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Author Topic: Wood Stove heating?  (Read 3148 times)

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Offline 101mph

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Wood Stove heating?
« on: November 30, 2014, 01:49:01 PM »
I have been thinking about heating more with wood at our cottage. It's a small place (960 sq. ft.) with 2 bedrooms and one bathroom. The main living room/kitchen area is about 25' X 25'. We have a fireplace insert in the room that we use quite often. It is equipped with a fan and can get the room VERY toasty if we want.

The problem is the rest of the house is quite cold.

So it had me thinking about how other people heat their places with wood burning stoves. How do you keep the house heated evenly? Do you use fans to move the air around?

The cottage does have electric heat and it works very well. But it's EXPENSIVE! :o We aren't there full time, but even having the heat at 50 during the winter really adds up ($$). At some point we would like to move there and live full time, but we will need a better way of heating the place so I don't go broke.

Thanks.

Offline Nate379

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #1 on: November 30, 2014, 01:53:17 PM »
Yup, fan at the end of the hallway in my house helps.  I might end up putting a bathroom fan near the stove and duct it into the bedrooms this year.

Offline Chuck De Luck

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #2 on: November 30, 2014, 02:53:47 PM »
  I have the same situation. The back of the place, appx 1000sqft, doesn't get heat because the electric furnace does not kick on because the thermostat is closer to the wood stove.
  Which is good, because when it does run I swear I see dollar bills come out the vents.  $$$
 So the furnace is in it's own closet with a large opening for air intake. I went on ebay and got a cheap, 20$ box fan and bungied it to the opening.  The fan uses the furnace duct system to distribute warm air from the front to other parts of the place. 
                                         

 

  This also helps with air circulation. Y'know (cigar smokers)
  You can see the fan in the background on the furnace door.
   G'luck  smiley happysmiley
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #3 on: November 30, 2014, 03:17:02 PM »
Quote
How do you keep the house heated evenly?
Bottom line, you don't.  ;)

But a fan or more than one fan will certainly help.
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Offline 101mph

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #4 on: November 30, 2014, 04:53:13 PM »
Thanks guys.

Kind of what I thought. Just wanted to make sure I wasn't missing something obvious.

I do have some fans up there so I will try them out to see how much it helps the situation.

Offline sprucebunny

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #5 on: November 30, 2014, 05:17:57 PM »
A squirrell cage fan will move much more air than one with blades. Took me a long time to figure that out  :) I built a plywood box to house the fan and set it in the wall>> 4-8 inches sticking out each side. The one I got at the dump out of a furnace has 4 speeds :  might work, circulate, stun and dust  :D

With insulated ducting and a good fan in a wall or crawl space, you can direct air all sorts of places  :)

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Offline Nate379

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #6 on: November 30, 2014, 06:11:45 PM »
House layout helps too.  I have a single story ranch with "open concept" so that helps.

My brother has a 2 story farm house built in the 30s.  80* near the stove in the basement and you can almost see your breathe in the bedrooms upstairs.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #7 on: December 01, 2014, 08:07:00 AM »
Wood stoves have no problem producing heat its the distribution of said heat that's the problem. Try fans they will help and bite the bullet in the bathroom and use the electric. A happy mommy is worth it. Frank C.
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Offline Magicman

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #8 on: December 01, 2014, 09:07:42 AM »
An insulated ceiling duct from the heated room to the two bedrooms will do wonders.  Install the inline blower/fan inside of the duct before the Y. 
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Offline pineywoods

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #9 on: December 01, 2014, 09:57:15 AM »
I have a similar situation. A reversable ceiling fan in the room with the heater blowing downward makes a huge difference. Good enough that I don't even bother turning on the furnace fans to use the ducts..
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Offline Cornishman

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #10 on: December 01, 2014, 02:55:11 PM »
Normal answer in the UK is to have a back boiler. Run the domestic hot water tank as a heat store and run a few rads off it.

Offline blackfoot griz

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #11 on: December 01, 2014, 07:14:21 PM »
One more suggestion would be to add an outside air kit for the combustion chamber if possible. I was amazed in the difference in my old farm house when I added one.

Offline bandmiller2

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #12 on: December 01, 2014, 08:16:53 PM »
Cornishman, please tell us more about your back boilers. I have often thought about fastening a copper coil to the back of a large wood stove. Thanks Frank C.
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Offline Cornishman

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #13 on: December 02, 2014, 01:37:17 PM »
Most of the wood burners we come across for domestic inside use have the option of a back boiler.
They normally are a thin tank positioned at the back of the fire box. Typically 1 1/2 inches thick. Some take the place of a few fire bricks if used. Flow outlet at the top and inlet at the bottom. Can be side inlet. Run the flow with slight upward slope to get thermal syphon. Normally run through a coil in your hot water tank, flow in at the top of the coil. Coil should be as low in the tank as possible for a full tank of hot water. Second coil in the tank piped to rads with a pump takes the heat away. Thermostat to control pump.  I have what amounts  to a home made system. When installing my rayburn i found an old tank from an old open fire back boiler. It was copper 1/4 inch thick. I made it thinner joined by brazing. Installed it in
place of a firebrick so I had two back boilers in a L shape around the fire. I then plumbed in a couple of 'T's in the lines to the tank coil and pumped the water around my underfloor circuit from the 'T 's It takes heat from the fire and tank. I ran 20mm( 3/4) polypropolene under my wood floor with 50mm insulation underneath. Rads would work of course. Thermal syphon is a requirement in the event of a power cut.

