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Cold air return for basement

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by crawfish, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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    So I am going to add a 45,000 BTU pellet stove in my unfinished basement to heat it and 1st floor above. House is 1930's solid masonry 1 1/2 story 25' x 40' basement and 1st floor. Nearly all new windows throughout and I have studded out walls that were just solid brick on first floor with rigid foam board which has helped retain heat to some degree. Currently have wood insert at one end but 40' at other end kitchen is cold. Plan on putting pellet stove near bottom of stairway in kitchen which goes to basement. Figure heat will rise into kitchen but that I probably would need to put cold air return somewhere on first floor, yes? Currently have no return ducts/registers anywhere. If this sounds right should first floor return be at opposite end of basement stairway or close to where pellet stove will be in basement? does it matter? Please help me!

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  2. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Actually ducts and registers are frowned on by local code in many area's. I'd be checking with someone before you proceed.

    In my area ducting and registers need to be sealed(no air leaks) to act as a fire stop. Duct also needs to be terminated to the heating source. Even the louvered basement door(my air return) is frowned on. The floor registers were already in place when we moved in. When I added the ducting and plenum, My fire marshal though it was safer than just open registers/ducts. Please ask before you create a safety hazzard.
  3. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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  4. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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    Good thinking, safety first and always! Live in township with VERY laxed codes. Already checked and it's not a problem
  5. Shaw520

    Shaw520 Feeling the Heat

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    for your own safety and peace of mind,.. look into thermo-activated vents,... they close in the event of a fire.
  6. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Now that the safety police have checked in. ;) I would think adding the return opposite so that a convective loop would be created.

    Some folks have struggled getting heat to first floor from an unfinished basement. just sayn.
  7. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    If there were ever an understatement! This would be one. ;hm
    smoke show likes this.
  8. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Ok the safety police, the master of understatement, and a dude that attempted what you are talking about have all weighted in.

    I'd vote for insulation, the installation of a pellet stove that can have its air distribution system connected to duct work or a small stove on the same floor near where you need the heat.
  9. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I will 2nd what Smokey says.

    Heating from the basement, will give you less than desirable results... Put the heat where you need it, pellet stoves are only space heaters. If its gotta go to the basement, then put in a Pellet furnace, or a Large freestanding unit, that has is duct able (Enviro Maxx-M, Drolet Eco-65, Enerzone Euromax, and I believe someone said that Harman had a kit for the P-68 now, but the 1st three I mentioned have a Distribution blower large enough to blow the air where it's needed (400-500 CFM).

    Pellet furnaces can be had for cheap in the used market? A member here (343amc) got a Fahrenheit Endurance (same model as mine) with Vent, and some duct work, for $1,000!! I paid $2,000 for mine used. There was a St. Croix Revolution around me for $1,800 last month (nice unit also). There only a little more and will heat your entire home from the bottom to the top :) I can't imagine going without one now (2nd season with mine). If I ever get rid of my Fahrenheit, it's because I am upgrading to the Harman PF-100

    What's the 45,000 BTU unit your looking to "add"? Some stoves that are rated at 45,000 BTU (input), don't have a great heat exchanger and you may only get 30,000 output BTU? Not all stoves are created equal. (Input vs Output)
    smoke show likes this.
  10. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    That question made me ask a dealer that visits this site(LW). And he said nothing was available to his knowledge.
  11. Happy Hour

    Happy Hour New Member

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    It may have been me that mentioned the duct kit for the Harmon P series. It is not a kit made by Harmon, it is made by some guy from VT. When I went to the Harmon dealer http://www.fallonshomeandhearth.com/stoves.html looking at stoves, they showed me the piece. It clamps over the blower outlet and has one 4" opening.
  12. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    I thought that member had the two mixed up (they were looking at the Eco 65 also ajd the P-68)...

    I figured. I wouldn't want something with a small Blower anyways. For the money, that Drolet looks to be a Bad Machine. Bottom feed like Harman and Ductable. Can be had at Northern Tool for $2,000 on sale. Love it.
    jtakeman likes this.
  13. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Ahhh, Thanks for explaining. Some of the members have been using register boots and hanging them in front of the stoves. I tried it and it did work, But it would be better to stick with a factory piece. Stove police won't frown on ya if its an approve appliance component!
  14. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I agree, Bad mama jama. Plus the members that are using them seem to be very happy. Seems all good so far! :cool:
    DexterDay likes this.
  15. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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  16. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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    Thanks for all the input, lot's to think about. The stove I'm looking at is a Big E by Breckwell. Seems like it is more suited for a basement as it is rated to heat 2200 sf. Also 9 of 11 foundation block are below grade and I don't have any insulation in floor joists of basement ceiling. With that said I'm hoping to at least warm up the floors in 1st level which I think it should do. That will make it at least feel warmer. Also in the process of adding R-30 in the attic on top of the 4 in. of blown cellulose that's there now. And putting continuous soffit vent in because I have a ridge vent and had soild 1x12's for soffit before. I realize this should help more for summer cooling, but ridge vent was probably sucking heat out of 2nd story as well. Hoping all this work pays off!
  17. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

    Do a search here for Breckwell.
  18. smoke show

    smoke show Guest

  19. DBCOOPER

    DBCOOPER Feeling the Heat

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    I have a opening between floors and the heat transfers pretty good. If I seal it up with duct work and a register I won't be able to get upstairs!
  20. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    Careful witht the breckwell. Like smoke said do a search. I would look at a true ductable unit if you want to duct heat upstairs. I had the breckwell and it didn't throw the heat like it should have. I was worse than my small quad! All I'll say is "not all stoves are created equal" and for about the same dollar spent! You can find a better piece

    Like dexter said. Look at the Enviro Maxx or Maxx-M, Drolet Eco-65, Enerzone Euromax. VistaFlame VF170 is another. You have better results with a ductable unit! Been there done that!
  21. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    If the duct is connected to the stove, It will and I am doing it better than I was before the ducting. The blower forces it upstairs now and my upstairs temps are now warmer than my basements. I bet even with yours, You can't say your upstairs is warmer than where your stove is at?
  22. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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  23. crawfish

    crawfish Member

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    Yea I've seen posts on Breckwell and am still not sure if that's what I want or not. Have a dealer I want to go with and he also sells Napoleon. I have a Napoleon wood insert in my living room and love it. Anyone know much about Napoleon NPS 40 or 45? Better than Breckwell?
  24. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I would take the NPS45 over the bigE. We have a member named "geek" and he has one. Been doing pretty well for him. But it is a bit pellet picky. You won't get that from the Drolet eco65. It will eat what ya feed it being a bottom feeder. and Only around $2K on sale is a no brainer. Check the link "smoke" posted-Not a bad deal for the money either.
  25. DBCOOPER

    DBCOOPER Feeling the Heat

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