A basement stove to heat the whole house?

Cstewart1

New Member
Feb 10, 2021
18
Lexington Ky
Hello I would like to install a wood burner in my basement that would or come close to heating my 1620 sq ft home. I have a Grandma111 Fisher I could use and it looks like it would do the trick but im interested in other stoves that would be good choices. Would like to see all my possible options Thank you
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,529
Northern Maine
Are your walls insulated?
 

EatenByLimestone

Minister of Fire
Than you will be working very hard to heat the walls up.

Is your house 1 story or 2?
 
  • Like
Reactions: bholler

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
no the walls aren’t
Roughly 1/3 of your btus will end up heating the earth around your house without insulation. Insulating the walls and getting your wood cut split stacked and covered is your first step. From there you will have many choices in stoves that will do the job well. Without insulation on the walls you will need a very big stove
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,172
Northern NH
You are going to be fighting an old battle. at least half the stoves output is going right out the basement walls and floor. If you have plants up against the foundation they will green up early. Then figure about a 10 degree loss through the first floor and another 10 degree loss through the second floor. So walk around in shorts in the basement at 80 degrees and the first floor will be seventy degrees and the second floor will be 60 degrees. Cut a lot of holes and ductwork and you marginally may be able to improve things but your wood consumption will be quite high.
 
  • Like
Reactions: bholler

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
Personally I really prefer heating from the basement myself. It means warm floors tempered heat swings etc. But the walls absolutely need to be insulated. And it would be great if the floor was as well
 

nortcan

Burning Hunk
Sep 9, 2016
226
Quebec
Is your basement the most occupied place in your house? If so installing the stove in the basement is a good option. But as said insulating is one of the best thing you can do for a better confort, burning less wood, a profitable investment on your house/plus value...
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
I personally absolutely do not want my stove in the most used area of my house. If I am making enough btus to heat the whole house the area around the stove will be way to hot for my comfort. I know lots of people like doing it this way but it's not for me
 

nortcan

Burning Hunk
Sep 9, 2016
226
Quebec
Having the stove in the most occupied place is a good way to use the stove and have a look at it, and recommanded by the stoves manufacturers and by the real wood stove professionals, a wood stove is not an electric furnace and needs to be watched for many reasons. Plus for those loving to watch a nice wood burning fire why not having it where you are most of the time instead of having to go downstair and come back upstair and ....again and again ...For the heat distribution question, it's a matter of installation. You can have a stove on the main floor and have about the same temperature on the 3 levels. Many say it's not possible but if someone wants it, it's possible.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
Having the stove in the most occupied place is a good way to use the stove and have a look at it, and recommanded by the stoves manufacturers and by the real wood stove professionals, a wood stove is not an electric furnace and needs to be watched for many reasons. Plus for those loving to watch a nice wood burning fire why not having it where you are most of the time instead of having to go downstair and come back upstair and ....again and again ...For the heat distribution question, it's a matter of installation. You can have a stove on the main floor and have about the same temperature on the 3 levels. Many say it's not possible but if someone wants it, it's possible.
Uhhh I am a real wood stove professional and that is not how I prefer to heat my house. I have done it that way and didn't like it at all. I do not need to watch my woodstove at all. I have an auber thermometer I can monitor temps from upstairs. But that is only for the first 10 to 20 mins after that I pay no attention to it at all untill it's time to reload

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having it in the space you use most if that is what you want. But that isn't what I and many others like. Not to mention in my case upstairs is used much more but the walkout basement is living space which would be unheated if I had my stove in the most used area.


I am curious how you propose even heating over 3 levels with a single space heater? I only have 2 levels and pretty good heat distribution but far from even temps the bedrooms are always much cooler.
 

nortcan

Burning Hunk
Sep 9, 2016
226
Quebec
Uhhh I am a real wood stove professional and that is not how I prefer to heat my house. I have done it that way and didn't like it at all. I do not need to watch my woodstove at all. I have an auber thermometer I can monitor temps from upstairs. But that is only for the first 10 to 20 mins after that I pay no attention to it at all untill it's time to reload

There is absolutely nothing wrong with having it in the space you use most if that is what you want. But that isn't what I and many others like. Not to mention in my case upstairs is used much more but the walkout basement is living space which would be unheated if I had my stove in the most used area.


I am curious how you propose even heating over 3 levels with a single space heater? I only have 2 levels and pretty good heat distribution but far from even temps the bedrooms are always much cooler.
I talked about what I like and what stove company suggest for the stove installation. I don't want to offend you about your qualifications and about your own installation.
I heat my 3 levels as said on my post for more than 20 yrs but I would need an entire thread to explain it here. Few years ago, I explained it on the Coal pail forum.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
I talked about what I like and what stove company suggest for the stove installation. I don't want to offend you about your qualifications and about your own installation.
I heat my 3 levels as said on my post for more than 20 yrs but I would need an entire thread to explain it here. Few years ago, I explained it on the Coal pail forum.
I completely understand that you talked about what you liked. And I said I didn't like doing it that way I preferred another. I don't see why that called for the response you gave. There are many different approaches that work well for different people in different situations. I was simply offering a different perspective from yours not saying yours was wrong.


