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whole house ventilation with a wood burning appliance

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by old wethead, Apr 17, 2013.

  1. old wethead

    old wethead New Member

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    should I be concerned about mechanical ventilation if I burn wood and am pulling fresh air into house and venting air as I burn the stove... doesn't seem to be too tight the house cause I don't have down draft issues ... so I believe I am getting adequate air into house... any ideas, thoughts...

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  2. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Restate the question please. Mechanical ventilation?
  3. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Welcome to the forum old wethead. Interesting name!

    We've heated with wood well over 50 years now and have never considered what you are proposing. As you know, the stove takes oxygen to burn the same as a furnace, clothes drier, etc. But once we get into spring when we can once again open windows, it is very welcome for sure. As for anything mechanical, it is difficult to beat Mother Nature.

    Hope you have next year's wood already put up! If not, do yourself a favor and get it ready quickly.
  4. old wethead

    old wethead New Member

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    old wethead is from the hydronics industry...dan hollahan...there are deadheads and wetheads and schoched air people...anyways that another topic...what I guess I was trying to explain is that most isulation professionals nowadays are trying to sell mechanical ventilation to a house to ensure that you get enuff air changes do to the house being so 'tight'...however I believe that if you are running a wood stove with no ill effects to the stove you must be bringing in enuff fresh air through leakage into the house to satisfy the air changes...does anyone agree?...or is there some reasoning as to why I should mechanically ventilate other than preheating the fresh air with stale air?...
  5. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    Unless your house is super-insulated and super tight, there should be no worries. I recall many moons ago when many experimented with super tight houses but found they can make them too tight. In addition, if you are concerned you can always put in an OAK (outside air kit) so your stove gets all the air from outside the house.

    One you may have forgotten Dan is the hot heads!
  6. old wethead

    old wethead New Member

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    yea I can put outside air to the stove I know... but I guess if I am thinking of that ill just put fresh air into the basement and let it filter on up and let some stale air get burned and sent up the chimney...that way I have fresh air to the house and combustion air... I personally don't really see a big benift to the heat recovery ventilators when a person is burning wood in the house... unless of course the house was really super tight...thanks for the input.... I am an old hydronics guy hence the name wethead.... the deadheads were steam heating pros which mostly died out since most residential systems migrated toward water and not steam... and the scorched air well... I don't care for hating up air and blowing it around the house to heat it....lol...anyways... any other thoughts on this whole mechanical ventilation vs just cracking a window in the winter will be appreciated...thanks again
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  7. rijim

    rijim Member

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    Agree in principal, however, bath exhaust, kitchen hoods, etc all have the ability to alter the balance of makeup air and alter draft. I agree, add OAK to woodstove and open window in warm weather. A whole house fan running with the wood stove will throw away heat but also poses a potential safety hazard; if there were ever a fire the fan could pull smoke from getting to detectors quickly and also speed the spread of the fire.
    Backwoods Savage likes this.
  8. Backwoods Savage

    Backwoods Savage Minister of Fire

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    And just a few house plants will do more for keeping the air clean than anything else!
  9. fdegree

    fdegree Feeling the Heat

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    My profession is air and hydronic balancing. Though, I focus mainly on commercial and industrial applications where heat recovery units are not only being used for the purpose that you pointed out...(building being sealed too tight), but also for general energy recovery of the exorbitant amount of warm/cool air being exhausted from some of these larger facilities.

    My opinion -- if you are able to burn wood inside your home while bathroom exhaust, clothes dryer and range hood are running, then you have so much structural leakage that a heat recovery unit seems pointless...just my opinion. It is VERY difficult to get an existing structure so tight that this becomes a problem. Now, new construction is a different story...this can easily be sealed so tight that a heat recovery unit would be beneficial.

    Keep in mind, the only 2 reasons I see heat recovery units used is for:
    1. Building sealed too tight...this can cause some appliances and mechanical equipment to malfunction, and it also causes poor indoor air quality for the occupants.
    2. Recovering the energy that is held within the large volumes air that is required to be exhausted from the building...most residences don't fit this situation.

    Just a few thoughts, and my opinion. Take it for what it is worth...not much
  10. old wethead

    old wethead New Member

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    I think that is pretty much how I feel about it ... kinda wanted to use this site for a sounding board to see if there mite be some other important justification to as why I should mechanically ventilate...I am leaning toward just putting a combustion air / fresh air intake into the basement area or where the colder air wont be a nusience and leave it at that...if he wants more ventilation due to possible humidity like showers etc..then I will install aa simple bath exhaust fan so he can turn it on when he wants... the house is what they call a double wall house with blown in cellulose insulation...with a cold roof construction and all penetrations to attic were seales with spray foam prior to 18 inch of cellulose blown up there...did blower door test and they said it was marginal on infiltration...whatever that ment and of course they recommended ventilation...house is now bout 7 yrs old burning wood stove every yr w no negative draft issues on stove...currently no exhaust fans in house...I am probably going to recommend bath exhausts and fresh air /combustin air intake in basement for make up air for stove and when fans are running...lol..or he can just leave the basement window open an inch or two...again I appreciate the valuable input...the more educted I get the stupidier I feel...lol....anyways..i do appreciate the input, thanks again...
  11. old wethead

    old wethead New Member

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    yea...the plants are also an excellent idea...the people I am trying to educate my self for are very easy going and green concerned... they like to keep things uncomplicated and as simple as possible ..they are re-use and recycle and don't waste people...very good people...the best solution may be to just have more plants and open a window...lol...sometimes the simple answer is the best...

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