Cold Air Return - Need Advice

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traderfjp
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Post Wed. Sep. 30, 2009 11:47 pm

Hi,

I'm always looking to improve the heat circulation in my home. My Alaska 3 stove is on the right side of the house - on the 1st floor. The stairwell, leading up to the 2nd floor, is on the opposite side of the house (maybe 25-35ft away). I was thinking of cutting a hole in the ceiling above the stove and installing a power vent. I would have the fan of the vent blowing down into the stove room to try to pull the cold air from the upstairs to create more circulation between the upstairs and downstairs. Do you guys think it's worth it? The stove room on a typical day is about 78 while the upstairs is around 69. . When it gets really cold out the heat differential is around 11-12 degress. If I can get a more even heat I can run the stove lower at night.

I also have a cold air supply which is a metal dryer vent pipe supplying air to the stove's combustion motor. If I do what I am proposing above would it make sense to get rid of the cold air supply to create as much of a vaccum as possible in the house to help get the cold air from upstairs to downstairs?

Thanks in advance

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SMITTY
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Post Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 12:04 am

I'm thinking if you cut a hole in the ceiling above the stove, no fan would be necessary -- the heat would rise up the hole in ceiling, & the cold would return down your stairs on the other end.

I've been wanting to do this forever, but just can't get motivated.... :roll:

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eelhc
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Post Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 12:18 am

SMITTY wrote:I'm thinking if you cut a hole in the ceiling above the stove, no fan would be necessary -- the heat would rise up the hole in ceiling, & the cold would return down your stairs on the other end.
Or circulate the other way... Cut a hole and run a duct from the hole to the convection blower. No fan necessary... just use the convection blower of the stove to pull the air down from upstairs. This would force the warm air to travel across the house and up the stairs and may result in overall better balance of temperature in the house.
Last edited by eelhc on Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 12:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Post Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 12:19 am

traderfjp wrote: My Alaska 3 stove is on the right side of the house - on the 1st floor. The stairwell, leading up to the 2nd floor, is on the opposite side of the house (maybe 25-35ft away). I was thinking of cutting a hole in the ceiling above the stove and installing a power vent. I would have the fan of the vent blowing down into the stove room to try to pull the cold air from the upstairs to create more circulation between the upstairs and downstairs. Do you guys think it's worth it?
Anything you can do to improve circulation is worth it. Yes, heat would rise from your stove, up thru the crate, and the stairwell would act as your cold air return. Cut between the floor joists, make sure theres no wires or pipes first :D


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traderfjp
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Post Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 7:00 am

The stove sits in our living space so the wife will not allow a dryer vent house from the blower to the hole in the ceiling. That's why I thought I would use a power vent and blow the cool air from upstairs into the room with the stove. Some of you are saying to just let the heat rise into the 2nd floor room. I'm a little confused as what to do. Has anyone player around with both methods?

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Post Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 7:17 am

I think just putting a grate in the ceiling and letting the warm air just rise and push the cooler air back down the stairs, probably get more circulation. no fans, no piping, etc...

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eelhc
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Post Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 8:34 am

traderfjp wrote:The stove sits in our living space so the wife will not allow a dryer vent house from the blower to the hole in the ceiling. That's why I thought I would use a power vent and blow the cool air from upstairs into the room with the stove. Some of you are saying to just let the heat rise into the 2nd floor room. I'm a little confused as what to do. Has anyone player around with both methods?
No fan necessary... It'll work. Houses have been built for a centuries with in floor grates that allow warm air to rise from and cool air to return to the furnace/stove room. I still think it's better though to force the warm air to travel across the first floor and up the stairs vs the other way around. The side of the house with the stairs will be colder either way but with just the grate and a grate + fan over the stove that pulls warm air up rather than push cold air down... I suspect there will be a bigger temperature difference.

