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Log Burner or Gas Fire


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#1 Dizzy

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Posted 12 December 2010 - 12:35 PM

Has anyone had any of these installed without a chimney???? Which one in your opinion is best or what form of heating is best and most economical?????

Thank You

#2 Ards

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Posted 13 December 2010 - 01:35 PM

I have a cassette type log burner but with a chimney and fireplace, I remember when asking about gas fire they told me it didn't need a chimney but had to be vented outside.

We buy a ton of logs, normally costing around 160 euros depending on which logs you choose and this could last all winter depending on usage and how cold it gets. The most we have ever needed has been 1 1/2 tons.
When I asked about gas this seemed to be more costly, but this was a long time ago. Our log fire is normally lit around 5pm each evening in winter. Thats from mid Novemeber until mid to end of February, but this last week or so we haven't needed to light it as its been warm enough.

I do use the air con too but not too much, mainly in the mornings.

Hope this is of some use to you.

Good luck with your decision.

Edited by Ards, 13 December 2010 - 01:40 PM.


#3 jimtaylor

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Posted 16 December 2010 - 07:38 PM

Like Ards, we’ve got a log fire with a flue – when burning wood, you’ve obviously got to have an extraction system.

Even if you could get a gas fire without a flue, I don’t see how you could avoid a build-up of carbon dioxide (i.e. bad headaches) and damp. Put simply, if you burn a litre of gas, you’re going to get a lot of CO2 and a litre of water. The portable gas heaters, and I’m sure we’ve all got one, are OK for a bit of background warmth as long as they are used in a well-ventilated area, but that’s all.

For a log fire, sticking it in an existing chimney breast isn’t enough, as the fire won’t ‘draw’ properly. It needs a steel flue pipe – preferably stainless steel, otherwise it will only last a few years. As long as the bends in the pipe aren’t too acute, there’s nothing wrong in taking the pipe through the wall and up the outside. The top of the flue needs to be on a level with, or higher than, the highest ridge on your house. The sections of tube need to be oriented female up and male down, to prevent creosote running down the outside. To top the flue, I’d strongly recommend one of the ‘twirly’ cowls that spins in the breeze. On ordinary cowl will allow driving rain to get in, and if there’s a breeze, then getting a fire going can be difficult as the air pressure at the top of the flue can hinder it from drawing properly until the fire is really pumping out some heat.

If you’re in a flat, and can’t run a flue up to the height needed, then look for a gas fire with a balanced flue.

With five years experience, I try now to only buy encina (holm oak) or, if not available, then almond. Oak gives out a bit more heat than almond, although it leaves a bit more ash, and they’re both normally the same price. The cheaper logs like olive, lemon, frutale etc don’t produce as much heat, don’t last as long so you need to replenish the fire more often, and leave more residue on the glass. Burning oak, it takes me less than five minutes in the morning to clean the fire and to set it ready for lighting in the evening. I’m quite sure that if you could do a calories per cent calculation, then oak would work out cheapest.

If you can, stock up logs in summer so that when it comes time to start using the fire, the logs are nice and dry. I laid in three car loads, which came to just over a tonne, and which may not quite last us out. Health problems stopped me doing the fourth log run. Our local log yard has already run out of logs cut last winter, and recently cut logs obviously won’t burn very well. I prefer to collect my own logs, so I can select the lengths and thicknesses I want.
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#4 bealerDSB

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 03:45 AM

Great info Jim, as always..
DSB.

#5 jimtaylor

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Posted 17 December 2010 - 09:14 AM

Thanks DSB.

Incidentally, for cleaning the glass you just need two pieces of paper towel, one wet & one dry. Dab the wet one in the ash, which is effectively a mild scouring agent, and rub all over. Then remove with the dry one. If you've been burning olive etc and have heavy deposits on the glass, then use ceramic hob cleaner, which is more aggressive. If you have to resort to a scraper, be very careful to not scratch the glass - that can create a stress point, and the glass might crack next time it gets hot - replacements are very expensive.

If the 'cord' seal comes loose, or wears to the point where it needs replacing, you can get repair kits in BricoDepot etc.
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#6 PollyProwse

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 10:59 AM

Really great information guys, now a question from me.......where can I buy a set of chimney brushes? How do you clean your chimneys? We have a powder that we have to use every week but we have found today that there is a blockage near the top of the flue outside..........help! Is there a chimney sweep on the urb? We have found a chimney sweep (English) but he lives down towards Mazarron. Any info you can give me will be most helpful Im sure.

Polly xx
Old age is not for sissies.

