwise, they could hire me or Dale ;-)

    You'd have to call Derek about his rates. Otherwise, look to pay typical consulting fees.

    HTH,
    Bob

    Keep the fire in the fireplace.

  5. #5
    A.D. Miller's Avatar
    A.D. Miller Guest

    Default Re: Air Intursion Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Bob Harper View Post
    A.D., you can click on the FIRE Service buttons on this site and look for a Certified Inspector. Then click on Texas and it will show Derek Borg in Princeton as the only Certified Inspector currently in the State.

    Otherwise, they could hire me or Dale ;-)

    You'd have to call Derek about his rates. Otherwise, look to pay typical consulting fees.

    HTH,
    Bob
    BH: Thanks, as usual.


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