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Moving the heat around the house

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by dsm1212, Sep 2, 2008.

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  1. dsm1212

    dsm1212 New Member

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    Boston MA
    I just installed a pellet insert and I'm trying to find the best ways to move the heat around the house. I don't expect to heat the whole house, but I'd like to get the most out of it I can. It's a ranch style home with oil force hot water for heat so I have complete access to the ceiling and much of the floor but no existing ducting. The main living area of my house is fairly open. There is one small arch (about 8 inch drop from the ceiling) to get out of the living room where the stove is. After that the dining room, hallway, kitchen and breakfast area are all open with the same "ceiling". So here are a couple of things I'm thinking of:

    1. Corner fan at the top of the arch way.
    2. Looking at the fireplace: If I installed a duct in the ceiling above the fireplace that could go up a couple of feet, then to the left for about 5 feet and then forward through a wall into part of my kitchen which has a cathedral ceiling with a fan. I'm tempted to put this duct in because it short cuts moving the air to an otherwise distant area. Do I need a fan in it or will the temperature differential and the 2 to 3 foot rise be enough of a draw for the hot air?
    3. A ceiling duct over the fireplace with a "bathroom" style fan to move the air into the bedrooms.

    What do you think?

    thanks,

    steve

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  2. karl

    karl Minister of Fire

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    I put an insert in last year and had ideas like yours. Luckily, I didn't get around to it. I went to Walmart last summer, around this time and bought three column fans that were on close out for 20 dollars each. They work great. They are tall and narrow so they don't get in the way. They have a squirrel cage blower in them so they are quiet. Give a few of those a try this year and see how they work. Be sure to blow the cold air towards the stove room. I bet you'll be fine.
  3. Andy99

    Andy99 New Member

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    Im confused. I had a stove put in my living room. My bedrooms are just off the living room. I want to put a fan in the bedroom door blowing into the bedroom or into the living room????
  4. InTheRockies

    InTheRockies New Member

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    My house is rather small--1200 sq ft. The great room, where the stove is located is in a large stone/masonry alcove that looks like a walk-in fireplace, takes up almost 50 percent of that footage. I have a ceiling fan in the great room, which keeps air circulating. I put a fan in the hallway between the 2 bedrooms and bath during the winter, pointing it down a hallway toward the back door. The fan actually brings air back to both bedrooms. I just got a new stove that will have a blower kit so I'm anxious to see if I get more heat with the blower kit since it will push warm air out farther in to the great room.
  5. Creek-Chub

    Creek-Chub New Member

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    Boy, would I like to see a definitive thread on fan placement. Blowing cold air in, or warm air out? Circulate it, or push it? I just purchased an Englander 30-NC and am going to try and push it to its max this year. 2400 SF of not totally open floor plan, 2-story, halls, etc. I would be tickled pink if I could get away with only having to supplement with electric heat in the bedrooms, but I know that may be a pipe dream. Still, air circulation is going to be the key. What say ye, sage woodburners?
  6. fossil

    fossil Accidental Moderator Staff Member

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    Wood-burning appliances (talking inserts and stoves here, not boilers or furnaces) are space heaters. Distributing the heat produced throughout a floorplan of any complexity is a challenge. Altering your home's structure might seem like a good idea, but it might invite the rapid spread of a fire and/or its toxic smoke, should one ever occur, and may be a safety/fire code violation. Ceiling fans are very effective at destratifying the natural tendency for the air to layer itself with the heat up high. Moving air horizontally or to remote areas isn't necessarily easy, and there's no simple solution that works in every situation. Cold air is at the floor level, and is more dense that the warmer air above, so you get more bang for your buck by using a fan to move it toward the source of the heat. Warmer air above will naturally flow in to take the place of the air you're moving out. Experiment...then you can write the book everyone so desperately wants to get their hands on. :coolsmile: Rick
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    This has been posted, definitively, very recently. Please look back for air circulation threads on this exact topic posted in the past two days.
  8. bfr3pe

    bfr3pe New Member

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    I have tried a number of different methods over the last two seasons. I have a 2000 sf ranch with 3 bedrooms off main hall on the opposite end of the house from stove.
    1. Using existing duct work and air handler running continuously. Air temp in farthest bedroom was about 6 degrees cooler than den with stove (74/68). This could have been due to losses in duct work in attic. I didn't like the idea of continuously running the fan for 10-12 hours at a time, especially for marginal results.
    2. Using a portable box fan pushing air towards bedroom. This resulted in about the same temperature in the farthest rooms and higher temps in the den (76/68).
    3. Using the fan to push cold air away from bedrooms and towards the stove. The temp in the farthest room would stay about 70 while the den would be about 74. This will be the method I continue to use, but it will probably be a while before I have to fire up the stove here in middle Georgia.

