new wood stove install in a 100 year old kit house

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jimmyb

New Member
Jul 7, 2021
4
westchester NY
We're really excited to get started on this project but after some research, we could really use some guidance to narrow it down. So, thanks in advance for your thoughts.

We have a 1440 sqft home not including the basement and the attic. For the record, it's already tighter than the blower door we did 2 years ago that measured 8.5 ACH50; and we're going to seal up the sill plates before we're done, too. But I digress. The location for the stove is in the basement where the oil furnace used to be. That room is ~ 625 sqft. It's a daylight basement with windows and a cellar door to daylight. The brick chimney is in the center of the house and has a clay pipe flue that is (probably) as old as the house. There are no other utilities using the flue. We will get the requisite thorough cleaning and level 2 camera inspection by a NFI+CSIA professional sweep. The same firm will also install the stove.

We're installing the stove to provide auxiliary heat. Otherwise, we use a combination of mini splits and a ducted heat pump that work great. But when it's below zero it could be more comfortable and also, we have no backup in the event we lose power.

So we're all in on a woodstove to solve fo this - but we have a few concerns.

1) The first is that we'll be superheating the basement with too little heat getting to the 1st and second floor. Which stoves will allow us to control the heat output the best?
2) We're stuck on the trade-offs of catalytic vs noncatalytic stoves. I suspect that the money we save with the current tax credit will go right back into a maintenance contract of a catalytic model
3) What is the least expensive way to get hot air into the upper floors from the basement? just opening the basement door and waiting for the heat to rise doesn't seem like a good bet. also we want to avoid a powered solution because the design should work well when we lose power.
4) If we need makeup air what if anything are the issues we should be aware of. Just crack open a window?
5) The flue will be 35' long. The attic is part of the building envelope.

sorry for all the questions - but any and all thoughts are very welcome. thanks!

IMG_2199.jpeg IMG_2207.jpeg IMG_3159.jpeg
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,564
central pa
We're really excited to get started on this project but after some research, we could really use some guidance to narrow it down. So, thanks in advance for your thoughts.

We have a 1440 sqft home not including the basement and the attic. For the record, it's already tighter than the blower door we did 2 years ago that measured 8.5 ACH50; and we're going to seal up the sill plates before we're done, too. But I digress. The location for the stove is in the basement where the oil furnace used to be. That room is ~ 625 sqft. It's a daylight basement with windows and a cellar door to daylight. The brick chimney is in the center of the house and has a clay pipe flue that is (probably) as old as the house. There are no other utilities using the flue. We will get the requisite thorough cleaning and level 2 camera inspection by a NFI+CSIA professional sweep. The same firm will also install the stove.

We're installing the stove to provide auxiliary heat. Otherwise, we use a combination of mini splits and a ducted heat pump that work great. But when it's below zero it could be more comfortable and also, we have no backup in the event we lose power.

So we're all in on a woodstove to solve fo this - but we have a few concerns.

1) The first is that we'll be superheating the basement with too little heat getting to the 1st and second floor. Which stoves will allow us to control the heat output the best?
2) We're stuck on the trade-offs of catalytic vs noncatalytic stoves. I suspect that the money we save with the current tax credit will go right back into a maintenance contract of a catalytic model
3) What is the least expensive way to get hot air into the upper floors from the basement? just opening the basement door and waiting for the heat to rise doesn't seem like a good bet. also we want to avoid a powered solution because the design should work well when we lose power.
4) If we need makeup air what if anything are the issues we should be aware of. Just crack open a window?
5) The flue will be 35' long. The attic is part of the building envelope.

sorry for all the questions - but any and all thoughts are very welcome. thanks!

