Hi all, first time on the FHB forum, couldn't find a search button so my apologies if this topic has already been covered.
We have a 2 story new construction spec home built in 2014, by a builder that's in it for the money, doesn't care about the craft. So there are glaring problems all around the house that show his attitude towards home building. One of the biggest problems (aside from the 2nd floor air handler being in the attic) is the gas fireplace insert.
It is set into an exterior chase that stops before it reaches the 2nd floor. There is such a draft from it that it feels like I've left a window open. I've tried covering up the exterior exhaust to no avail (we don't use it). Upon further investigation, I've noticed that there is nothing behind the insert, no insulation whatsoever. I see straight to the sheathing. The draft is also coming out of an outlet box above the mantle (because he assumed we were going to stick a TV above it and break my neck watching?) and from underneath the mantle surround. It appears the entire chase is uninsulated. My neighbor has the same exact spec home (they went up at the same time) and has the same exact problem. We called him and he told us this: "why do you need insulation, you have a fireplace right there, just turn it on". Yea...... I've done the best I can by caulking gaps and making a sealed cover for the entire insert, it's keeping the draft at bay but the floor and wall around the area are still cold. I eventually want yank the insert out and insulate that chase with rockwool (thinking Roxul Comfortbat). My questions are:
- Are there reasons why I should NOT be insulating the chase?
- Do I need to sheath the interior side of the chase to keep the insulation from touching the flue or is the rockwool good enough to ignore the heat since it's rated way beyond the flue temp.
- Is there anything else I should do while I'm in there?
Thanks in advance!