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Am I wasting Fuel?

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

  1. Mark McKenna

    Mark McKenna New Member

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    Hello All,

    First time Poster, First Time Homeowner, First Time Wood Burner.

    I recently bought a 1200sq foot bungalow built in the late 50's sitting on a nice 3 acres. I have spent the last few months renovating it. Inside it is heated with 2 fairly modern Non-Catalytic Stoves (see img) 1) an insert upstairs in the dead centre of the house in the living room, and 2) a Woodstove in the back rear corner of the basement.

    [​IMG]

    I have been reading, googleing, youtubing, and asking the experienced and I think I have a lot of the basics down now but I have 2 questions for the pros.

    1) Am I wasting wood downstairs? I originally thought that the basement stove would be my primary source of heat, i figured heat rises so why wouldn't it be, however I've been reading that the best place to put a woodstove is in the center on the main floor right where my insert is. In practise I have noticed that the insert is seemingly producing the most heat. If I'm running both stoves am I just wasting wood to the concrete in the basement?

    2) In the basement woodstove I end up with a lot of black coals at the back of the stove, my theory is that I need to replace the rope around the door, I seem to be getting way to much air in there and it's like it burns the front white hot and goes right passed the back, is that possible? If i let it completely burn out the back coals "mostly" go away

    By the way I live in North Eastern Ontario.

    Thanks from a wood burning noob,

    Mark

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  2. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

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    Heat doesn't rise, hot air does. To make heating from the basement work you have to be able to move a lot of that air upstairs, and let cold air get back down. Most folks who try find it difficult in practice.

    Also in an unfinished basement, all the radiant heat is being absorbed by the foundation walls and in effect heating the dirt.

    Focus on that insert on the main level.
  3. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    If you don't want to heat the basement then I guess there is no reason to run a stove down there, except maybe to keep your upstairs floors warm.
    Personally I dislike cold basements intensely, and would at least run it once in a while.
  4. ScotO

    ScotO Guest

    I'm thinking you can possibly benefit from the downstairs stove, but with un-insulated block walls you are going to lose heat there as well.

    Registers in various places on the basement ceiling that can let the hot air exchange with the upstairs would help out. But If you aren't going to use the basement, it would probably pay you to focus on the upstairs stove......

    Welcome to the forums!
  5. milleo

    milleo Feeling the Heat

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    Beware of pipes freezing if you don't use the cellar stove, see how cold it actually gets down there when not running that stove. Welcome to The Hearth, lotsa good people here to help you out.
  6. Mark McKenna

    Mark McKenna New Member

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    Thanks for all the great advice everyone. Perhaps I might goes easy on the basement stove until it gets really cold... like tonight.
    Would it be worth it to insulated the basement walls so that I get get more radiant heat?

    I checked the models I have a Regency I2400M upstairs and a Regency F2400M in the basement.

    Another question, if it's ok in the same topic. In both there is what looks like a piece of angle iron just above the door running horizontally (same way as the door). However the basement unit looks like the middle of the bar has been cooked right out of it. Has anyone ever seen anything like this? (see pic sorry for the bad quality)

    [​IMG]
  7. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Absolutely!
    PapaDave and Beer Belly like this.
  8. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Welcome aboard!

    I heat my house from a basement install. The concrete has foam insulation on the outside, nod once I get the basement warm the heat cranks up the stairs. It is possible to heat from the bottom of the house. You could possibly try placing a small fan at the top of the basement stairs blowing air downward. This may help increase circulation.

    Good luck!
    Mitch Newton and northwinds like this.
  9. raybonz

    raybonz Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum Mark!
  10. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Mark my house stove is a Regency F2400. I'm not sure what the "M" stands for on your stove, but I uploaded a couple pictures of what it looks like on my stove, inside and outside.
    As you can see from the inside picture it's more than just an angle iron, it is formed into a fairly heavy tube beam that I'm pretty sure carries the air wash air for the holes for the glass on the door.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
    begreen and Mark McKenna like this.
  11. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Do the pictures help at all?
  12. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Be careful with that foam the fumes of burning or even out gassing are very noxious.
  13. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    I have a feeling I will be ok. There are 12 inches of concrete between the foam and heated space as it is on the outside between the foundation and backfill.
    Oldhippie, Mitch Newton and raybonz like this.
  14. ddahlgren

