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Old 12-06-2009, 07:09 PM   #1
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


I'm getting ready to put an addition onto our house which will include a fireplace or a wood burning stove. Right now the house is heated with baseboard heat. What I am thinking about doing is supplementing that with heat from the fireplace. My idea would be to attach some ducting onto the blower of the fireplace and then send it up into the attic and vent the warm air into the other rooms throughout the house. I have been thinking about this for awhile now but haven't found any information on it. To me it seems like a great way to save some money on heating costs. I was wondering if anyone on here has heard of doing this and if there are any fireplaces that have this capability?

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Old 12-06-2009, 07:22 PM   #2
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


What blower in the fireplace ?
What are you sending up into the attic , heated air ?
You don't want heated air in the attic you will get moisture & condensation
I have a fireplace grate that sends air out into the room
With a fairly open floor plan most of the house gets heat
I use it to supplement the house heat which I keep at 68

Wood burning stove is more efficient
Our addition will have a Soapstone wood burning stove

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Old 12-06-2009, 08:07 PM   #3
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Doubtful the blower on the fireplace/stove will be able to move the air like you think.
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Old 12-07-2009, 10:01 AM   #4
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


If you want it for heat, get a stove, not a fireplace. If you want "atmosphere" then get a stove with a big glass door on front. My stove (just a few days old now) is by Vermont Casting, and it has a big glass door on front for looking at the fire and a small door on the side for adding wood. It thows off a lot of heat, even from a fairly small fire.

The people on the wood stove forums say don't waste money on the in-stove blowers because they're noisy and don't really do anything. A ceiling fan will move the air around. You can also use a fan to blow hot air from the room with the stove to the next room. Doorways really slow down heat movement. When I have a fire going the room with the stove will get up to about 74 F pretty quickly. Step through the 48" opening to the next space (a hallway) and it's probably 10 or 15 F cooler. Go around the corner and there's little to no heat.

If you want to move large quantities of air, you really need a central HVAC unit with a big blower and lot's of ducts. I've tried doing that by turning on the fan of my heatpump (my return is in the room with the stove). It doesn't seem to do a lot. But it hasn't been cold enough to give it a fair test.
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Old 12-07-2009, 02:30 PM   #5
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Thanks for the replies. I was kinda doubtful this could be done since I have found no information on it. What I think I will do then is place an intake fan high on the wall above the fireplace to draw in the warmer air and then place the output on the bottom of the other side of the wall to help move some of the heat through the house. This would also be the central hallway of the house, so I think it would give the warm air a chance to migrate into some of the other rooms.
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Old 12-07-2009, 03:23 PM   #6
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Without some sort of a grate heater to push air out into the room most of the heat will go up the chimney
I have one of these, rated at 60k BTU & puts out a lot of heat

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Old 12-08-2009, 07:36 AM   #7
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Many years ago thermostats and automatic controls were invented to keep us warm in the winter.

Since then people have spent countless ways to go back in history to heat their homes manually with logs, kerosene, pellets, etc.

It's best to insulate, caulk, and generally winterize what you have already.

In addition to the above, use energy saving appliances, setback thermostats, high efficiency heating and air conditioning equipment.

Analogy: stick transmissions to automatic lets enjoy technology
Who wants to continuously shift gears?

One last point people spend more money trying to save money than if they would just get with the present.

It's so nice to set the thermostat and be comfortable than to haul logs and bank the coal for the night.

One last comment to each his own.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:42 AM   #8
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Wood = free
Oil = $4+ per gallon last year, down to $2.50 this year & going UP (last I checked)
Cutting, splitting & hauling wood = exercise, some pay to join a gym
Wood works in power outages
Poor analogy....driving around here is a PIA, I'd never have a stick except in a sports car
Of course my MC is a shift....but that's a foot shift

Cost to take the trees down & have them cut up/chipped & hauled away $4500
Cost to just drop them $1050
Cost of chainsaw $500, so I'm still way ahead
$$ saved on oil heat in the past 6 years MIN $1000 per year
Last year alone would be $2k saved

Present = Oil is here......Future......Oil is gone
So to me Oil heat is the Past, Solar & passive FREE heat is the Future

Being able to supplement the heat & have the main room around 74 degrees

......Priceless
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:44 PM   #9
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


You can save a lot of cash by heating with wood if you have access to free wood. If you have to buy wood you are just making more work for yourself because it is almost as expensive as gas.
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Old 12-08-2009, 11:54 PM   #10
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


The area heating aspect of wood is nice.
I imagine heating with an old-fashioned fireplace would consume a lot of wood and suck a lot of heated air out of the house. I like my insert. I think they make efficient "fireplaces" now that are essentially wood stoves if you are building from scratch. Downside with inserts is that you almost have to use the fan.

Also, I'm not so sure most of these fireplaces were made with the thought of heavy-duty heating in mind (safe?). If you put an insert in or hooked up a stove to it you'd want an insulated s.s. liner.

Last edited by VelvetFoot; 12-08-2009 at 11:56 PM.
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Old 12-09-2009, 07:13 AM   #11
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Yes, usually with an insert or a stove you must have a liner installed
Much hotter going up the chimney from these
With my grate heater the air is actually cooler going up the chimney
Which has its own problems...fire gets too cold & not enough draft
Looks like my cap is causing some drafting problems
So I'll fix that in the Spring

Ideally I'd like the fire closed in by doors, with heating tubes still blowing the air into the room
And fresh air going direct to the firebox from outside
That would be a custom setup....
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Old 12-09-2009, 11:13 AM   #12
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


If you want great atmosphere, get a fireplace. If you want to heat with wood, get a stove. Even with the heat exchangers like Scuba Dave has, a fireplace will use a lot more wood to produce the same heat just because of the relative size of the chimney.

In addition to being a great source of free heat if you have free wood, it's also a great way to make a room or two really warm. My heatpump takes a lot of electric, and it runs non-stop to keep the place barely warm when it's cold out. Contrast that with 10 minutes to set a fire and add one more log two hours later for six hours of actual warmth.

If you have a hallway that adjoins the room, then if you can put a fan in the transom area it will push a lot of heat into the hall. You don't really need a return if you have open doors -- the air will make it's own way back.
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Old 12-09-2009, 04:53 PM   #13
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Quote:
Originally Posted by pyper View Post
If you have a hallway that adjoins the room, then if you can put a fan in the transom area it will push a lot of heat into the hall. You don't really need a return if you have open doors -- the air will make it's own way back.
Well and I may have just foreseen an error in my plan with the fan. The output of the fan in the hall way would be right next to the entrance/opening into the room with the stove (the opening is right next to the stove). So I think what would most likely end up happening would be a small circulation of air in that section, keeping the rest of the house out of the loop. I think I may have to experiment a little with some ducting in the attic to move the air further away from the source and see what kind of results I get.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:44 PM   #14
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


Look into a built in wood stove. Heat N Glo makes a wood stove designed to go into new construction called a Northstar. These things put out heat. Serious heat. They have dual blowers built in to the box and you can add heat zones up to 25 feet away that draw air off the box and has a register with a blower in it. They work great. I have sold many of them, installed many more and have never heard a complaint.
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Old 12-09-2009, 08:50 PM   #15
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supplement heat from a fireplace???


I considered an insert
But they are too small to fit the wood in that I want
Plus I have yet to see one where I can see the fire much
I like the look of the fire

My wood stove for the addition is a Woodstock Soapstone (from Vermont) - a piece of art almost


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