winter vent for house with wood stove

Discussion in 'Remodel Forum & Blog' started by lmei007, Dec 24, 2011.

  1. lmei007

    lmei007 Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Maryland
    We like our wood stove which is in the first floor of our Ranch house . When we use it during the day, lots of cold air squeeze in continuously from somewhere. We have two chimneys and five flues, two for wood stoves (first floor and basement), two for fire place (first floor and basement), one for basement oil burner but now we switched to gas and that flue is not in use anymore.

    I tested, the cold air or fresh air for our wood stove comes from the fireplace. i am thinking cut a fresh air intake hole from the side wall and let the cold air pass through the sump pump basin, which has no water inside whole year round, within a flexible pipe. The flexible pipe cycled within the sump pump basin acts as a heat exchanger and cold air temperature should be higher after this exchanger.

    Condensation will occure for warmer air in the summer. I can stop use it this way during the summer.

    is this a good idea?

    thanks,
  2. Chad Schloss

    Chad Schloss Member

    Messages:
    330
    Location:
    USA
    what?!? the things homeowners will come up with... the cold air comes from being drawn in from the outside due to you burning up the air in that room. fires need oxygen/air to burn. if you don't have enough make up air in the house, burning a fire will pull air from anywhere it can to sustain itself. if there is not enough air, it can smoke and die out. is there a flue damper in the fireplace? should be one. close that if you don't like the draft. do you have a forced air furnace too? there should be a make up air line from the outside to the cold air return plenum. this should provide you with some outside air to burn. if not, add a make up air vent in the basement or in a utility area to give the fire something to burn.
  3. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    Does the wood stove have the option of a dedicated outside air kit? If so, pipe outside air directly to the stove. Chances are that when you are heating the flue for the fire, it is also heating adjacent flues and causing an increase of draft in the adjacent flue. If you don't have a well sealed damper on unused flues, consider a balloon damper or a top damper with release cable.
  4. lmei007

    lmei007 Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Maryland
    this is what I am thinking. we have a 2 yrs old gas boiler. it has intake and exhaust air pipes for itself. I cannot seal everywhere otherwise we cannot use the wood stove. So I am thinking, as you suggested, add a make up air vent and have control on it and then seal other places. that is why I am asking to let the cold outside air pass the sump pump basin is a good idea or bad idea.
  5. lmei007

    lmei007 Member

    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Maryland
    The stove is old. it looks like no such option.
    I will look at you suggestion to seal the flues but I have to provide a controlled vent first for my wood stove.
  6. hj

    hj Moderator & Master Plumber Staff Member

    Messages:
    26,812
    Location:
    Cave Creek, Arizona
    The air through the sump basin is a VERY bad idea. Your "hose" would NEVER be large enough to supply adequate combustion air, and the amount of "heat exchanger" that took place would be miniscule, it it even occurred. Your stove is going to get all the air it needs someplace whether it is by drawing air down any open chimneys or cracks in the house. Its last possible source of the air would be its own chimney which would cause a downdraft and combustion gases in the house.
  7. LLigetfa

    LLigetfa DIYer, not in the trades

    Messages:
    4,050
    Location:
    NW Ontario, Canada
    I think it is a bad idea. A sump basin could be a source of radon gas.

    Even if the stove does not have provision for a dedicated OAK, could you not run a duct to the vacinity of the stove and just loose couple it?
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