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Newbie to Pellets stoves, regretting right now buying one

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by jeff5347, Dec 13, 2011.

  1. Snowy Rivers

    Snowy Rivers Minister of Fire

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    Here is a suggestion.

    If you have a spot that you can comfortably (without pissing off the Missus) cut a 6" hole in the floor upstairs, scrounge up a self contained furnace blower (motor built in) and find a suitable spot in the basement and hook this puppy up to suck the warm air near the stove and blow it up through a light weight aluminum duct pipe to the upstairs.

    You could do this in such a way that it would be very unobtrusive and then just store the fan in the summer.

    Do a nice register in the upstairs floor and hook everything up neat and tidy.

    Just some thoughts.

    Out here in the PNW we rarely see boilers, but more forced air stuff.

    Snowy

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  2. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Jeff already has several vents cut through the floor.
  3. checkthisout

    checkthisout Feeling the Heat

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    Never understood how it could be a fire issue when you have a huge fawk'n hole right where the stairs go into the basement.
  4. jeff5347

    jeff5347 New Member

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    Hey guys sorry i had work and some stuff going yesterday but yes Smokey and Mark you are correct. I have no air vents just hot water baseboard heat. TO add to Smokeys post yes i have 3 vents already cut in the floor. LR, Kithcen and down the hallway. What i did is like Jason stated. I went to home depot yesterday and bought 2 register ducts for under the floor. I added a exhaust fan to each one with a adjustable, directional 6 inch diameter piping asnd screwed it and wired it to have them suck into the basement. I could feel the cold air before falling in to the basement so i wanted to help move more of the cold air down to be reheated and make pressure to have the hot air rise up the stair way. I left the LR vent alone as one it is right near the stove and 2 ive already spent a good chunk of change on all this. Also like SMokey stated i tried a Poor mans way with blocking the stairway for the time being. I laid big blankets over the railings before spending money of boarding or plexi to do this.

    Here are a few picks of what i did.
    This one is in the laundry room and is sucking air from US to the basement. I have it pointed to blow towards to room with the stove. Then i have an ocilating fan halfway between blowing towards the stove. The ocilating fan is stationary and not moving.

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  5. jeff5347

    jeff5347 New Member

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    This vent is in the kitchen blowing towards the stove.

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  6. jeff5347

    jeff5347 New Member

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    Smokey , MArk , Jason, am i correct in have the fans blow the cold air down to the basement. My wife thinks i should have it reversed and blowing the warm air in the basement up into the main floor thru these vents....?

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  7. bonesy

    bonesy Feeling the Heat

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    Cold air is easier to move than warm air...
  8. checkthisout

    checkthisout Feeling the Heat

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    Do like I said and try it with it blowing up first. Let it run for an hour or two without any of the other devices.

    You are obviously willing to put quite a bit of time and effort and into this. You will succeed!

    Since you are willing to cut holes and have ductwork and what not, the best option is merely to continue the ductwork from holes you made and place a scoop directly over the face of the outlet on the stove and put the heat upstairs this way.
  9. Jason

    Jason New Member

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    well i did try the other way blowing hot air up with the duct fan but was not working to good. From the picture you have i have the same setup and this was the best way in my house(same stairway with open rail and blocking the rail so cold air will not go into the stairs and make a air block). Also did put a fan like you did to push hot air up the stairs but did try without it and feeling less draft in the house. i just let the air go up naturally. But your,re correct having the fan blowing cold air down to the basement. You can try it other way around and see what it does. Do some test to find the right path for you air. Did you find any difference so far with this setup. But you have to let the air circulate for a few hours and then see how your first level heats up.
  10. jeff5347

    jeff5347 New Member

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    Hahaahha funny you say this. My wife is getting annoyed at my time spent on working on this and trying different things.

