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  1. johndb

    johndb New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    We've been heating our house with wood for about 8 years now. We have along narrow house (26 X 90). The stove is on one end of the house, the room at the other end is raised, like a split level (but there's nothing under neath). Something about that room being raised draws the heat all the way down the house. We use electric baseboard in the bathrooms sometimes, but that's about it. However, when we get down into the low single digits, it does get cold in our kitchen and family room. The two rooms just before you go upstairs.

    We were thinking of putting in a very small stove there, but we would not need it very often and would likely roast ourselves out when we did use it. So here's my crazy idea.

    What if I were to make some kind of cage on a stand that would hold some kind of ceramic brick. On those occasional very cold days, I could heat up bricks on my stove, bring them down to the family room and put them in the "cage" and let them radiate heat. Does this make any sense? I have no idea how many bricks you'd need to give off a reasonable amount of heat, or how long it would last. It just seemed like it'd be worth it to mention it and see if anyone has ever heard of such an idea.

    Thanks for your input

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  2. johndb

    johndb New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    We tried that but the fans do not seem to work for some reason. Maybe it's too far. Thanks for the input though
  3. Jags

    Jags Moderate Moderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    Northern IL
    You wouldn't be able to lift the amount of thermal mass it would take to make any kind of difference....at least thats my guess without going through the math.

    You would also need to heat said thermal mass for a loooong time.
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
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    Loc:
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    Could be that more experimentation with the fan is in order. Try a decent sized box fan on the floor on low speed or a normal sized 12" table fan.

    Is the upper room over a garage by any chance? What I am guessing is that hot is is gathering in the upper room via convection, but there is a cold air flow returning towards the stove that is pooling in the kitchen area. If the upper space is over an unheated space like a garage, and the floor (garage ceiling is poorly caulked and insulated), it could be the source of excess cold air. In this case I would caulk and insulate the garage ceiling and try positioning a fan in a few locations to see if you can break up the cold air pool on the downside of the upper room.

    Here's a quick diagram to see if this is close to your setup or not.

    Attached Files:

  5. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    central maine
    which end of the house is north? heat does not like to go and stay north. also, a fan to push the air back would be good
  6. johndb

    johndb New Member

    Joined:
    May 11, 2009
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    Central Ohio
    Wow, BeGreen, that diagram is our house almost exactly. Our cold spot is smaller than that, but that's very close. There is an insulated crawl space under the upper room. So a fan blowing back towards the stove might do the trick?

    The house runs roughly east west...it's a hillside ranch so the back side (south) is half underground.
  7. jdinspector

    jdinspector Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Jan 22, 2009
    Messages:
    410
    Loc:
    Northern IL
    Huh? I've heard of moss growing on the north side of a tree, but never that cold doesn't want to stay north. Why would that make a difference inside a house? I think it's all about air flow.

    Also, in another post, someone educated me about radiant heat. It's a line of sight thing. If the stove can "see" what it's heating, it will work fine. Heat doesn't turn corners without some assistance.
  8. summit

    summit Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Aug 22, 2008
    Messages:
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    Loc:
    central maine
    Radiant heat does work that way, which is how most of your cast and soapstone stoves work. If you want to make heat go around corners, then you need a convective stove (like an ashley, lopi, PE, etc.)
    As far as the north thing goes... it is very prevailant in the Northeast, although the effect diminishes the closer that you get to the equator. But, for some strange, magnetic poles kinda reason heat does not like to travel north. I do not know the physics of it, it is just how it is... many heating experts in our region have to plan out their heating systems to deal with this phenomenon. I have seen it often out in the field, and despite many efforts by people to do something about it, the northern most areas in a structure are often the coldest. It usually takes alot of fans and secondary heaters to overcome the quirk of nature.
  9. Wet1

    Wet1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Apr 27, 2008
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    2,528
    Loc:
    USA
    That sounds like complete horse sh!t to me! Heat doesn't know north, or south, east, or even west for that matter. The reason the north end is cooler in most structures in the Northeast is the same reason the north side of a mountain is always cooler... there's much less solar gain.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    The object here is to get the air mixing instead of stratifying and pooling. A ceiling fan in the cold pocket area might also work. I like using an ordinary table fan because you can experiment with it. Try putting it on low speed on the kitchen floor, blowing toward the stove. Try that for a day or two and see if it makes a difference. It wouldn't hurt to try it pointing straight upward in that location to see how that mixes the air. And it might be worth a try placing it at the top of the stairs, at the entrance of the upper room, blowing towards the stove.

    If you have a good portable thermometer, put it in the cool spot and see which fan location works best for overall comfort.

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