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Pushing a stove hard during cold weather justify a second stove?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by swagler85, Feb 3, 2013.

  1. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    So during the real winter we have had we really push our stove to keep up. Current setup is a raised ranch wit finished basement. Stove is in basement opposite end of the house for open stairwell. I have floor vents cut in above the stove to transfer heat upstairs. Stove doe great until we hit low teens and single digits the. I really push it and eat up a lot of wood. House is fairly well insulated just a lil too much house for the cold weather in my opinion. Question is if I add a second stove upstairs opposite end of the house (kitchen/dining) will I increase wood consumption considerably or not much since I won't have to push the basement stove hard to keep up? I could just turn on the gas furnace but I'm too stubborn and LOVE the wood heat.

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  2. topoftheriver

    topoftheriver Member

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    It is an option but then you will have to get used to the balancing act so that you don't have too much hear. You probably will burn more wood at first until you can attain your goal. I guess it depends on how warm you want to be.
  3. savageactor7

    savageactor7 Minister of Fire

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    I think the wood consumption would almost double because the family would get use to the heat and start running around in T shirts and shorts like it was summer.

    As long as the stove isn't in the red zone to keep up it's just doing the job it was made for. Also to consider, there must be someone in the family that appreciate having cooler areas of the house to retreat to.
    Bret Chase likes this.
  4. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Wood consumption will mostly likely go down. Remember adding a stove means the second one upstairs only has a very small job to do. If the downstairs stove can get you to say 65 upstairs then the second one only has to raise it a few degrees. You'll find yourself not pushing the basement and having very small fires like shoulder season ones upstairs.
  5. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Thats what I was thinking, The current stove keeps the farthest upstairs corner of the house at 68-70 until it gets in the single digits outside. Then when its really cold that same room is 59-65 the second stove would pick up the slack. But at the same time I could just break down and turn on the gas furnace. Would probably be cheaper, I just love the fact that we heat entirely with wood.
  6. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    I think that makes perfect sense cause you would have 2 stove to do the job of one. One more thing when maintenance needs to be done on one you still have another stove.

    If i could figure out were to put a second stove i would go for it.
  7. dafattkidd

    dafattkidd Minister of Fire

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    I love wood heat as much as the next guy, but in this application it seems like a lot of money and work to install another stove just to make up for a small percentage of the winter.

    I had an undersized stove for a year. I had success turning on the boiler in the morning for 30 minutes or so to bring house temps up, then let the stove keep the house temps up for the majority of the day. We also keep space heaters in our bedrooms so we can close doors and still have heat, or on real cold days we run them for an hour or so just to get room temps up.

    But if you're set on getting another stove, I'm sure you'll love it.
  8. NickDL

    NickDL Member

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    What about using space heaters for when the temps are that low? This seems like it may be an easier & cheaper solution to your problem. As far as using more or less wood, I would guess less since then you would really just be heating the respective floors that the stoves are located.
  9. BrowningBAR

    BrowningBAR Minister of Fire

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    The Country Hearth 2500 is a 2.5 Cubic Foot Firebox Capacity. Maybe you should look at a larger stove as oppose to a second stove.

    It would be a cheaper solution and your wood consumption wouldn't increase as much as adding a second stove.
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I suspect that in fact it would be a LOT cheaper just to run the gas furnace as a supplement once in a while during the cold snap, especially if you have natural gas.
  11. Joful

    Joful Minister of Fire

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    No way, no how! The first stove is only marginally keeping up, meaning he has a desire for more BTU's/hr. than he is currently generating. Wood consumption will go up.

    My wood consumption doubled when I added the second stove, but then I'm still falling short. Maybe I'd see things plateau with the fifth stove installed.

    If I had natural gas, I'd have to be real crafty to justify the costs and time of heating with wood. I'd still do it, but it would be harder to justify the time.
  12. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    How hot is the basement when you are pushing the stove? Do you use the basement much and how hot do you want it? If you are overheating the basement to maintain the upstairs (85::Fbasement and 65::F upstairs), you may not use any more wood keeping both at 75::F, or less wood at 65::Fdownstairs and 75::F upstairs. As others have said, NG is cheap.
  13. fox9988

    fox9988 Minister of Fire

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    Joful,
    Instead of more BTU's, maybe the OP just needs the existing BTU's upstairs.? Two stoves idling instead of one being pushed.? If the OP goes from pushing one stove to pushing two, I agree, his wood consumption will ~double.
  14. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    Won't need to be pushing two, thought was that during pushing a stove the wood consumption doubles. So just letting it cruise and adding a smaller stove to bring the upstairs up to temp should keep me close to the same wood consumption. But my thinking could be wrong.
  15. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    I think you are right. I don't use my second stove very often, but when I do, I burn more efficiently. Instead of pushing the Isle Royale with more frequent reloads,
    I'm letting it go through its normal cycle, and adding one cycle with the insert. Having coals to burn down in order to get the next cycle started becomes a distant
    memory. Adding one cycle per day from the insert allows me to keep up with temps all the way down to -10F.
  16. wkpoor

