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I have a rectangular-shape room with a gas fireplace in one corner. There're two thermometers: one by the fireplace, another in the middle of the room. When the heat has been off for a while, the temperature on both is the same. When the fireplace is on, the closer thermostat can get up to 10 degrees F warmer depending on how long it's been running.

So I wanted to heat the room more evenly and got the blower/fan thinking it would make a difference. Installed everything according to the manufacturers recommendations, checked that it pulls the air from and blows it out of where it is supposed to. Tried different fan speeds. After a few days I don't think I notice the difference. And the thermometers seem to be off by the same amount -- it doesn't seem like it's become more evenly circulated.

I got the blower on Amazon, so I asked this question on the product page and someone who claims to work at a fireplace shop said something about the fan being a convection fan, not forced air one and the effect depends on the environment. But didn't elaborate on how to figure out and make it work.

So I have two questions: are these blowers any good in general? And if there's indeed some work that needs to be done besides installation to make it more effective, then is there a good resource on how to make that happen?

(Not sure whether it's important or not, but there's a staircase not far from the fireplace, maybe it runs the air from/to there instead of within the room.)

  • PLease post a picture - it's not clear how these fans are mounted/installed. Meanwhile, try putting a plain old box fan next to the fireplace and let it blow the local warmth towards the rest of the room. Ugly but effective. – Carl Witthoft Dec 24 '16 at 12:46
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    I would not "put... a plain old box fan next to the fireplace and let it blow". You have a chimney for a reason. You do not want to disturb the natural draft of your fireplace. This could introduce products of combustion, like carbon monoxide, into your living space and/or blow hot embers out onto the floor. – Jimmy Fix-it Dec 24 '16 at 13:55
  • Are you referring to a ventless gas heater, or a vented gas fireplace? A picture and a model number would be great. – Ramrod Dec 25 '16 at 2:23
  • @ramrod, it's a direct-vent gas fireplace. It is Superior SSDVR3530CNM. – Nikita G. Dec 27 '16 at 2:40
  • It seems that fans can make a minor difference, but you may be losing heat up the stair well. Do you have a ceiling fan? – Ramrod Dec 27 '16 at 14:56
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The warmth you feel when you stand in front of the fireplace is radiant heat, which is rays of energy from the hot bright flames striking surfaces and heating them up. Warming a room or space using a single source of radiant heat is difficult because you have to wait until the objects warmed by the radiant energy start to give off their own energy in the form of convected heat.

Your "fireplace blower" tries to capture heat energy with a tube or series of tubes which are placed in the path of the radiant heat energy leaving the fireplace. The theory is that a fan blowing air through the tube(s) will allow the blown air to heat up by conductive heat transfer then diffuse into the room, assisting with heating of the general area.

"are these blowers any good...?"

Answer- Maybe, well made units, with a large surface area to capture radiant heat from the fire and a well designed heat exchanger and fan work pretty well but are also pretty ugly IMO.

"make it more effective...?"

Answer- If you have installed it per manufacturer's instructions there's not much more you can do except make a bigger fire. I don't have actual data, but in my experience a wood fire is generally way hotter than an equivalent "size" natural gas fire.

P.S.- I would not "put... a plain old box fan next to the fireplace and let it blow". You have a chimney for a reason. You do not want to disturb the natural draft of your fireplace. This could introduce products of combustion, like carbon monoxide, into your living space and/or blow hot embers out onto the floor.

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