How to move heat from a wood stove

Written by ben lingenfelter
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Wood stoves provide radiant heat, which is luxuriously warm near the stove, but often doesn't travel to the other ends of your house very well. There are several ways to combat that problem. Some involve adding fans or blowers to your wood stove. Others involve modifications to your residence to help with heat distribution.

Skill level:
Moderately Easy


    Blowers & Fans

  1. 1

    Install a blower, if your wood stove doesn't already have one installed. It's a simple device that really is just a fan attached to the back of the stove. Turned on, it blows the hot air more quickly away from the stove.

  2. 2

    Add a heat-activated fan. These gadgets range in price from £48 to £130, but they share one principle---they run on heat. You simply put one on top of your stove, face it in any direction, and when the stove gets hot, the fan turns on and blows the heat.

  3. 3

    Install doorway fans in corner rooms. Corner rooms often don't get heated well, and doorway fans help to fix this problem. As heat rises, these are fans that mount in the upper corner of a door frame to move the warmed air into the room.

    Other Options

  1. 1

    Install wall vents. Since doors are not always open, wall vents can be installed into the upper sections of walls between warm rooms and colder rooms to help with heat distribution. You can even mount electrical fans inside the vents to increase the heat transfer. They can be switch-operated, or can be plugged into an outlet when needed.

  2. 2

    Install sizeable grilles between lower and upper floors. These can be with or without fans inside. Heat rises, so fans are often unnecessary.

  3. 3

    Add transom windows above the door frames between rooms. Because heat rises, it often gets stuck, and doesn't move easily between rooms separated by walls and doors. Transom windows swivel open and encourage heat distribution between rooms.

  4. 4

    Make sure your house is insulated well. Good insulation keeps the heat in and even corner rooms stay warmer. Constant heat-loss in poor-insulated houses will make those corner rooms frigid no matter what you do to encourage the heat to move through the house.

Tips and warnings

  • Some houses seem made for wood stoves and/or radiant heat, while others with lots of closed off rooms, work against it. The items listed here are almost certain to solve most problems.
  • Check on your local building codes dealing with the installation of over-doorway transom windows or other natural ventilation systems such as between floor grilles or doorway fans. Certain code requirements dealing with smoke and fire transfer may apply.

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