    Do you think blowing up would work . Wouldnt the warm air fight the cold air that is heavier and wanting to fall? ALso i stated that to her last night about just running more duct to in front of the stove. Thats gotta wait as shes mad at the money i have spent lately of possible solutions to this. But i like figuring out stuff and spending money to see what works and what doesnt.. hahahaah
  11. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    Pushing cold air down the steps will yield better results. As cold air is more dense and will be replaced by the natural rising warm air. Laws of thermodynamics. Easier to get the cold to warm.

    Looks like your on the right path. Shouldnt need any more holes. Just need to get the air to flow through the ones you have. I would blow cold down the steps, and pull up from the holes/registers.

    I cant get my upstairs to 60* if I try blowing air up. Blow cold air down and can get it 70* with the woodeater.

    Get enough air movement and it may not matter whats doing what. But then your gonna have 10 fans running and the noise that comes with them.
  12. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    If the fans in the duct are forcing cold air to the basement area and the fan in the stair well is doing the same. Your not creating a good loop. I'd reverse the fans in the duct to force the warm air upstairs and leave the fan in the stair well to force the cold air down stairs. Should give better circulation.

    Or do the exact opposite. But don't have all the fans doing the same thing!
  13. Jack Morrissey

    Jack Morrissey Feeling the Heat

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    I may have missed it, but I didnt see where you guys spend most of your time - upstairs or downstairs? If upstairs then I think you should put it upstairs. I have a split level also and have our stove upstairs, downstairs is finished and gets down to about 50 in the coldest weather but were ok with that.
  14. MarkF48

    MarkF48 Burning Hunk

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    My choice would be to have the fans pull the warm air from the cellar ceiling and push it up through the vents. The cool air return would be down your stairwell. You could also remove the angled elbows on the booster fan.
  15. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    Jeff stop what you are doing.

    You need to think, not just buy a pile of duct and make a mess of your house.

    There needs to be a circulation loop setup.

    You have a choice of how and what part of the loop is the cold air return and what part is the warm air ONLY if you are going to completely force the issue with ductwork to the stove which all most all of them do not allow nor have they been tested for running in that manner.

    These two must be separated from each other.

    This is done usually by placing the cold air portion further from the heat source than the warm air portion and for a none forced setup (gravity hot air) it is the only way they work well.

    The stairwell may not be the best place for the cold air return.

    You need to draw a diagram to scale showing where the stove is, all of your vents, walls, door ways in the basement, and the stairwell.

    This should have been done before even cutting any holes.

    ETA: My wife would have killed me if I had done anything like that until I had it on paper and talked to several folks about it. It is a he!! of a lot easier to use an eraser to move stuff than a sawsall, I have both and prefer the eraser method.
  16. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    You really have two logical choices. 1) Move it upstairs, which everyone urges you to do. 2) Replace your small floor vents that do little to let the air upstairs to the old, old style large floor vents that some of us had in our homes growing up. 14" square vents are still available and will allow that hot air to really flow. That's 5X the area of a standard floor grate.

    http://www.amazon.com/American-Meta...ref=sr_1_8?s=hi&ie=UTF8&qid=1323959948&sr=1-8

    http://www.signaturehardware.com/product18315 (the 14 x 14 size)

    http://www.buyfloorregisters.com/product.php?productid=17233&cat=377&page=1
  17. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

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  18. MarkF48

    MarkF48 Burning Hunk

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    With the oil fired boiler in Jeff's basement that is used for hot water as well as heating, depending on how well the basement is insulated, the heat loss from the boiler just producing hot water may be enough to take some of the chill off the basement. I replaced an oil fired stand alone water heating unit with a well insulated electric unit. The basement temp dropped about 5 degrees with the removal of the oil fired water heater. Since I've started running the pellet stove in my first floor living room, the basement seems to have settled to about 50 deg F and it hasn't really been cold yet. I have an electric heater in my basement workshop area, but it takes so long for this to try to warm things up I'm usually finished in the workshop before it warms up any amount.

