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Circulating Heat from Wood Stove Question

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by TomR, Nov 19, 2011.

  1. TomR

    TomR New Member

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    I just purchased an Enviro Boston Model 1700 wood stove insert. The stove is working great but unfortunately it is located in our family room which is on one side of the house. The stove easily heats the first floor of the house and starts to make its way up the stairs a little but the upstairs rooms remain cold. My primary question - is it advisable to run my central AC unit on fan to circulate the heat? Is anyone doing this with any success? What other options exist that I'm not thinking of? I could set up some floor fans but if I make this too much of a production my wife will eventually shut down the operation. :)

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  2. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Ductwork often loses too much heat so that the distribution is poor. And it will use more electricity. I would try a single fan first. Often, one correctly placed fan will to the job of increasing heat circulation.
  3. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    Give er some chores herself and she'll be too busy to bother your task of saving money and keeping the 2 of you warm. Hey! Buy her a Fiskars for Xmas Tom and teach her to use it, problem solved.
  4. TomR

    TomR New Member

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    Haha. Love it. Yeah I have been trying the AC Fan and it doesn't really work. Just went to Home Depot and of course they don't have any fans because they're a 'seasonal' item.
  5. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    The fan/circulation thing works great for me. What about Lowes or Walmart? Surely someone has fans in stock. Wouldnt they? Even if its a heater with a fan setting other than the heat setings.
  6. TomR

    TomR New Member

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    Yes they have the heaters with the fan only setting. I'm going to see what I can find online.
  7. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Wives can some times be over rated. Myself sometimes included ( when I was a wife).

    You'll figure it out, Tom. Trial & error.
    loon likes this.
  8. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Dix are you talking about the fans or the wife? :roll:
  9. Troutchaser

    Troutchaser New Member

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    I recorded some register temps last season with our ductwork and duct fan on.
    Our ductwork circulates atop the drop ceiling of an unheated basement.
    Our suction is at the top of the loft, which means the warmest air gets sucked in. For us, the duct fan "on" 24/7 makes good sense to circulate the heat and sort of keep house/room temps consistant.

    For the upstairs bedroom, pushing air out of the room and into the loft works best. This allows that warm air to be sucked into the room.
  10. katwillny

    katwillny Guest

    Just came from my local Walmart and they had some fans there. And done call me Shirley.
  11. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Tom, you don't want a large fan nor do you want a pedestal fan. Just a small fan moving a little air can do wonders. Try sitting a fan at the top of the stairway blowing down and see if that works. You might even set a fan in the door way of that family room blowing into the family room.
    loon likes this.
  12. mrfjsf

    mrfjsf Member

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    I have tried using my hvac blower set on low speed circ. I still have some playing with it to do but it hasnst seemed to work well for me. A correctly placed fan however can really do some good. As Backwoods suggested, try placing a a fan low to the ground at the top of the stairs and blow the cold air down the steps. This method will replace the cold air upstairs with the warm air from downstairs, Creating a man-made convection effect.
  13. TomR

    TomR New Member

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    I'm going to give that a try. I never would have thought to blow the cold air down - I assumed that would counteract the rising effect of the warm air rising up the stairs.
  14. mrfjsf

    mrfjsf Member

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    Exactly the opposite, whatever air is "Displaced" gets "Replaced", usually in equal or greater proportion in terms of volume.
  15. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Tom, as you can see by my signature line, we are not new to wood burning. However, when I saw a suggestion for moving the cold air I thought, "What?!" Then I was also informed that the ceiling fan should suck air up in the winter and down in the summer. Sounded really counter to what I had always thought....but it works great!
  16. Loco Gringo

    Loco Gringo Feeling the Heat

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    Definately a small fan. I tried a box fan as well as a pedestal last yr and saw nothing. I took the one that runs in my little girls room at night that keeps her asleep and set it in the hall 2 weeks ago. I couldnt believe what happened. Guess you gotta try it to believe it.
  17. Andy_CT

