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Old 10-27-2011, 07:13 AM  
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Default Wood burning stove/wasted heat

I live in a log cabin with cathedral ceilings. Insulation is poor and the heat goes straight up. I keep a ceiling fan on low to help push it back down.
I have a wood stove in basement which can easily heat the area to 90degrees yet the upstairs struggles to reach 60. The warm air rushes up the stairs but not enough.plenty of returns in the floor to exchange the air.
Would tapping into the current duct work (forced hot air) be the way to go? allowing the hot air in basement to enter duct work and go upstairs.... or will the heat still use the stairs and my efforts just become another return for the cooler air?
Also, the furnace return is in basement on the floor. ive thought about extending it up to the basement ceiling and then just running the furnace fan to suck hot air from ceiling. not sure which is best.

Hoping to get a hit as the winter approaches.

Chris- Ringwood, NJ

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Old 11-05-2011, 10:02 AM  
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I've never heard of anyone installing a return vent in a basement, it should have been in a central location up stairs.
Catheral ceilings look cool but are a total waste of money when it comes to heating and cooling.
One thing I'd suggest is running that fan on a higher speed and even adding a second one or getting one with longer blades. You do have it blowing down right?
Another thing to look at is your windows, Are they newer double paned?
Also log cabin are famous for leaking windows around the frames and need to be looked at from time to time to check the caulking.

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Old 11-05-2011, 06:21 PM  
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I have an add on wood furnace in my log home, it is tied into the hot air plenum as it leaves the heatpump, also have a celing fan in the great room ( you want it to pull the air up). can get to -20f and still snug as a bug in any room in the house.
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Old 11-05-2011, 10:20 PM  
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My suggestion would be to somehow, efficiently, move some of that hot basement air up to the living area. Maybe some well-placed duct work, with a low-velocity fan? Just guesses, so you might want to Google "heating log homes," and see if anything meaningful pops up, or try to get some ideas from a heating specialist.

I lived in a log house in Colorado for 5 years, and loved it. Heat was provided by a main floor propane stove, and 2 electric baseboard heaters in the basement (that we only turned on 2 or 3 times, total). Our yearly gas bill was less than $1200, and the place was always comfortable. Had a ceiling fan in the main level, but rarely used it. The stove's radiant heat just moved around naturally, and kept everything quite comfortable. The cathedral ceiling consisted of 4 x 6 tongue-and-groove pine, covered by a layer of plywood sheathing and a raised-seam metal roof. Even the coldest nights were cozy (we lived at 8000 feet elevation, had 8'+ of snow in the yard at times).
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Old 11-06-2011, 11:29 AM  
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As you note warm air rises. However, when it hits the roof it cools and falls back down the cool walls and crosses the cold floor to be reheated and then goes up and round again.
Heat always moves towards a cold surface.

Your problem is that cold roof/ceiling, if you had six or more inches of sheet polystyrene fixed between the joists then the dropping air would still be warm, the room would feel warm and your heating bills a lot lower.

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