DIY fireplace heat exchanger
A fire-place fire generates quite a bit of heat. In fact they produce a lot more heat when compared to electronic heating systems. The only issue with a fire-place fire would be to efficiently use all the heat produced to warm the room up quickly. This is where a heat exchanger comes into the picture.
A heat exchanger works on the principle where hot air rises and cold air moves and replaces the warm air. A heat exchanger basically transfers the heat by directing hot air with force which in turn raises the room temperature considerably fast. You could get a ready-made fireplace heat exchanger in most home stores but you can build one yourself. Here’s what you need to do to build your own heat exchanger.
First of you would require at least 5 threaded steel pipes made of steel. In addition to these pipes you would also need to get yourself a pipe bender, a few end caps for the pipes, 3 inch bolts along with matching nuts, two 22-inch lengths of steel bar with a diameter of about 1 inch and lastly an electric drill. Once you’ve got all this you are ready to build your own heat exchanger.
The first thing you would need to do would be to bend all the pipes in a “C” shape using the pipe bender. The bottom part of the “C” shaped pipes should be slightly long as they would be resting on the fire. Ideally you would want a distance of about 24 inches between the two ends of the pipe once they are bent. Once that’s done you would need to start drilling holes in the pipe through both walls in the top and bottom.
Then you would need to drill holes on the steel rods that you have. You would need to drill about 5 holes that are about 1 inch from one end and about 5 inches apart. Next up for drilling would be the metal caps and you would have to drill them right in the center. You would need to drill wider holes at the bottom and smaller ones on the top to create that jet like effect. Once you are done with it you would need to file the edges.
Once you are done with the drilling it is time to start putting everything together. First off you would need to screw the end caps on top of each pipe. Having done that you would have to bolt one steel bar to the bottom of each pipe the other to the top of each pipe. This basically is your heat exchanger. Since you are using 22 inch bars you would have about 5 “C” shaped bars which are spaced about 5 inches apart. Next thing that you can do is to paint the heat exchanger with heat-resistant paint to improve its useful life.
Last thing to do would be setting up your heat exchanger on your fireplace. First thing to do here would be to place a few bricks at the base and rest the heat exchanger on the top of the bricks. Having the heat exchange placed at a height will improve airflow and faster heating. Once you have it in place you should start a fire in the “C” area of the heat exchanger. As the fire heats up the pipes you find hot air being forced out of the smaller hole in the end cap. The wider hole at the bottom of the pipe will then draw cold air due to the pressure created.
So there you have it, you can build your very own fireplace heat exchanger at your home all by yourself!