1. Welcome Hearth.com Guests and Visitors - Please enjoy our forums!
    Hearth.com GOLD Sponsors who help bring the site content to you:
    Hearthstone Soapstone and Cast-Iron stoves( Wood, Gas or Pellet Stoves and Inserts)

Is it okay to run central heat while wood stove is operating.

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by Ravenvalor, Jan 26, 2013.

  1. Ravenvalor

    Ravenvalor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    80
    Loc:
    Piedmont NC
    Good Morning Fellow Hearthlings,

    I have been enjoying my Woodstock Firestone for the past 5 - years and it just occured to me that in the wee hours or the morning when the central heating system finally comes on that it may be pulling fumes in from the inside of the wood stove.
    When the furnace blower comes on it pulls the air out of the home. It could just as easily pull smoke and fumes out of the stove when it's burning wood also.

    Jim

    Helpful Sponsor Ads!





  2. Jasper 83

    Jasper 83 New Member

    Joined:
    Nov 26, 2011
    Messages:
    92
    Loc:
    Hallieford, Va
    If your house is extremely tight you might have an issue. My house is pretty tight but I dont have a problem with it. I dont need my central heat when Im burning either cuz its already plenty warm in here. Sometimes I turn the fan on though to cool things off a bit.
  3. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2007
    Messages:
    7,116
    Loc:
    N.E. Penna
    Same could happen with the dryer running, kitchen exhaust fan, bath fans, etc.

    pen
  4. EatenByLimestone

    EatenByLimestone Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jul 12, 2006
    Messages:
    4,914
    Loc:
    Schenectady, NY
    I don't have an issue with this house, but on my last house I could not start a fire with the furnace on. Once
    The fire was going and drafting I didn't have an issue with the furnace running.


    Matt
  5. TheBaron

    TheBaron New Member

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2012
    Messages:
    88
    Loc:
    Eastern ON, Canada
    If the furnace is a high efficiency model, they normally get their combustion air from outside, and vent the exhaust air outside. Maybe its the code up here in Canuckistan, but I don't believe our furnace either adds or subtracts air between the outside and inside (it should be pressure neutral). Now, our HWT is another story... (and range hoods, bath fans, dryer, etc). :)

    Its easy to identify in this case as there is an 'in' and an 'out' pipe for the furnace.

    So far, with the dryer on we haven't had any issues with draft. I chalk that up to the super low temps though and I'll be on the lookout for problems when things warm up a bit outside.
    gyrfalcon likes this.
  6. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2008
    Messages:
    3,700
    Loc:
    CNY
    ...when the central heating system finally comes on that it may be pulling fumes...

    Our back up come on just like yours if I don't reload soon enough but sometimes when it's really cold both wood-stove and forced air work OK together. If you don't detect any wood burning odors then it's not happening.
  7. jharkin

    jharkin Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2009
    Messages:
    3,330
    Loc:
    Holliston, MA USA
    Our central heat boiler also runs to provide hot water... Its 140k natural draft gas. I've had that, the dryer and the wood stove all going at once many times without issue.

    Typically if the house is tight enough for this to be an issue there would be outside air intake for the furnace already. And you might need an hrv to boot. If you are concerned you can get a blower door test to find out for sure.
  8. Ravenvalor

    Ravenvalor Member

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2008
    Messages:
    80
    Loc:
    Piedmont NC
    These are all great replies.
    I am glad that my house was built in the 50's because it is not as tight as the newer homes. I am also glad that I installed an OAA (outside air adapter) for my stove. The OAA is just a piece that is attached to the back of my stove that connects to a 4" duct which is run to the outside. This supplies the stove with fresh air while it is running. Now that I am thinking about it it also supplies fresh air to the other appliances in the home. (The OAA does not fit snugly to the stove. There is a huge gap around the adapter). Whenever a fan, dryer or central hvac blower comes on it pulls fresh air in through the OAA. However, when the stove is near the end of a burn cycle I can imagine a central hvac blower pulling smoke and fumes out of stove (even if I cannot detect it).
    I believe that I can buy a can of smoke used for testing smoke detectors and use it to test this theory.
  9. blwncrewchief

    blwncrewchief Burning Hunk

    Joined:
    Aug 30, 2011
    Messages:
    166
    Loc:
    Northern, IN
    Unless you have a design balance problem with the supply and returns on your central HVAC system this should not be a concern. If you have a central system with returns in each room it should be ok as the only concern with the blower running would be if there was too much return versus unobstructed supply that could lead to the room the stove is located being pulled into a negative pressure. As far as the main blower is concerned just keep in mind it should just be recirculating the air in the house. The only normal concern would be the combustion air and venting exhaust when running pulling the house into a negative pressure if it does not have combustion air supplied directly to the furnace/boiler. This would be the same effect as running a bath fan or range hood vent. If you do not have a problem when running the range vent, dryer, or bath vent fans then running the HVAC system should not be a problem. As always make sure you have working CO and smoke detectors in the house as needed.
    Lumber-Jack likes this.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA

    It should be no problem, but there always are exceptions. If the stove and furnace are in the same area, they may compete with each other for air supply. The solution in that case is a OAK for the stove or furnace, or both. FWIW, our heat pump comes on when the thermostat tells it to. The thermostat is located in the hallway around the corner from the living room where the stove it.

    The system blower cycling is a non-issue in our old house. This is not uncommon. Some folks use their hvac system blower as a recirc system to distribute heat throughout the house. That can have mixed results depending on whether all the ductwork is in the heated space and how well insulated the supply and returns are.
  11. therdlesstravld

    therdlesstravld New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Southern NJ
    I'm also having an issue with my central heat and the woodstove. I can't start a fire with the furnace running it just smolders and smokes my house out pretty bad. I have one return for the furnace at the top of the second floor steps and the woodstove its 2 floors below it in the finished basement. Any idea what I could do to get them to behave better together?
  12. Lumber-Jack

    Lumber-Jack Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 29, 2008
    Messages:
    1,891
    Loc:
    Beautiful British Columbia
  13. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    Give them their own outside air supplies.
  14. therdlesstravld

    therdlesstravld New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 1, 2012
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Southern NJ
    If both my furnace and woodstove had outside air supplies there wouldn't be a pressure issue with pumping air into my house? Sorry if that's a stupid question I just want to be diligent
  15. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2005
    Messages:
    49,840
    Loc:
    South Puget Sound, WA
    No, the outside air I am talking about is just for the burner, not fresh make up air. Though I would think that fresh air being pumped into the house via make up air would help draft slightly with its stronger positive pressure.
  16. MishMouse

    MishMouse Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2008
    Messages:
    782
    Loc:
    Verndale, MN
    I have an Outside Air Kit (OAK) installed on my stove and have no issues with the furnace running. Stove is located downstairs and the propane eater is installed upstairs.
  17. David Tackett

    David Tackett Member

    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2012
    Messages:
    178
    Loc:
    Waynesburg, Kentucky
    I run both of mine with no issues. The furnace rarely comes on, but it does sometimes early in morning, before I get up and reload.

Share This Page