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Duct System Fan to Spread Heat?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by bmicks, Nov 29, 2007.

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  1. bmicks

    bmicks New Member

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    Nov 29, 2007
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    Loc:
    Western Massachusetts
    Ok, i have been running a harman p68 for 1 whole day. I have a new colonial house in western ma. My goal is to heat the downstairs only... approx 1400 sq ft. Not sure if this stove will only be a supplemental source to reduce my oil burner from running, or if i can get by with keeping my oil burner thermostat off completely. Obviously, i am interested in seeing if i can keep the oil thermostat off, so i shut it off and set the stove to average recommendations. It's only my first night, so my experiments have no conclusions yet (in progress). My question is this... I have a 2 zone heating/cooling system. In other words, the duct systems are independant of each other. One system in attic(for second floor) with it's own heating/cooling air handler, and one system in the basement for the first floor with it's own heating/cooling airhandler.

    Would it be beneficial to run just the "fan" on the first floor system to circulate the air throughout the first floor? Here are some facts....... The duct work in the basement is 100percent insulated and the whole basement is insulated (no heat source though). The basement does not get colder than 60 dg's in the dead of winter. I have the stove in the family room(corner of the house) pointing to the kitchen. The house has a very open downstairs floor plan. The room that has the stove has one of four "return" ducts going back into the system. My thinking is that the "heat" will eventually make it's way through the returns and eventually spread throughout the first floor ducts, hence evenly distributed throughout.

    Any thoughts will be appreciated.

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  2. MrWinkey

    MrWinkey New Member

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    Some people have tried this and reported that it did not work well for them and wore out the fan on the furance quicker. I do not think they had as well insulated ducts as you do but I cant say as my house was not even built with ducts!

    I would try it and see how it works w/o any help. I'm heating an open design 1800 sqf rancher in and there was a high of 27 today. Yes the bedrooms at the end of the hall are colder but most of the house is a pretty even temp.

    If you do try it let us know how it works.
  3. pegdot

    pegdot New Member

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    You might also want to check how much electricty the blower on your furnace uses. Some are pretty energy efficent but others are real energy guzzlers. Your plan may work but I suspect that you might get more even heat and use less electricity by using a small fan or two, in the living area to direct cold air towards the stove.

    Peggy
  4. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2006
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    Loc:
    Eastern ON
    Ceiling fans can also help move the air around.

    Some people have reported that using the furnance fan does not help (mainly, I guess, due to the heat loss in the ducts). YMMV.
  5. bmicks

    bmicks New Member

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    Loc:
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    Ok, over a 24 hour period, i did not notice a significant difference in using the fan on my duct system as compared to using some fans and ceiling fans. i can keep most of the house at 68dg with the exception of the family room (room with the stove) which is approx 74dg. I am going through approx 1-1/2 bags a day. I shut off the stove at 10pm approx and turn it back on before i go to work at 6:30 am. I only program my "oil house" thermostat to come on at 5:30am and shut down to 60 after 8am. By then the stove takes over until 10pm . I am hoping that i am saving a bag of pellets (by shutting down overnight), only to use a little oil to get the house back up to 68 in the morning. At latest price of oil $3.30 a gallon, i'm wondering if i should just use a bag of pellets and run the stove all night also? Any thoughts.
    I have a brand new buderus oil boiler (new house) with very well insulated ducts, but oil is oil.
  6. Kenny1

    Kenny1 Feeling the Heat

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    http://hearth.com/econtent/index.php/articles/fuel_cost_comparison_calculator/

    You can use either to heat you home. Depends on how much you pay for pellets. However, if oil is at $3.30, it would probably be cheaper to burn pellets (as long as they cost less than about $330 a ton).

    Cheers
  7. petejung

    petejung New Member

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    I haven't noticed any significant advantage to running the furnace fan to try to move the heat around the house. I can tell you, though, that once I turned on the ceiling fan downstairs, I started feeling warm air moving around the house...
  8. drizler

    drizler Minister of Fire

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    Your best research tool is a small portable thermometer or 2 . It takes experimentation to see what you get from each method you use. After a while you will find exactly what works best for you most of the time. When you are using the fan method don't get lulled into thinking smaller is quieter, not by a long shot. I had one of those half round fans that fit in the upper casing of the doorway too. That didn't work well really and was very loud. One thing to realize and get used to is that its never going to get as warm in the distant rooms as where the stove is. Just aint gonna happen. If those ceiling fans work for you great, they are out of the way and don't use much juice.
  9. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    South Coast MA
    I did not notice much difference using the fan from my furnace so I do not
    bother with it. I use the ceiling fans instead as they do seem to make a
    big difference in the heat distribution.
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