Energy Max 160, Big Enough?

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ultimatespine
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 12:36 am

Hi, new here from Massachusetts and i'm looking into a wood stove big enough to heat my house from the basement. 2700 sq ft ranch with another 2700 sq ft unfinished, unheated open basement. Basement is mostly below grade. The stairway to the main level is on one end. Insulation in the ceiling of the basement, concrete walls not insulated. House is currently being heated with oil hydroair. Boiler in the basement, air handlers in the attic. Approx 800 sq ft of the main level has 13 ft ceiling.

I am thinking of wood with maybe coal at times. I have "free" access to wood. The energy max 160 is rated at 160,000 BTU with heating area of up to 3500 sq ft. Do you think this stove is big enough to heat my house from the basement? Stove will be placed close to the middle on a west facing wall. I will remove the insulation form the basement ceiling and maybe insulate the walls at some point. I would rather not cut registers through the floor. Any input would be greatly appreciated, thank you.


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SWPaDon
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 1:06 am

Welcome to the forum, and Merry Christmas.
Your asking a lot from any stove under those conditions. The uninsulated concrete walls are one heck of a heat sink, and you don't want to cut registers in the floor. While the stove will heat the floors to a degree, you are going to have a difficult time getting the heat to the upstairs.

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Lightning
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 4:05 am

Seems like it would make more sense to tie into the current heat distribution system with a solid fuel boiler of your choice. Nice second hand units can be found on Craigs list and other swap pages.

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oliver power
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 4:51 am

What Lighting said....... Or, don't try heating from the basement. I like lighting's suggestion.

As you can see from the picture to the right; my basement walls are not insulated, and mostly below grade. Yes, it may be a heat sink, but I like the clean block look. It also keeps frost away from the block walls.

The little Kaa-2 does a fine job of heating. I'm very happy with it.

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lsayre
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 5:19 am

The BTUH ratings on both coal and wood stoves are not monitored or regulated, and are arbitrary (I.E. guesses more for advertising and marketing than for reality). Stoves are likely only at best generally "real world" capable of 50% of that without glowing red and wilting from the heat. And that is on the input side. On the output side they can only perhaps deliver about 35% of that. 160,000 x 0.35 = 56,000 BTUH output. That is easily enough to heat most average homes on the coldest day of the year, but yours is on the large side, so if it is not modern and well insulated that may not do it.

To put it into perspective, to achieve 160,000 BTUH input (BTU's per hour of input) would require burning about 33 pounds of seasoned hardwood wood per hour, or 13 pounds of anthracite coal per hour. And to sustain that for a single day would require the burning of 792 lbs. of wood or 312 lbs. of coal.

What really matters however is your homes heat loss calculation. That and proper heat distribution (which for a single stove is more often than not a very difficult task to accomplish). A heat loss calculation will tell you if 56,000 BTUH output is sufficient. But then you need to move the heat around so the home does not roast in one area and freeze in other areas. There are only perhaps 2 or 3 days a heating season when you will tax the homes heat loss requirements. On an average winter day you will need about 40% of "heat loss" BTUH output. For grins, lets assume a heat loss of 56,000 BTUH. 40% of 56,000 BTUH is 22,400 BTUH of output, which is the equivalent of burning about 4.6 lbs of seasoned hardwood per hour or 2.6 lbs. of coal per hour. 110 lbs of wood or 62 lbs. of coal would be your average daily requirement.

Moving heat around evenly is why I went with a coal boiler and hot water baseboards.
-Larry

Democracy rests upon the principle that collective wisdom arises from a pool of individual ignorance. A Republic rests squarely upon objective law, and fundamentally upon those laws which restrict the scope and actions of government.

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McGiever
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 9:36 am

Without using your existing air handlers for distribution your idea will fail.

Sell your wood to some other fellow and go and buy coal with the proceeds...you'll thank us for this later. 8-)

There is no quick fix here, do you want to be a slave to a wood stove or maybe prop up your feet and enjoy economical comfort of coal heat?
Last edited by McGiever on Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 9:40 am, edited 1 time in total.
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

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SWPaDon
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 9:39 am

McGiever wrote:Without using your existing air handlers for distribution your idea will fail.

Sell your wood to some other fellow and go and buy coal with the proceeds...you'll thank us for this later. 8-)
Yep, and at the price that firewood is bringing in most places, you would have a coal boiler paid for in short order.

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coaledsweat
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 9:44 am

If you want the appliance in the basement, get a boiler or you will be cursing.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.


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McGiever
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 9:52 am

Many others would envy you as your system is 80% already build w/ that oil boiler system sitting there. 8-)
SLOW AND STEADY WINS THE RACE

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SWPaDon
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 9:55 am

McGiever wrote:Many others would envy you as your system is 80% already build w/ that oil boiler system sitting there. 8-)
And not to mention the fact that he has an 'open, unfinshed basement' . An installers dream :up:

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Rob R.
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 10:28 am

The amount of heat you will put into the basement walls is pretty significant. Been there, done that. Skip the wood stove and tie a coal boiler into your existing system. That way you will have an economical system to operate, and a comfortable house....Without the risk of chimney fires.

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coaledsweat
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 10:45 am

And if you absolutely have to have a wood/coal stove, put it in the middle of the first floor or do it twice.
Nothing is impossible for people who don't have to do it themselves.

ultimatespine
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 11:19 am

Thank you and Merry Christmas. Any quick way to calculate heat loss? What about those ds wood/coal boilers? I would really like the option of wood because of the supply. I was hoping to avoid plumbing and hoping a big free standing stove would distribute heat evenly since it's one level above an open basement. But you guys are making think twice about it.

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SWPaDon
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 11:32 am

A wood/coal handfired boiler was going to be the next thing I mentioned to you. It will work, but you need to weigh the good with the bad. Bugs are the main thing when having firewood in the house. Ants, Spiders, Beetles, Termites, etc.

ultimatespine
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Post Sat. Dec. 24, 2016 11:41 am

Basement is walk out and easy access, most wood will be placed outside. Also, if I go with one of those ds boilers, will they radiate enough heat into the basement to heat it? I would really like to get rid of the fiberglass insulation in the ceiling.


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