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Pellet Stove in the basement questions

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by Fahrenheit451, Aug 1, 2011.

  1. Fahrenheit451

    Fahrenheit451 New Member

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    My family and I recently moved into this home that has all electric baseboard heat. I am not looking forward to seeing the electric bill this coming winter. To help offset the high costs of electricity, I am looking at installing a pellet stove in the basement.

    I am hoping that the heat will rise up the stairs and through some vents I plan to install, and help supplement the electric heating.

    My house is approx 2200 sq feet of livable space with the unfinished basement adding another 500 sq feet. What size stove might I need?

    Do any of you have one installed in the basement? Do you think a pellet stove will put out enough heat to help me? I really do not have a spot to install it on the main level of the house.

    The other concern I have is that this is a full underground basement with only about 12-18 inches from the ceiling level to the ground level outside. Is this enough room for the exhaust? Or would I need to dig down and install something similar to the window wells that many people have around their basement windows?

    Would this be okay or is there a problem with snow, etc?

    I see that some stoves come with a remote t-stat. Is it possible to install this upstairs?

    Thanks for any advice you can offer.

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  2. Delta-T

    Delta-T Minister of Fire

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    not too many of us here will "recommend" doing an indirect, from the unfinished basement install, with the purpose of heating the whole house above it. That said...you'll prolly wantt to look at the most powerful stoves, 50K BTUs and up, IMO. As far as running venting in the basement..just get the pipe up between the rafters and go out the sill, instead of the concrete, and you should be high enough above grade for proper install. Pics would help, of course. I will suggest...taking another look around your 2200 ftsq house for a better spot. Big stoves take up about 40" sq area (when you account for floor protection). Ideally, you want the unit, where you want the heat. The farther from that spot you put the unit, the less impressed you'll be.
  3. lbcynya

    lbcynya Feeling the Heat

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    I have a pellet stove in a finished basement 1200 square feet and I'm amazed how little heat makes its way upstairs (1800 square feet). We use cord wood upstairs and I'd say we get a 2-3 degree bump when the wood stove is cold and we're at work (basement 75, upstairs 63 instead of 60). My space downstairs is bigger than yours, but it's also VERY well insulated.

    I would suggest that you try to figure out how to do something upstairs or do nothing at all. Some have had positive experiences, but most have not. Not sure it's worth the chance. Best alternative is to find something used that you can buy right, that way you can sell it and not take a bath if it doesn't work for you.
  4. cchilly

    cchilly Member

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    I would recommend against the basement if possible. My buddy did that at his last house and didn't have very good results. His house was a cape, maybe 1200 to 1500 sq ft. Basement unfinished at say 600 sq ft. He had the biggest Harman they make and it kept the basement at 80 - 85 degrees. First floor was maybe 70 or 72, second floor more in the 60's to high 50's with no other heat helping out. He had the downstairs door off and put a few vents in the floor, which I think are illegal if not connected to duct work. And to keep his house at this temp he went through a lot of pellets. If I remember right it was more than 2 bags a day.
    Chris
  5. Fahrenheit451

    Fahrenheit451 New Member

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    I wish I could do it upstairs but do not have a spot for it.

    Perhaps my best solution would be to get a wood/pellet boiler and install some baseboards...
    I imagine this will be double the price but probably worth it in the long run.
  6. will711

    will711 Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum. Is there a fireplace where you could put an insert in? I agree with the rest that you won't get the results with a basement install. I tried to heat my house from the basement with a wood stove with floor register, fans, no door on the stairs mixed results, put a pellet stove in last year on the 1st floor much warmer house don't have to run the wood burner as hard wife is happier. I would also consider having the stove dealer come to your home to figure out the best possible solution. Good luck .
  7. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    What kind of heat do you have now? They do sell Forced air Pellet Furnaces and Boilers. If you have existing Duct-work, it would be a snap to install in-line with your existing unit. If you have a boiler, you could tie into that system as well. If heating from the basement has to be done, then I would go that route. Without having insulation in your basement. The heat loss through your walls and your floor will be Outrageous. Most of your heat wont make it upstairs. It will be absorbed through your Walls and floors. Remember, cutting holes in the floor for "Natural Draft" vents are against code in most areas (I believe all, but check your local codes)

