Every time I show buyers houses, I have to explain that in earthquake land, I find 90% of the time that your fireplace and chimney are not usuable or will be thousands of dollars to repair and even more if you are in an HPOZ area. I am a new fan of “Home with Dean Sharp” on KFI 640 am on Sunday Mornings 9am-11am in LA and I was happy to hear him talk about options that did not cost an arm and a leg. He talks about ‘Direct Vent Sealed Combustion Fireplace’ Inserts. When I am out next with buyers and they are disappointed the fireplace needs $12k+ in repairs, I now know we have options!
Here are my rough notes from the show but I suggest you listen to him instead…
1. Direct Vent = double wall pipe. Does not share air-flow with inside of the house. Heats more efficiently. No gasses, no particular matter.
2. Sealed = sealed plate of glass (ceramic) that seals fire chamber and radiates amazing heat into the room
He talks about the history of fire, elements of community, how fire is meditative + cooking- especially in an outdoor pizza oven.
In Southern CA, Cal Green Act 2008 rule 445 requires installation of clean burning …others are grandfathered in for now. In 2011 Green Building code – direct vent sealed combustion type
No new wood buring fireplaces unless approved.
Nov- Feb in Southern California, the AQMD monitors air quality and it may delcare NO BURN DAYS in certain zip codes. (Not fire hazard issue – only air quality issue) You may get fined if you get caught! AQMD.gov – find your zip code
His show goes on to talk about fire pits and outdoor pizza ovens. It was an informative hour! Listen to Dean Sharp, The House Whisperer Here.