Ceiling fan distance from ceiling for recirculating stove heat?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.
Not open for further replies.


New Member
Aug 15, 2015
Cheyenne Wyoming

I have a 1970s open floorplan home with 3 levels (basement, main, 2nd floor), with an open 8’ x 8’ staircase connecting all three levels. All 3 levels have relatively low ceilings (about 7.5’). Although there is electric baseboard heat throughout the house, I’m trying to reduce that with a woodburning stove and heat coming in from an attached sunroom. Both of these heat sources are on the main level, and the heat moves across the low ceiling until it hits that open staircase and then up like a chimney onto the 2nd floor. Some of that is just fine, but since the 2nd floor is used mainly for sleeping, I’d like to keep more of that warm air on the main level. Also, since the staircase is in the middle of the main floor, heat from the stove on one end often doesn’t it “make” it to the opposite end before being pulled up onto the 2nd floor, and vice-versa with heat coming in from the attached sunspace on the other end.

There’s not much I want to do at this point with altering the basic floorplan, but one thing I want to try is installing a ceiling fan from the ceiling of the 8’ x 8’ staircase to see if I couldn’t “push” some of that hot air back down to stay on that main level.

My main question is would it be best to install the ceiling fan fairly close to the ceiling, or drop it down with a downrod maybe 2-3 feet? It’s a little hard to see from the pictures, but the distance between the ceiling of the staircase from which the fan would be dropped and the ceiling of the main level is about 8.5’, and then another 7.5’ to the floor of the main level.

Another issue is fan direction. I’ve read conflicting advice about whether you run the fan in a reverse (air being pulled “up” towards the ceiling) in winter for recirculating warm air. But what I’m trying to do here may not call for the same solution. And whether I run the fan “down” or “up” may impact whether it makes sense to mount it close to the ceiling or drop it a few feet.


Thanks for your time!


Picture 1
Picture 2
Just a guess but if you are trying to push the hot air down to reduce the chimney effect then a foot off the ceiling if probably fine.
Not open for further replies.