    No spot upstairs?? You could probably fit it somewhere. You know that these can be "Direct Vent" (Straight out the wall, behind the stove), or a standard "Through the roof" (Like a Woodstove). . Could you rearrange the furniture a little? Maybe get rid of a chair? We had to get rid of a couch in our family room (Also have a living room/living room is where we spend our time/T.V.) and put the Dining room set in the living room. So the Dining room is now a Pellet Stove room. The Family room became the Dining Room and all is warm and happy. Anything is possible. You just need to step back and look at areas you really don't use.

    Could you post a diagram of your home? Even if its just drawn on a piece of paper and you take a pic of that? Anything would help. The more info given to us, the more info and help you can get in return.

    Hope this helps. I have a Fahrenheit Endurance Pellet Furnace (Bio-Mass/Multi-Fuel). I bought it at the end of last season and was going to install it in the basement and put it in-line with my Trane X-90 Forced air furnace. But got a Heck of a deal on a Woodstove with all flue and accessories. I got the Fahrenheit on the cheap. So I know I can make my money back without a problem. I have ran it in my shop half a dozen times. This thing will heat 1,200 sq ft of poorly insulated shop. Without a problem. Harman makes a good Pellet furnace and Boiler (Wont burn 100% Multi-fuel) also St. Criox makes 2 units, the Revolution is there Big unit (NICE), US Stove makes one, AES American Energy System's (Magnum) makes one, there are some just to name a few. Many Manf make Furnace models. Harman is the Only one that makes a Boiler (Many other Manf that make boiler's. I am to unfamiliar to comment on)..Or there is always an Outdoor set-up. Be it Wood, Coal, or Wood Pellets....
  8. Cincinnati Kid

    Cincinnati Kid Feeling the Heat

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    I've got a small Harman P-38 in my basement. It heats that are very well and a small portion of the heat goes upstairs into my kitchen. That being said, I also installed a pellet stove on my first floor (a Harman insert).

    Most opinions on the board will be to install the stove in the area you want to heat.
  9. humpin iron

    humpin iron Feeling the Heat

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    Quad CB1200- 2500 sq ft, good bang for the buck
  10. DexterDay

    DexterDay Guest

    X2.. Agreed. It is a Nice Stove 47,500 BTU's. But... Still should go upstairs.

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  11. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    yes! and yet again! an uninsulated basement is no place for a pellet stove. uninsulated walls will suck the heat right out. If you insulate the walls, that will change everything. I heat my raised ranch home with one stove in the lower finished level. My home was electric heat, but I took it out. Heated with wood for years, then went an oil furnace, and now to a pellet stove. Best bet for whole house heating is the pellet boiler.
    good luck!
  12. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    sorry for second post, got distracted.
  13. jtakeman

    jtakeman Minister of Fire

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    I have been heating with a pellet stove in my basement for many years now. It took lots of work and still needed the wood stove to assist. I put vents in the floor with fans to help circulate the air. A louvered basement door for a return air path. Insulated and sheet-rocked the basement as well! We would do OK until the real cold weather set in.

    Last season I added duct from my stove directly to the floor vents to simulate having a forced air furnace. Made a world of difference and I could keep my stove on lower settings. It also used far less fuel. From my trials and mistakes, I would not recommend anyone putting a pellet stove in the basement with out at least a word of caution. Go with the stove in the location you want the heat or put a furnace in the basement and duct the heat to where its needed. Boiler will also work if you already have the pipe/baseboards installed. Installing duct work is cheaper overall than the pipe and baseboards(at least in my erea).

    Good Luck and keep us posted!
  14. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    x2

    I am with J-Takeman so Do NOT give up on heating the house with a wood pellet stove in the basement. All installs are different and some people cannot heat the upstairs from the basement, but believe me I can and many others here in the forum are doing this also!!

