Our first winter in our new house was a challenging one. Not too far into it, we experienced a very cold front and woke up to frozen pipes. When I say frozen pipes, I mean frozen pipes. Everything. From the baseboard heat to the shower to the washing machine. Nothing worked. Needless to say, I spent that entire day with a torch in my hand making repairs. While I gave myself a hearty pat on the back that night for being so handy around the house, I vowed to never let that happen again. Shopping for wood stoves I went.
Months later, Laura and I made a visit to Home Depot to pick up a mammoth beast of a stove. We bought it and I installed it. At that point, I was actually looking forward to the cold weather so I could test out its operation. It didn’t take all too long for that to happen. The next winter arrived and we were snug as bugs in rugs.
Since then, things have been great. Our wood stove produces heat like it’s nobody’s business. I primarily run it on the cooler side because it’s rather large for the smallish room it’s in. Since it would have been exponentially more difficult to install it in the main house, I put it in a side room that measures about 400 square feet. My thinking was that I could put a fan in the doorway to pull the heat from one room to another.
Well, as things turned out, I’m sort of still working on the moving the heat between rooms thing. See, we’ve got a unique setup here. The room I installed the wood stove in has about six stairs (up) that lead into it. It also has an intermediary room between it and the main house. Because of this configuration, any air I blow out or in circulates in the intermediary room and doesn’t have nearly the effect I thought it would have on the other section of the house. Take a look at the fan I set up.
This is a high velocity fan that I’ve mounted to the top of the doorway of the warm room. As you can see, it’s facing on a downward angle and there’s a wall in front of it. That angle leads down the stairs and into the main house.
For the past two years, I’ve messed with this fan. I placed it on the floor blowing both directions, on the top of the stairs, bottom of the stairs and in between. I even got a six inch duct fan with a long tube that travels from room to room. None of these “solutions” gave me the results I was looking for. Don’t get me wrong, they moved air and heat certainly did travel, but when I read that a particular fan moves 900 cubic feet of air per minute, I want it to move that much. And I want to feel it.
Recently, we experienced another cold snap. I think this one covered most of the good ol’ USA. Two nights during this cold snap, the temperature dropped down to about -15 degrees. Needless to say, no matter how much heat someone’s got going on in their house, there are going to be at least a few issues. Our situation was like this: we had one really nicely heated room with a house that was otherwise chilly. If we didn’t have this wood stove, the neighbors would have found Laura and me frozen like ice cubes in bed. Probably in about two years, which is concerning. We don’t communicate with the outside world much, which is a story for another time.
Anyway, as I walked my sweat covered body out to say hello to Laura’s purple half frozen body, we came to the conclusion that our situation needed to be rectified. We either needed to install another wood stove in the main section of the house or finally figure out a way to get the heat from the warm room into the cool ones. Much consideration was given and after a few hours of thought, I decided on the latter. We have an abundance of heat. All we needed to do was move it.
My latest idea was to purchase another fan. This time, instead of getting an 18″ one, I got a 14″ inch one. If you’re experienced with these types of high velocity fans, you know they move a lot of air. I mounted this one at the top of the doorway that leads out of the intermediary room.
Here’s my idea. The big fan blows the warm air from the warm room into the intermediary room. Then, the smaller fan blows that warm air into the rest of the house. Both fans are mounted to the tops of the doorways, so the cooler return air should come across the floor. That’s my hope anyway. And as I sit here and write, it seems to be working. I’ve got only one fan on and cool air is pouring into the room, which means the hotter air is leaving.
I swear, I could solve this issue in a heartbeat of that intermediary room wasn’t there. Moving warm air from room to room is easy, if all that’s in the way is a doorway. Having two doorways throws a monkey wrench into any operation.
Let me ask you a question. Do you have a wood stove? If so, do you face a challenge that’s similar to this? I’d love to hear all about it, so if you wouldn’t mind, please leave a comment below telling me your story. Thanks for reading!