    You can use smoke from an extinguished match to identify the air currents through doorways. In my opinion, you want cold air at the floor moving to the stove and the warm air at the ceiling moving to the rooms to be heated. Once the box fan is turned on, I have found it takes a few minutes to set up the air currents circulating through the house.
  9. dsm1212

    dsm1212 New Member

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    Ok, thanks for all the responses. I also searched and found some other topics. It seems like the consensus is to first try a couple of fans pushing the cold air toward the stove and the warm air away. I've got a number of fans to use so I'll try that first. I'm almost looking forward to some cold weather :).

    thanks again,

    steve
  10. swalz

    swalz Feeling the Heat

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    Newark, DE
    I just install a 24" ceiling fan in my hallway to move the air, the hallway seems to be a bottle neck in my house.
  11. CygnusX1

    CygnusX1 Feeling the Heat

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  12. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

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  13. Joey Jones

    Joey Jones New Member

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    Ceiling fans, I think may produce the desired effect. I have a stove blower fan and 3 ceiling fans in my 1000sq ft ranch and these seem to spread the heat around nicely
  14. CygnusX1

    CygnusX1 Feeling the Heat

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    I mount them in the top corners the doorway of the hallway. I just ran the power cord down to the nearest outlet.

    Mine are 105 CFM and very quiet.
  15. dsm1212

    dsm1212 New Member

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    So we've had 5 or 6 cold mornings now to try out the insert. So far I've just tried a powerful fan sitting on the floor in a couple of different positions blowing into the room where the unit is. It definitely helps pull the warm air out of the room. The noise of this fan though along with the blower on the insert is pretty high, but the fan on it's highest setting is much louder than the breckwell blower.

    I guess I'm still not decided on whether to install some duct work in the attic to help move the air around. It would certainly be quieter and probably more effective to put something in. The town inspector came by and approved the installation one day when only my wife was home so I didn't have a chance to ask him about whether venting to move air between rooms like I have in mind will meet code. I'll have to check into that before I do anything.

    steve
  16. JBlank912

    JBlank912 New Member

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    Funny I seem to have the opposite problem of most people here. My main floor has the great room with a cathedral ceiling with the stove in it. The rooms around it, kitchen, dining room and spare room all seem to get enough heat just by putting the ceiling fan in the great room on low blowing up. The living room, beyond the kitchen, is hardly used is kept OK and a bedroom beyond that is not used so I closed the door, set its thermostat to 55 and leave it alone. The problem is my master bedroom is upstairs, the bottom of the stairs is in the dinig room near the great room. It runs tooooo warm. The heat just shoots right up the stairs. My wife's been opening windows up there which is probably making it worse since the cold goes downstairs, making the stove run more and sending more heat up to it. I can't leave the master bedroom door closed because (get this) the dog likes to go in there during the daytime. Reality is even when using oil heat the upstairs heat rarely if ever went on for this same reason. %-P
  17. Joey Jones

    Joey Jones New Member

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    I did have one of those muffin fans, but I called it a computer fan and I never burnt the thing out after using it for 7 years. It just got so dirty I threw it out when I moved, but I wasn't burning wood when I moved...Wish I had it back now. I think my fan was the 105 CFM model and was super quiet.
  18. buckscrape

    buckscrape Member

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    I haven't tried this but seems to work quite well in the summer, that is the use of an attice fan (whole house fan), put that baby on for a minute or two and it should draw all the heat up at least to that area of a two story home I don't know about a ranch, like I said I haven't tried it since I don't have an attic fan, but my brother in law does and I know on summer days he cracks a window or two open on the first floor and the air moves like a jet upstairs through the house!
  19. chrisasst

    chrisasst Minister of Fire

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  20. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    Yes they are AC muffen fans, not like the one in a computer theose are DC.
  21. CygnusX1

    CygnusX1 Feeling the Heat

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    There have been a few posts on this subject. I use a few muffin fans to move the heat throughout the house.

    http://www.northlineexpress.com/itemdesc.asp?ic=5SA-4001
    http://www.grainger.com/Grainger/ww...ch&search_type=keyword&QueryString=muffin fan

    These are very quiet, and you don't need a high CFM fan to move hot air.

    Always blow the cold air towards the stove, it creates a nice current through the house.

    It takes a little bit of experimentation to place the fans where they'll work the best. All depends on your house layout and where the stove is.
  22. tinkabranc

    tinkabranc Minister of Fire

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    My stove is in my basement but does a pretty good job of warming the first
    floor as well. On first floor, I have small box fan in the hall facing the open
    basement stairwell and run two ceiling fans on low/reverse.
    Bedrooms at the end of the hall are a little cooler than the rest of the house
    but they stay comfortable as long as I leave all the BR doors open.
  23. kenny chaos

    kenny chaos Minister of Fire

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    Can somebody give an idea of CFM for the 10" box fan, walm-mart type?
    I was looking at the grainger muffin fans and saw a 650cfm, 10" dia. that uses less power than the box fan I'm using now (which don't work good).
  24. flamegrabber

    flamegrabber Member

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    I have a freestanding Breckerll Big E stove.

    The room it's in has 8 foot ceilings and it shares a large opening with the main/living room of the house.

    I can't install a ceiling fan because the living room ceilings aren't high enough and the stove room ceiling is slanted, so I bought one of these:

    http://www.iallergy.com/product900/product_info.html?osCsid=706257ab4b4be3b41efde4dfb180ef3e

    This fan blows a ton of air, is relativily quiet and the best part is that it rotates up 90 degrees and everywhere else inbetween, so I have it pointed up at about 80 degrees and it spreads the warm air around great.

    Lasko makes other fans as well and like I said they really move a ton of air.

    FG.


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