For the record none of the stoves I have used mentioned anything about putting the stove in the most used area. I know some absolutely do you are correct. But it is far from an industry wide recommendation.
 

nortcan

Burning Hunk
Sep 9, 2016
226
Quebec
I completely understand that you talked about what you liked. And I said I didn't like doing it that way I preferred another. I don't see why that called for the response you gave. There are many different approaches that work well for different people in different situations. I was simply offering a different perspective from yours not saying yours was wrong.


For the record none of the stoves I have used mentioned anything about putting the stove in the most used area. I know some absolutely do you are correct. But it is far from an industry wide recommendation.
You know, I don't care about where you like your stove to be installed. I just said what I did and I said that the stove manufacturers recommend for the location of the stove. In the Heritage owner's manual , I see : page 4 , * install the stove in your central living area..........*. that is one exenmple and I can find many other ones.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
You know, I don't care about where you like your stove to be installed. I just said what I did and I said that the stove manufacturers recommend for the location of the stove. In the Heritage owner's manual , I see : page 4 , * install the stove in your central living area..........*. that is one exenmple and I can find many other ones.
Ok but the op might care to hear different opinions on where people like their stoves. Which is why I gave mine. Relax

Btw my stove is installed in my central living area which doesn't happen to be my most occupied space.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,529
Northern Maine
Total waste of wood for the OP. No other points of view needed.
Been there. Done that. Have the absolute real world experience to share.
You may not like the answer but the answer is a cold hard fact.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
23,986
central pa
Total waste of wood for the OP. No other points of view needed.
Been there. Done that. Have the absolute real world experience to share.
You may not like the answer but the answer is a cold hard fact.
In an uninsulated basement I agree completely. The first year I burnt in the old house the basement was uninsulated. I knew better but didn't have the time or money to get it done that year. Insulating made a massive difference
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
639
SE North Carolina
Hello I would like to install a wood burner in my basement that would or come close to heating my 1620 sq ft home. I have a Grandma111 Fisher I could use and it looks like it would do the trick but im interested in other stoves that would be good choices. Would like to see all my possible options Thank you
How many heating degree days do you have? What is the temperature of the basement with no heat? What are the temps of the basement walls in February? How are you getting firewood? What is your current primary heat source? it is a lot of questions but I think they are all relevant.
new stove with new liner call it 4000-6000$ to have it installed. For 1600 sq ft a 24k BTU mini split heat pump is in the ballpark and probably in could be had for 6000$ installed. Just a guess based on quotes I just got for my basement which is only half finished with a fireplace in the center. A person can do anything with enough time and or money. If you have a stove give it a shot. Be thoughtful and safe, see if it something might be possible. If you don’t have really dry firewood just buy sawdust bricks. just my two cents.

Evan
 

peakbagger

Minister of Fire
Jul 11, 2008
6,172
Northern NH
I do have a big old Vermont Castings Defiant in the basement. The basement had 1" of foam outside the buried portion of the walls with 2' band of uninsulated foundation exposed to the air on two sides of the house (the other 2 had 1" of foam). The rest of the house is fairly well insulated for the era. There was a major ice storm in the area so I did not have a choice but to heat the house with the stove. It took about 4 hours to get things comfortable in the first floor but decidedly chilly in the second. After 8 hours or so the second floor was comfortable but it was way too hot on the first floor (80 degrees). Once the house was warm, I loaded up the stove and went to bed and in the AM it was still warm but starting to cool down. I also used a lot of wood. During normal operation at the time I would heat the first floor most weekends and it worked very well. I did notice that the snow did not build up against the uninsulated exposed concrete but it did against the section the insulated walls. A few years later I insulaled the remaining two exterior walls and snow started building up against the wall.

IMHO, heating the first floor with a basement stove in an uninsulated basement can be done with lots of wood and keeping the second floor above freezing is definitely possible but heating the second floor to a comfort level is pushing it.
 

Cstewart1

New Member
Feb 10, 2021
18
Lexington Ky
Than you will be working very hard to heat the walls up.

Is your house 1 story or 2?
It’s two stories and let me rephrase that the basement is finished with two bedrooms a bathroom and the laundry room the stairway down to it is opened up there’s no door but I do have a 118 upstairs. Upstairs opens up into one big room with very high ceilings there’s one bedroom and a bathroom the living room and kitchen is all together in what I called the big room I’m in central Kentucky and our weather is absolutely nuts literally can be in shorts one day and it’s spitting Ice the next the basement even in the middle of July stays pretty cold so I’m the winter months especially Jan-March it’s freezing down there.
Thank you for everyone’s opinions and knowledge I appreciate it all!