#7 bealerDSB

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 11:41 AM

http://www.ambifuego.net/english.htm
DSB

Edited by bealerDSB, 18 December 2010 - 11:42 AM.


#8 kemosabe

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 03:41 PM

It's the resin from the wood that causes the blockage, it condenses on the flue, the deposits build up and block the flue.
This happened to ours in UK. Eventually there is not enough air for the fire to burn. The sweep had to get on the roof and attack it from the top. Even with a metal ball on the rods it wouldn't get through.

He said many people have problems if the stove output is too much for the room. Using the stove with the dampers closed to lower the temperature causes more condensate to form. His advice was always to keep some air going in so the fire burns quite hot, and a yearly clean.
He also suggested a carbon monoxide alarm.

Ensure you get a certificate from your sweep when the cleaning has been done.

K

#9 jimtaylor

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Posted 18 December 2010 - 05:50 PM

There used to be a chimney sweep in Rojales, but I've not seen any adverts lately. If you want to have a go, his details were:
C/Mercurio Karmen 1
Rojales
966 713 170
636 581 581

The powder that you use will probably be copper sulphate, sold as 'Eliminador Hollin'. You bung a handful on the hot embers, and the vapour that goes up the flue causes the deposits to loosen and fall back down (in theory!).

We've not had any build-up in our flue in five years use, so we must be doing something right. Perhaps we're fortunate that our flue goes straight up, with no bends or constrictions, so there's nothing to induce turbulence in the hot air flow.

I agree that it's best not to damp the fire down completely. It's only very rarely that I close the damper at the top of the fire - I control the burn rate by the air intake restrictor at the bottom, and never fully close it.

Incidentally, the fire's burning very nicely as I write, and both Margaret and the cat are virtually snuggled up to it. It was on for quite a few hours yesterday, but this morning there was hardly any deposit on the glass so cleaning only took a few seconds - benefit of burning oak I suppose.

#10 Ards

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Posted 19 December 2010 - 12:05 AM

The powder that you use will probably be copper sulphate, sold as 'Eliminador Hollin'. You bung a handful on the hot embers, and the vapour that goes up the flue causes the deposits to loosen and fall back down (in theory!). Quote Jim Taylor

I used something like this which looked like a log, you burn it in the fire on its own and there are fireworks of colour!!! It does the job and can be bought locally. Sorry I don't know the name of them but they are located near the firelighters etc.

#11 jimtaylor

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:00 AM

Is Dizzy another of those posters who asks a question and never bothers to post an acknowledgement?

#12 bealerDSB

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:07 AM

Is Dizzy another of those posters who asks a question and never bothers to post an acknowledgement?

sHe shouldn't be Jim, after all ... sHe is a V.I.P Member devil (?!)
DSB.

Edited by bealerDSB, 23 December 2010 - 12:01 PM.


#13 Landlady

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Posted 23 December 2010 - 09:30 AM

Dizzy is a she.

Would be nice for her to post an acknowledgment I agree, but at least she has started a discussion that has resulted in helping a lot of other people. Some really good information given.
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#14 JeanniesSis

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Posted 24 December 2010 - 10:46 AM

Really great information guys, now a question from me.......where can I buy a set of chimney brushes? How do you clean your chimneys? We have a powder that we have to use every week but we have found today that there is a blockage near the top of the flue outside..........help! Is there a chimney sweep on the urb? We have found a chimney sweep (English) but he lives down towards Mazarron. Any info you can give me will be most helpful Im sure.

Polly xx


Hi Polly, Merry Christmas from us both. We're here courtesy of Easyjet who cancelled our flight back to the UK twice! :arracher-cheveux:

Our neighbours here in Guardamar have a log burner & have recently had their chimney swept. I could ask them for details if you want me to, just say!

#15 Dizzy

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Posted 27 December 2010 - 03:27 PM

Is Dizzy another of those posters who asks a question and never bothers to post an acknowledgement?


I do apologise for not thanking you all sooner for your replies, I have been so busy with work and Christmas. I'm sure if you look at my previous posts you will see I am always thankful for any replies.
Thank you all for your replies, gratefully received.

Enjoy the rest of the festive season.

Edited by Dizzy, 27 December 2010 - 03:33 PM.


#16 Ards

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Posted 28 December 2010 - 10:52 PM

Thought I'd add a photo........christmas 2010.JPG

#17 bealerDSB

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 03:43 AM

Lovely picture !!!
DSB.

Edited by bealerDSB, 29 December 2010 - 03:43 AM.


#18 Dizzy

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Posted 29 December 2010 - 05:38 PM

Lovely picture !!!
DSB.




Lovely fire looks very inviting.


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