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Heating the multi-room home...

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by jtcedinburgh, Nov 29, 2006.

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  1. jtcedinburgh

    jtcedinburgh New Member

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Messages:
    133
    Loc:
    Fife Riviera, Scotland
    Hi folks.

    Our home is a Victorian stone-built townhouse on two levels. It has high ceilings and is mainly composed of individual rooms, rather than open-plan*.

    I am wondering how many people in these forums have such a compartmentalised home (if that's the right phrase) and how they go about heating it with wood.

    The way I see it, unless it's open plan, it's difficult to get the heat from one room to travel to others - especially given the high ceilings (which are 3' or more above the tops of the doors, which means that there's a 3'-by-x-by-y volume to heat fully before any heat will leave the room.

    We're looking at adding a second stove - probably an inset wood burner or gas - into our 'good' room (i.e. the posh room with the cornicing etc.) which is 18'x16'x11' with four double glazed hardwood sash'n'case windows along one wall. At the moment there is a living flame open gas fire which is cozy but I believe very inefficient. If we go to the hassle of changing this I would like to be able to spread some of the heat around if possible.

    Any thoughts?

    John

    * the only open-plan area being the room into which we put the Morso, which is open onto a conservatory and kitchen.

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 23, 2006
    Messages:
    3,654
    Loc:
    Boulder County
    Ohhh around here everything has to be HUGE and OPEN. LOL.
    How well does the air move in the house now? It will be a good sign for the performance of the stove. IF you get good circulation now you will get good circulation with the stove. Celing fans will help.
  3. nshif

    nshif New Member

    Joined:
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    Loc:
    Pioneer, Ca (near Lake Tahoe)
    A simple start would be some well placed ceiling fans.
  4. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2005
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    Loc:
    Poughkeepsie, NY
    Tough problem. I deal with this a little since my stove is in my livingroom. That room has a cathedral ceiling that's around 14' high. The good part of that room design is that it has two double door openings to other parts of the house, so air flow is not too bad. One thing to consider is getting as much heat as possible to remain at floor level. The key is ceiling fans.
    The difference in heat dispursement to the rest of the house is a 2:1 impact when the ceiling fan is running vs off.

    No matter what, the stove room will be a lot hotter, but getting the heat to move naturally through the doorways is the key.
  5. Eric Johnson

    Eric Johnson Mod Emeritus

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    5,736
    Loc:
    Central NYS
    What do you have for central heat? If it's hydronic, you should look into an indoor wood boiler. If it's forced air, then a good wood-fired furnace.

    I have an old Federal style house dating back to about 1865 that I heat with an indoor wood boiler.

    I think it's the way to go if you want to heat a big, old, poorly insulated house. Plus, you get free hot water.
  6. smirnov3

    smirnov3 Feeling the Heat

    Joined:
    Feb 7, 2006
    Messages:
    435
    Loc:
    Eastern Ma
    I have a traditional colonial (about 85 years old). There are a series of rooms circling a closed off central stairwell. the heat gets around the corners pretty well, but the upstairs is a good 6-10 degrees cooler, depending.
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