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Pellet Stove Placement Question

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by tkane11, Mar 31, 2008.

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  1. tkane11

    tkane11 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    After a brutal year of heating my house with oil, I'm ready to make the move toward a pellet stove.

    My question is this,

    I have a typical raised ranch, approximately 2000 sqf of living space. About 500-600
    of it is downstairs. (Open stairway in center of house)

    Is it better to place the stove in the downstairs family room and let the natural convection carry the heat
    through my house, or should I place the stove in the upstairs living room where we tend to spend more time?

    I'm hearing conflicting opinions on what to do here.

    Thanks

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  2. rap69ri

    rap69ri New Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
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    734
    Loc:
    Middle of RI
    There are multiple things to think about. The two I was most concerned about were noise and temp in the livingroom. I have a cape with an additional room on each end, which makes the house approx. 80 ~ 90 ft. long. I placed the stove on one end and it keeps the main living area between 70 ~ 72 and the second floor between 66 ~ 68. The stove usually runs on a medium-low setting, and if it were in my living room it would be too noisy to tolerate. I also have my finished basement area on a seperate zone off of my oil boiler, which I keep at 65, because the heat from the stove doesn't go down there.

    Quieter stoves are available. I would suggest visiting a stove showroom to find a stove that you like and feel the noise level is low enough to have in your livingroom. This will most likely be the most economical solution for you. Having it in your basement would mean running it a higher level to keep the second floor warm, and this means burning more fuel.

    Good luck with your search.
  3. IIFAST4U

    IIFAST4U Member

    Joined:
    Feb 27, 2008
    Messages:
    55
    Loc:
    Western, RI
    I don't have a useable basement, But I did put my stove in my living room, Yup it makes some noise but not much more than an AC unit in the summer. My home is old and not well insulated so It does an OK job. keeps the living room in the 72 + range my kithen is a bit colder 64 - 68 and my upstairs maintains 66 - 70 depending on many factors like my settings and the outside temp of course. 17 degrees outside and on medium low setting keeps the above range. 30 deg. and I lower the stove one notch and maintain the above ranges.

    When it gets really cold out we will see what happens but I am also working on getting some insulation installed. which means ripping the horse hair plaster down and putting in R-19. I cannot use the blown in since I have old wiring.

    Shawn
  4. The Patriot

    The Patriot New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Southeastern Mass
    Without knowing specifics, its hard to make a recommendation. So you may want to talk about where the stove will be in the basement in relation to the stairway, how well the basement is insulated, and be more specific about the layout of your house.

    I think you have to weigh using more pellets to heat your entire house (putting stove in the basement), versus using oil to heat the living space in the basement (putting stove upstairs. Even if you have good airflow from the basement to upstairs, you will need to burn more pellets to heat the upstairs. Perhaps not much more, but I would think at least a little.

    A lot also depends on how well the room in the basement is insulated. If you have insulation issues in the basement, you'll find a lot of heat escaping directly from the basement rather than making it's way upstairs.

    Lastly, what type of heating system do you have? Forced Air? Hot water baseboard? Having a forced air system may make moving warmth around easier. I've heard of some using their system to circulate the air in the house. I can't speak to this as I have hot water baseboard.
  5. tkane11

    tkane11 New Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2008
    Messages:
    2
    Loc:
    Upstate NY
    First off, thanks for all replies.

    As far as the specifics, my downstairs consist of a family room approximately 25 x 15, and another bedroom 12 x 15.
    The rest of my basement is my garage which is not heated. The bedroom and Family Room are located on the same side
    relative to the stairs. My potential location of the stove downstairs would be on the wall approximately 25' from the stairs.

    Upstairs, to one side of the stairs I have a pretty open floor plan, with the living room, kitchen and dining area. The other
    side of the stairs, is the hallway leading to 3 bedrooms. The potential
    location for the stove up stairs would be in the living room pointing toward the bedrooms.

    The insulation - I'd say average. Windows leave alot to be desired, but the basement as a whole is not generally drafty
    especially considering the high winds we usually get.

    Heating system, hot water baseboard.

