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Heat Distribution Diagram

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by movemaine, Feb 13, 2012.

  1. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Since there are a lot of questions concerning "Will a pellet stove heat my house", I thought I would throw together a quick diagram showing the heat distribution in my house. I figured if a few people could post their heat distribution, it may help others determine their pellet stove needs.

    Obviously this is dependent on several factors (stove, pellets burned, age/insulation of house, etc.)

    My house is a tri-level home built in '78. The house's insulation is adequate but not great. We installed newer windows on the main level, and in the master, but still have older windows in the back bedrooms and lower levels. Additionally, our front door is really drafty and causes some heat loss with the heat traveling from the lower level up through the main and upper levels. The below diagrams are with my stove set at stove temp medium/low - however I can raise all of those temps by 2-4 degrees if I crank the stove. Additionally, the lower level thermostat is out of the airflow of the stove blower, so the actual temperature in the center of the room is very warm. If the temps get down to zero or below, I have to crank the stove at medium/high to maintain those temps.

    The stove heat about 1800 sq ft (for my setup) we have a 4th level of about 400 sq ft(a finished attic) that is not well insulated, and we keep the door closed and use boiler heat up there when we use that space.

    Hope this was helpful and for anyone that wants to create their own:
    http://www.smallblueprinter.com/floorplan/floorplan.html

    It would be great if others with differing style homes, could post some simple diagrams outlining their heat distribution for others looking for advice.

    Attached Files:

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  2. mrjohneel

    mrjohneel Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    242
    Loc:
    Suburban Boston
    My insert is located in a centrally situated fireplace. Honestly, I have trouble moving my heat through doorways into the dining room and kitchen.
    My upstairs is much, much cooler than the living room. To get my living room up to 70, I have to crank the Harman. I have a heavy curtain covering the front door. I have three windows across from the fireplace and they are old but have storm windows on them. The sunroom is my TV room and it is over the garage, has lots of windows, and is historically cold. But when I have a small 10" vornado fan on the floor blowing cold air from the sunroom into the stove room, I can heat up that TV room. It's hard to blow cold air around corners though to heat up my kitchen. Those lines to the left are my stairs. I think I get a breeze flowing down those stairs and, unfortunately, across the couch that I have located across from the stove. Bottom line: I'm not getting the toasty, sitting-around-in-shorts experience of others. I am, however, keeping the house warmer than I did with expensive oil.

    The kitchen is only about 11 x 17, as is the LR, and the Dining Room is about 11 x 11, with a small sunroom -- 6 x 10. Roughly.

    Attached Files:

  3. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Hey John,
    I don't run a fan most of the time, but do you have a ceiling fan in any of the rooms? A ceiling fan in either the living room (blowing in the normal direction) or in the dining/kitchen (in reverse) might help.
  4. mrjohneel

    mrjohneel Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    242
    Loc:
    Suburban Boston
    Thanks, but no overhead fans. Fortunately my kitchen is super tight (more so than the rest of my 1928 house). I tore it down to the 2 x 4s 2 years ago and reinsulted with new windows, back door, etc. The DR is another story, but it hasn't been used that much in the month or so that I've had the stove. I think I can use the floor fan there with success. That draft that seems to be pouring down the stairs concerns me though. (Good idea on the diagrams, by the way!)
  5. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    I'm thinking that a ceiling fan in your DR may help draw heat that direction.
  6. Hitch

    Hitch Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    103
    Loc:
    S.E. Pennsylvania
    Do you guys ever turn your furnce "fan" to on and let that circulate the air around your house?

    If I am cranking up my pellet stove, I turn the furnace fan to ON and it does a pretty good job of distriubting the heat around my house.
  7. mrjohneel

    mrjohneel Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Dec 8, 2011
    Messages:
    242
    Loc:
    Suburban Boston
    I don't have that option. Just a boiler that heats radiators.
  8. movemaine

    movemaine Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2011
    Messages:
    477
    Loc:
    Central Maine
    Same here. I have a boiler.

    I'm getting good heat results, but I might run some ducting from my lower level to my upper level, and put an inline duct fan to distribute heat to the hallway by the back bedroom.
  9. John97

    John97 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2011
    Messages:
    448
    Loc:
    Spring Hill, FL
    I laid out my heat distribution situation in another recent thread so I'll just quote iit here:

    I highlighted a couple key things that are topical to this discussion...
  10. Hitch

    Hitch Member

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2010
    Messages:
    103
    Loc:
    S.E. Pennsylvania
    I would think that would help you out a good bit. I have a pretty new furnace which has fan settings for both "circulate" and "on". Circulate runs the fans for something like 25% of the time that the fans would otherwise be off. "On", well, runs the fan continuously. I don't run my stove 24/7 during the week, but we do run it in the evenings and over the weekend.

    We installed our pellet stove in a sun room. It is in an exterior corner of the sun room and there is no second floor above it. When it was built, however, we put in air returns that cross two bays (of two by fours). The HVAC guy actually recommended putting in two of them, one closer to the floor and the other higher up. When the stove is running at a decent temp, I leave the furnace set to "On" and the furnace usually doesn't kick on. In fact, I left the stove set between 70* and 72* last night and the furnace, which was set to 68* or 69*, didn't turn on at all.

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