How Best to Move Warm Air From Insert to Bedroom Above?

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bluedogz

Minister of Fire
Oct 9, 2011
1,245
NE Maryland
I'm still an evangelist for the fan trick... one fan took my smoke dragon from heating a side room to the whole house. Probably easier to add an outlet in the upstairs hall to power the fan than to ^&$# with the dubiously-safe vents in the floor.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I'll give a whirl first, for sure.

Any possibility of success with a ceiling fan at the top of the stairs?
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
82,738
South Puget Sound, WA
Post some pictures of this area so we can see what the options are. One looking from the stairway area toward the stove and another looking up the stairs would help.
 

kiltedpiper98

New Member
Dec 22, 2011
26
North Carolina
You many do a search on ceiling fans. I remember conflicting posts as to their effectiveness. The ceiling fan will disrupt the stratification of the air, but you kinda want to work the stratification by pushing the cold air down. I think some have had success with ceiling fan in the stove room, ceiling fan off in the other rooms, then another post was the opposite. Direction of the fan gets even more divisive. I would say experiment with the small fan pointed downstairs first. Yo umay be able to replicate a ceiling fan by pointing the small fan up at the ceiling right by the stairs???
 
I use a ceiling fan in my stove room, blowing upwards. Makes a very great difference in the heat distribution, as proven by what happens when the power is out. If you hang a fan at the top of the stair, set the rotation to blow upward (winter setting), drawing the warm air up and pushing it out along the ceiling. This will accelerate the downward flow of cold air from floor of the upper level. Blockages at the upper level ceiling, such as a doorway, will significantly reduce the effectiveness of this method
Blowing downward from the ceiling of the upper level will work against you, pushing warm air back down the stairs.
 

pen

There are some who call me...mod.
Staff member
Aug 2, 2007
7,953
N.E. Penna
Pretty much any and every combination of fan usage as found success and failure over the years on this site.

For my circumstance 1 large ceiling fan on low makes a BIG difference. I have a ranch style house w/ wood stove in the basement at one end of the house. Cellar stairs are on the wood stove side of the house as well. If I forget to turn the ceiling fan on in the foyer above those stairs, It'll be much warmer than normal in the basement and cooler upstairs than normal.

In addition to the one ceiling fan, I have a tower fan in the hallway on the opposite end of the house blowing cold air over to the warmer side of the house. That fan running moving the cold air along the floor towards the warm side adds usually 3-4 degrees to the cold side of the house.

Definitely play around before cutting holes.

pen
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I'm leary of willy-nilly cutting holes too.
A ceiling fan in place of an existing light at the top of the stairs might be a relatively painless experiment, although of course, the smoke detectors would be in its sphere of influence, which is probably a no-no. Wouldn't run the fan constantly though.
 

pen

There are some who call me...mod.
Staff member
Aug 2, 2007
7,953
N.E. Penna
velvetfoot said:
I'm leary of willy-nilly cutting holes too.
A ceiling fan in place of an existing light at the top of the stairs might be a relatively painless experiment, although of course, the smoke detectors would be in its sphere of influence, which is probably a no-no. Wouldn't run the fan constantly though.
If you switch to a ceiling fan just make sure that the light box is meant to carry the weight of one or upgraded accordingly.

Mine runs on low all winter. Very seldom do I make it turn faster as then it creates a drafty feeling.

As I said, for me it makes a big difference, for others, not so very much. Play around w/ what floor fans you have first to get an idea.

As BG mentioned before though, your insert may be small for heating this entire space. If the space you are trying to move from is not overheated as is, then you don't have "extra heat" to move to the upstairs.

pen
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I agree totally. Good point about the fan box - not quite as painless as I originally thought. If it moved some heat, especially when it's warmer outside, I'd be happy.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I ordered a ceiling fan yesterday. Pretty good deal at HD for the #2 ranked the Energy Star list. Will put it at the top of the second floor stairs. It should be quiet and the location should be unobstrusive as well. Hopefully it will work. Did not experiment.

Pen, do you point your ceiling fan up?
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY

Huntindog1

Minister of Fire
Dec 6, 2011
1,879
South Central Indiana
As mentioned and works for me is in my bed room I unhooked an old vent to blow air down into the basement. This creates a suction to move air down the hallway to the bed room as the center of my ranch style house is the warmest part of the house. Plus down in the basement I am in the middle of a remodel making a family room down there. My floor joist are exposed and the heat radiates up thru my wood floors nicely. I saw one picture where someone uses nicely painted wood lattice to cover their floor joist in the basement instead of using ceiling tile. I am going to try that so as to keep the heat radiating. Plus who ever owned my house before put a grate in the floor to let heat rise up thru it naturally as we all know heat rises on its own. I have found that turning the fan off the stove so as not to cause air flow in the basement allows the stove to act better as a radiant heater and for the heat to better rise up thru the open floor grate. Having the stove blower on seems to mess up that natural heat rising, the basement gets warmer but less heat gets upstairs with the blower on. What I want is a more concentrated hotter column of air rising straight up in the upstairs thru the floor grate. This heat column rising up gets all scattered out when i turn the blower on and is dispersed in the basement and doesnt get up stairs as well. What you will find is having the stove hotter due to not having the fan blowing over it will accelerate the rate at which the air rises right above the stove which is the area hottest. You can stand u stairs ove the grate and feel the higher velocity of warm air coming up thru the grate. Lastly you need to know that putting grates in floors like that can be against code. Mine was already there I just use it. Plus I live in an area there are no housing codes.
 

velvetfoot

Minister of Fire
Dec 5, 2005
10,006
Sand Lake, NY
I put in the fan last Saturday. Looks sharp. Quiet. Easy install. Good price (on sale). Hard to believe it uses so little energy. Since it replaces a 3 way switch controlled light fixture, if it's running and you want to turn off the light, you have to use the remote. Maybe I'll get another remote for upstairs. Remains to be seen if it'll do any good.
 
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