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Location of woodstove

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by rmcfall, Dec 8, 2005.

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  1. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    I am considering purchasing a two-story house and have some questions about where the best placement of a woodstove would be. While the house looks like a regular two-story house from the outside (looks like a 4-square), the inside of the house is more of a split level with several levels. Starting from below ground up, Level one would be the unfinished basement with furnace, etc. Level 2 is a family room and adjoining sun room that exits to the backyard. The family room has an interior fireplace that could be used for a stove. A few stairs go from the family room up to the kitchen on Level 3. Level 3 is the main level--being street level--and consists of 3 rooms (kitchen, dining, another family room with fireplace that is right above Level 2 fireplace) and a foyer that opens up to Levels 4 and 5 at the front door of the house. When you go up a few steps in the foyer you arrive at the master bedroom (level 4) and then up some more stairs are the remainding three bedrooms (level 5).

    Sorry for the complicated description, but the house is rather disjointed, yet interesting... What I am wondering is if a stove on level 2 in the family room would generate heat that would rise to Levels 3 and 4? Probably not, so I imagine a stove on Level 3 would do the trick, but then level 2 would remain cold. I suppose I could install 2 stoves, but I am not sure how difficult it would be to tend to two of them? I've had a stove in the past and it wasn't difficult to keep a fire going 24/7, but having to deal with 2 might get old.

    Sorry for the long-winded question. Any feedback is greatly appreciated, including whether a certain type of stove(s) might be best (e.g., soapstone, convection).

    Rob

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  2. michael

    michael New Member

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    Nov 19, 2005
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    I looked at a house very similar to yours when we were in the market a couple of years ago. I was contemplating putting an insert on the second floor in the family room.

    I would put the stove or insert in the room where you'll spend the most time during the winter months. If that's this room, then that's where it would go.

    You'll get plenty of heat upstairs with the judicious placement of fans.
  3. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    I should have added that the downstairs familly room and sunroom stay pretty cold (Level 2--just above basement). I could see using the downstairs familiy room as the primary family room, but it seems unlikely that heat from the stove would travel up two levels to the rest of the house. Thus, seems like using the main floor family room as the primary family room with a stove would make sense, but then the sunroom and downstairs family room stay cold...
  4. elkimmeg

    elkimmeg Guest

    One important fact you left out, is there insulation between the plastered ceiling and the floor above? If there is none and hot air rising and if burning long enough heat will excape into the upper level. This will accomplish a few pluses one the colder room beneath is now warm eventually the floor above will get warmer also by removing the cold source underneath it has to reduce your heating demand on that level and the one above. The key here is not just bringing your family room up to confort levels, but long contineous burn times. Eventually its effect will be felt in the rooms above. So by choosing the lower level, you shut off a colder air supply from effecting the upper level and over time the heat will make in roads there as well. There is one more benifit your chimney will have a longer draft and draft better
  5. rmcfall

    rmcfall Feeling the Heat

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    Thanks for both of the reponses.

    Elkimmeg- I am not sure whether there is insulation between the downstairs family room ceiling and the floor above--the house was built in the 50s and there is some insulation in the attic (could be blown in later?) as well as some insulation within the wall that runs between the basement and the downstairs family room (this insulation is visible in some spots when a light is shined in the cavity between the floor joists. Insulation is also in the crawl space under the kitchen (crawl is accessed through the basement)

    As you pointed out, the draft would definitely be better in the downstairs family room, which I forgot to mention sits on a slab. The area of the downstairs family room and sunroom combined is approximately 750 sq ft. The rest of the house is pretty large as well (4 BD on top floor). Do you think it would be possible to have a large stove in the downstairs family room and get heat to the two upper levels without roasting people out of the room? Would soapstone be recommended in this case?
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