Efficient Wood Stove Heat

A fan in a window with duct tapeI have a wood stove, and while I love it, it has some of the drawbacks of something that uses ambient heat to raise the temperature in the house. The heat tends to stay in a single room.

When I was a child, our wood stove was in the basement in the laundry room. Sure, sure, there was a straight line from the wood stove up the stairs to heat the house, but still, when it was 90 in the laundry room it might be 60 upstairs.

Daddy rigged up a fan system that was controlled by a temperature switch to help with this. I never did pay attention to the details, other than knowing it existed, but that was enough to help me solve my own problem in my house.

My wood stove is in the jungle room, a plant-filled entryway to my house that leads into my kitchen through a large open doorway. It also has an open window frame leading into the dining room and living area of my home. Without a fan, I can heat the jungle room to around 80 without significantly warming much more than the kitchen. I like hanging out in the jungle room, as it has comfy chairs and it’s nice to be in a room with lots of windows and plants, but I’d rather get more efficient heat in the rest of my house!

I have a fan with a temperature control, though I can’t just set it to, say 65F. It’s just a wheel with no actual gauge, but that’s okay. I can put a thermometer next to it and set it to come on when the temperature gets where I want it, manually. Then, if I put the fan in the window leading to the rest of the house it automatically will blow the warm air from the jungle room into the living and dining room, making the wood stove a much more efficient source of heat for a larger part of the house. It’s also nice because we don’t have to turn it off at night. When the fire goes out and the temperature drops, it’ll turn off all by itself.

Yes, this is rigged with duct tape. Possibly next summer I’ll build some sort of fancy frame to insert into the window for it, but hey… it has a light side, a dark side and it binds the Universe together.

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