basement heat ?

njdude34February 17, 2005

I have a raised ranch with an unfinished basement. The previous owner insulated and sheetrocked the cieling in the basement though...My question is if I buy a wood / pellet stove how can I draw the heat up from the basement up to my living area..I have all electric heat and the bills are killing me. I know I can't heat the whole house from the basement but any heat I can draw upstairs would help..Other question is should i take the sheetrock and insulation down and replace it with a drop ceiling to allow the heat to rise better ? lastly the basement will be getting finished which will help with the overall heat problem...Thank you for your input in advance.....

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This subject has been thouroughly discussed on this board. Look for some older threads on this.

    Bookmark   February 17, 2005 at 12:48PM
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Heat has a simple property: it rises. It will heat your upper floors even if you don't do anything, by radiating through your basement ceiling - though you are correct that this would happen more efficiently if your basement ceiling weren't insulated and drywalled. If you already have a drywall ceiling, I would NOT remove it and replace it with a drop ceiling. It would be a mess taking down the ceiling, and drop ceilings are expensive. In other words, you wouldn't get much value for all of your work and expense. Do you have an open stairway to the lower level? (or will the stove be in a "room" that is enclosed). If you have an open stairway, that will help quite a bit.

I would simply install the stove and see how much radiant heat (and heat from your open stairway) that you get with no modifications. The next step would be to cut 1 or 2 holes in the floor in the room above your basement room with the stove, and fit metal grilles into the floor to allow even more heat to flow.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2005 at 9:50AM
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Brad thanks for the input. I have thought about putting in vents to the second floor but I have heard that in the great old state on NJ that is a fire hazard. The fire would an opening in which to travel. I do have a staircase but the only opening is at the very bottom. I can take the one wall down making it an open staircase which I am learning would help...again thanks for the input

    Bookmark   February 18, 2005 at 10:25AM
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Yep, in a lot of states, open grills between floors are a big no no.

    Bookmark   February 18, 2005 at 1:07PM
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Although this post is redundant, it did give me a new theory. I also asked the same question some months ago. I too have a raised ranch, and would like heat two floors with one stove. When I posted the question, the answers I received were all over the place. I'd been scratching my head ever since. What you said about your ceiling made something click.

I have lived in two houses with basement wood stoves. Both were positioned the same, down the stairs, take a u-turn, stove is on the back wall. Both houses were ranches. While both stoves were the same capacity and reached roughly the same temperature, only the first stove heated the upstairs. The house was so hot that we had the windows open. The stove in the second house didn't do a thing. None of the heat made it up the stairs. Your post gave me a hint as to why. The hot house had drop ceiling in the basement. The second was drywall and insulated. I guess most of the heat was coming through the floor itself and not the staircase.

Regardless, if you have the same type of RR that I do, you have a double wide staircase, and probably that nice open railing into the living room. I haven't installed (or bought) my stove yet, but I would think that more heat would make it up the open RR style staircase than the narrow ranch style. Just my two cents. Thanks for making the light bulb over my head finally turn on!

    Bookmark   February 23, 2005 at 5:29PM
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Heavier colder air will displace any warm air trying to get up through a floor grill. The only way floor grill systems work is to have the warm air grill right over the stove (large opening) and sufficient cold air returns near the outer walls. Remember warm air is far less dense than cold. I heated a two story cape with a Riteway 37 heater in the basement just heating the overhead floor. Nobody wants open grills in their floors anymore anyway.

    Bookmark   February 25, 2005 at 7:31PM
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i put a stove in the basement in the fall and have been using it all winter. my basement walls are sheetrocked and insulated and i have a laminate floor in it, the cieling is unfinished. the stove is at the opposite end of the house as the stairs. once the basement heats up, the upstairs floor, also laminate, warms up. i leave the basement door open. my 1500 sq ft upstairs will maintain a temp of 69 degrees,and the roughly 1000 sg ft finished section of basement is much warmer, i dont have a thermostat but it has to be 80 degrees. sometimes i will aim a fan up the stairs to get it warmer if its really cold out. my house is newer and very efficient. i am cutting my gas bill by over a hundred dollars a month, which doesnt sound like a lot, but my worst bill last year was jan 04 avg 21 degrees at 170 bucks. this years avg for jan was 23 and my bill was 60 bucks. im also doing this keeping the house 9 degrees warmer and the basement was not heated for living in last year, it only had 1 heat vent.

    Bookmark   February 28, 2005 at 1:53AM
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yjty, what size stove do you have? IE, what square footage is it rated to heat? Your situation sounds like mine exactly, and I would also like to heat the basement and take the edge off the main floor in the process. I keep my house on the cool side, so I'd need very little radiant floor heat to do the trick. My main basement section is roughly 700 square feet, the upper is around 1200. One stove is rated for 1300 sq ft and the other is a monster rated for 2000. I don't want to overbuy or overheat if the small one will do the trick.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2005 at 10:24PM
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my basement right now is 1000 sq ft and the upstairs is about 2000 square..So I need a stove that is going to heat up at least 2000 square. I also have decided that the drop ceiling is the way to go. It will have a whole zone of air above the ceiling and under the subfloor. SO I am going to put in 2x2 vents into the 2x2 grid. This will allow air to go rise through the vents and heat the upstairs floor without breaking any codes by adding vents through the sub floor...

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 1:16PM
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My problem is just trying to keep the basement warm. my wife hates the cold. We have a 1970 raised ranch with open staircase going upstairs. The house is about 900sq ft on each floor. Average temp in our house is 75 upstairs, 65 downstairs. The family room and hallway in the basement has a drywall ceiling put up by the previous owner. I've tried opening just the vents (forced air furnace) in the basement, but the temp seems about the same. Is my only solution to close off the staircase and put a door to trap heat down there?

    Bookmark   March 2, 2005 at 1:42PM
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i have a quadra fire isle royale that is rated up to 2500 sq ft. i believe it is one of the biggest if not the biggest wood stove on the market. it is a great stove and i am fully satisfied with it.

    Bookmark   March 5, 2005 at 6:46PM
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I recently purchased a Harman TLC 2000 wood/coal stove. I have a colonial house and I have force hot air furnace and I'm using two of the duct work for getting heat upstairs from the stove itself and in the the duct work I installed an 8 inch inline blower to help pull the heat from the stove up to the floor above it. Works great.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2005 at 2:59PM
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I have a Vermont Castings Resolute in the basement of my ranch..Can I cut vents and let that heat up to the living area? Should they be over the stove or in the corners? returns?

    Bookmark   October 26, 2005 at 5:51PM
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