How do I know if my gas fireplace has a blower?
December 9, 2012 11:42 AM   Subscribe

Does my gas fireplace have a blower?

I have a Lennox gas fireplace. There are two switches on the wall next to it. One starts the fire, the other... does what? How do I know if my fireplace has a blower, or if the switch does nothing?

There's no sound of anything clicking on, but can modern fireplace blowers be silent? I might notice some air being blown from it, or it might be my imagination.

The house was built in 2004-ish. The fireplace works well, and has been checked out and cleaned.
posted by The corpse in the library to Home & Garden (10 answers total)
You might. Is there anything that looks like air could flow through it, probably from bottom to top? The fan could be dead.

I have a wood fireplace with a blower but the blower doesn't come on until the whole thing heats up, which can sometimes be up to 40 minutes or so.

Can you post a picture?
posted by bondcliff at 11:50 AM on December 9, 2012

Even with a model number this can be hard to disconcern because many gas fire places have fans as an extra cost option. And that switch may have been put in on spec before the fire place was installed. Your inspection guy can tell you the next time he's out or if the inspection is recent he might remember; worth a call in the latter case.

And ya, most of the fireplaces I've used have had thermostatically controlled blowers. They don't start running until things heat up and they'll continue running after the gas shuts off.
posted by Mitheral at 12:19 PM on December 9, 2012

We recently moved and I thought the blower on the bedroom gas fireplace was broken at first- but it turns out that if you turn on the blower it's designed to not actually blow air until the fireplace is ridiculously hot (like, it has been on for 20-30 minutes).

However: we also have another fireplace where we could install a blower if we wanted- the previous owner didn't want the extra expense- and the wiring/switches have already been done. Thus, the set-up looks EXACTLY like the bedroom set-up but you can leave the fireplace on until the cows come home and the non-existent fan will never come on.
posted by charmedimsure at 1:14 PM on December 9, 2012

I think it's a MPD-3530. Here are some photos.
posted by The corpse in the library at 2:11 PM on December 9, 2012

My fireplace looks just like that, and has two switches on the wall, but the cheap contractor who built the house didn't actually spring for a blower though did wire for one to be added later. Without a blower, it does almost nothing to heat the living room and when we had it on the pilot flame doubled our gas bill every month.
posted by monopas at 2:46 PM on December 9, 2012

Hmm. Ours does heat up the room. It gets BLAZING HOT right in front of it, to the point that the cats actually move away, and the rest of the room gets warmer. Indication of blowerness?
posted by The corpse in the library at 3:13 PM on December 9, 2012

Mine is loud enough that you can't miss it. But as others said, the fan doesn't come on until the air temperature inside the unit reaches a certain level. It takes quite a while, too.

Before it comes on, it still kicks out some heat, just not as well. You might find that the room is getting warmer even without a blower. Mine works ok to give some heat to the room even during a power outage when the fan can't run.

So I'd say, leave it on for an hour and see if you can hear the blower then. Mine has only one switch to control the whole thing, so since yours has two its possible the blower switch isn't hooked up or something. For mine, I get the fan no matter what -- but there's a knob to adjust how strong it is.
posted by litlnemo at 4:10 PM on December 9, 2012

You can definitely hear the blower when it's on and if you held a piece of paper in front of the vents you'd see it blowing. Our blower-less fireplace still gets hot and can make the room uncomfortably warm EVENTUALLY but the heat stays a little more localized.
posted by charmedimsure at 4:42 PM on December 9, 2012

The optional blower (link) for that model should be behind the bottom grille. You can remove the grille and take a peek for it--check out this installation video for reference.
posted by prinado at 6:03 PM on December 9, 2012

It looks like it doesn't have one, rats. Thanks for the links and information.
posted by The corpse in the library at 8:18 AM on December 11, 2012

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