cavity insulation/wall vents

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May I have your opinion please .....

Have just had to send away a company who were half way through drilling into our walls in prep. for cavity insulation because one of the workmen "noticed" that we had an open fire in the lounge. After a discussion, it transpired that the initial surveyer should have informed us that internal vents would be needed in the bedrooms and lounge and dining room because all of the fires are open (in fact we use two of them). This extra work is going to cause a lot of mess and we were not prepared for this (covering the furniture etc) so hence the reason for sending them away.

Apparently, these vents are necessary but are they a legal requirement?

Also, whats the point having the cavity filled to stop draughts and heat loss when huge vents are going to be cut through the cavity to the outside for cold air in three rooms to be allowed in?

You may have gathered that I am a little angry because I have holes all over my house for no benefit because the job is not complete and this air-vent issue appears to be due to some ridiculous Health and Safety legislation.

Any thoughts or advice please?

Comments

  • AdrianW2
    AdrianW2 Posts: 416 Forumite
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    An open fire needs oxygen. So do humans. If there isn't enough fresh air for both the fire and you then you will get sick and possibly die. That's why they put vents in.

    If it's a gas fire, then adequate ventilation is a requirement in the gas regulations, which are close enough to a legal requirement as makes no practical difference. For solid fuel it's covered by Part F of the building regulations.

    Open fires are horribly inefficient - they draw cold air into the room whilst accelerating warm air out through the chimney. Modern wood burners have their own air intakes
  • wallbash
    wallbash Posts: 17,775 Forumite
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    An open fire needs oxygen. So do humans. If there isn't enough fresh air for both the fire and you then you will get sick and possibly die.


    Surprised our ancestors managed to survive .
    Open fires are horribly inefficient

    But very romantic :D
    air-vent issue appears to be due to some ridiculous Health and Safety legislation.

    :D:D
  • casey972
    casey972 Posts: 30 Forumite
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    We had the same issue and discovered the need for vents after the cavity wall drilling started (the surveyor hadn't said anything either so maybe this is a common problem) but we let them do the work as the vents in both rooms would be behind furniture/freestanding tv.

    There really was very little mess, we have brick walls so don't know if that was why (and they did hoover up also) the finished job was tidy-I did stand over them though as I had no desire to redecorate!

    Do watch what type of vent the use as they carry a number and when I rejected their original choice on aesthetic grounds they just took a few more out to show me. One more thing-they also had to remove some of our old airbrick grills and made a big mess of replacing these so had to return to rectify-I had to leave and thought they could be trusted!!
  • casey972
    casey972 Posts: 30 Forumite
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    One more thing I have thought of-we have had the chimneys for the bedroom fireplaces capped and they were happy to accept that these did not need vents unless and until the caps were removed.
  • suisidevw
    suisidevw Posts: 2,256 Forumite
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    So the aim of the game is to get the cavity wall insulation done BEFORE installing the fireplace?!
  • redfazer
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    Thanks for the responses.

    I do appreciate the need for an adequate air intake but these things are 12cm diameter(!) plus the dimensions of the grills I can easily hide the downstairs ones and get them inserted low down in the wall so they won't look too bad from outside. But having to have one for the bedrooms when its obvious the fires are not being used (one is inside a fitted wardrobe!) seems a little overboard - and will look ugly from the outside.

    Oh well.

    Intersting point about the surveyer - something to keep an eye on?
  • Old_Git
    Old_Git Posts: 4,745 Forumite
    First Post First Anniversary Mortgage-free Glee! Cashback Cashier
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    I had cavity wall and loft insulation done last week .No mention of vents needed for open fire .
    "Do not regret growing older, it's a privilege denied to many"
  • Hi,
    I'm looking into getting cavity wall insulation, however we have a solid fuel fireplace and a living-flame gas fire so I'm pretty sure we'd need to have new vents fitted as well. We hardly ever use the fires, but fair enough, I can see why they have to do it.

    My question to everyone is: Is it still worth getting cavity wall insulation? Our main reason for doing this is to make our house warmer, but will most of the heat saved by the insulation be lost by adding these new vents?

    Follow up question: are there different types of vents and are some better and keeping out drafts / keeping in heat than others?
    Thanks in advance!:D
  • simasl32
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    First of all you should contact installing company and request survey, surveyor will tell you all about all about that. But in the end of the day, even if you need combustion vent it's only small, its like 3.5" X 3.5" and if you use your fire only twice or three times per year you can always cover, that vent with paper or something else.
    And back to question is it worth it - YES YES YES
    its one of the best thing you can do to your property and planet (will reduce CO2 emissions) ! Cavity wall insulation should save from £100 to £250 per year depending on your property type. You can find more info and arrange survey here: tpideas.co.uk
  • Swipe
    Swipe Posts: 5,119 Forumite
    Name Dropper First Post First Anniversary
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    simasl32 wrote: »
    And back to question is it worth it - YES YES YES
    its one of the best thing you can do to your property and planet (will reduce CO2 emissions) ! Cavity wall insulation should save from £100 to £250 per year depending on your property type. You can find more info and arrange survey here: tpideas.co.uk

    Both cavity wall and loft insulation hardly made any difference in my detached bungalow. It's still freezing and retains heat like a string vest.
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