I could use some advice

  • 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.

AtomicDog

Member
Aug 21, 2014
51
East TN
Sorry if this has been covered before. I live in a small 1960 house that I remodeled. I have a non-EPA wood stove in the below ground uninsulated basement and an unused fireplace directly above it on the main floor. I lined and insulated the flue for the basement stove and capped off the one for the fireplace. I installed large registers in the floor at each end of the house. The basement stove keeps the house nice and warm, but eats a lot of wood, which I fell, buck and split myself. I was about to buy a PE Summit for the basement when it occurred to me that I could get an insert for the fireplace and line the flue for about the same price. My concern is that running both stoves will be too hot and just the top stove will result in a cold basement. I can keep a cord in the basement, but running up and down the stairs to tend to the stove gets old. Options are:
  • New stove in basement and faux potted plant in fireplace
  • New insert and flue upgrade on main floor
  • EPA stove in the basement and gas logs in the fireplace for ambience and a tad more heat when my wife gets a chill.
  • Leave everything as is and process more wood
Thanks
 

Max W

Member
Feb 4, 2021
102
Maine
Sorry if this has been covered before. I live in a small 1960 house that I remodeled. I have a non-EPA wood stove in the below ground uninsulated basement and an unused fireplace directly above it on the main floor. I lined and insulated the flue for the basement stove and capped off the one for the fireplace. I installed large registers in the floor at each end of the house. The basement stove keeps the house nice and warm, but eats a lot of wood, which I fell, buck and split myself. I was about to buy a PE Summit for the basement when it occurred to me that I could get an insert for the fireplace and line the flue for about the same price. My concern is that running both stoves will be too hot and just the top stove will result in a cold basement. I can keep a cord in the basement, but running up and down the stairs to tend to the stove gets old. Options are:
  • New stove in basement and faux potted plant in fireplace
  • New insert and flue upgrade on main floor
  • EPA stove in the basement and gas logs in the fireplace for ambience and a tad more heat when my wife gets a chill.
  • Leave everything as is and process more wood
Thanks
Dog, I can’t say what’s best but I know that having a stove on the floor where you live has many advantages. First is the the kind of warmth. My stove is insualated on three sides and shielded some on the front but the radiant heat it still gives is so nice. When the stove is close by it is so easy to check an monitor, just steps away not another trip down or hanging out down stairs. That maybe appreciated even more with an EPA stove. Being able to keep more frequent eye on the stove could add a safety factor. Then there is the option of sitting comfortably with a favorite beverage and watching the fire.
 
  • Like
Reactions: AtomicDog

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
2,225
SE North Carolina
I have a stove upstairs and new insert in a newly finished/renovated basement that used to be a two car garage plus living space.

My thoughts. Running upstairs stove the basement will get cold. But my upstairs is nice and we spend most of the time up there. My whole house heat-pump is undersized and could not keep up if temps dropped below 25 for more than 6 hours. Adding more space and a 17’ insulated glass garage door meant I needed more heat during the coldest 20 days of the year.

I got mini split quotes they were north of 6k$. For the almost 1000 sq ft space which has vents from the heatpump. I still want to one at some point. But I did the DIY insert in the basement.


Running two stoves is work. I would spend money where ever you spend the most time right now.

If you get a second but a wireless Auber at200. It will save lots of trips.


If you still can’t decide I vote insert upstairs.

Evan
 
  • Like
Reactions: AtomicDog

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
4,353
Long Island NY
Yes, make heat where you spend most time, unless you *need* heat downstairs too for whatever reason. But even then, if you don't spend time there, and so don't need the ambiance, why not a heater in the basement that requires less tending. (e.g. if you need heat there, get a minisplit).

But it does not make much sense to me to make heat in the basement when it's not insulated - 30% or so is lost right away thru the walls.

I vote for a stove or insert upstairs. You'll not walk to the basement for wood that often with an EPA stove, more so with your climate. 8-10 hr reloads should very much be possible.
(And if you go with a BK there where you live, you can easily get 20 hrs on a lot of days.)
 
  • Like
Reactions: AtomicDog

MR. GLO

Feeling the Heat
Jan 26, 2021
352
Massachusetts
Put a nest wifi camera on the stove and Auber temp. It will cut the up and down time.. i time my reloads around 12 am ...i agree an epa stove does help on travel times. But less wood I'm not convinced yet...I just got the summit this month.

Running two stoves I couldn't handle it. ...since your basement stove heats good don't oversize the insert area stove.
 
  • Like
Reactions: EbS-P

john26

Minister of Fire
Oct 27, 2008
755
Wildwood MO
I run 2 stoves and have 3 floors it is lots of work and coordinating load times around each other could be a challenge. I have a small wood furnace in the basement that heats the basement nicely and struggles to maintain the top floor when its below 30 outside, but only the back wall of my basement is insulated. The ground level floor has 2 inserts I alternate between. I usually load one insert and the furnace full around 4:30 am. My wife ads a few splits to the insert through out the day until I get home, I then do a partial load in each and another full load around 8pm. Last year I only ran inserts and my basement was cold but not freezing. I did have vents open in the basement from the gas furnace, which did run some. I do have a remote thermostat on the second floor bedroom so the gas furnace ran enough to heat the second floor and added some heat in the basement but not enough to keep it comfortable. If you have a forced air furnace that could vent into the basement you could try a remote thermostat down there with some vents upstairs closed. Just be careful not put too much load on the blower motor or over heat the furnace. I checked current draw of the blower with all vents open then closed and seen no significant change along with checking temperature just above the furnace in the A coil cabinet with a thermocouple and IR gun again no significant change. I do enjoy running 2 stoves but it get hectic at reload time and making sure I get them both cut back at the right time.
 

AtomicDog

Member
Aug 21, 2014
51
East TN
Thanks for all of the replies. I need to look further at insulating the basement. I have thermocouples in the flue, stove etc. going to a digital display on the upstairs mantle with alarms for over temp and auto fan control. The display turns yellow if the flue temp drops too much or red if too high. I can only make out colors at night without glasses :) Surprisingly the whole house stays about an even 74deg with the stove running. I'm leaning towards the insert as this will give me the most options. Thanks again.