Wood insert/Level-to-Level fan setup

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New Member
Jan 17, 2023
Fairfield County, CT
Hey everyone, new guy to the forum here!

I just installed a Regency non-catalytic wood insert/blower on the finished/insulated side of my basement in my 50’s cape-style home and love it! Basement has two door-less walkways to unfinished/uninsulated side on the front and rear side of the house. Finished/unfinished is separated by drywall/staircase. House (1,200 sq ft) is mostly uninsulated on main floor and I was trying to send some supplemental heat upstairs. I recently purchased the Tjernlund Level-to-Level ceiling/floor transfer fan to boost the heat going up but have yet to install it. With a really hot fire, the finished side of the basement is high 70’s and upstairs doesn’t get past 63/64 with thermostat on 60. I have heard of losing about 10 degrees per story by default.

—That’s where I’ve got a couple questions. (For anyone wondering, I’ve read a handful of posts regarding similar questions/topics) Just curious if someone has a setup similar to mine & felt they were successful moving heat in a similar style home).

***I also understand that my insert is not a replacement for my boiler/baseboard heat***

1. Before I cut a hole(s) in my floor, does the Tjernlund make that big of a difference? It would go in at the very end of my main hallway away from my main living space/closer to the side of my house which sits right above the hottest space/insert location of the basement. The end of the hallway splits off into bedrooms and I have no intentions of putting vents in the bedrooms.

2. If yes, should I plan on installing a second or third Tjernlund in say the kitchen and or/living room away from the hallway and away from the insert in the basement to act as a return? Or, would leaving the basement door open create enough of a cold air return? The top of the basement stairwell is located in the middle of the hallway. The side of the stairwell facing the insert is conveniently open.

3. Or, is a Tjernlund/vent pointless/unnecessary in my case and I can get away with a couple of floor fans or no fans at all?

Thank you!

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The fans in some cases are not necessary. Post a couple sketches of the floor plans if you can.
Thanks for the reply begreen. Here's a layout of my basement/main floor. House isn't as rectangular as pictured.

Wood insert/Level-to-Level fan setup
Thanks, this is definitely a challenge, especially if the goal is to heat the LR/Kitchen area. The two big issues are that the fireplace is at the wrong end unless the goal is warm bedrooms and the uninsulated basement section is not helping things. Opening up and blowing more heat into the hallway will make for hotter bedrooms, but it will not help the other end of the house much... unless, there was an intake in the LR area.

Here is what I might try. Instead of the Tjerlund, I would set up a system to pull cool air from the LR (and kitchen if desired) and blow it down low into the fireplace room. If the stairwell door remains open, then the stairwell could supply the heat that will replace the colder air pulled from the LR. If the door is usually closed, then the hallway location could have a floor grille with a fire damper to supply the warm air. This setup will create a convection loop throughout the house.

Wood insert/Level-to-Level fan setup

There are several inline blower options. You'll want something in the 200cfm range.
There are many greenhouse variations of these fans sold. Typically in this cfm range they will take a 6" duct and run around $40-50. A higher-end option would be a Panasonic remote bathroom fan, but they are pricier.

This one is higher powered which would be good if the kitchen branch was added and it is variable speed.
Duct fan

A grille could also be added to the basement door if it needs to stay closed most of the time. Regardless of floor or door grille, size it large enough for the free flow of air. I would go at least 8" x 16".
Awesome thanks again, I was actually looking at the Panasonic but I’ll browse around. I’ll try to see how efficient it is to leave the door open as that requires the least amount of modifying/cutting.

Regarding the basement end of the intake, after it’s piped through the divider, would it be ok to leave the pipe/exit toward the ceiling, or should it be dropped?
The Panasonic units are nice but sell for close to $200.
Amazon product ASIN B000EDUIX2It would be best to have the grille for the output down low on the divider, past the stairs. The hot air from the insert will go high, along the ceiling and up the stairwell. If you tape a 15" strip of toilet paper to the top of the basement doorway you will see the airflow.