    ddahlgren Feeling the Heat

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    Missed the outside..LOL sorry about the comment my lack of reading carefully.
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yup. If the basement walls are uninsulated, about 30% of the heat the stove is generating is going through those walls trying to heat the earth.
    raybonz likes this.
  16. jdp1152

    jdp1152 Minister of Fire

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    If you do insulate your basement sides, be sure to address the sill. Most air escapes/infiltrates there. You can insulate the heck out of attics and basements, but the air will find the path of least resistance and you'll lose a lot of it. Just because heat rises, doesn't mean it won't draw in cold air or move sideways due to temperature gradients. Personally, I'd go with spray foam insulation for the sill (at least an inch...can always put batt over that for more resistance) or at the very least use those 5 dollar cans at HD and hit all the seams. For your walls, it's not advised to use spray foam if it's below grade as it can hide minor seepage until it's major seepage and foundation damage. Even with poured concrete. For my money, I wouldn't touch fiberglass batt in a basement....but that's having seen what mice did in ours under the previous owner's care. I'd use the rigid boards and then hit the intersections with the canned spray.
  17. Sprinter

    Sprinter Minister of Fire

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    Depending on the insert size, which is ideally placed, I'm guessing you don't even need that basement stove. Have you tried to heat the house without using it at all?

    Concrete is such a good heat sink, it just sucks way too much heat right out into the ground. If you decide you really need the stove there for heat, then insulate for sure. It will be so much more pleasant, you may decide to finish the space and use it more. I really miss having a basement, myself (sniff).

    Speaking of insulation, since you are doing so much work to the place, how is the insulation in the rest of the house?
  18. Mark McKenna

    Mark McKenna New Member

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    LJ That's exactly what mine is like... well except (not sure if you can really tell from my pic) but the middle is completely gone, I'm not sure what they did that could have done that. I will let it burn down a bit and try to take a better pic. Then I'll have to come up with a fix, I wonder if I ground off the welds and put in a new piece of angle iron... probably have to contact a dealer... If it is part of the air wash like you said it would likely be the cause of some of the strange issues I'm having (over-burn at the front, cold at the back)
  19. Mark McKenna

    Mark McKenna New Member

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    Ya I was thinking of spray foaming the whole basement actually. I'm not sure how that's going to work around the basement stove, it's is tucked into one corner, The tolerances are fine now but If i added spray foam and/or a studded wall I might have to move it out a bit.

    I haven't tried just the upstairs yet, I should do that it's been soo cold lately I haven't had the guts to try it.

    The rest isn't bad, just before the winter hit I did the attic, that was a fun project, I had about 3 inches of woodchips!! and then a 4' fiberglass batt layer on top of that. I estimated my R value to be around 8-10 up there. Anyways I shop vac'd out all the wood chips, stapled up the soffit vent things and then blew in R-60 through the whole attic. I can't even tell you the difference that has made. The walls are 2x4 so they just have standard r-12 batts in them, Also there are very old windows, they are at least 2 panes, but leaky for sure, that's a project for another year though $$.
  20. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    Yeah... but I like my earth warm. Someone has to heat it.
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Why? Growing daisies alongside of the house in winter? :cool:
  22. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    It's been so weirdly warm this winter, I saw new iris (irises? irides?) and daffodils coming up yesterday. I blame Mark.
  23. Mark McKenna

    Mark McKenna New Member

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    HAHAHA I wish, weather network is reporting -25C (-13F) right now where I am, I don't think I'm affecting it to much... mind you the snow is all melted for about a foot or two out from my basement...
    raybonz likes this.
  24. McKeznak

    McKeznak Member

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    (switched up my username)

    So I have contacted Regency to see what my options are about the eaten away angle iron, if it's just angle iron i could grind the old on off and re-weld it. But I think regency's have a warrenty, I'll let ya know what happens.
  25. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

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    Can you get a better picture of the area that is eaten away?.
    There are several separate pieces that make up that area, and they are all pretty thick pieces of metal, it is surprising that it could be eaten away that badly.
    If you look at the inside picture that I posted there is 3 distinct pieces, and the top left portion actually makes a sort of shelf where I notice a significant amount of ashes are able to accumulate in behind. It's definitely more than just a simple angle iron.

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