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woodstove heating with small children

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by wmbriano2grad, Oct 2, 2006.

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  1. wmbriano2grad

    wmbriano2grad New Member

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    Hi, I have a two story home with a fireplace on the first floor. I am looking to install a wodostove since we've discovered how bad a fireplace is at trying to heat a home!!

    The bedrooms are on the second floor - we have a 3yearold in one bedroom and twin babies in another bedroom. We like to keep their doors closed at night (this point becomes important).

    Our current heating situation is forced air with a thermostat on the first floor (about 15 feet from where the wood stove will be). I can see problems trying to keep the children's rooms warm in the winter with their doors closed at night. Any suggestions?

    I would like to avoid running the heat at all if possible - that's why we are getting the stove - but if that isn't going to work can I put a remote thermostat in one of the bedrooms and close all the heat vents other than in those two rooms so the heat will come on when I need it?

    Thanks for your suggestions!

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  2. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    I think with the babies, you wil need to run the furnace at night. If you live in a cold climate those rooms will get pretty chilly. I would try to just use the stove burning the day, and let the furnace work at night. If you dont have a setback thermstat then get one, that will help. Lots and lots of varibles here. How big is the house? how open it the floorplan to the upstairs? how big of a stove are you getting? How good is the house construction? what part of the country do you live?
  3. wmbriano2grad

    wmbriano2grad New Member

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    To answer your questions:

    How big is the house?

    1800sf

    how open it the floorplan to the upstairs?

    stove is very near the stairs, easy for heat to get up the stairs

    how big of a stove are you getting?

    something around 50-60k BTU - looking at Jotul Castine or hearthstone homestead

    How good is the house construction?

    3 year old house, pretty good construction

    what part of the country do you live?

    Virginia, an hour west of DC - probably less than 45 nights below freezing a year.
  4. babalu87

    babalu87 New Member

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    We have an 1800+ sq foot Cape in SE Massachusetts with an open floor plan and 3 bedrooms up.
    Heat the whole house perfectly with a Morso 3610

    Are you keeping the kids doors closed for safety?
    If so the heat wont get into those rooms the way it should.
    If them sleepwalking in the middle of the night is a worry put a gate at the top of the stairs.
  5. MountainStoveGuy

    MountainStoveGuy New Member

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    Well sounds like your on the right track. Try it and see, i would just leave the thermostat where its at. If you put it remotly in the bedroom and shut the door the furnace might run all night trying to heat that room Its real hard to say what the best solution is, but my guess would be to leave the babies rooms ajar slightly. If you do you will have plenty of heat up there. I have a baby as well, and my setup is as follows. set back thermo is set for 62* from 7pm to 5 am. from 5am to 9am i have it set for 69* for showers and what not, and then the rest of the day is back down to 63*. I use the woodstove all day, and at night i let it go out when i go to bed. The stove will keep the house warm for a long time. this stratagy seems to be working, the only time the furncace runs is in the morning.
  6. wg_bent

    wg_bent Minister of Fire

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    Last year was my first with the stove, and the upstairs of my house is about 10 degrees colder than the downstairs. We do keep the doors open though. Keep the doors closed, and I'm sure that the temps would change drastically. With babies, the temp generally needs to stay around 70 or 72, so you'll need to run the heat. The great thing is that instead of the central heat in your home doing work to keep the temp at 72 with the starting point being the outside temp, the woodstove will be doing the bulk of that work and the central heat only has to take the temp from the mid 60's to whatever temp you need for your family. Your trick is the closed doors. The wood stove will be taking the temp up to 65 or so in the hallway (or where ever your thermostat is) to 73 or so in the hallway. The closed doors will impact the air flow to the thermostat.

    For example consider this: In my house the thermostat is in the hallway and the 4 bedrooms and 1 upstairs bath are off that hallway. If all the doors were closed upstairs, there would be no heatsource for the hallway, and the heat being put into the rooms would not effectively get to the thermostat. I believe the rooms would have to get significantly hotter than the hall to get the hall temp to change.

