Q: How do I operate the Condar Fireplace?
A: Just light your fire as you normally do and every thing else is automatic. No need to worry about turning the unit on or off.
Q: What if the power goes out?
A: Your fireplace will operate as a normal fireplace, but without any of the added benefits of the Replenum. When the power is restored, the Replenum will return to its normal automatic mode.
Q: Can I use my Condar Fireplace for ventilation, without burning a fire?
A: Yes. Look at our options page at www.CondarFireplaces.com for information about the Ventilation Timer.
Q: How does the Condar Fireplace prevent "back drafting" of wood smoke?
A: Condar Fireplaces prevent "back drafting" in two ways.
1.) Today's houses are so tightly constructed that lack of enough fresh air is the principal reason many wood-burning fireplaces "back draft." The Replenum heat recovery ventilator automatically provides the necessary make-up air.
2.) In addition to providing make-up air, the Condar Fireplace also has a powerful draft induction fan. This fan gives smoke a "boost" up the chimney, and helps to prevent other exhaust fans in your home from pulling smoke into the room.
Q: What maintenance should I expect to do?
A: About once a year, when you have your normal chimney cleaning done by a chimney sweep, the air filter should be checked and replaced, if necessary. The sweep should also clean the blades on the draft inducer. It's quick and simple.
Q: Can an ordinary builder install a Condar fireplace?
A: Yes. The manual guides your builder step by step through the installation. The only special tool he may need is a simple vane anemometer (we have 2 types available) for balancing the system. If there are questions, call Condar or send an e-mail for a fast answer.
Q: Can I use a vented gas log set in my Condar Fireplace?
A: Definitely - and it improves your gas logs two ways. First, gas logs typically burn more than 60,000 BTUs of heat an hour, sending most of the heat up the chimney. The Replenum in a Condar Fireplace reclaims a significant amount of the lost heat, returning it to the room as warmed fresh air. Second, insuring positive draft with vented gas logs is critical, because insufficient draft up the chimney often allows soot from gas fires to spread into your room.
Q: Can I run the warm air duct to another room in the house?
A: Yes. Simply follow the few simple guidelines in the installation manual and maintain specified minimum distances to combustibles.
Q: Will more creosote form in the flue because of heat reclaimed from the exhaust?
A: No. In practice you'll usually have less creosote build-up, thanks to increased velocity of the smoke from the Replenum's powerful draft inducer.
Q: What do you mean by "net energy gain" from a fireplace equipped with a Replenum Ventilator?
A: Although there is great variation in the design and effectiveness of fireplaces, it is generally accepted that the average open fireplace has a net energy loss when it is burned. That is, the fireplace uses more energy than it produces. This is due to the fact that an open fireplace is drawing heated room air into the fire and up the chimney, which is then being replaced (through leaks and cracks in the building) with unheated outside air. The amount of heat that the fireplace adds to the structure is usually less than the amount of heat that it will take to warm the incoming air to feed the fire. This results in the home using more energy when the fireplace is used, even though the fireplace will make some apparent heat when you sit in front of it.
The Replenum Heat Recovery Ventilator changes this equation in two ways. First, the Replenum balances the amount of air going up the chimney with an equal amount of fresh air from the outside, so leakage into the building is not increased by the use of the fireplace. Secondly, the fresh air that the Replenum supplies is heated by the waste heat in the chimney so that it is always warmer than the room air that is being exhausted up the chimney.
As an example; in a typical fire, the fireplace may be exhausting 100 cubic feet per minute of 70 degree room air. Without a Replenum Ventilator, 100 cubic feet of outside air must leak into the house and be heated back to room temperature. With the Replenum Ventilator, 100 cubic feet of fresh air is automatically introduced through the ventilator's ductwork, but this fresh air is preheated to a temperature between 100 and 130 degrees (depending on the outside temperature and the intensity of the fire). This means that the fireplace is always contributing more heat to the home than it is using, resulting in a net energy gain.