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Basement Options

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by fmelani, May 8, 2013.

  1. fmelani

    fmelani Member

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    I am thinking about putting a freestanding wood stove in a 1,400 square foot finished basement. This is technically where the men and dogs of the house reside in the evenings, pretty cool in the summer but damn cold in the winter. I have a Jotul 550 Insert upstairs on the main floor which does a nice job, but the basement gets cold without the furnace running. The furnace not running is very a good thing to me.

    What would be some good options of heating up the basement? Like the idea of loading a stove twice; once in the morning and then once again in the evening so the wife does not have to mess with an extra stove. I am worried about putting in a large Jotul which would give me longer burn times but possibly overheat the basement. Not against a cat stove, just don’t know much about them other than people love Blaze King.

    Thoughts?

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  2. Nick Mystic

    Nick Mystic Minister of Fire

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    I just recently installed a Jotal F 600 woodstove on the main level of our home. The area it is heating is about 1800 sq. ft. and it is not difficult to run the stove in a manner that does not over heat us. You could probably save a little money and go with the Jotul F 500 Oslo stove and do fine. I went with the larger stove because I needed a right side door for loading and the Oslo has a left side door. Also, I had several cords of wood already cut in 22" - 24" splits and did not want to re-cut that much wood. The Oslo takes nearly as long of logs. As many have said before, nothing wrong with burning a smaller fire in a large stove.
  3. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    First of all, what's our budget?
    What kind of look are you thinking?
    How well insulated? Just the walls, or the floor, too? Is there good airflow upstairs? Could this possibly do the whole job most of the time, and use the 550 as needed? Are you wanting to keep it warm 24/7?
  4. fmelani

    fmelani Member

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    Nick thanks you for the input and I have mulled over both you mentioned.

    Jeff, budget for just the stove would be around $3K. The Rockland with black enamel finish was a little over $3K if I remember correctly.

    I really like the classic look of the Jotul's (gothic arches etc) but it’s going in the basement so would rather have efficiency and long burn times over looks.

    The house was build in 1961 and had no insulation until a few years ago when I had cellulose blown in, the outside basement walls are concrete foundation.

    The basement is usually 10 degrees cooler than the rest of the house when the furnace is running. When the Insert upstairs is going the main floor gets low to mid 70's while the basement receives no heat (usually in 50's but dips into the 40's at night).

    Would like to run the basement unit 24/7 on a low heat to get the temps from 40’s/50’s in the winter up to mid 60’s. My sons and I watch television in the basement, plus the dogs are down there as well.

    I would continue running the 550 with the new unit since I am not sure how much heat would make it upstairs.

    The Jotul does a good job of heating the 1st floor and even the 2nd floor in our small open Cape with a center/inside chimney. It does however struggle to move heat to the far portion of the first floor where the master bedroom is. Luckily the basement unit will be directly below the master bedroom.

    Hope this helps, any input would be appreciated.
  5. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    How are you venting this? Do you have another flue you are going to vent this into (not same as furnace or Jotul Upstairs) in the basement or does the $3K budget take into consideration new chimney pipe?
  6. fmelani

    fmelani Member

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    The $3K budget is for the stove only. I know the chimney pipe and installation is extra.

    The chimney pipe which will have to go through the concrete wall then vent outside. The room has 8 foot ceilings.
  7. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    Blaze King Princess ($2700) or wait for the new Woodstock Union Hybrid to be released this summer to be in your price range.

    Or go with the Englander NC-30 and put that savings towards your pipe. Could possibly put in a fusible link damper in the floor to allow heat from the basement to go up into the bedroom.
  8. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    If you want function over form, easy to operate efficiency, buy one of the 3(ish) cu ft BKs.

    Supposedly the E vs W coast pricing is a little more equal now, so it may be more affordable than you think.

    Am I understanding correctly that the basement walls are uninsulated, bare concrete?
  9. Rickb

    Rickb Minister of Fire

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    I was in a similar situation. Was finishing my basement and wanted a stove down there. Its only around 750sqft down there so I chose a BK sirocco 20. Should be able to burn it low enough to not bake me out and should burn almost a full day on a load of wood.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    By finished basement, does that include insulated walls? An uninsulated basement is going to suck heat out of the room. The penalty for heating outdoors is about a 30% heat loss. That directly correlates to increased wood consumption, regardless of stove. If this is an occasional man cave it might be good to partition and insulate a section, then heat it with electric or a pellet stove.
  11. fmelani

    fmelani Member

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    The finished basement is not insulated and currently heated by the oil furnace which I try not to run. Yes it gets darn cold down there even if the furnace is running, have an electric space heater that is ok if you are right on top of it watching television.

    The other option I pursued was a gas stove which I thought was a great idea but the installation was nearly as much as the stove. I looked at a Jotul Sebego to be run off our existing house propane tank, but the installation was close to $1,500 to run the lines and install the unit. That did not include the chimney/vent or any of the hardware, needless to say I said BS and scrapped the idea!

    Went to the Blaze King website and really liked the Sirocco either 20 or 30, the burn time is amazing.

    The basement is also the laundry room, personal office, dog area and man cave. It gets heavy use, but tends to to get much less use in the winter.

    For what its worth my wife is pushing for the gas (propane - we do not have natural gas) stove with a remote.... go figure.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Propane is going to be pricey and still 30% of that heat is going to be spent warming outdoors. If you just want an area heater for when you're down there, get the Englander 13NC or equivalent. If you want to do some 24/7 burning down there, get a big stove like the Englander 30NC. If cost is not an object, then the BK 20 or 30 should do the job.
    jeff_t likes this.
  13. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    I don't use my un-insulated basement anymore as much since I don't have my office down there like I did before. But I installed a pellet stove so that when I am doing things down there I can start the stove and then shut it down when I am done. In cold weather it has to crank for five or six hours heating the dirt behind the basement walls before any heat shows up upstairs. But the basement is comfortable within an hour after starting it up. The basement stays around 50 degrees year around when not heated.

    And the stove and chimney would cost you a lot less than a $3,000 cord wood stove. You could do the whole thing for three grand. Not to mention not wasting wood when you are off to bed and still have a fire going.
  14. blades

    blades Minister of Fire

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    Everything above + pita hauling wood down the stairs, but then maybe you have a direct outside access. Takes a long time to heat up uninsulated basement , cools back down quick. You could gain quite a bit by insulating the walls down there which would also benifit upstairs as well as your hot water if running a conventional tank type water heater.
  15. xman23

    xman23 Minister of Fire

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    I with the guys here suggesting a pellet stove. A buddy has one in his basement. His works with a remote and a thermostat. The installation looks simple, the chimney is a 3 inch PVC (I think) pipe stuck thru the wall. I don't know anything about the cost of operation, but it looks like a no hassle way to go for a room you may not need to heat all the time.
  16. fmelani

    fmelani Member

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    All really good points. The wood pellet stove idea seems like a very good solution. I use the basement mostly in the evening for a few hours to watch television, feed the dogs, work at my desk etc. Like the idea of being able to turn it on, knock the chill off then turn it back down. Propane is expensive and I was not thrilled about the extra installation expense.

    Will do some research on wood pellet stoves. Any ones in particular I should pay attention too? The Lopi AGP seems to get good reviews, but I like the looks of their Leyden a little better.

    Thank you and any more input would be greatly appreciated.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The Quad Mt Vernon is a good looker with quieter operation, but it's pricey. (fyi, most pellet stoves are noisy). Take a look at the Enviro M55 Cast Multifuel too.

    Drop into the Pellet forum here and ask the folks that own them for long term reliability and maintenance questions.

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