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cold air return heat

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wingsfan, Dec 5, 2012.

  1. wingsfan

    wingsfan Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Dec 1, 2008
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    357
    Loc:
    Jackson,Mi.
    Has anyone with a basement install opened up their cold air returns in the stove room and used the furnace blower to heat the upstairs? One of our ruturn ducts is about 10 ft from the stove and while the fire was cruising, the area around the duct was 85degress tonight. I am thinking if I open up this duct and just run the furnace fan, it sould pull the heat thru the duct work and maybee heat the upstairs better. Then I think I can still use the whole house humidifier on the furnace to humidify the house still, since the air will pass it as it heats upstairs.Will this work?. Anyone try this?

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  2. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Your heat loss will be pretty significant.

    It may work. It may not.

    I have a Pellet furnace about 20' away from my 30-NC and I can turn the blower on manually (cold air return is not hooked up/draws air from basement). It does help to cool the basement and puts some heat upstairs. But it is very short lived and the tides actually turn pretty quickly. All my ducts are insulated also.

    Getting my basement room to 90° and kicking on the blower, only sees about a 2°-3° rise in an hour. After that,it holds. Then falls.

    Some have good luck with it. Some dont. Its best to experiment yourself. You never know. It may work great in your application.
  3. Seanm

    Seanm Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 16, 2012
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    Loc:
    SE BC Canadian Rockies
    Mine is further away than yours but I tried it when we had a cold spell down to -15, Im not sure how well it worked but I look forward to doing this more. During the summer i turn the fan on my furnace and when I put my bare foot over the heating vents upstairs it feels like ac! Im hoping I have good results this winter. Either way you are moving air around the house. My only worry is that my furnace is old so I want to find out how much it will cost me to replace the fan should it go on me. Id be interested in reading how well you make out with it. My entire house is 24 c right now and the dog is panting so I will have to wait for it to get colder before I work on this method some more.
  4. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    1,195
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    NE Ohio
    Works fairly well in my house, return directly over the stove. I really like having it to move some of the hot air out of that room. We spend a good bit of time in the finished lower level and that room can get HOT! The furnace blower helps push it upstairs.
  5. RSNovi

    RSNovi Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    May 12, 2010
    Messages:
    268
    Loc:
    Michigan
    I have a return vent about 10' Fromm stove. It seems to have very little effect in my house.
  6. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 6, 2011
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    South Central Indiana
    What other ways do you get heat upstairs? If you can use the return vent from upstairs , place a small fan to blow air down to the basement level then the warm air will naturally rise if you have openings like a basement door or can open up some of you other floor vents to let it rise up. You dont have to have a high speed fan actually slow air movement is the best.

    I opened up a vent down at the other end of my house place a 9" circular fan pointing down into the basement. At the opposite end of the basement is the basement door and some other open vents for the heat to rise. Then once upstairs the air is sucked down the hall way to the other end of the house to to room with the fan blowing down into the basement.

    Attached Files:

  7. Mitch Newton

    Mitch Newton Member

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    Apr 4, 2012
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    Loc:
    Beavercreek, Ohio
    Huntindog1, I am looking at doing something similar. Are your vents anything special? Are they just gravity vents with levers to open and close? Are they fusible link vents? Are they fire dampers? Thanks in advance for any help?
  8. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    My vents are just gravity vents with levers to open and close.

    If you live in the burbs or in a city there are usually codes that limit what you can do.

    All my vents were put in, back in the 1960's before I bought the house.
  9. TradEddie

    TradEddie Minister of Fire

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    SE PA
    If your supply ducts are well insulated, this may work, if not, you cool your basement and do nothing upstairs. Can you reverse your idea? Can you open supply vents in the stove room, and draw return air from upstairs? This worked much better for me.
    The humidifier probably won't work very efficiently since you're only blowing warm, not hot air past it, so the air can't hold as much moisture. Also the humidifier will cool the air slightly, defeating the whole purpose.

    TE
  10. Huntindog1

    Huntindog1 Minister of Fire

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    Too explain the diagrams I did above, the air is being blowed down to the basement thru the return duct of the furnace so that the warm air will rise thru the supply duct vents that have been disconnected from the main duct work. So basically you have open vents in the floor letting the arm air rise up thru them. There needs to be a door cut into the main return air duct down towards the flow so that the air being blown down into the basements enters at the floor level for best performance.

    The main idea is to blow the cooler air down into the basement as to let the warm air rise up into the other vents to warm the upstairs. As once the warm air gets up stairs it will tend to rise and the cold air up stairs will sink towards the floor. The fan blowing the air down the return air vent is on the floor level and that air on the floor should be the cooler air from upstairs.

    This set up is not using the furnace blower.

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