    Andy_CT New Member

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    Hey I have a question related to this (as i don't fully understand how my system works yet). I have central AC one two zones, the ducts handle both cooling and heat. Zone 1 handler is in the basement near the oil furnace and the upstairs in the loft. With the fan option, does it pull/circulate air from the floor that the control is on or from the handler location typically?
  18. BranchburgJim

    BranchburgJim New Member

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    We purchased a house that had a Fireview 205 in the basement. The basement has been converted to an offic/utility/entertainment/workshop. The house is a ranch and we spend most of our time in the basement. To heat the first floor we need to keep the basement at 78 degrees which is a bit hot for comfort. The heat rises pretty well up a staircase to the kitchen but the back bedrooms are cooler than what my wife likes and I would like to get some of that extra heat upstairs. I have looked into installing an intake fan/register at the stove and ductwork running about 25 feet to the upstairs hallway. Another site discouraged that. Any opinions or suggestions?
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    It may work ok, but reverse it. You are not allowed to put a return grille within 10' of the stove. Instead, suck the air out of the hallway register and blow it into the hot stove room. This is safer and it works with natural convection. That should circulate the heat to the hallway and cool the stove room. If I am correct you should see about a 5º drop in the stove room and a corresponding increase in the hallway. If the bedroom door is usually open you could put the return register in the bedroom to pull the warmth directly into that room. This shouldn't require too large an inline fan, about 200 cfm will suffice, connected with 6" r duct. Get a quiet fan. A Panasonic FV-20NLF1 is about right. http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-FV-20NLF1-WhisperLine-In-Line-6-Inch/dp/B000EDUIX2
  20. WoodpileOCD

    WoodpileOCD Minister of Fire

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    I have the same issue. Stove on one side of the house and 3 bedrooms upstairs. I did the fan in the hall blowing into the stove room and it definitely helped even things out. Last year, I cut a register in the ceiling/floor just above the stove and boxed it in. I now have a small fan blowing on low (can hardly hear it) blowing down from the upstairs bedroom into the stove room. It has dramatically increased the warm air flowing UP the stairwell to the bedrooms. I can stand at the top of the stairs and actually feel the air circulation. Very pleased with the arrangement.
  21. BranchburgJim

    BranchburgJim New Member

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    Great advice! You made me change my design. The plan now is to install a intake register fan in the upstairs hallway register and run the ductwork downstairs to outlet from a register alongside the stove. Then use an Ecofan atop the stove to push the hot air up the basement staircase to the first floor creating a complete flow from top to bottom. What do you think?
  22. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I think it should work, though the Ecofan in this case would be extraneous, but it won't hurt the heat flow either. You will be pleased with the increased heat flow and should be able to measure it and see it if you tape a piece of toilet paper to the top of the cellar doorway. If the 6" r duct traverses a cooler area in the basement, insulate it to reduce heat loss.
  23. rawlins02

    rawlins02 Member

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    I can testify to the effects of using a fan to move air around. It helps. The photo shows air circulation path in my stove room. Cold air is blown in from adjacent room (blue arrow) with box fan. Air then turns counterclockwise and rises in warmer part of room (yellow). Above the stove the air is moving to the left. Air exits room out the top of both doors (red arrows). Warm air gets pushed out of the room because cold air is being forced in. In the morning I close the doors and get the room to 75-80F. Then open doors and get convection going. The air going out door to left helps drive a convective loop through first floor as well. Start of loop is door on left. End is at fan in room on right.
    circulation.gif
  24. Vande

    Vande Member

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    I have had some success with using my hot air/ac ducts on 'fan only' mode to circulate air throughout the house and temper the hot spots and warm the cold areas. It does use some of the heat to warm the ducts initially but seems to even things out. What might be helping my situation is the fact that I have return ducts high in my walls in the living room where the stove is, along with high returns in the dining room which is all open to one another. It does not take too long and I do not need to do this constantly. It seems once the air gets moving, it has a memory, or maybe it is just my imigination.
    If your duct work is not sealed and insulated well, or is outside the heated envelope, i.e. in the attic, or the unconditioned basement, you may not have the same results as just moving the air with a small fan as mentioned above.
  25. Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle

    Doing The Dixie Eyed Hustle Minister of Fire

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    Both ;)

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