Moving Woodstove Heat


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Old 10-15-12, 09:53 PM
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Moving Woodstove Heat

Hi All,

We have a woodstove set up in a finished room in our basement - put in by a previous owner. We'd like to be able to move some of the stove heat to the rest of the house in the shoulder seasons so we don't have to turn on the furnace (hot water, huge old radiators) in a cold snap, just to turn it all back off a few days later.

Unfortunately the room that the stove is in is at the rear of the house, has a drop ceiling, and is below our tiled kitchen floor - all reasons why I'd rather not get involved in the traditional floor grate idea.

I was thinking of installing a bathroom fan in the drop ceiling and ducting it to outlet in a small floor vent in the living room, which is adjacent, but through two walls and a floor. I think I can accomplish this in roughly 8-10' of duct. So I am looking for a little advice:
- How many large a fan (CFS) should I buy to create a steady, gentle warm breeze? And what size duct?
- Is there any major disadvantage in using flexible duct in a situation like this?
- Are there any safety concerns with CO or anything that I should be concerned with?

Thanks!!
 
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Old 10-15-12, 11:36 PM
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- How many large a fan (CFS) should I buy to create a steady, gentle warm breeze? And what size duct?
- Is there any major disadvantage in using flexible duct in a situation like this?
- Are there any safety concerns with CO or anything that I should be concerned with?

You're only moving the warm air from one area to another. The size of the duct is not critical. It may be easier to install a fan in a solid duct. I wouldn't think you'd want too fast a fan. You should, at least, have a CO detector near sleeping rooms.
 
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Old 10-16-12, 03:31 AM
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In addition to PJ's advice, you may want to consider thermostatically controlling the fan in some manner. I have one to install for a client on a pellet stove, but he has a fan control on the stove itself, so I will probably tap into the fan control and allow the transfer fan to activate with the stove fan.
 
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Old 10-16-12, 07:11 AM
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My in-laws had a similar arrangement in their basement. Their house was long and narrow, with the wood stove at one end.
Their joices ran the length of the house, so what my father in-law did was put grates in the drop ceiling above the stove, and fan blowing down in the drop ceiling at the far end of the house.
What this did was move the warm air into the ceiling, warm the main level floor, and returning the air at the far end of the basement.
I think since the last time I've been there, he's installed one or two vents in the floor to allow some heat to rise up into the second floor.

This worked pretty good considering it's simplicity.
 
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Old 10-16-12, 05:25 PM
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Thanks!

Thanks for the great tips, folks.

A side benefit I thought of was that in the middle of summer when its about 100 degrees in the main part of the house (we Mainers don't typically have AC), but a cool 65 or so in the basement we could flip the fan on for some relief. Kind of like a mini heat pump! I suppose this would negate the use of a thermostatic control, huh?

In terms of a fan - I figured for ease I would just buy a cheap bathroom model - they seem to range from about 30cfs to 120cfs. Aside from just shooting for the middle of the road, how can I guage which will be a dainty little draft and which will be like putting the shop vac on reverse?

PS - no sleeping rooms on the first floor and have a good CO detector near the stove.

Thanks again!
Sean
 
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Old 10-16-12, 07:00 PM
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A dainty draft huh I think I would opt for the largest one and maybe treat myself to a variable speed fan controller.
 
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Old 10-17-12, 03:50 AM
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Don't just consider the cfm's, look at sones as well, as that is the noise level. More expensive fans will move more air more quitely. Cheaper ones......well you won't sleep, anyway. Too noisy. Any thermostatically controlled unit should come with an always "on" feature, so you could possibly use it without the heat.
 
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Old 10-18-12, 06:22 AM
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Thanks for the tips... I'm hoping to tackle it this weekend. Everyone I know has their furnace on already, but not I!!
 
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Old 11-09-12, 08:23 PM
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I haven't installed it yet, but I purchased an inline duct fan, 6", and was was going to plug it into some 6" flexible duct line. I'm putting the "intake" end of it on the ceiling above my stove and the output end through an opening to move warmer air upstairs.
 
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Old 11-09-12, 08:33 PM
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Great idea....to move around the heated air. Just don't forget the CO detector. Your new system will carry CO just as well as heat.
 
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Old 11-10-12, 09:40 AM
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Thumbs up Welcome to our forums!

One thing I might add is that you check to make sure your insurance company is aware you have a wood burner and it is specifically listed on your policy.

Our area is prime wood burning country and there have been several occurrences in recent years where fire claims have been rejected due to either unlisted or improperly installed units.

Also make sure that any changes you make to the structure to move heat also doesn't aid the spread of fire.
 
 

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