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Wood Stove and Air Handler in Same Space

Post in 'The Boiler Room - Wood Boilers and Furnaces' started by Torro, Jan 28, 2013.

  1. Torro

    Torro New Member

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    I live in MA and am interested in installing a small wood or pellet stove in my basement which is unfinished and runs the width of the house. In the basement next to the chimney where I plan to vent the stove is an air handler for my central air and heating system (powered by electric), the air handler draws air from the second and third floors of the house NOT the basement space. My thoughts are that the heat generated from the stove will soak the ducting and air handler thus circulating the stove heat throughout the house, my questions:

    1. Are there any regulations that prevent me from installing the stove in the same location/proximity as my air handler?
    2. Will a chimney formerly used for an oil furnace be sufficient to vent a small stove?
    3. What is the max distance that I can run the exhaust duct for the stove inside the space?
    4. What is the maximum number of elbows or degrees of offsets that can be installed in a run for the stove exhaust?

    If helpful I can post pics of AH and chimney to illustrate proximity.

    Thank you.

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  2. Torro

    Torro New Member

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    UPDATE:

    I had a local contractor come over to look at the layout and provide me with numbers and if I could even put it next to my air handler.

    Well his stove prices were out of our budget, his install price regardless of where I got the stove is $450.00 (tying into my existing chimney, distance between stove pipe and chimney face is 3-4') I may use him for the install.

    The local building inspector provided little by way of code requirements except to say that the installer should know the regulations. He is a nice guy, I am sure I caught him off guard.

    As far as I know MA doesnt require a license or permit for the install of the stove, will do a bit more research on that and update if needed.

    I have had one or two other people raise an eyebrow when I told them where I wanted to put the stove and couldnt believe that it was OK to put in the same location as ventilation equipment.

    Needed: Building, fire, insurance code or regulatory information in particular for Massachusetts on the installation requirements for a wood stove specifically in proximity of mechanical equipment.
  3. JP11

    JP11 Minister of Fire

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    Central Maine
    I dont' think you're going to get a whole lot of heat from just making a air handled duct work warm on the outside.

    They make things like electric plates, or hot water radiator type devices to go INSIDE the duct work for heating. Your air flow thru the ducts will be very fast, with heat transfer only from the outside the duct.

    Now.. if you made a bypass, with an open piece of duct to take actual AIR from the wood stove heated air in the basement, and send it upstairs.. way better results.

    Sorry if I mis-understood what you are trying to do.

    JP
  4. Torro

    Torro New Member

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    Thanks JP, my expectations are no less than everyone else' experiences, heating of the interior space through the steady rise of hot air, the fact that my ducting and AH will absorb that heat energy and circulate it throughout the home is an added anticipated benefit.
  5. I don't think you'd be allowed to cut into the duct work so close to the stove. But you might be allowed to have the woodstove next the air handler, with proper clearances, since the handler is a closed system.

    Can't really help with the code questions. Here in maine I've gotten my questions answered best by the local fire chief and or the states fire marshal office. The local code enforcement office had no permit requirements. Had to go through the fire chief for a permit for my boiler.
  6. Torro

    Torro New Member

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    Thanks but there will be no cutting of anything, this is simple thermal dynamics and the inherent transfer properties of materials.
  7. Torro

    Torro New Member

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    UPDATE:

    - Massachusetts DOES require a permit for all solid fuel burning appliance systems from the building department.
    - Installers MUST be licensed as a Construction Supervisor in accordance with 780 CMR.
    - Insurance should not go up if a permit and inspection by bldg department and installed by a qualified installer.
    - Allow for a "3 foot circle of safety", 36" of space all around.
    - Be UL listed and have other industry approvals/ratings.
  8. Bob Rohr

    Bob Rohr Minister of Fire

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    Add a quality brand, low level CO detector to the living space, just to have some additional piece of mind. I'd have a CO detector in any building that had a solid fuel burner located within the heated envelope. CO detectors should be code required as smoke detectors are.
  9. Torro

    Torro New Member

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    Agree.. We have central smoke detectors and I will be placing CO dets in the basement and each floor of the house, may even get the ones to tie into our alarm system, undecided right now.
  10. Torro

    Torro New Member

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    I am having my doubts about the installer who stopped by, he doesnt list his Supervisors license number on his cards and I think it is a law here, he didnt bring up the subject of a permit or inspection, his main business is chimney sweep, I will have to do some looking around for some additional input.

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