Odd wood burner idea. Crazy?

Cameramonkey

Grandmaster
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
31   0   0
May 12, 2013
21,731
77
Camby area
So I live in a two story house. Mrs Monkey and I have considered adding a wood or pellet stove to supplement our heat for something more cozy in the winter. Installing the wood stove downstairs seems the most practical, but balancing the heat between the levels is a minor concern. She is pre-menopausal and complains about the furnace set to 67 as too high, so I'm not sure why she wants a wood stove LOL

I just had a weird idea to at least partially balance the heat, and wasnt sure if it would work.

Growing up we had a wood stove. The first one was a standard stove with a stove pipe heat exchanger fan to capture some of the heat in the pipe. Something like this:

20101224magicheatreclaimer.jpg


Later on dad upgraded to a (catalytic?) stove with a double wall and built in blower, eliminating the stack blower.

So my thought was this. What about instead of sending the stove pipe out the wall on the 1st floor as usual, send it up immediately via a double wall pipe through the floor, bust it out through one of these heat exchangers on the 2nd floor (living room) before once again going double wall through the ceiling and roof? The idea being that yes, a lot of the heat will be downstairs, but to be able to at least capture some of the heat on the 2nd floor might be helpful. Our living and family rooms are stacked, so this kinda makes sense.

Am I totally crazy? Does the heat exchanger have to be within a certain distance from the stove?

I literally just had the idea a few minutes ago and assume I'm probably crazy, but wanted the ideas of the INGO collective. Feel free to tell me I'm nuts.

EDIT: We've also considered going old school and adding a 19th century passthrough style grate directly above the stove allowing the heat from the stove top to rise straight up into the 2nd story family room as well.
 
Last edited:

churchmouse

I still care....Really
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
183   0   0
Dec 7, 2011
186,823
0
Speedway area
She needs to stop. If 67 pushes her buttons the wood stove would melt her down.
We heat with wood when outdoor temps drop below 40-is. If it is mid 30's or lower in the morning, I burn the stove to warm the house and it will stay warm for a long time if it gets sunny and temps rise into the 40's.

The last few days we burn 24 hrs a day. The living room stays around 80-ish degrees and the furnace fan runs to distribute the heat through the house. There is no way to run a tighter control on this. O let the fuel burn down and monitor the temps. When the front room (stoves location) falls back into the mid 70's I will stir the coals and start it again. Easy peasy. Let it cycle wash rinse repeat.
As cold as it has been I can cut the air down and slow the stove and still keep the house cozy.
There are no savings in doing this as you have to buy the stove. Install it to code and buy the fuel. It takes some time and attention, but the comfort involved is well worth the efforts. I enjoy it.

In your home the heat would find its way upstairs as that's what heat does. The blower in the heat pump would help in this.
But you will have a very warm environment in the house. The bedrooms stay 70/72 deg in the daytime here and when I slow everything down at night, they will fall into the mid to high 60's which we find perfect for sleeping.

It is not anywhere near automatic and does require some attention. We burn 3 to 4 ric's of wood a season depending on how cold it gets outside. That is between $200/250 if you go get it. Delivered it is closer to $300+ for the wood.
 

Cameramonkey

Grandmaster
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
31   0   0
May 12, 2013
21,731
77
Camby area
Yeah, I think because of her womanly issues, she isnt pushing this. She say she wants it, but I know if she REALLY wanted it, I'd be installing one yesterday. You know this firsthand after meeting her. :):

Part of me is posting this because at some point those hot flashes are going to cease, and I'll be pushed HARD to find the solution to a chilly house.
 

churchmouse

I still care....Really
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
183   0   0
Dec 7, 2011
186,823
0
Speedway area
Yeah, I think because of her womanly issues, she isnt pushing this. She say she wants it, but I know if she REALLY wanted it, I'd be installing one yesterday. You know this firsthand after meeting her. :):

Part of me is posting this because at some point those hot flashes are going to cease, and I'll be pushed HARD to find the solution to a chilly house.
This is a solid solution but one that comes at a price initially. CKW is not a warm by nature person and with my recent issues I am not either anymore, so the warmth provided by the wood stove is welcome to us.
In your house venting the stove would be a major expense to stay in code and keep your insurance agent from heart failure.
Where would you put it....????
 

natdscott

User Unknown
Rating - 100%
3   0   0
Jul 20, 2015
2,359
83
.
I'd be worried about creosote building up and about code.

Same. Cooling the “exhaust” down too much in a 20-foot long small diameter pipe seems like you’re asking for trouble.

Yes, chimneys are that tall, but they retain a lot of heat as the smoke ascends, and they are typically larger internally.

Seems like a good time to call an expert.
 

cburnworth

Expert
Site Supporter
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Jul 13, 2010
783
63
I don't have one but how about a couple of water tanks behind it and some copper pipes to the upstairs to circulate the hot water? Of course that all depends on space at the location.
 