    While moving the stove upstairs may be a better option for heating, not everyone has the space to do so and you make do with what you can.
  19. jeff5347

    jeff5347 New Member

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    Ok im getting a little overwhelmed. I thought putting in the vents in the floor would allow the hot air to rise as it gets stuck to the ceiling downstairs. I did put in the booster forthe vents and had them suck down as i thought cold air is heavier therefor at the bottom of the floor making it easy for the old air to fall. I know this negates what i just stated as warm air rise but i would use the stairs to allow the warm air up. I did go DS and reverse the booster for the kitchen to blow air up to the living level. I left the one in the laundry room as it is farthest from the stove to still suck cold air down. Im not drilling more holes, not at least until i get a definitive result or answer on what is working for me.
    I just started burning hardwood pellets from the SW and notice im getting the flame i had before and that the manuf states i should have.

    Im go post a 3rd grade redition of my inerior U S and D S in a sec
  20. jeff5347

    jeff5347 New Member

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    I could have the room upstairs i would have to move stuff and that is my last ditch effort. I think i can make it work in the basement i just have to keep playing with it.
    Yes the DS before the stove was always a smidge warmer than up i think due to the furnace room.
    Here is my UPstairs
    and downstairs

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  21. Chain

    Chain Feeling the Heat

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    Another option would be to move your new stove upstairs and look for a small, used pellet stove to install in the basement and only use it when it gets real cold down there. Like maybe the cheaper yet still somewhat reliable stoves you can purchase from big box retail outlets. I see those brands on Craigslist quite frequently here in upstate, NY. I would imagine in the MA area they're always available for purchase. Just a thought....
  22. tjnamtiw

    tjnamtiw Minister of Fire

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    My point was that those two little vents aren't going to do diddly to let enough hot air upstairs. You need to go BOLD IF you are committed to keeping the stove in the basement. I used to have a tri-level with a coal stove in the lowest level. I put one of those large grates in the hallway upstairs and immediately had a RUSH of hot air come through the hole. My third level was almost as warm as downstairs.

    Of course, you have to be committed to cut a large hole in your floor between floor joists but it will work. Even if you eventually decide to move the stove upstairs, you can block off the floor vent and still have a very attractive ornate floor decoration.
  23. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    First ditch those elbows, have the fans in those ceiling vents blow upwards, remove all other fans. Try that for at least 4 hours and let us know what happens.

    This brings up the question of how much heated air you are going to get up through those vents and the fact that your stove can only provide 160 CFM of heated air at maximum burn (two hours per air exchange assuming things that don't actually happen, hence the 4 hour evaluation period).

    I've got to go back to see what you answered to my inquiry about installing an OAK.

    The ideal set up would have several vents that were on the floor around the exterior walls upstairs and a lot less wall or most doors open, then you could ditch the fans and have the heat come up the stairwell. This emulates a bog standard old fashioned gravity feed hot air system. The stove would have to angled to point at the tv.

    Just so everyone understands this is a test the only direct path to the floor of the basement where the cold air is wanted is down the stairs, without a means to section the air in the stairwell off into two parts effectively we are going to reverse the air flow first and see what happens.
  24. jeff5347

    jeff5347 New Member

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    Smokey not arguing im just curious as i dont know, why ditch the elbows. Also since i only have the three vents so far, and only have 2 of the fans, would it be more sensible to have the booster fans at the 2 vents near the stove (without elbows) and the one in the hallway just gravity drop the cold air? Also from my drawing (hahah) so would adding another vent near the couch in the LR since it is an exterior wall and would be about 3 feet away from the stove but in the path of the blown air? Would that be helpful?
    If im reading it right the exterior vents would have a downdraft. Then the cold air would push the hot air up the stairway creating a sort of mushroom effect. until the point it starts recirculate warm air and the house stays at a consistant level....?
  25. Jason

    Jason New Member

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    just go with the setup you have
    pull cold air down with the setup you did yesterday and let the air rise from the stair
    see how it works. then youll see. start with those two paths.

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