is a wood stove my best choice? and where should it go?

brettroberts20

New Member
Sep 11, 2017
3
Milwaukee area
in short, my questions are about placement in my house, an empty basement fireplace, draft questions, used stoves, and circulating heat.

I'm new to wood stoves but my father use,a one primarily for last 10 years and I've done some homework. I know the basics. I'm looking to have one installed in a basement fireplace that is empty. This is a cape cod 1.5 story 1800 sq ft with an addition of 1 story and basement. The open fireplace is in the basement below the 1 story addition. 23x16 ant the rest of the basement is insulated but unfinished and wide open. The furnace is on the opposite side of the basement under our garage, not in the middle of the house.

Would this be an optimal placement for a wood stove? I'd prefer wood since we are cutting g lots of trees and I have easy access to ash, maple, and walnut trees. I have wood stored for last year to two years now.

Looking at 2 different used Vermont defiant encores that seem in good shape. One is 30 years old and not sure about the second yet. Are these even reliable anyMore?

Last, what's the best way to circulate the heat up. I have open returns and was suggested by a local installer to put grates in the returns to suck the heat up?

Love any feedback. I'm new to the forum so I'm sorry if I may have missed these answered elsewhere.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,789
South Puget Sound, WA
Basement heating of a house is often sub-optimal. The stove is an area heater that is best placed where the heat is primarily needed. The best location is usually close to the middle of the first floor. Putting the stove at the far end of the 1 story addition will mostly heat that area of the basement. Some heat may convect upstairs if there is an open stairwell near by. Before starting you might want to check the draft on the chimney. Basements often are negative pressure zones. If the chimney is on the short side and also leeward of the prevailing winds, it may be balky. The Defiant in its day was a respectable heater, but it is a complex stove. After 30 yrs it is bound to be having some issues unless it has received a rebuild.
 
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brettroberts20

New Member
Sep 11, 2017
3
Milwaukee area
Thanks for the reply. That seems to be the consensus. I may have another fireplace retailer come and give me some options. I do have a gas insert in the first floor of that addition and it was suggested to get a direct vent gas insert in the basement. Not a bad idea. Just a bummer to have all that fuel/energy in the back yard and not get to put it to use. Guess I'll haul it to my parents.

Does an external air intake alleviate the negative pressure issue? One other thought I had to help circulation was putting some floor registers with fans to help pull air upstairs. But that wouldn't help If I have a poorly burning stove, or worse, smoke backpuffi g into the basement.

Are there any circumstances where this scenario works out? Or should I drop the idea.

Thanks all that took time to read.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
20,969
central pa
Thanks for the reply. That seems to be the consensus. I may have another fireplace retailer come and give me some options. I do have a gas insert in the first floor of that addition and it was suggested to get a direct vent gas insert in the basement. Not a bad idea. Just a bummer to have all that fuel/energy in the back yard and not get to put it to use. Guess I'll haul it to my parents.

Does an external air intake alleviate the negative pressure issue? One other thought I had to help circulation was putting some floor registers with fans to help pull air upstairs. But that wouldn't help If I have a poorly burning stove, or worse, smoke backpuffi g into the basement.

Are there any circumstances where this scenario works out? Or should I drop the idea.

Thanks all that took time to read.
I know many here dont like heating from the basement. But in our area i would say atleast 75% of full time wood burners heat from the basement happily. That includes me and my father. Yes there can be issues but there are also benifits.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,789
South Puget Sound, WA
If this was a freestanding stove somewhat in the middle of the basement and near an open staircase then it could work. But in this case it sounds like we are talking about an insert, at the far end of the one story addition to the house. It's a lot less ideal setup.

brettroberts20 can you post a floorplan sketch of the basement and first floors that include the basement fireplace location and the stairwell?
 

brettroberts20

New Member
Sep 11, 2017
3
Milwaukee area
I can post a floor plan. Might just take a few days.

Anyone have an opinion for or against purchasing one of these two wood stoves? (I prefer feedback from people, like yourselves, that aren't trying to sell me a product)

2002 quadra fire isle royale w/brand new firebricks and seals.

1994 Vermont castings defiant encore.

Thanks again. I really appreciate all the info I have found here from all of the posters.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
81,789
South Puget Sound, WA
I am more partial to the Isle Royale. It is a great performer and cleaner burning stove with lower maintenance. The question is how thorough was the seal replacement?