    I should say too that heating my basement isn't considered a top priority in this project. If I can effectively heat or at least
    offset my oil usage for the entire house, fantastic. But if it is inefficient to do so, or better said, more efficient to put the unit
    in the living room upstairs, I'm OK with that too.

    Thanks Again,
    Tom
  6. BubbRubb

    BubbRubb New Member

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    Dec 19, 2007
    Messages:
    265
    Loc:
    Hagerstown, MD
    It is always more efficient to place the stove in the area that you want to heat. You'll burn more pellets heating the basement when that is not the intended location to heat.
  7. wwburning

    wwburning New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2008
    Messages:
    45
    Loc:
    West Warwick RI
    I have a raised ranch of approx 2450 sq feet. The downstairs part is about 850 square feet, decent insulation (2x4 r13 walls whole house r-30 attic) newer windows (<9 yrs) the rest is upstairs. There are two LARGE additions on the upstairs area. When I was looking into wood/pellet stoves I was wondering the same thing. The downstairs part has 7 1/2 foot celings. The upstairs for the most part is 8ft. The 2 additions are 18ft and 9 1/2 ft. So there is ALOT more cubic feet for that 1600 or so sq feet than usual ( mostly open floor plan). I have set back digital t-stats for my forced hot water dyno oil boiler (one zone each floor). On a 25 degree high temp sunday in January I ran the two zones at the same temp ,68F, for the entire day. Downstairs stat called for heat and was heating for 3 hrs and 17 mins. The upstairs was 7 hrs and 26 mins. Guess where the stove went? Upstairs in one of the additions. Needless to say, the upstairs zone has run a total of about 40 minutes since Feb 13, the install date of my Harman P61A. So while I may not have eliminated oil usage for the entire house, I sure have cut it back quite a bit. Next year I will see just how much as I will have an entire Rhode Island winter to go through instead of 7-10 weeks. Good Luck. Chris
  8. billb3

    billb3 Minister of Fire

    Joined:
    Dec 14, 2007
    Messages:
    3,471
    Loc:
    SE Mass
    I prefer a stove in the room where I am the most.
    I just like a 'watched' stove.

    My sister bought a raised ranch about a half mile down the street from me and there is a huge wood stove in the basement.
    The former owners claimed they heated the whole house with it.
    I did do a test burn one night, just in case it would be needed in a power out situation and it really is a nice set up.
    Better to fix any problems beforehand ?
    She can't manage a wood stove or a pellet stove. So it won't get used.
    Wish I could rent my place (at least for the Winter) and move in with that stove. :)
  9. The Patriot

    The Patriot New Member

    Joined:
    Jan 19, 2007
    Messages:
    96
    Loc:
    Southeastern Mass
    I'd probably say just put the stove on the first level (not the basement). You seem to be leaning that way anyway. Putting the stove in the basement to heat the entire house and limit oil further may be offset by having to burn more pellets because it will take more to get the heat upstairs. Plus, you'll probably suffer from some heat loss in the basement.

    Personally, I'd leave the thermostat in the basement really low. I believe it's recommended to leave it at 55 or above, unless you are actually staying down there for a prolonged period. Although you can probably get away with lower than 55 if it's not very cold outside.
  10. cpmken

    cpmken Member

    Joined:
    May 22, 2008
    Messages:
    7
    Loc:
    Connecticut
    I have a house that sounds identical to the one above... Raised Ranch, finished basement (about 700 sq ft) , same layout on 1st floor (ca 1500 sq ft). My dilema is that we spend the majority of our waking hours downstairs in the family room.. TV, computer, exercise, etc. Other than eating and sleeping (which I don't mind having a bit cooler anyway) upstairs we are in our basement. When we cook in the kitchen the heat from the stove is often enough for us to need to crack a window.

    My house has 2 zones of oil fired baseboard (upstairs and downstairs). Its difficult because if I place a big unit in my smaller basement I might sweat there trying to heat my entire house but I want to try to cut back on my oil as much as possible.

    So... If I installed my stove on one end of the basement how much heat could I expect to travel upstairs (in general - I realize its a tough question). Location of stove to stairs is about 15 feet of open space.

    Also... has anyone installed floor vents and possibly a small fan unit near the stove in an attempt to move some warm air to a floor above?
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