View attachment 280042 View attachment 280043 View attachment 280044
You will without question need an insulated liner in that chimney. Is the basement insulated?
 

jimmyb

New Member
Jul 7, 2021
4
westchester NY
You will without question need an insulated liner in that chimney. Is the basement insulated?
thanks for the quick response! yes, the basement will be well insulated. i’m glad to hear the unequivocally need to have an insulated liner. which aspect of the layout informs that - just the length or other factors?
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,564
central pa
thanks for the quick response! yes, the basement will be well insulated. i’m glad to hear the unequivocally need to have an insulated liner. which aspect of the layout informs that - just the length or other factors?
The fact that you clay liners are in terrible condition and being 100 yrs old I am sure you don't have the required clearance to combustibles.
 

jimmyb

New Member
Jul 7, 2021
4
westchester NY
The fact that you clay liners are in terrible condition and being 100 yrs old I am sure you don't have the required clearance to combustibles.
Makes sense. I guess we'll see what the condition is when they sweep it - but the interior dimension of the clay pipe is 12" x 7" so not sure they'd have much room for an insulted liner?
 

clancey

Minister of Fire
Feb 26, 2021
1,398
Colorado
My house is 96 years old and about 15 or 20 years ago I had a chimney with solid brick like yours and really looking better than yours but was covered with dry wall. and one winter in Dec for a few days it was freezing and cloudy and I guess a down draft happened to where carbon monoxide came into the house--almost killed me--but the issue here is that brick chimney because when they took the dry wall off of it to inspect it at my request the people I guess from long ago plugged up the holes with pie plates and the filling was vacant in a lot of the bricks so it had holes in it.. I personally would not trust that and do not think you have a good idea here for a basement heater..They have beautiful wood stoves for emergencies and ambiance too and in emergencies usually the family stays in one central room for heat unless it is the basement that is the gathering place..I suggest look at the Baria wood stoves ---they are expensive but beautiful for your beautiful old house and have the piping to where you can see it....I know nothing about the working of wood stoves and I have yet to light mine because my mind was like yours--just in a emergency for future having no power and I just finished my little wood shed today so good luck on your decision but be safe and keep your family safe as well old mrs clancey
 
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  • Wow
Reactions: jimmyb

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
25,564
central pa
Makes sense. I guess we'll see what the condition is when they sweep it - but the interior dimension of the clay pipe is 12" x 7" so not sure they'd have much room for an insulted liner?
I can see the condition from your pic. It's bad it needs a liner and an insulated oval will fit fine
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,569
Eastern Long Island NY
We're really excited to get started on this project but after some research, we could really use some guidance to narrow it down. So, thanks in advance for your thoughts.

We have a 1440 sqft home not including the basement and the attic. For the record, it's already tighter than the blower door we did 2 years ago that measured 8.5 ACH50; and we're going to seal up the sill plates before we're done, too. But I digress. The location for the stove is in the basement where the oil furnace used to be. That room is ~ 625 sqft. It's a daylight basement with windows and a cellar door to daylight. The brick chimney is in the center of the house and has a clay pipe flue that is (probably) as old as the house. There are no other utilities using the flue. We will get the requisite thorough cleaning and level 2 camera inspection by a NFI+CSIA professional sweep. The same firm will also install the stove.

We're installing the stove to provide auxiliary heat. Otherwise, we use a combination of mini splits and a ducted heat pump that work great. But when it's below zero it could be more comfortable and also, we have no backup in the event we lose power.

So we're all in on a woodstove to solve fo this - but we have a few concerns.

1) The first is that we'll be superheating the basement with too little heat getting to the 1st and second floor. Which stoves will allow us to control the heat output the best?
2) We're stuck on the trade-offs of catalytic vs noncatalytic stoves. I suspect that the money we save with the current tax credit will go right back into a maintenance contract of a catalytic model
3) What is the least expensive way to get hot air into the upper floors from the basement? just opening the basement door and waiting for the heat to rise doesn't seem like a good bet. also we want to avoid a powered solution because the design should work well when we lose power.
4) If we need makeup air what if anything are the issues we should be aware of. Just crack open a window?

You don't need a maintenance contract for a cat stove. Never even heard of that... For occasional use, the cat will last year's (12000-15000 hrs). $250 or so for a new one.

Create a circuit: warm air that rises from your basement needs to be replaced by colder air sinking. If that has to happen thru the same hole, it's not as efficient. Quite a few people heat from the basement (I do). Stairwell and return work.

See if your stove has an outside air kit option if you ar concerned about make up air. Though if the stove is below ground, that is not possible.

At 35 ft you may need a damper to control draft.
 

Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,730
Northern Maine
Who attacked that chimney base like they hated it?
I can’t believe it’s still standing upright versus laying in a pile.