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I'm so glad I put it downstairs!

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rudysmallfry, Jan 30, 2006.

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  1. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    I spent the two years before my wood stove purchase deciding where to put it. (I had no money for the stove, so a lot of time to dwell on it) Anyway, I went back and forth on the up and downsides of each as most people seem to. On the main level, I can watch the fire, but it might be too hot. In the basement, I can't watch the fire and the heat might not make it upstairs. I have a raised ranch and took a gamble that the wide two way staircase combined with an uninsulated ceiling in the basement would allow the warm air to come up to the main level. It took awhile to get the hang of burning a soapstone stove, and I'm still not getting the burn times that I would like, but I am SO GLAD I put it in the basement. This puppy would have driven me out of the room for sure. I keep my main floor at 60 degrees. Tonight with the stove on, the main floor thermostat reads 68. I just thought I'd through my experience out there if anyone is currently going through that same dilemma of stove placement. Incidentally, its a Hearthstone Heritage, supposedly heats up to 1800 sq ft. My main level is 1200 and basement is 800. Heat doesn't make it to the other end of the house where my bedrooms are, but I like those colder anyway, so it doesn't matter to me. I'm loving this soapstone stuff. I can't wait until next season when I have actual well seasoned wood and don't embarrass myself by lighting the occasional smoker. Picture me flipping off the oil company now.

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  2. Rhone

    Rhone Minister of Fire

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    Nov 21, 2005
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    Hey Rudysf, hope your basement is insulated. The best method is to insulate the outside, though not the most practical in a retrofit. Insulating the outside gives you the thermal mass to buffer temperature swings. 10" thick foundation has a total R-Value of R0.8. But, 1" thick of basement insulation (XPS which is a dense foam board) has an R-Value of 5.0, so 1 inch of basement foam insulation insulates better than 5 feet of concrete.

    So, hope your basement is insulated or you will insulate it particularly any exposed foundation to the outside, and now that your stove is in it.
  3. rudysmallfry

    rudysmallfry Feeling the Heat

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    Milford, CT
    I seem to have been misinterpreted a bit here. Last night it was 38 degrees in my neck of the woods. I'd never light up at 50.

    My basement walls are insulated. What is not insulated is the basement ceiling. I lived in houses where that is insulated, and nothing gets through. When I look up in my basement, I see joists and subfloor. While I do not expect air to actually pass through, I do feel a noticeable difference on the main floor when the stove is on. I'm attributing that to the little spaces between the subfloor boards. My airflow is directly related to the double size stair case. When I go down to reload the stove, I feel the warm air as soon as I turn the corner to go down the lower side of the stair case. I didn't expect air to flow around a corner, but it is. My house is an older house, 1976, so it isn't nearly as air tight as some. I've replaced the windows which has made a difference and, in the next year, the leaky front door is going too. I'd rather have my stove working a little harder and knowing there is some fresh air involved rather than being in an air tight house with poor air quality anyday.

    I just posted my results to benefit anyone who is considering stove placement. It's a big investment, and it's not you can easily move it once it's in.
  4. wvstriper

    wvstriper Member

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    Having the ceiling uninsulated and the walls insulated is a real plus. My house is the same. If we keep the stove downstairs nice and hot the floors and even the sofas feel warm upstairs. It's been warm, 60's, for me too. My wife kept the stove going and it was over 80 upstairs!
  5. bruce

    bruce Member

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    Loc:
    long pond pa
    i have just what you have rudy but built in 1998, stove is downstairs, main floor is always 74 and the basement is hot!
    i have not vented the floor and dont think i have to either, plus its eaiser to clean up in the basement
  6. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    Sounds like your house is similar in size and layout to mine. I have a homestead hearth mounted downstairs and it sounds like we have similar performance including the colder bedrooms. Nice stoves aren't they?
  7. Sandor

    Sandor Minister of Fire

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    Dylan is right on.

    Same thing as hydronic under floor heating, in essence. And that is the best kind.
  8. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    Same with me, but I put a vent above the stove with a register booster fan that blows hot air up into the living room. It helps keep the temps within 5 deg between upstairs and downstairs. Furnace never runs and I can keep the upstairs over 70 even when its below 0 outside.
  9. PaulGuy

    PaulGuy New Member

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    Todd what are the dimemsions of the register you installed?
  10. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    10x14" vent, and a suncourt booster fan on top
  11. Runs With Scissors

    Runs With Scissors New Member

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    My stove is also in the basement, uninsulated floor and walls and heats most of the house just fine. I plan on installing floor vents for return air soon, but for not there is only the stairwell transfering heat and return and Im sure it will only get better with return vents.

    As is there is enough return going down the steps to blow out a birthday candle if placed on the second step.
  12. tgunr

    tgunr New Member

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    Thank you for this posting. I have been researching for several hours trying to figure out the best way to heat my workshop/office. The workshop area is basically a 2 car garage with a full bath and the area behind the bath for an area of about 800 sq ft. Above is a loft which is to be my office with the same 800 sq ft. All of it is currently uninsulated except for the the bathroom. I think now after all I have read that heating the workshop and getting the walls insulated and the ceiling in the loft insulated would be my best bet other than trying to install 2 stoves and 2 chimney systems.

    Given that I would leave the workshop ceiling (3/4 plywood) uninsulated and adding floor vents the primary question I have now is how to size the stove in the workshop. Should I go for at least 1600 sq ft or add a factor for the ceiling? And how do you plan the floor vents and return. Currently, the only access is a corner stairwell leading up to the loft. Since hot air rises, would say 4 or 5 floor vents be suffcient and the stairwell would be the return?
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