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12" fan vs. blower kit in Manchester-Hearthstone

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by cighon, Jan 18, 2013.

  1. cighon

    cighon Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Loc:
    Northern NJ
    Purchased the new Manchester by Hearthstone on black friday last year, installed and up running mid Dec (after inspection by town). Had insert in previous house for 3 years. When i purchased the stove the dealer said 'why do you want a blower, i heat my entire show room with out one, but if you want one later on i can get you one'. So no blower. The stove is great, my wife actually picked it out, heats the basement and 1st floor great. We live in a split level with the stove in the basement, facing the stairs to the 1st floor family room. To help direct heat upstairs I placed a 12" fan on a stool behind the stove to direct air up the stairs to the rest of the house (see photo). My question is would a $350 blower kit be better at pushing air/heat than the 12" fan? (the eco fan was just for kicks that one day...)
    IMAG1798.jpg

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  2. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2006
    Messages:
    14,644
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Probably not. Do a little research on both fans. They should both have a CFM rate. Easy way to compare.

    There is one advantage to the blower - it will remove heat from the skin of that stove. Your 12" isn't pointed correctly to do that (if you even had that in mind).
    Lumber-Jack likes this.
  3. Highbeam

    Highbeam Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2006
    Messages:
    8,800
    Loc:
    base of Mt. Rainier on the wet side, WA
    My current stove has fans and I always thought that they were silly. Now that it is cold and I've had a chance to test them out I am very impressed at what a well designed blower system can do to improve heat output from the stove to the room. A significant dreduction in the time it takes to warm the room even though stove temps stay the same. I don't like the noise but the results are not to be ignored. We use the blowers now to bump house temp up and then shut the fans and let the natural dispersion of heat maintain the room temp.

    The fan option on many stoves is extremely expensive.
  4. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,735
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    Beautiful British Columbia
    Jags is right, you should aim that fan at the top of your stove.

    When I bought my Regency F2400 they threw the blower in on the deal. They are normally a $300+ extra. I used it for 3 years and it worked well, the stove convects the heat into the room (and house) way better than without it. It also lets you burn a hotter internal fire in the stove without over heating the stove box itself, same way the air blowing over fins of an air cooled internal combustion engine radiate heat and keep engine from over heating.
    Anyway, these blowers need routine maintenance to keep them clean or they get unbalanced and start making noise an can eventually wear out the bearings. Into the 4th year after some a routine maintenance cleaning I hooked the blower back up and couldn't get it to run quietly. I concluded that one of the bearings must be bad, so I Goolged up a part number and found the bearings are available and pretty cheap, but in the meantime I hooked up a small 8" fan behind my stove so it blows past the base of the flue and over the top of the stove. To my delight I realized that that cheap $12 fan works better than the $300 factory blower, has 3 speeds instead of the only 2 like the blower, and runs quieter than the blower ever did.
    I never did bother to buy those bearings for the blower, it's still sitting in a box out in the garage.
  5. cighon

    cighon Member

    Joined:
    Mar 11, 2008
    Messages:
    34
    Loc:
    Northern NJ
    i have moved the fan to hang from the basement ceiling about half way between the stove and the steps up to the family room. moves much more air. still thinking about the blower-maybe this summer when prices could be lower.

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