Offline SLawyer Dave

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #14 on: December 02, 2014, 11:11:17 PM »
One of the biggest factors in heating with a wood stove/insert is the location within the house.

Most fireplaces tend to be on an exterior wall, many times placing them in a very remote location from the rest of the house.   So that makes getting a good spread of heat even harder.  Compounding this, most fireplace inserts tend to be much less efficient than wood stoves.  Inserts only radiate heat in one direction out into the room.  The fans that many inserts come with try to collect the heat that is radiated back into the fireplace, and redistribute it out into the room, but there is a significant loss of heat. 

With a wood stove, you have heat radiated in a three dimensional arc all around the stove and if you have the chimney pipe going up to the ceiling within the room, you get additional heat transfer from this also.    Sometimes the layout of the house and roof design can limit where you place the wood stove, but if you can choose the placement, try to find a central location where the heat is going to easily pass into open doors, rooms and hall ways.

As someone else mentioned, reversible ceiling fans are a terrific way to spread the heat from the primary room to surrounding space.  In the winter, the fan should turn in "reverse" at a slow speed.  The fan blades should actually "pull" the air toward the ceiling.  This causes the warm air that already is rising to the ceiling, to circulate throughout the room at all levels, so you will actually feel warmer, even if you are sitting on the floor.  Having the fans "push" the air down, (which is what you want during the summer to cool the room), creates drafts that will actually "cool" the room and make the air temperature "feel" cooler on your skin.

The only heat we used for over 10 years in our old 100+ year old house was the wood stove we centrally installed.  We had ceiling fans in every room, and they would slowly circulate the heat throughout the whole house.  Even with very little insulation value in the walls, (which would have cost us a fortune to heat with anything else), the wood stove kept it very comfortable.

Years ago I rented a house that the landlord had added onto.  The wood stove was in the original portion, and because of the layout of the addition, there was little ability to spread that heat.  So he installed a small electric fan and a 6" vent through a closet to pull the heat from the room with the stove into the new addition.  It worked pretty well.

Hope you find a solution that works for you.


Offline CTYank

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #15 on: December 03, 2014, 03:19:08 PM »
Simplest way to heat a space, is to not cool it. First, seal it, then insulate it in a way that won't do damage. Moisture must be encouraged to leave, of course.

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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #16 on: December 04, 2014, 06:53:12 AM »
Just cut a hole below a window in the far room where you want heat. The cold will sink to the cellar open the cellar door and the heat will run throughout the house. Put a hole in another room and the heat will go there too.
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Offline beenthere

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #17 on: December 04, 2014, 11:06:40 AM »
Quote
Just cut a hole below a window in the far room where you want heat

A good idea (assume you mean in the floor below the window).  ;D

Similar to what I've done but cut a hole in the floor of the bedroom closet that sets up a thermal cycle for air to cycle from the wood boiler in the lower floor up to the main floor. Keeps bedroom temps a more comfortable 68 with the living area around 72.  Wood boiler area is around 75.
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Offline Peter Drouin

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #18 on: December 04, 2014, 12:39:05 PM »
Quote
Just cut a hole below a window in the far room where you want heat

A good idea (assume you mean in the floor below the window).  ;D

Similar to what I've done but cut a hole in the floor of the bedroom closet that sets up a thermal cycle for air to cycle from the wood boiler in the lower floor up to the main floor. Keeps bedroom temps a more comfortable 68 with the living area around 72.  Wood boiler area is around 75.






Yes.
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Offline Cornishman

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Re: Wood Stove heating?
« Reply #19 on: December 05, 2014, 02:31:45 PM »
A wood stove with  a back boiler will run the heating system for a small to medium house. Your OWBs look OK for large demands but must be expensive to buy and plumb in. I did some calculations some time ago for the amount of air to move heat from a wood burner around a house as you are discussing now. Fairly large quantity of air, so bit of a draft I would think. I did a quick internet search for US wood burner back boilers  and turned up nothing which I thought was very surprising. Possibly I missed some but you would know if that is right. Most people in the UK regret not having a back boiler to run rads and move the heat around if they have purchased their wood burner without one. It seems to me that there is a good business oportunity here for someone to sell European wood stoves with the optional back boilers.


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