Wood stove in basement not heating upstairs.

Sabattus, ME

My husband and I purchased an Allnighter Mid Moe from a man on Craiglist. The stove is in amazing condition and what I have read online, they can throw some heat.

We live in Maine, so it gets quite cold here. Our house is an open concept Ranch, about 1700 square feet and the wood stove is in the basement, which is unfinished. We installed it a few weeks ago. Our chimney is the triple wall stainless steel. We decided to start it up the night before last since it was going to be 28 degrees outside. We woke the next morning and it was still 60 degrees upstairs, and the basement was maybe 10 degrees warmer, but when you get within 3-4 feet of the stove it is HOT. We have three floor vents installed to try to get the hot air upstairs, and we left the door to the basement wide open.

I know that a huge factor could be the fact that our wood is not as dry as it should be. I am concerned that none of the heat is making it upstairs. My dad had suggested we put a metal shield suspended above the stove with piping from that to the floor vents to trap and distribute the heat to the upstairs. I don't know if adding fans or even a blower to the stove would help get the heat to where we need it. Also, we installed laminate flooring, which I think between that and the underlayment they are working as insulation between the basement and upstairs.

Any advice or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

Thumbnail by javelin137
Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

First Question is your basement insulated.

There is a difference between having a a fire staying lit all night and it producing heat. My experience is that a fire has to be burning for a while before you load it up and shut it down for the night. Green wood definitely makes it much harder to get heat out of a night fire. One more thing, what little information I can find about your stove shows it with a blower to move heat from it

Sabattus, ME

No, our basement isn't insulated. What are your thoughts on these ideas-

We are thinking about building a hood over the wood stove out of sheet metal and have a ducting system that has piping to each floor vent.

My dad also suggested we put up large tarps to close up some of our basement so that the stove wouldn't have to heat such a large area before having to rise.

Or the option of hooking up the wood stove to our forced hot water to get the heat through our baseboards. The stove came with a water jacket used for that purpose, we are not sure the water jacket is large enough for that, we may need to add more copper coils.

We talked about adding a blower to it, but I don't know if we should go that route since we don't need to heat the entire basement, we just need to find a way to get what heat it is throwing to go upstairs. Although the blower would def. help get more heat from the stove.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

The fact that the basement is uninsulated means that you are losing massive amounts of heat to the walls and to the dirt surrounding them.

My primary recommendation is to move the stove upstairs. It's a wood STOVE not a wood FURNACE.

I have a fired hot water system and I'm pretty sure that a simple copper coil isn't going to help that much. A water coil in a stove usually was for domestic hot water. It could be plumbed in series with the furnace, but your are still going to want a pressure relief valve very near the stove. You're going to have to adjust the water temperature on the furnace so that one zone is on all the time. If you hook it up as a gravity circulating system with a heat exchanger then you are also going to need an expansion tank a water feed valve and someone who understands gravity system and you are going to have to have a drill as to what you are going to do if you loose electricity with a roaring fire in the stove.

As far as closing part of the basement off. It will help. In order to heat the house to 70 degrees you are going to have to be able to heat the room around the stove to 80 or 90. I also suspect that your floor vents are too small. in the era of a central coal furnace in the basement there was typical a sheet meal jacket around the furnace and a floor register in the 3' to 4' square range.

Hope this helps and gives you something to think about.

One other factor is how much are you paying for wood. If you are paying much for it and you system is as inefficient as it seems you might be money ahead to just use the furnace.

Greenwood Village, CO

I live in Colorado, and have a similar layout, except our basement is basically finished. Although it's not insulated, the finished walls do provide some thermal insulation. Over the summer I removed a Heatilator and surrounding mantle, then installed a Timber Wolf wood stove (rated @ +64k BTU). After trying several things, I ended up cutting a hole in the floor and installing a floor register. But in order to direct the heat upstairs I have a fan on the register to pull hot air from the basement to the main floor. This even distributes the heat and maintains a pretty even temperature between the two floors.

Right now (7am) it's 34F outside, 76F downstairs, 73F upstairs.


Mystic, CT

The biggest help I have found for my wood stove being in the basement is ceiling fans on the next level. I also have a ranch with the wood stove in the basement. I have read up alot on how to move the hot air from the basement upstairs and the basic science of it is to try to force your cold air down to the basement which forces the hot air up. I have ceiling fans in 4 of my 5 rooms and on low in the opposite direction, allows for much better heated air flow. I have tried fans blowing the hot air up which never really worked all that great. I also run my furnace on fan only, closing the upstairs vents and leaving a down stairs vent open. This also allows the furnace to suck in the cold air from upstairs and blow it to the basement, forcing more hot air upstairs.

I hope this helps.

Sudbury, Canada

Have you resolved the problem of not getting heat to the up stairs?If you have what did you do?I have the same problem This year i thought new was better so my wife told me. Spent $3000 on new Enviro stove double lined pipe & full chimmey stainless steel insert.This was suposed to heat over 2000 sq.ft @50% less wood. So far this winter i have gone through alwost as much good dry oak &maple(dried 3 years) as i did all last year.Mine is the same story as yours hot by the stove good and warm in basement but cool upstairs.With my old stove my wife had a fan on or window open at -30c.2 nites ago it was -28c here i filled the stove twice in the nite and the temp in the morning was only +16c.Now i have installed more floor vents and also fans but so far no good. any info would help.I am going into the dealer in the city in a couple of days to see what they say.Thank's.

Peachtree City, GA

We are starting to think about building a new house and I want a wood burning stove. My wife does not want one in the main part of the house. She is okay with one in the basement. My question is this: If I install in the basement can I run the chimney through the floor (triple wall) and then convert back to single wall to get the heat transfer off the pipe into the main level after it has passed through the floor? Obviously would have to go back to triple to go through the ceiling and roof. Thanks

Linden, TN(Zone 7a)

We have a wood stove in our basement... But the stove is in it's own room.. at the base of the stairs... to the right... on a brick hearth... the heat goes up the stairs and much of it comes through the vent which goes into the living room.. the stairs are in the laundry room.. We use last years cut wood so it is very dry.. and heats wonderfully.. so much so that at times I must open a window.. as the temp upstairs approaches 80 at times.. but it does keep the house warm all night.. We have our furnace set at 68 and we have yet to have it kick in.. You may have to make some amendments to your home to guide the heat where you want it to go..

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