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Thru-floor vent/blower

Post in 'The Pellet Mill - Pellet and Multifuel Stoves' started by CJK440, Oct 4, 2008.

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  1. CJK440

    CJK440 Member

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    Hello,

    First time poster. I've got a raised ranch with electric heat. A couple years ago I bought a breckwell insert pellet stove that sits in my fireplace down stairs. That room gets pretty toasty but I'd like to try to distribute the heat a bit more. I realize I am not going to heat the whole house but I'd like to get more circulation than just the typical convection?? up the stair well.

    I think the best solution would be to put a thru floor vent with a thermostat controled fan that will push warm air from the basement up and allow the cooler air to return down the stair well back into the family room.

    Problem is, I can't seem to find such a simple thing. Anybody know where I can find what I am looking for or know of a better way to do what I want??

    Thanks

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  2. Ken45

    Ken45 Minister of Fire

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    I doubt that you will get a whole lot of heat moved that way. It may also be a fire code violation (check with your local building inspector).

    Back in the 70's, I installed a bathroom vent fan like you are talking about. It didn't move hardly any heat upstairs.

    Perhaps your best solution would be to replace the pellet stove with a pellet furnace which is designed to feed a duct. When I finally got brave enough to cut a hole in the floor and run a duct up from the wood furnace in the basement, it make a world of difference!

    Ken
  3. SlyFerret

    SlyFerret Minister of Fire

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    Definitely check on the fire code. Cutting holes in the ceiling/floor is usually a bad idea.

    As far as moving the air around... Move the cooler denser air in order to displace the warmer air to where you want it. For instance, blow cooler air from upstairs down into the stove room, and let the warm air be displaced up the stairs.

    For me, setting a box fan at the top of the stairs on low was just enough to start rolling cooler air down the stairs and get the air current flowing in the stairway. Worth a shot before you cut holes.

    -SF
  4. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    If you cut holes, they will need a fire damper. These have a soft link connection, usually solder, that releases a baffle when the temp gets too high. Otherwise, don't do it..... Ask you local fire marshal. It is not so much a pain as a life saving device.
  5. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    The best results will be achieved by putting the heater where you want heat.
  6. swestall

    swestall Minister of Fire

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    Be GREEN, you are always right to the point. SW
  7. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    I've been told it has something to do with my pointy head :coolgrin:

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  8. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

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    Could you tell me where to get these fire dampers? What sizes do they come in? Thanks for any info.
  9. R&D Guy

    R&D Guy New Member

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    LMAO!!!!

    Would you really need a fire-stop? Is this a NFPA 211 requirement? Looking at the power heat ducts you see on gas appliance's they don't have one although those are listed with a independent lab. But the vent fan in the bathrooms and showers don't have one either and I doubt my clothes dryer does either.

    I'd think a real easy way to do it would be to use a bathroom exhaust fan and wire it into the snap disk for your pellet stove convection air blower. That way the fan would only run if your pellet stove was running and your pulling the hottest air from the ceiling in your basement. If you want it to only blow air if the room upstairs is cold AND your pellet stove is running then you'd need to also wire in a 110 volt thermostat which you can get at your local hardware store.

    Now some things to consider:
    If you wire into the snap disk in your pellet stove you need to make sure the wire you use has a high enough temp rating and also consider the extra electrical load the unit will have to be able to handle with this extra blower. This is likely the most risky mod and I would not consider it if you are not confident you can do it safely. The wire inside your pellet stove will have the temp rating listed on the side of the wire and I'd match it. Typical ratings are 80, 105, and 200°C.

    Safer alternative is to wire this fan independently, and use a wall switch to turn it on and off. Depending on what you buy, the fan is likely 60 to 80 watts which is like leaving a light on.

    My $0.02
  10. Stihl029

    Stihl029 Member

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    Hi there,

    I have a 1800 square foot raised ranch, and I put my Englander 25-pdv downstairs in the finished basement. I also had the trouble of how to distribute the warm air to the upstairs. I thought maybe a ceiling fan at the entranceway/stairs to the basement, but decided on purchasing these fans: http://www.atrendyhome.com/durebofan.html I bought two, cut holes in the floors in the livingroom, and kitchen. I installed the fans upstairs, and bought just basic white vent covers and installed them on the ceilings downstairs. I can now heat up the stove and get the downstairs warned up, turn on the booster fans, and the temp upstairs raises by 5-7 degrees in a matter of an hour. Not sure on the fire breaks and such that others have posted. I see no reason why a fire break would be necessary being as I have stairs not far from the holes cut. I have a fire detector and carbon monoxide detector right in the room with the stove. With this set-up, the stairs seem to act as a cold air return, while the booster fans pump warm air upstairs. On a cold 8 degree night last feb. (when I installed the stove) I put the stove on setting 5, and the fans on low, woke up to a toasty 72 degree's in the livingroom upstairs, and even the bedrooms were 68. I couldn't be happier with the stove and the setup I have!
  11. hoverfly

    hoverfly Minister of Fire

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    That's because the vent in the bathroom and the dryer are vented out side, if there was a fire the smoke would just go out side not to the rest of the house.

