Insert upstairs and wood stove downstairs dilemma

Hoodster Posted By Hoodster, Aug 11, 2019 at 10:51 PM

  1. Hoodster

    Hoodster
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    Aug 11, 2019
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    I am currently considering installing a 70k BTU wood burning insert in my upstairs fireplace, and a 56k BTU wood stove in the basement. The upstairs area is about 1300 sq feet, and the basement is just over 600 sq feet. I was wondering if anyone had an opinion on whether installing both units is worth the extra cost? Would I be better off installing a lager wood stove downstairs and nothing up upstairs for half the cost? Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
     
  2. begreen

    begreen
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    Nov 18, 2005
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    The stove is primarily an area heater. If installed downstairs, how would the heat get upstairs? Is the area open with an open stairwell nearby? Where do you spend the most time in the winter?
     
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  3. Hoodster

    Hoodster
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    We are in the process of buying the house, but I’m sure we will spend most of our time upstairs. The downstairs is open to a decent size stairwell, and I’m assuming the heat pump will help circulate the heat.
     
  4. begreen

    begreen
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    Then it sounds like the stove would be best sized for heating the upstairs. A ducted heat pump system may help to distribute the heat if the ducts are properly sealed and all are well insulated.

    It's better to go by firebox size and shape than btu output. Climate will make a difference. Is this for eastern or western WA or is the new house in Oregon, near Mt.Hood?
     
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  5. Hoodster

    Hoodster
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    Vancouver, WA. So do you think a unit in both the upstairs and downstairs is a good idea, or overkill? It is twice the cost.
     
  6. begreen

    begreen
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    The question is whether a large stove downstairs will heat the house adequately. It might. This will depend on how easily heat will convect upstairs, whether the basement has a ground-level access to bring in wood, the basement insulation, whether it's ok to have the basement at say 80F for 72F upstairs, etc.. If there the only access to the basement is upstairs, then I'd start with just the upstairs seeing that area is what is most used. Running two stoves, hauling wood down to the basement, gets old.
     
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  7. coutufr

    coutufr
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    I live in a much colder climate than yours (Montreal) in a cottage + finished basement. I run the central air all winter and my Ashford 30 heats the whole house easily. Basement is 21c and main floor is 26c all winter. If I don’t run the fan the basement is at 15 - 16c which is ok if you don’t really spend time there. I would buy a quality wood stove for the main floor and improve the insulation. My basement concrete walls have been sprayed with urethane.
     
  8. Highbeam

    Highbeam
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    I’m amused at the “70k btu “ insert. Don’t think for a second that this insert will make heat like a 70k btu furnace.
     
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  9. Simonkenton

    Simonkenton
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    Feb 27, 2014
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    Upstairs Downstairs Basement ??

    Is this a one story house with a basement? If so, put the wood stove in the upstairs and forget about the basement.
     
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  10. jetsam

    jetsam
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    Some people do heat from their basements successfully, but it can be very difficult.

    First, venting can be a problem. Draft may be very high due to a 30'+ tall stack through the roof, or draft may be low due to multiple elbows.

    Air intake is usually a problem for those wanting or needing outside air. The air can't be supplied from above the firebox to prevent Bad Things from happening in case of draft reversal, and this is generally an impossible ask unless it's a walk-out basement that is only partially below grade.

    Then the install has to cope with the fact that the earth is an infinite heat sink. The only way to deal with this is to insulate the floors and walls, and a lot of people don't want to hear it (though they sometimes do still want to say that their stove doesn't put out much heat).

    Once all of the above issues are overcome, there's the big one: heat distribution. How will you get the warm air upstairs? (There are a jillion threads on this topic here.)

    So basement stoves: success is possible, but there's a lot more obstacles to success than a main level stove faces.
     

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