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Very cold tonight in Ajijic


johanson
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Have you seen the local weather report for Ajijic with tonight's suggested low of 37 F which is almost 3 C. Well it is not going to be that bad. the suggested lows for the previous seven days were always in the forties and the actual lows around my house in upper Ajijic, last night was one of the colder nights and it only reached 55 F or about 13 C. So maybe it will hit a low of 50 F. or so tonight, but not 37 F.

How are preparing for this cold weather? My fireplace is full of wood and if need be I will start a fire. Trouble is, most of the heat goes up the chimney at my home. Oh well. At least the sun has been and will be out 

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Pete I had the same problem with my fireplace and found a relatively easy modification on the internet that works like a champ.  Basically, you put a heavy iron plate at the back of the fireplace and then modify the fireplace grate so the fire stands up, is vertical, in front of it.  I had the welder in Riberas make the plate with feet and then weld changes in my grate to make it hold the vertical fire.

Heats like a bandit!

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2 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

Pete I had the same problem with my fireplace and found a relatively easy modification on the internet that works like a champ.  Basically, you put a heavy iron plate at the back of the fireplace and then modify the fireplace grate so the fire stands up, is vertical, in front of it.  I had the welder in Riberas make the plate with feet and then weld changes in my grate to make it hold the vertical fire.

Heats like a bandit!

I've never seen it done, but if there is a convenient propane source, a small gas insert might fit in even a kiva fireplace.  It would be much more efficient, effective, convenient and cleaner than wood and with some adaptation, might look good too.  Just an idea.

See (without recommendation): https://homeandhearthoutfitters.com/fireplaces/gas-fireplaces/gas-insert/enviro-q1-gas-fireplace-insert

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I have a small fireplace in Chiapas that heats the room where we live and raises the temperature in the 2 other rooms. Never had a fireplace like that.. Meanwhile I have a large fireplace in Ajijic that is a complete waste of fuel and time.. you cannot feel the heat unless you stand in front of it.. . Both of them are traditional fireplace, I wonder why so much difference between the two... In Chiapas  the ceiling in only 3 meter high and I have wood ceiling and wood shutters  that keep the heat in at night .

 

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Directing and projecting the heat with an integrated electrical fan is key.  (I'm not sure that the unit I cited above is the full air-tight, fan operated package most such units are).  I've replaced an old heataltor built into a large stone fireplace with a proper gas insert system, and the later can heat a house at the push of a button.  The welder who helped cut out the heatalator mentioned that a lot of such replacements were being done here in the redwoods, where many houses are older and it can get quite clammy as at times the trees make their own gravy (condensing fog off the Pacific to water themselves).

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6 hours ago, Mainecoons said:

Pete I had the same problem with my fireplace and found a relatively easy modification on the internet that works like a champ.  Basically, you put a heavy iron plate at the back of the fireplace and then modify the fireplace grate so the fire stands up, is vertical, in front of it.  I had the welder in Riberas make the plate with feet and then weld changes in my grate to make it hold the vertical fire.

Heats like a bandit!

I believe that what you have created is an iron style Rumford fireplace. Your tipi configuration of wood works very well. Do you have side arms on the back plate to create a wide angle as well? see diagrams in the following article.

http://www.rumford.com/articleRumford.html

Unrelated but... the open chimney's let in mosquitoes in the summer. Since dampers rarely exist here, imho, it would be wise to wrap with some kind of screen material around the top of the chimney in the months that you're not using the fireplace.

 

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Good find Ferret. I think the appeal of rumford here is aesthetics, as your article mentions - a tall fireplace suits tall rooms. The other reason, I think is that these fires were fireplaces were designed to chase off the morning chill, with a bright, hot, but shortlived fire, say from pine kindling for example. I think a slow burning fire is more commonly a Northern requirement, often needed just to stay alive.

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1 hour ago, Bisbee Gal said:

We have a vent-free propane log set in our Ajijic fireplace.  99.9% heat efficiency.  

Just for the sake of conversation B-Gal, could you tell us what exactly that might mean?  What did you mean by it?  I personally don’t know of anything that is 99.9% heat efficient. Maybe it means that your fireplace can ‘direct’ a lot (99.9%?) of the heat than can be generated by burning fossil fuel out into a room. But I’m pretty sure that your are not getting 99.9%  efficiency of burned fuel. 

Just curious.....

 

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

Just for the sake of conversation B-Gal, could you tell us what exactly that might mean?  What did you mean by it?  I personally don’t know of anything that is 99.9% heat efficient. Maybe it means that your fireplace can ‘direct’ a lot (99.9%?) of the heat than can be generated by burning fossil fuel out into a room. But I’m pretty sure that your are not getting 99.9%  efficiency of burned fuel. 

Just curious.....

 

Electric resistance heating is 100% energy efficient in the sense that all the incoming electric energy is converted to heat. However, most electricity is produced from coal, gas, or oil generators that convert only about 30% of the fuel's energy into electricity.

Electric Resistance Heating | Department of Energy

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1 hour ago, RickS said:

Just for the sake of conversation B-Gal, could you tell us what exactly that might mean?  What did you mean by it?  I personally don’t know of anything that is 99.9% heat efficient. Maybe it means that your fireplace can ‘direct’ a lot (99.9%?) of the heat than can be generated by burning fossil fuel out into a room. But I’m pretty sure that your are not getting 99.9%  efficiency of burned fuel. 

Just curious.....

 

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Emberglow-42-in-Vent-Free-Natural-Gas-or-Liquid-Propane-Circulating-Firebox-Insert-VFB42A/203865513

It states right in the "blurb" that it is 99.9% efficient. There are many other models and sizes available.
optional electric fans for circulation not included.

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1 hour ago, Alpha1 said:

Electric resistance heating is 100% energy efficient in the sense that all the incoming electric energy is converted to heat.

Yes, but of course if one chose electricity for heating in Mexico one would need a large wallet....

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You have to scroll down to the Product Overview...

Quote

The Emberglow 42 in. Vent-Free Fireplace Insert features a full 42 in. wide opening and traditional herringbone firebrick. The construction allows finishing with non-combustible material (marble, granite, stone, brick, tile or slate) up to the opening of the firebox for a traditional yet elegant appearance. Our VFB42 will provide a dramatic addition to your room.

  • Designed for larger rooms
  • Traditional herringbone firebrick pattern
  • Superior steel construction
  • Flush face allows non-combustible finishing up to the opening of the firebox
  • No chimney, no venting, no chase, saves installation time and expense
  • Easy to install goes where other fireplaces can't go
  • Included heat deflecting mantel guard protects mantels
  • 99.9% efficiency saves on high energy costs
  • Features non-obtrusive side circulation, optional accessory blower kit (model BL-101) not included
  • Includes adjustable screen for that traditional fireplace look and feel
  • Delivers maximum heat output

 

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