    Check the building codes, look for a HVAC supply warehouse to see if they have fires stops. Also if you do a starlight shot into a bed room remember the noise from down stairs will come up as well through the vent. I suggest you put a sound baffle in from of the supply side or have a 90 bend and insulate the inside of the duct.
  12. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I have a thru the floor 12" vent (square hole) in my floor which goes to the first floor hallway. It was there frommy wood burning days and right now I have a 10" table fan (very quiet) mounted in that floor vent blowing heat up into that hall way which spills over into the kitchen/living room areas. I need to evacuate the excess heat from the basement and it looks like it might work. Cold air does rush down the stairs at the other end of the finished basement.
    I have a few muffin fans but they don`t move as much air and are not as quiet.
  13. tonyd

    tonyd Feeling the Heat

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    Do you have any pics of your setup? I was thinking of doing the same at the end of the hall of my finished basement. I would put it where the 3 bedrooms meet at the end of the hall upstairs. Thanks Tony.
  14. dmancine

    dmancine Member

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    When I had my 2200 square foot Colonial home built 20 years ago, I had a stove pad/wood stove installed in the family room. At the time Vermont Castings made/sold a through the floor fan (12 inch) with a variable speed motor. I had the fan installed in the ceiling of the family room and it vents to the upstairs hallway. I've used it on and off for the past 20 years. I now have a pellet stove instead of the wood stove. I don't think it made any real difference. The natural airflow up the stairs seemed to to do as much if not more that the fan ever did. i never really though about building codes but at the time the county reallty had none so you could do just about anything you wanted. If i had it to do over again, I probably would not install a fan, it really didn't seem to heat the upstairs anymore than natural convection did.
  15. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    Yours might not work well but I can say for sure that warm air does indeed blow profusely thru that floor vent from the finished basement into the upstairs hall. My stove in the basement blows directly toward that floor vent and is 12 ft away.
    The basement normally gets a bit too warm (76+ degrees) but when I run that vent fan it drops 3-4 degrees and the thermostat up stairs rises 3 degrees so I know it works. Of course that reading was last evening when temps were in the low to mid 40`s. It should still work reasonably well when it gets colder too.
    I think I have a good , if not ideal situation.
  16. MCPO

    MCPO Minister of Fire

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    I`m not going to recommend cutting holes thru the floor . Mine has been there for many years and I find it to work rather well but that`s got to be your decision to make.
    Here`s a pic of my fan suspended on wires 1/2 " below the floor vent to eliminate vibration/noise. I removed the table stand/bracket. It has a 3 spd switch and is very quiet but moves a lot of air.
    It draws only 36 watts (on high speed) , blows significantly more air, is much quieter , and is probably cheaper than a muffin fan.




    http://www.pbase.com/image/104163023.jpg
  17. CJK440

    CJK440 Member

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    Loc:
    Southern Connecticut
    I must admit the stove purchase wasn't that thought out because it wasn't planned. A friend was forced to sell it and I got it for an extremely good price and it heats better than just wood in the fireplace like I used to burn so I'm pretty happy. Just trying to maximize efficiency with what I have.

    I had the stove on yesterday to take a bit of the chill out. Of course my basement was extremely toasty, just a couple steps up the stairwell and it felt like I stepped outside.

    Stihl. Your situation sounds identical to mine and its good to hear you have some good results. Those booster registers seem to be a nice price for what they are but anybody have any links to thermoactivated vents???
  18. bostonbaked

    bostonbaked Member

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    I'm also hoping someone can post a link. I have an old floor vent that is 22"x 22" and I would love to use it to allow the heat to rise to the upper floor. After reading these posts I'm leery about doing so. If I use it, I want to do it right. Is the thermo activated damper something I can build myself ? I envision a sort of flapper shutter arrangement with a spring and some kind of link that would heat up and break thus allowing the spring to close the shutter and shut the vent. Is this correct, or am I over simplifying it ?
  19. tonyd

    tonyd Feeling the Heat

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    This helps get the warm air upstairs at my house. I have a split foyer and the wall going up the steps has been removed.

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