    You'll need to figure out how to balance that. Can you keep another door or two open in your upstairs? That would help keep the temps in balance better.
  7. Greg123

    Greg123 New Member

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    I had similar concerns with my kids rooms, we tried to close the door, but It got way to cold in there rooms in the middle of winter (Below 55 degrees) with the doors left open it stayed a nice 70 to 73 degrees. My solution was to move the thermostat into there rooms and close off all vents in the house except for the kids bedroom, the rest of the house was heated by the stove and the kids rooms where heated by the furnace at night with there bedroom doors shut.
  8. CrazyAboutOrchids

    CrazyAboutOrchids New Member

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    With a 2 story home, why not call in an electrician and have a 2nd thermostat installed upstairs for a separate zone. You really do want those doors closed for safety at night, but you need to be able to keep the kids warm as well. The 2nd zone would allow the furnace to provide heat to that are as needed.

    We have a 2 story colonial with 2 thermostats but the main floor thermostat is in the family room which si out over the garage. Without the fireplace insert, the room is freezing and the rest of the main floor bakes as the furnace runs to heat that room up to temp. With the fireplace running, I can heat most of the main level, but since I don't have an open floor plan at all, the spots furthest away can be cold. I already have the set up for the zones, so for us it is as simple as an additional thermostat wired for the rest of the main level of the house. I'm having a third zone added to the system this week.
  9. Todd

    Todd Minister of Fire

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    My house is also around 1800 sq ft, fairly open floor plan, and stove in finished basement. My furnace won't kick on while the stove is burning and I run it through the night 24/7. I can keep the upstairs within 5-8 degrees of the downstairs. But my daughter likes to keep her door closed and it can get cold in there, so she just plugs in the electric radiator type heater when she goes to bed. Maybe you can supplement with a small one room electric heater? .
  10. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    If this is to be a long term arrangement consider having the upstairs part of the system zoned and on its own thermostat. Generally it's not a good idea to choke off the system by closing lots of vents. And a pain if one is closing them every night and opening them every morning. A safe, electric heater in each room is an alternative if the circuits in the rooms support the load safely.
  11. hilly

    hilly Feeling the Heat

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    Wood stove heating with small children? It kind of sounds like the Hansel and Gretel fairy tale. The nasty old lady would be on here trying to find out how long to season the children before being used as fuel!
  12. wahsega

    wahsega New Member

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    The kids rooms with no heat will be fine ive got a 3 and 6 yr old and they never had heated rooms as our upstairs is closed off in winter with average temp 40-50 degrees. My concern is with the doors closed you cant hear them at night.
  13. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    :bug:
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Weren't raised in an old farmhouse in Texas was ya Spike? Ah yes, mountains of blankets.

    Ya actually do survive. And learn to go to the bathroom before you go to bed. Because you ain't getting out of that bed in the middle of the night for nothin!
  15. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Ha , My parents tell me storys .........."yeah , when i was a kid we slept up stairs and in the winter time snow would come through the window because there was no glass" So why have a window i ask, why not board it up ? "I dont know" is the answer i get. "When we were kids it got hot in the house in the summer time because it was summer and the cook stove in the house made it even hotter" So , why didnt you cook out side i ask. "I dont know"he says. so why did you hang around IN the house when it was 30° cooler out side, i ask. "i dont know" he says. Its like "HELLO PEOPLE" ! "it gets cold up stairs with the doors closed" Yes ........ I would say it does.
  16. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    And YES I lived in a 2 story farm house in Nebraska and not the warmth of Texas , no insulation in the walls or in the attic. Wood stove heat and burned 11 pick up loads of wood per year (=8 cords?) never got below 65° in the whole house all winter. ( and NO , we didnt shut the doors to the up stairs in the winter when the kids were sleeping )
  17. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Ya just had to be there I guess. Besides, cooking breakfast outside in the rain would'a kinda sucked. Reading the paper too.

