My home has a direct-vent gas fire place on the ground floor, and each winter the area around the fire place inside the house becomes very cold (granite finish). On colder days, the carpeted floor area near the fireplace is also cold. The fire place is rarely used, but is insulated above and under its enclosure (I can't tell if the sides are insulated, but the adjacent drywall is).
I have researched this "cold air" problem and many other forum posts describe the issue as a draft, but none give solutions other than "call the contractor who installed it", or "that shouldn't happen".
To be clear, the problem is not a draft but rather heat loss via radiation and conduction; I can not detect a draft or airflow in the immediate area around the fire place.
Is this type of fire place inherently vulnerable to cold infiltration by its design? It seems that since the venting pipe is always open and allowing outside air into the combustion chamber, then there is a always going to be some heat loss, especially when there is a large temperature difference between inside and outside the house.
If this isn't supposed to happen, then what can I do to rectify the problem? I have already filled the control area below the fire place with towels and blankets (when not in use), but that isn't making a significant impact.
After further investigation, there is a draft originating from somewhere behind the fireplace installation. In the control area (below the combustion chamber), air comes into my room from anywhere where there is a hole in the sheet metal. I will have to start looking for cracks under the fireplace via the crawlspace, and outside of the home in the area that encloses the vent pipe.