Q&A Concerned about heat circulation

QandA Posted By QandA, Oct 5, 2001 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I'm looking into buying a wood stove as a heating alternative. My house was built in 1900 and the floor plan is not really all that open. I have ceiling fans throughout -- will this be sufficient for heat to circulate well? Will I need wall fans? I'm dealing with about 1600 square feet to heat (downstairs only). Any thoughts would be appreciated!


    One thing I have learned in 22 years in this business is that it is difficult to predict exactly how heat will travel in any particular home. There are some indicators that can be helpful, though...

    For instance....let's say you were installing the stove in a living area off the kitchen and wanted to know if heat would flow upstairs or to other parts of the home. Use the "smell" test....when you cook popcorn, cookies or bacon in the kitchen, can you smell it upstairs strongly and immediately. If so, chanced are that air currents in the home are working to your benefit.

    Also, don't expect to start up a stove and heat other rooms within an hour or two. It can take many hours for all the floors, walls and air to heat and spread the heat throughout the home. Based on this fact, it really only makes sense to heat "the whole house" if a stove is burned 24 hours a day.

    Another option is central heat with wood. There are some vendors on Hearthnets product page at hearth.com/prod.html who sell units which hook or replace your existing system and heat every square inch of the home. These are for serious woodburners.
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