    wkpoor Minister of Fire

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    Wood stoves are radiant heaters and like someone else said that do their best work in the line of site. In my case adding BTUs downstairs meant just pushing more to the dirt. Adding one upstairs meant adding another line of site the equation.Also the upstairs (3rd floor) is now the warmest place in the house with way mine is designed.
    However I will agree in some cases, unless like me you just love wood heat, it my take yrs to amortize the addition cost.
  17. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If you want to have a second stove to provide more heating options and a nice fire view at the opposite end of the house, that is a different justification. In that case it might not lead to greater wood consumption. Especially if the lower stove was allowed to go out say during milder weather.

    FWIW, not all wood stoves are radiant heaters, many are convective heaters.
  18. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    I would think the upper stove would go out during milder weather; otherwise, that finished basement is going to get cold in milder winter weather. Agreed that it probably makes more economic sense to turn on the gas furnace, but having the second wood burner makes the gas furnace truly backup only.
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    Yes, you're probably right. I was thinking of our old basement. We didn't hang out much down there.
  20. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Sean, how about doing a quick study on average temperatures for where you live? You can find that really easy and one quick way is to use accuweather.com. Type in the city nearest you with a weather station and then you can find the average temperatures for every day of the year. What you want mostly is the temperatures from perhaps December 21 through February 15 (dates can vary). Then figure out the coldest part. How many days are you talking that you would need to use the second stove on average? Naturally each winter is different, however, we can almost guarantee for us that from January 10 through February 10 it is going to be the coldest part of winter and usually is. Yes, sometimes March can have some really cold air and we've had plenty of nights at zero or below in some years. Others, not so much. Same for December.
    swagler85 likes this.
  21. DianeB

    DianeB Feeling the Heat

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    We have a raised ranch and our downstairs generlly gets no colder than 50. We use the downstairs primarily for evening TV. We have a TV den, guest bedroom. laundry room and bathroom downstairs in finished basement We heat those room only when needed via electric baseboard or infrared heater. Heat on at 630 pm and off at 930 pm int he TV den. We also have a laundry room downstairs and just bring the clothes upstairs to fold in the winter so I don't get chilled. We can certainly wash clothes in a 50 degree unheated room We spend most of our time updstairs where our 3 main bedrooms are. We prefer the stove to be upstairs - has a fire view, no TV in that room, just music, books and family conversations - we drift downstairs for some TV watching as a family - but we also have another TV in one of the bedrooms upstairs. So in a way - we end up using just our upstairs in the cold winter months. When guests come and we need that bedroom - baseboard heat goes on.

    I suppose you could light a fire downstairs when you need it and keep your upstairs warm all the time with your second stove. Does anyone sleep downstairs routinely?
  22. swagler85

    swagler85 Minister of Fire

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    No one sleeps downstairs but it is our family room is down there and we spend most of our time down there. So I would probably still use the downstairs stove and just run it on low. Wife and I discussed just using the gas furnace but even she much prefers the wood heat over the furnace. So will likely be looking for a small stove to run upstairs. Won't buy anything until spring or summer so in can get a better deal on one, hopefully a store model or display on sale.
  23. Todd 2

    Todd 2 Feeling the Heat

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    Hi Sean, Sounds like your set up is alot like mine, I can keep the basement (hang out area) 80 deg. easy with 12 hr. burns with the new stove, upstairs will stay 74-75 deg. as long as it stays 25-30 deg out side with no wind. But when the mercury drops down with the wind I switch to 8 hr burns struggling to keep the upstairs up to 70 deg. (thats cold to us) so I kick the oil on some at $4.00 a gallon and I hate it man, cause it still don't feel warm.
    Like you I've been thinking about a nice little viewable fire stove upstairs to burn the extra wood I use downstairs witch in turn does away with the oil heat period:) Again the problem is only with the really cold temps outside.
    I'm a wood stove freak (wish I could test burn all of them) so the idea of a second (small) stove upstairs really has me thinking also ??? Good thread by the way.

    Todd2
    swagler85 likes this.
  24. northwinds

    northwinds Minister of Fire

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    I would run the downstairs stove like you normally do and burn short hot fires upstairs when you need the heat. Your downstairs stove will help heat your upstairs, but the upstairs stove won't contribute any heat to your lower level. In our raised ranch, we have a large family room, master bedroom, master bath, and an office on the walkout level. My wife likes it warm, and she spends most of her free time in the family room where the stove is.
  25. FPX Dude

    FPX Dude Member

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    How do u mean the house is insulated a lil too much? What are the symptoms of that? Also, how long between reloads during those cold snaps, etc.?

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