    Dad never could figure out why I wanted to heat with wood. When he was a kid the heat in their bedroom was a bucket of coals his dad would take out of the fireplace at night and put in their bedroom. He thought any gas, electric or whatever heat was wonderful.

    In our church the farmer with the most money in the county had wood heat and a wood cook stove. In 1959 he went to town and bought a new Ford. When he brought it home his wife Ms. Sadie put his butt right back in it and they went to town and bought a new propane stove to replace that wood cooker she had been cooking on for forty years.

    Her bisquits never were as good anymore but nobody had the guts to say it.
  18. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    Yeah , Once "other" heating options came around the wood stove kinda died real quick assumeing you could get the "other" forms of heat where you lived. It does take a special breed of people to want to heat your home with wood. Saving $1200.oo + a year burning wood is nice but if you sit back and think about it for most of us $1200. over 6 months is not a lot of money. When you factor in the cost and time (your time x an hourly rate )Its actually cheaper to go to work and make xxx amount of $$ and just buy the fuel vs taking your time and doing it your self. Again, its the special breed we call our selves wood burners. an loving it baby! Hummmm , speaking of bisquits ........... :cheese:
  19. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    My mom says she always kept the window open a bit no matter how cold it was in our bedroom. Thought the fresh air was good for us.
  20. wahsega

    wahsega New Member

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    O.K. I lied a little bit. My wife and I sleep in a heated water bed. Don't tell the kids! The lack of heat will make them tougher. When I lived in Maine I had a house with no heat upstairs. Besides the ice scrapper in the car you needed one in the bedroom to see out the windows in the morning.
  21. Roospike

    Roospike New Member

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    :bug:
  22. CrazyAboutOrchids

    CrazyAboutOrchids New Member

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    If you are only concerned about not hearing the kids - not the temps in their rooms - go out and buy baby monitors for each room. You can buy corded ones for the older kids and cordless ones for the babies so you can carry them outdoors, around the house, etc. to hear while they nap.
  23. carpniels

    carpniels Minister of Fire

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    Hi Guys,

    I have a similar problem with my kids, except that they sleep on the same floor as the stove. I have fans blowing all day to distribute the heat in the first floor and when they go to bed, the rooms are nice and warm. After they fall asleep, the room cools of a bit during the night, but nothing major.

    What made a huge difference is the curtains. We used to have these cheap roller blinds and replaced one with one of those cellular blinds. That made at least a 5 degree difference in the temp of the room in the morning. It insulates really well. We will be installing those in all the bedrooms to keep whatever heat we have in the rooms and not out through the windows.

    Please explain why the doors have to be closed when the kids sleep. You could always close it to make them fall asleep and then open them again when you adults go to bed. That way the heat will enter their rooms again and you will minimize the use of the fossil fuel heating. If you want to prevent them from leaving their rooms, just put a chain lock on their doors.

    Carpniels
  24. wmbriano2grad

    wmbriano2grad New Member

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    Sometimes it's tempting ;)
  25. fbelec

    fbelec Minister of Fire

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    we have the same problem here. my twins are 23 months right now. last year i made a very large room in the basement and decided to make it a home theater. that worked out well. my house is a ranch with two bedrooms on one side of the house and the wood stove on the opposite side. getting heat in there is hard and a subject for a different post. anyway the babies do need it a bit warmer considering they don't like anything on top of them like blankets. when we put them to bed around 7:30-8:00 pm we shut the door until they drop off then open the door and go down and watch tv or have guests downstairs. the bedrooms don't have great insulation in the walls. i guess the best that 1953 had to offer. so you close the door and in 30 to 60 minutes it can drop 5 degrees once the door opens it stays open for the night and warms right up. the other option we are talking about because my daughter is a super light sleeper and wakes to any little noise including the creaking of the floor is a air filter. that would serve two jobs one to clean the air the other is for a little white noise to drown out all the rest of the noise that wakes her.

    just a couple of thing for your thought
    stay warm
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