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How do I get the heat to go upstairs?

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by PJS, Nov 5, 2012.

  1. PJS

    PJS New Member

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    Sorry another question from this newbie...So the stove is burning pellets and heating the basement really well...but my big plan was to get some of that heat upstairs..I even cut in 2 floor registers above the stove..but heat doesn't seem to come up? I don't have a thermostat on the stove so its running constantly i am running on low setting when no one is home and 3-4 when we are home...how long will it take before I feel some heat upstairs? If I cannot get it to heat some upstairs I really don't need to run it as my wife doesn't really go into the basement..Me and the kids do...so I need to make this work if its possible. Thanks in advance for any help or ideas..PJS

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  2. Trickyrick

    Trickyrick Feeling the Heat

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    Well you have the registers. Put a fan in them.
  3. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    Basement installs are usually tricky. Can you leave the basement door open to let heat up? I had a stove in my basement in my previous home. I cut 2 registers in the floor and left the basement door open. The floor registers actually worked as cold air returns. It heated the small 2 story house fairly well but a lot of heat was wasted by having it down there.

    Unless you're expecting any heat upstairs to be a "bonus" while the stove heats a room in your basement, you would likely benefit greatly in moving it to your main living level.
  4. P38X2

    P38X2 Minister of Fire

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    One of the registers was directly above the stove and cold air still poured down it rather than warm air up. You can try using a freshly burned out match or stick incense to watch which direction the smoke flows through the registers. As I said leaving the basement door open is a great start.
  5. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    Hello

    The key here is getting the Hot (approx 130-150 Deg F) air upstairs. Simply cutting registers only gets the Warm (approx 80 Deg F) air above the stove upstairs from what I found out in my split entry home with a basement pellet stove install. Therefore registers are not quite enough! I found out I needed 6" ductwork with and inline fan actually touching the front of the stove in front of the heat exchanger tubes! That really works!

    I use the stairwell for the return air.

    See my pics and detail here.
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/...ting-the-heat-up-one-floor.65315/#post-818344

    Here is the ductwork fan
    http://www.hearth.com/talk/threads/anyone-have-trouble-with-their-ductwork-fan.93606/
  6. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    From what I've read here from those with basement installs, the TRICK is to blow the cold air DOWN the basement steps. It wants to go down anyway, but a fan helps it. This will push the hot air up the vents. That's second hand but someone will be along shortly to perhaps better explain it.
    Also, they will tell you that the first thing to do is insulate the crap out of the walls since your stove is mostly heating very cold walls and floor.
  7. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    For a gravity hot air system to work it needs an air flow loop, this is usually accomplished by cold air falling down on one side of the loop and hot air rising on the other side, the convection fan on your stove can start and maintain this loop if the physical layout of the house allows it. Frequently most will not.

    If you expect cutting holes in the ceiling of the room the stove is in to be the only thing you have to do you are wishing for that which will not happen.

    Put a fan in those registers you cut and leave a door well away from those registers open (you could even place a fan on the floor facing the stove to help matters along) that goes to the stairwell to the basement.

    The cold air has to come down from upstairs but not through those holes in the ceiling of what is now a furnace plenum those are for hot air only. Once you get the loop started things will work much better. It still won't be the same temperature upstairs as downstairs. You can get it close by reducing your heat loss along the loop the air flows, but there will always be a difference.

    ETA: In case you don't know it may be a code violation where you are to have cut those holes for this purpose.
    sinnian and The Ds like this.
  8. Trickyrick

    Trickyrick Feeling the Heat

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    Actually there are a bunch of things going on.

    1 you can only move air if you can get air to return.
    2 it is usually easier to move cold air back to the stove
    3 the basement better be insulated well or that is where the heat is going.

    Look at natural flow the augment it. Open doors upstairs and run the ceiling fan
  9. saladdin

    saladdin Feeling the Heat

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    I use this to check for flow/leaks.

    http://www.amazon.com/Smoke-Pencil-...8&qid=1352205645&sr=1-1&keywords=smoke pencil
  10. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    If you can get most of the hot air directly out of the stove to blow directly up into one of the floor registers it will work very well.
    You can do this utilizing 6" ductwork and a wide narrow sheet metal shroud to capture the air blowing out all or most of the holes in the stove. The other register and / or open door will act as a cold air return
    I do this myself.
    Last night it got down to 16 degrees here and my stove on med low kept the house (2400sq ft) at 65. Of course my basement is finished and insulated. Your mileage will vary and mine is probably a best case scenario for a basement level install..
  11. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    And like cutting those holes in the ceiling this is also likely to be a no-no code wise and unless your stove was made for direct ducting an improper installation and your stove's safety certifications will likely no longer apply.


    ETA: It was chilly here as well last night my stove runs on a t-stat in hi/low mode, it was 21::F this morning high is 2 out of five normal heat levels and low is 1- (that is trimmed down from heat level 1) upstairs was 68.2 the two rooms off of the great room were 66, no extra fans and no registers in the ceiling of the stove room.
  12. PJS

    PJS New Member

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    Thanks..was hoping that was not the case...damn
  13. PJS

    PJS New Member

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    Thanks, yes I have been leaving basement door open as well..
  14. PJS

    PJS New Member

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    Thanks Smokey...I am sure it is a violation..but heat is my goal at this point.. appreciate all of your info.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    I just don't want others to read this and think since PJS is doing this it is hunky dory only to discover it isn't at the worst possible time.

    This is the second house I've heated using a gravity hot air system, the first was a big honking wood/coal furnace with exactly one floor grate (huge) cold air poured down the outside of the grate and hot air came up the center, the house was a two family that had been converted to a large single family. I had a new lined chimney installed and rebuilt the old gravity hot air furnace that was still there. Cold air return was via the rear stairwell and a grate in an upstairs bedroom at the opposite end of the house and along the floor, you kept your feet up on a footstool in the room with the furnace grate or the piggies caught a chill.
  16. PJS

    PJS New Member

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    Do you know where or what kind of fan I should try? Do they have battery operated fans?
    Thanks, PJS
  17. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Last year Mardens had some through floor registers with t-stat controlled booster fans but that isn't likely to be the case now or of help to you. I haven't looked for any, google can be your best buddy for finding things.

    Try aireshare for starters.
  18. PJS

    PJS New Member

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    Thanks
  19. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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  20. PJS

    PJS New Member

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  21. Hdhogger

    Hdhogger Feeling the Heat

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  22. slls

    slls Minister of Fire

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    Rule, put stove where you spend the most time.
    sinnian and briansol like this.
  23. Hdhogger

    Hdhogger Feeling the Heat

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  24. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Yeah,I shoulda mentioned the legal aspects of cutting holes in the floor .
    My floor registers were there from my woodstove burning days and before the stricter building codes.
  25. kenstogie

    kenstogie Feeling the Heat

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    Wow, I have the same question, glad I found this thread instead of another same exact thread. :) Are there any threads on installing registers? LOL

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