using fan to circulate heat from fireplace?

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Old 01-01-11, 05:33 AM
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using fan to circulate heat from fireplace?

Can anyone help me settle a disagreement with my wife?

When we use the fireplace in the greatroom, the rest of the house gets cold because the thermostat is in that room. I think if we run the HVAC fan it'll circulate some of that heated air through the house. She says it won't.

Who's right?
 
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Old 01-01-11, 06:48 AM
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I'll give u the answer but your on your own on telling her! Running the fan in the heating season is always a good idea. It helps circulate air which will help with hot and cold spots ass well as moving some of that heat to other areas of the house. So u are wright but if she asks I'll deni having this conversation. Good luck it it!!
 
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Old 01-01-11, 06:48 AM
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Of course it will, esp if the return is in or near that room. Though the ON setting for the fan is high speed, may be more airflow than will be comfortable.
 
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Old 01-01-11, 09:39 AM
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We run ours all the time because it has an "idle" speed when no demand is issued. Another thing people don't think of is turn your ceiling fans on reverse slow speed. It will tend to pull air from hallways, etc. and push it to the ceiling and wash the walls with warm air.
 
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Old 01-01-11, 09:58 AM
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As mentioned, yes it will help. However I have been having this "disagreement" with my wife as she says that the fan is only moving cold air. Well, duh. The cold air is from the other parts of the house.

I wish my furnace had the idle fan speed Chandler talks about instead of the full speed of the fan on position.
 
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Old 01-01-11, 02:29 PM
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Thanks, guys! Looks like its pretty much a consensus.

BTW - yes, there is a big return vent up near the ceiling in the great room opposite the fireplace.

Also, my wife and I also disagreed on using the ceiling fan in the winter. I'm going to use both the house fan and the ceiling fan and see how they work together!

again- thanks!
 
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Old 01-02-11, 12:53 AM
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A conventional fireplace is a lousy means of heating a house.

The fireplace sucks huge amounts of heated air out of the house. Every cubic foot of heated room air sucked out is replaced by a cubic foot of cold air infiltrating the house.

That usually means that maybe you'll heat up the room the fireplace is in, but all the other rooms will be cold because of infiltrating air. Of course, having the thermostat in the same room as the fireplace contributes to that effect as well.

You can turn the fan on, but I doubt that will help heat up the house much. It will probably result in cooling down your living room as well rather than heating the house.

If you want heat, get a fireplace insert or a wood stove. A conventional fireplace produces a great looking fire but is between 0-10% efficient typically.
 
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Old 01-06-13, 07:45 PM
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Circulating fireplace heat

I'm about to rock the new surface of the fireplace with the intention of eventually, but not this year, installing a wood burning insert. My thermostat is also in the same room and the rest of the house gets cold when burning. I may or may not move the thermostat as well, but intend to cut a decent hole in the ceiling above the fireplace. Then grate it for aesthetics, duct it to to vents in between studs in the back rooms, and install a (probably thermostat activated) duct fan. Any thoughts?
 
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Old 01-07-13, 03:05 AM
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Is the "rest of the house" above the fireplace? I would not bother with the duct work, but utilize ceiling fans on "low" and in reverse to help circulate heat to the rooms. The hole in the ceiling will afford a good conduit for the heat to rise to that area, but ducting will be unproductive for such a small amount of heat once it gets to the duct.
 
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Old 01-07-13, 04:19 AM
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Relocating the t-stat would be a good idea.
I've seen this a lot where the t-stat is in the main living area (living room) which is also where the fireplace is located.
ceiling fans as well as a small fan near the wood stove will help. Some stoves are designed to accept a fan or can be retrofitted with an aftermarket fan which will look and work better.
 
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Old 01-07-13, 01:22 PM
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Oooh, almost forgot. I have one of these on our free standing stove in our rental cabin. Power went out on a couple once in the dead of winter storm and they kept feeding the stove and positioned this fan to their bedroom and they were quite warm and happy. No electrical hookup, just induction from the heat top.

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Old 01-08-13, 04:32 AM
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My parent's have one of those on their stove.
Under normal heating circumstances, you won't notice much from it. Under the conditions you mention, I would imaging it does help.

They are not cheap here. Not sure if they are better priced south of the border.
 
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Old 01-08-13, 01:30 PM
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Yeah, over $100 on Amazon and others. Ours came with the package deal we made on the cabin.
 
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Old 01-13-13, 07:11 AM
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I've had the an ecofan for a few years; neat product and great conversation piece, but really doesn't move that much air too far. Ours sits right in front of steamer we have on top of our woodburning stove, you can see it draw in some of the steam and blowing it a few feet in front of the fan. Beyond 2-3 feet, you really can't feel any breeze from it.
Sounds like you already know it, but for heat output a free standing stove or insert is the way to go.
I tried multiple ways to help move heated air around; we have a s 2story 1300 sf house and the dowstairs, where our stove is, is mostly an open floorplan. I liked the idea of a grate between the first and second floor but my wife never gave the approval for this as she didn't like the way it would look. I did pick up for a brand new 6" inline circular duct fan and thought of istalling it in some duct work I would hide behind a chase I would build; basically having an intake in the ceiling directly above the wood stove and run it essentially to where ever I wanted it. I used some 6" round flexible duct work and spoke to one of the HVAC guys at work. He liked the idea but advised the faster the air moves, the more it gets cooled. I don't recall the exact numbers, but I checked the air temps near the ceiling above the stove. I then set up the inline fan and about 12' of duct work, I duct taped the "intake end" to the mantal and checked the temp at the "out put" end and wasn't that impressed. I didn't have any way to control the fan speed, so it was only on the fastest setting. If I could have slowed it down, the results may have been better.
Currently, once the stove heats up, the ceiling fan in reverse does a great job; I also have a tower fan near the stove on low that helps a lot. Once the room with our woodburner really heats up, I do turn the circulating fan on our HVAC system on, it helps move some warm air around but I also use it to help cool the living room down if it gets too warm in there (stove is there). There's a cold air intake in the living room; I will close off or restrict the cold air intakes upstairs (cooler rooms).
As firepplaces are inefficient and draw a lot of air up the chimney, it may not hurt to check for cold air being drawn into the house elswhere contributing to the cold as well.
 
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