Cameramonkey

Grandmaster
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
31   0   0
May 12, 2013
21,731
77
Camby area
Why not cut a hole and install a grate over the Woodstove?
I already said that was a possible option. Only downside is noise. (somebody watching a movie downstairs would be almost like them watching in the same room upstairs.) Already looking at putting a door in at the bottom of the stairs because my son gets loud while gaming with others online.

Thanks all. Sounds like a bad idea. Kinda why I floated it out there. On the surface it sounded reasonable but figured there was probably a gotcha.

I think what is probably best would be to modify the cold air return and rely on the heat pump blower to circulate the heat.


So I'll probly do that once Mrs Monkey cools down.
 

churchmouse

I still care....Really
Staff member
Administrator
Moderator
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
183   0   0
Dec 7, 2011
186,823
0
Speedway area
I already said that was a possible option. Only downside is noise. (somebody watching a movie downstairs would be almost like them watching in the same room upstairs.) Already looking at putting a door in at the bottom of the stairs because my son gets loud while gaming with others online.

Thanks all. Sounds like a bad idea. Kinda why I floated it out there. On the surface it sounded reasonable but figured there was probably a gotcha.

I think what is probably best would be to modify the cold air return and rely on the heat pump blower to circulate the heat.


So I'll probly do that once Mrs Monkey cools down.
Winner.
We spoke of this before if memory serves.......:):
 

Bugzilla

Expert
Site Supporter
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Apr 14, 2021
848
93
DeMotte
When we converted to natural gas from propane, we went to a duel zone system and a less efficient and less costly furnace. The upstairs is on one zone, the main level is on one. The furnace kicks on to keep the upstairs at set temperature while the wood burner keeps the main floor toasty. There are wireless systems. I would think you could convert your current furnace depending on how the ducting is ran. Add the wireless thermostats and control dampers on the appropriate duct. Works with the AC also. I had the furnace company do the install as when we converted the furnace, we got a new AC also, all turnkey.
 

Cameramonkey

Grandmaster
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
31   0   0
May 12, 2013
21,731
77
Camby area
When we converted to natural gas from propane, we went to a duel zone system and a less efficient and less costly furnace. The upstairs is on one zone, the main level is on one. The furnace kicks on to keep the upstairs at set temperature while the wood burner keeps the main floor toasty. There are wireless systems. I would think you could convert your current furnace depending on how the ducting is ran. Add the wireless thermostats and control dampers on the appropriate duct. Works with the AC also. I had the furnace company do the install as when we converted the furnace, we got a new AC also, all turnkey.
Good idea, but our system is ducted through the 1st floor ceiling. No cheap way to zone it out because all tubes attach to both floors. There is a turnkey wireless zone system that would work for us, but its stupid expensive. I think it was going to cost like $4000 to fit out our house. Each room needed a wireless thermostat, and each duct needed an expensive register cover. Thats almost as much as we paid for our heat pump!

(each thermostat would control its local duct covers to control room heat individually)
 
Last edited:

Bugzilla

Expert
Site Supporter
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Apr 14, 2021
848
93
DeMotte
I dont think your idea is too crazy. (It’s a thin line between crazy and genius!) You would need burn protection around the exposed pipe. And as previously stated, building codes and insurance would need to be looked at, and may think it is a crazy idea! I’ve had that heat exchanger you pictured on my furnace pipe for years. The pipe is only about 3’ to the wall exit and is downstairs in the utility room.
 

patience0830

.22 magician
Site Supporter
Rating - 95.8%
23   1   0
Nov 3, 2008
13,065
149
Not far from the tree
Given a choice, I'd go with an efficient wood stove with a catalyst for a secondary burn and triple wall stainless all the way out. Grate with close-able louver of some sort over the stove. I have not seen your situation so I can't really offer more than that for an opinion. Probably less likely to give the insurance agent a migraine and safer for occupants.
 

Leadeye

Grandmaster
Rating - 100%
4   0   0
Jan 19, 2009
31,234
113
.
I use a Quadra fire 5500 insert, it also has a heat exchanger built in that heats the upstairs. The insert itself is in the basement. Heats the entire house all winter quite comfortably, but you need to feed it regularly, so somebody has to be home to keep it running. Not a problem for the gardener and I but might be an issue for some. Indyjohn, a member here, would be a good place to inquire about wood if you can't cut it yourself.
 

2in1evtime

Master
Site Supporter
Rating - 100%
56   0   0
Oct 30, 2011
2,518
83
retired-midwest
Have you thought about the outdoor woodburners, they can heat your whole house, and they hook up to your furnace and can heat your hot water too!
 

Site Supporter

INGO Supporter

Latest posts

Forum statistics

Threads
493,489
Messages
8,928,758
Members
48,508
Latest member
812west
Top Bottom