    I built a hearth near the homes original chimney and vented my pellet stove into the chimney because it is right near the door to the upstairs and the 80 degree heat will rise right up there! Then I installed a double wall stainless steel chimney for our furnace!

    This worked really well, our bedrooms do get heat because it rises up the stairwell since I keep the door to the basement open. I could put another duct in the master and end bedroom but we are happy with those rooms a little cooler meaning 68 degrees when the living rooom and kitchen are 72 degrees F.

    With the basement install I have 1.5 tons delivered to the basement right near the stove and another 1.5 tons in the garage next to the basement under the house.
    This means I only have to carry the 40lb bags a few steps and dump them into the hopper. Sometimes I do spill a few pellets but it is in the basement and can be swept up easily. Also when cleaning the stove, any mess is in the basement and can be cleaned up and is out of reach of the children as well.

    You can see my pics in this thread. See Don2222 Congrats on the Avalon Astoria post
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/57422/

    Also keep in mind a few things:
    It works better from the basement if:
    1. You do not have insulation in the basement ceiling!
    2. You cut registers to bring the heat up!
    3. You put fan(s) in the registers!
    4. You connect the registers directly to the stove!

    Check out this thread
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/64284/

    See my slide show of the registers with a thermostat to automatically turn the fans on to bring up the heat!
    http://tinyurl.com/3knkvjh

    See Js thread
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/67884/P44/

    Also see how much heat pellet stove ductwork can provide!
    http://www.hearth.com/econtent/index.php/forums/viewthread/71518/

    Attached Files:

  15. Don2222

    Don2222 Minister of Fire

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    There are 3 models with flanges for connecting ductwork. These stoves are PERFECT for Basement Installs!

    I would Luv to try the Ecotek Laura, but do not have the money right now to make such a big change!!!
    http://www.ecoteck.us/wood-pellet-stoves/laura.php

    http://www.ecoteck.us/ducted-heat/

    Description of “Ducted Wood Pellet Stoves†from Ecoteck in above link.

    The Ecoteck wood pellet stove range also includes 3 ducted units for people who want more even heat diffusion throughout the home. Ducts conveys heat from one room to another and distributes it throughout the home, spreading the stove’s warmth over as wide an area as possible.

    Models equipped with the air canalization use 2 pipes, 3.15 Inches in diameter, to service other rooms. Depending on the model, the delivery of the air for canalization can be in the top or in the bottom part.

    In the Elena Airplus, the second fan for the air canalization, can be activated simply by pushing the button on the display.

    In the Laura & Veronica, there is the possibility to adjust the front and back air delivery by adjusting a lever.

    More info on Ecoteck Laura 11kW Ducted Stove
    Ducted Heating with wood pellets
    Wood pellets are one of the few truly environmentally friendly ways to heat. Ducted stoves have a two extra warm air outputs at the rear of the unit and these can be connected to aluminum ducts routed other rooms in the property. A simple mechanical flap controls the ratio of air coming into the main room compared with the air being diverted to the back. All wood pellet stoves require a 13amp electrical connection.

    Attached Files:

  16. smg64ct

    smg64ct Member

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    I bought a new stove for my main level and put the old stove in the basement. The basement stove does a nice job heating the basement, but I don't feel to much heat going upstairs.
  17. Countryboymo

    Countryboymo Feeling the Heat

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    I have a small stove in the basement that is 1700 sq ft and the stove is 38k btu. The basement is partially insulated and it does a nice job of heating the basement in case of a power outage with a generator. I am working towards finishing the basement with a rather open floor plan and as it gets insulated it gets more and more comfortable. I do run it a lot more than I planned other than outages because in the coldest of winter the heat pump can still keep up with very little use of the heat strips and it just feels more comfortable in the house. I would save a lot more if it was upstairs but the space I really want warm and cozy is the basement. If I had an older home with baseboard heat I would make a place for a pellet stove upstairs short of hanging it from the ceiling.
  18. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    The only way this would make sense is if you had an Enerzone Euromax at 70,000 BTU bottom feeder with the distribution kit. Basically the distribution kit transforms the stove from a 'zone' heater to a small furnace. The kit allows two output insulated pipe up to 25 feet for each run to bring to a register upstairs. It will still put out some heat in the basement, but most of it will be distributed upstairs.

