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Basement vs. Living room for wood insert?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by emt1581, Jul 7, 2010.

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  1. CJRages

    CJRages Member

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    When you have/had the home inspected find out how much insulation is in your attic (the R-value) . It might be worth putting more batts or blowing in additional insulation. If you decide to install the stove in the basement you'll want to prevent as much heat from escaping the upstairs level as possible.

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  2. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    One of the entire house.
  3. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    As far as pics go, once we're in I'll snap a few of the said areas. I'm certainly not going to just share an entire layout of pics for safety/security reasons...but just the areas I don't have a problem with. I will need someone I can email them to so they can post them for me though. ;)

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  4. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    A simple stick drawing of the house floors layout is a big help with figuring out how heat will circulate. Lots of people have posted floorplans here and this is the first time I have heard of security concerns. We don't need to know where the wine cellar is going nor the security safe. Just the basic room layout.
  5. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    So you want to know wall, door, and stair placement in the home. What sort of things would you look for to determine a response/solution? I'm not sure how to draw an outline online...


    I will say in both floors, the chimney is on complete opposite side/wall from the stair cases.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  6. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    That's right, just the basics. Draw it in Paint, MS Word or other program with simple drawing tools and save it as a .bmp or .jpg file. Then post it to the thread.
  7. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Well mine is a pretty standard colonial design. Let me see if I can search the forums for a similar floorplan.

    -Emt1581
  8. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I see you have a couple of stairways for the heat to go up but how are you getting the cool air back to basement?
  9. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Cool air back to the basement? What do you mean?

    There is an outside door down there (walkout) so I suppose if it gets too toasty I can just crack that for a few minutes. But it still doesn't sound like a good solution long term.

    What are your suggestions?

    As far as similar layouts, I haven't found any. I don't have word (I use openoffice because my trial to office ran out on my netbook). So I'm not sure how to draw a layout. I can describe it though to create a mental pic if that helps.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  10. daleeper

    daleeper Minister of Fire

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    I cannot address all your questions, but I will through out a few things where I can. I have a freestanding stove in the basement, and have the 8-10 degree difference in temperature between the floors that some were discussing. Our house does not have ideal air movement for a wood stove in the basement to get the hot air upstairs, and it does not sound like yours does either. I have tried several different methods of moving that air, and have had limited success, but does help keep the gas furnace and heat pump from running too much. What the stove in the basement does do for us is to get that concrete warmed up, and heats an office space that I spend a lot of time in. If I did not have that stove down there, I would freeze to death working even with the small portable heaters I use when the stove is not running. It takes about a week of stove burning to warm that mass up so that my feet don't freeze.

    It has been said several times on this forum that a wood stove is a space heater, and I believe that is the case. If you do have a flue available upstairs already, I would be considering a freestanding stove upstairs, along with the insert in the fireplace downstairs. I would guess that you could install a hearth and new wood stove for significantly less money upstairs than you can a fireplace, and will heat the space better than most fireplaces.
  11. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    emt, even a hand drawn, scanned in layout would be a help.
  12. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Lack of illustrations aside, I place my bet with Bart and Daleeper. You'd have a tough time heating the whole house from the basement.
  13. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    I've seen it mentioned many MANY times here that wood stoves are space heaters...I have to get some clarification here...

    Are yall saying that 1) Woodstoves are inefficient and only comparable to one of those little space heaters? That's definitely not been my experience growing up. 2) Woodstoves are designed to heat certain space/sqft. amount? 3) Only going to heat the space they are installed in?? Again, I'm just sort of confused on what yall are trying to express with that statement.

    I'm still VERY curious what sort of hearth is being spoken of for a stove. Again, I thought it was just a freestanding box with a pipe going into the wall (drywall) no?

    Or do you still have to build a brick platform and wall section to handle the heat, embers when loading, etc.?

    As I said before, I doubt she's going to be thrilled with the stove idea. Insert is more eye-appealing know what I mean?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  14. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    The "space heater" thing refers to the way in which a stove spreads heat around the house, or maybe doesn't do so. Typically, it's hard to get the heat to spread into the corners of the house farthest from the stove. This is why someone mentioned cold air return to the stove room. This is reportedly the most effective way to get the heat to spread.
  15. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Ok, what about installing vents? Or let me ask it this way...what would be some options to make it efficient if done from the basement fireplace??

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  16. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Well, I have no experience with vents, etc, but, as someone mentioned, code typically restricts this because a fire could spread via your heat path. I still think heating the whole house from the basement fireplace is a bad bet. . .especially if that fireplace is in an exterior chimney(acts like a heat sink and loses heat to outdoors.)
  17. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Hmm ok. I kinda get it. But the cold air return has me confused. Is this so that whatever air is not yet heated goes by the stove and then gets heated? I've never heard of that before. What are some ways that this is done?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  18. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Right, but again, what are some ways other than those corner/doorway fans that people have used to spread the heat more efficiently?

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  19. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Um. . .$$$ forced air wood-burning furnace. :p
  20. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Ha! Funny...but ridiculous story...

    We were throwing around the idea of going almost totally gas for this house....gas water heater, 2 fireplaces, stove, and oven. The gas company said if we went with a gas furnace they'd run the line from down the street for $300. Without the gas furnace they'd want over $3000!!!

    I realize they are out to make money but holy crap!! I would think all the stuff we're installing would use a LOT more gas than just a furnace!

    So here we are in a wood burning stove/insert thread....

    -Emt1581
  21. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Open Office has a complete drawing program in it. It's called "Draw".

    I would suggest more background reading on the topic. There are a lot of threads on this topic and some good articles. Search for "basement heating". Here's some to get you started:

    http://www.woodheat.org/planning/heatdist.htm
    http://www.woodheat.org/woodbook/woodbook.pdf
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/23330/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/20970/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/19624/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/22429/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/23441/
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/five_essentials
  22. ddddddden

    ddddddden Minister of Fire

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    Seriously, there are furnaces that burn wood instead of gas. That's basically what you are saying that you want, but they start @ $5k, I think. p.s. F the gas co's.
  23. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Wow! Thanks for those links. I didn't see any of those threads when searching before. Interesting you should link to "wood heat"...that is the name of the place my parents bought their wood insert from back in the 90's. They're still in business but with a limited selection and slightly higher prices than others in the area.

    Thanks!

    -Emt1581
  24. emt1581

    emt1581 Minister of Fire

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    Well we plan to put central A/C in at some point but the wood furnace would mean duct work and such which...after the $5K would be pretty expensive in the grand scheme of things. Our cheapest option would be to just buy a $2K insert and slap it in the basement. But it looks like, unless I get one big enough and figure out an efficient way to circulate the air...that's not gonna happen. Next cheapest would be a stove in the living room...then a fireplace/insert in the living room...and after that we're back at the wood furnace/ductwork again...

    But I'm learning!

    Thanks!:)

    -Emt1581
  25. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I know you will run into an explanation but the cold air return allows the cool air to be cycled back to heat source and be reheated.
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