I have a fireplace with a Heatalator. Years ago it was converted to
gas log, which is almost useless for heating. I want to convert it
back to wood, but I am not sure the Heatalator is safe. Advice much
Here is the setup:
Fireplace has a folding glass front with vents at top and bottom that
are not adjustable. Also a hole at the back to dump ashes, with a
steel plate cover. Below the dump hole, ashes accumulate in a
crawlspace. In the crawlspace now is a pile of old ashes on a slab,
the ashes piled directly against against wood timbers. On either
side of the fireplace are vertical slots between the fire box and
fireplace facade. Those slots apparently open into the wood framing
around the fireplace and into the crawlspace. Rodents used to nest
in the fireplace; currently the vertical slots are stuffed with
steel wool to discourage rodents. The chimney has a damper, totally
illegal in a gas fireplace but blocked open.
The heatalator has air intake vents below the hearth, and out vents
in the mantle above the fireplace. There is a low power electric
fan inside each intake.
This fireplace seems unsafe for wood fires. Is it in fact unsafe?