    http://enerzone-intl.com/product.aspx?CategoId=5&Id=549

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  19. Czech

    Czech Minister of Fire

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    We heat our split level with a stove in the semi finished basement, only on the coldest days do we use the NG furnace. I agree with what has been said but A) It can be done, and B) It takes much consideration and configuration to work well. Being a split level, the stove is basically directly below our main living area, the bedrooms get cool esp the one over the tuck under garage. House is very well insulated, that is a huge plus and should be done regardless.
  20. save$

    save$ Minister of Fire

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    "House is very well insulated, that is a huge plus and should be done regardless."
    X2 for best cost savings and best comfort level. Our home is 28x40 two level split heated with one stove, and the occasional furnace back up. Stove placement, a couple of fans, and some tolerance helps a lot.
  21. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    How to heat your entire house from the basement.

    1. Insulate the daylights out of the house.

    2. Stop all of the air leaks the house has (there is a limit to this and when you cross it you need to install an air to air heat exchanger).

    3. Make certain your stove has an OAK and that it is a fully sealed one.

    4. Keep your stove clean.

    5. Make certain your stove can provide the required air flow to circulate the air in your house in a reasonable amount of time.

    6. Make certain your stove can provide the required heat output on the coldest day at no more than it's middle firing rate.

    7. Provide a decent airflow between the stove and all rooms you expect it to heat.
  22. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I`d be the last one to recommend heating a whole house from a basement stove but mine does pretty good. (Harman P38)
    I have a 2 story house with the stove in the finished basement and I try to heat all 2500 sq ft with it. I come close. I leave the basement door open to the kitchen and I force excess basement room heat up a 12" sq floor vent with a 10" fan , 24 hrs a day. (into the center hall)
    Last year I burned 3 tons of pellets and 450 gals of oil of which at least 300 had to be for hot water .
    Evidently It`s working better than I originally thought. The basement room of course hits 76+ degrees and the 2nd floor at 69-70 . The 3rd floor temps hover at about 66-67.
    When it`s 0 or colder the 2nd fl thermostat kicks in the furnace for a short while as needed.
    I am of the mindset that the pellet stove supplements the oil furnace knowing full well it can`t accomplish the impossible. However I`m doing what`s reasonably possible within the limitations and I`m extremely happy.
  23. SmokeyTheBear

    SmokeyTheBear Minister of Fire

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    The key is proper planing.

    To make the point clear if you buy a 38,000 BTU/hour gross stove and expect it to be able to handle the same situation that a 100,000 BTU/hour gross furnace can you'll be disappointed.

    But if the house only requires a third of the furnace's capability then the 38,000 BTU/hour gross stove can handle the heating load, getting the heat to where it is needed then becomes the issue. This doesn't take into account recovery from when the stove is down for cleaning, that is handled by number 6 in the list I provided.
  24. quickrch

    quickrch Member

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    I had a wood burner in the basement in my last house and got it to work OK but not great. IN the new house I got a unit with very low clearance on the back and tucked it in a corner in the living area. We can see it when we eat but otherwise we don't which some would say is a negative...but I got it into our living space.

    So if you can't get it out of the basement I would reccomend one additional thing that made a world of difference for us. I put T's on the ducts going to the second floor (basement, first, second) with a damper to close the air to the basement in the summer. Then I opened them. Warm air rose up the basement steps when the door was open and cold are came through the air ducts down. I was in a cape cod style home so one air duct to each end bedroom and one in the master bath (in the middle of the house).

    We are much happier now that the stove is on the main level.

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