Moving wood stove heat

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Old 11-16-18, 03:02 PM
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Moving wood stove heat

Hello,

Looking for ideas to move heat from our basement wood stove (marked with a star) up stairs to the main living area. Wood stove has a built in fan.

Home is heated mainly with a heat pump with elec resistance backup. Located in Ontario, Canada. Cold winters. Peak electricity bill was $600 for the month of February.

Iíve written in before looking for solutions. Heating with propane is marginally cheaper given current rates but doesnít offset the cost. Current heat pump and air handler are approx 10 years old.

Looking to take greater advantage of our wood stove. Main floor is open concept except for the 3 main floor bedrooms. Basement area is pretty closed off other than main games room area. Basement is rarely used.

Main floor also houses a traditional open fireplace in the sunken living room. This room also houses the thermostat.

Any tips to bring the heat from the wood stove up? Iíve heard cutting holes in joists (which I could do right above the wood stove and direct air into the dining room) is a bad idea from a fire suppression standpoint. Would running the central fan on low 24hrs a day help? How does this effect the fan speed when the heatpump or elec resistance kick on?

Also thinking of installing a wood pellet insert into the main floor fireplace, but fear it will create too much heat on the thermostat and prevent the central heating to turn on. Not sure a pellet stove on the main floor in the sunken room is capable of heating the main floor, especially the closed off bedrooms.

Thoughts? Thanks!
 
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Old 11-17-18, 03:34 AM
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Is it feasible to use duct work to capture the wood heat and transmit it thru the house using the furnace fan?
 
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Old 11-17-18, 04:43 AM
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You can cut a hole in the floor and install a short vertical duct and register so the heat can rise up from the basement. Using a draft inducing (fan) grate would move even more air. You would also need to create a path for cold air to sink down to the basement stove. That could be another duct or leaving the basement door open.

First, there is no "fire suppression". There are aspects of the building code that help reduce the spread of fire, mainly in non visible areas like joist bays. But there are many homes with free access between floors via stairways and balconies.
 
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Old 11-17-18, 06:07 AM
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would probably install a wood or pellet insert on the main floor as probably your best option then you may find running the central fan may help distribute the heat to the bedrooms if needed.
more info may help also like your electric heat and central fan where is it located main floor or basement and duct work location would it be feasibly to replace the wood stove with a wood furnace so you could heat your whole house probably not.
 
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Old 11-17-18, 06:36 AM
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As some have suggested, making holes in the floor and installing specific ductwork to spread wood generated heat would put your homeowner's insurance at risk.


Circulating the air continuously would most definitely help get warm air to the main floor.
In our area electric furnaces come with a built in fan switch for circulation that operates the fan at low speed.
When the heating or cooling kicks in a fan relay changes the fan motor to high speed to move more air.
If your furnace does not have this feature it could be an easy fix.

A suggestion would be to operate with the fan on continuous for a couple of months and see how it goes.
Adding or increasing existing return air to the basement could help if it isn't obviously in the area of the wood burner.
Another thing is because of the number is small enclosed rooms you have is to always keep every door open during the heating season.
 
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Old 11-17-18, 06:43 PM
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Basement is fully finished so no access to ductwork.

Existing furnace is in the basement large utility room. Stairs between floors are open. No basement door. All bedroom doors are left open 24/7. There are return air ducts in all 3 main floor bedrooms and another adjacent to the sunken living room. Also 2 return air ducts in the basement. One n st to middle bedroom and the other in the hallway across from the laundry.
 
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Old 11-18-18, 03:42 AM
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Hard to say without being there but since the utility rm backs up to the wall where the wood stove is you should be able to cut a hole in that wall and use duct as a fresh [hot] air return for the furnace. I'm a painter not a HVAC guy but that would be the way I'd consider going unless someone gave good reason not to.
 
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Old 11-18-18, 04:54 AM
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Many years ago I installed a wood stove in the basement near the furnace and had a round duct coming to the heater from the cold air return of the furnace. On the end of that duct over the wood stove I had a sheet metal shop make a funnel type end. I ran the furnace fan 24/7 when I was using the wood stove. The heated air from the stove was sucked into the duct and would be distributed to the house. Something similar to my installation may work for you.
 
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Old 11-18-18, 05:32 AM
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It is a most definite concern with a wood burning device that it's installation be in compliance with installation codes.
The installation also needs to be approved and listed on a person's homeowners insurance.
Any changes to your home that would contribute to a house fire spreading could invalidate your insurance policy.


However, if a current installation has not been inspected and specifically approved on an insurance policy then it really would not matter what you do because there would no insurance for fire loss.
 
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