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Cold air return wall vent

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Dairyman, Feb 26, 2013.

  1. Dairyman

    Dairyman Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2011
    Messages:
    468
    Loc:
    Southwest MO
    I am thinking about adding a wall vent in between a bedroom and living room (where the wood stove is). My thoughts were that it would help with the bedroom temps and cut down on the cool draft from the hallway. I have done the fan trick and find it makes the master bedroom to warm without much improvement to the second. And makes it chilly sitting on the sofa.

    Questions:

    1: Is there any safety concerns?

    2: Will it work?

    I am attaching a sketch I have done on my phone , forgive me for its sloppiness. If a better diagram is needed I can make one up tonight. The blue circle is where the stove is and the red X is the proposed vent location.

    Thanks, Mark

    TEMPDOODLE.jpg

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  2. sailor61

    sailor61 Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2006
    Messages:
    112
    Loc:
    Warwick, RI
    Are you talking about a strictly passive vent or an in the wall fan? I have an in wall fan (Home Depot online around 75 bucks)that is 2 speed and hard wired. It forces a draft between the room where my stove is and an attached greenhouse. My experience was I got very little draft without the fan - even with the temperature difference between a high 70s stove room and the 55 deg greenhouse through a partially open window. Will a passive vent make a difference in your setting? Somewhat. Will it give you a significant boost in temps? Not based on my experience.

    So far as safety .....the general rule seems to be that you want to blow the cooler air towards the stove room not the warm air into the cool.
    Dairyman likes this.
  3. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    I would consider putting in a wall fan on the stove side (high) and use the stud cavity as a plenum, then put the return grille (low) on the bedroom side. That should set up a nice convection loop by blowing the cool air toward the stove. It will be replaced by warm air via the hallway as long as the bedroom door is open or at least has a gap at the bottom. There are fans made just for this purpose.
    Dairyman and Pallet Pete like this.
  4. paulm81

    paulm81 New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 15, 2012
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    29
    Loc:
    Lucknow Ontario
    Could someone elaborate on this? Is it because of the possibility of blowing sparks around if something happened to fall out of the stove?

    I have been considering a few ideas to move heat around better from our insert.

    What about if the air intake is high up, since heat naturally rises anyways. I know it's harder to make hot air go down, but would this alleviate the safety concerns?
  5. sailor61

    sailor61 Burning Hunk

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    Loc:
    Warwick, RI
    I believe the logic is that blowing hot air out risks spreading flame/sparks/smoke more rapidly.
  6. Fake coal burner

    Fake coal burner Member

    Joined:
    Nov 11, 2008
    Messages:
    228
    Loc:
    Salt Lake City Utah
    I have the same set up your are talking about with my gas stove. Its on the other end of the room. Its 6x10 louvered vent on top threw the wall. The gas furnace vent is threw the wall on the bottom forced air it feeds both the living room and kitchen. I find it will keep the kitchen area at 60 deg.F . You can feel some hot air coming out the top vent, The ciealing temp above vent is 85 deg.F on the side of the room with stove. If I open the Door to kitchen it will drag my gas heating stove living room temp. way down. The little stove cant keep up with it. The only draw back is the living room with stove you get about 1 foot above floor that is always cold feet freeze, I mainly did it to keep the water pipes from freezing. So I dont have to use the big boy gas furnace. I also have a ducked cold air return from the kitchen to the the gas stove blower system I am using a 50 cfm bath fan mounted on the floor opposite end of the kitchen. It evens out the cold floor in the living room. Wood heat puts out more BTUs so it should help some.Make sure you box in the top vent threw the wall and insalate around it. Good luck.
    Dairyman likes this.
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    49,655
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Code does not permit a return air vent to be less than 10ft away from the stove. However, a supply (delivering cold air from the adjacent room) is not under any restriction.

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