GettingStoked
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Post Thu. Oct. 01, 2009 4:52 pm

I have a similiar setup. A floor vent above the stove is worth it, but not to blow the air down from above but hook your blower from the stove to some stack and force it up. see this link Modified Stove With Ducting. The cold air comes down the stairs which are about the same distance away as yours. I've done a lot of testing with this (you could look for my posts and diagrams). When I just let the air rise up I was only getting mid 80's air temp going up which will do nothing to increase the upstairs temps. Once I hooked the pipe to the stove and forced the hot air upstairs, I was getting 125* at the floor vent which dramatically made a difference in the above floor's air temps. My basement and 1st floor use to be as yours is a 11 - 12* difference. Now it's around 3*.
Here is a layout of my house. Heat Circulation With Diagram I've add return vents from the back two bedrooms this year, so I'm hoping for even more improvement in temps.

PS. if you can't see the whole image of floor plan, just save the image to your desktop and you can then display it in full.
traderfjp wrote:Hi,

I'm always looking to improve the heat circulation in my home. My Alaska 3 stove is on the right side of the house - on the 1st floor. The stairwell, leading up to the 2nd floor, is on the opposite side of the house (maybe 25-35ft away). I was thinking of cutting a hole in the ceiling above the stove and installing a power vent. I would have the fan of the vent blowing down into the stove room to try to pull the cold air from the upstairs to create more circulation between the upstairs and downstairs. Do you guys think it's worth it? The stove room on a typical day is about 78 while the upstairs is around 69. . When it gets really cold out the heat differential is around 11-12 degress. If I can get a more even heat I can run the stove lower at night.

I also have a cold air supply which is a metal dryer vent pipe supplying air to the stove's combustion motor. If I do what I am proposing above would it make sense to get rid of the cold air supply to create as much of a vaccum as possible in the house to help get the cold air from upstairs to downstairs?

Thanks in advance


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Horace
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Post Fri. Oct. 02, 2009 11:52 am

I have to agree with GettingStoked. I played around with holes in the floor, fans, ducts, vents and on and on and on. I did this:

It's Ugly, but It Works

and haven't looked back. If you make it look nice like his, and when the heat gets upstairs, then there's little argument. There's a huge difference between letting air that's 78* rise on its own and forcing air that 175* into the room.

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traderfjp
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Post Mon. Oct. 12, 2009 12:24 pm

Installed my power-vent grate over the stove to push the heat into an upstairs bedroom that is on the other end of the house. This morning it was 40 degrees. In the room with the stove it was 75, in the hallway on the 1st floor it was 70 and upstairs it was 72. I would say that the vent is a success. I also changed out the old floor fan for a new all metal Air King. This fan is super quiet and can take the heat. It was pricey. A 14" was 90.00 but well worth it. The fan raises the temp in the room a good 3-4 degrees and helps to push the heat to other parts of the house. I guess I'm running out of tweaks. I was going to try pushing the cooler air, using the power grate, into the room with the stove but I didn't want a wire at the ceiling so I thought I would try it like this first. It's a keeper.
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GettingStoked
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Post Tue. Oct. 13, 2009 2:40 pm

I hope that works for you, wish mine had as well so I wouldn't have had to duct the blower... It will be interesting to see how it does when the temps get down into the single digits. @ 40's my temps were pretty close on their own (first floor to 2nd floor)... as the temp drops you might start to see an increase in the differences and when it hits singles to negatives you might be looking at 10 to 12* diff. My first season when it was in the single digits I had it mid 80's to 90 downstairs with the stove and 72 upstairs and 68 at the far end of the house. Time will tell, keep us posted please. Do you have a pic of the power-vent grate that your using?
traderfjp wrote:Installed my power-vent grate over the stove to push the heat into an upstairs bedroom that is on the other end of the house. This morning it was 40 degrees. In the room with the stove it was 75, in the hallway on the 1st floor it was 70 and upstairs it was 72. I would say that the vent is a success. I also changed out the old floor fan for a new all metal Air King. This fan is super quiet and can take the heat. It was pricey. A 14" was 90.00 but well worth it. The fan raises the temp in the room a good 3-4 degrees and helps to push the heat to other parts of the house. I guess I'm running out of tweaks. I was going to try pushing the cooler air, using the power grate, into the room with the stove but I didn't want a wire at the ceiling so I thought I would try it like this first. It's a keeper.

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