GA cracker wrote:And if I am not going to get that much heat, except in the basement where the stove is I do not know if it's worth it. We will see.
Your mission is figuring out how to move that heat upstairs. The first thing I’d do is an air movement analysis to figure out your home’s natural air flow. Opening a window in the upstairs will help with air flow through the rest of the house. Reversed ceiling fans help, too. This has been talked about a lot on the forum. Use the search mode in the right top corner to find those postings. You can start with: Insulated basement keeping the heat downstairs?
. Some folks use incense and follow the smoke and some take a half full helium balloon and see where it floats to. Our first year we had fans all over the place but discovered we didn’t need them due to the natural air flow; for us they just made the house noisier.
Once you have an idea of the house’s natural air flow, start thinking of what you can do to modify it to your advantage. That ceiling insulation isn’t going to help with the movement of any residual heat moving between floors. How big a mess would that be to remove? What is directly above the stove? A hallway, the kitchen? Is it possible to put a grate there? I remember my Aunt’s house growing up had a wall to wall grate in the upstairs hallway for heat distribution.
Check out the archives and see what solutions could fit your situation. It’s a good thing you’ve started early, by the fall you’ll be ready to burn.
I use the Match Lite method to light my stove. I take a paper drink holder from MacDonald’s, tear it up in small pieces place them on the grates and spread the entire small bag of Match Lite out over the whole firebox. Then I light the pieces of drink holder. I have the under fire air source open half way. The charcoal catches quickly and I add small amounts of coal periodically over the next 30 or 45 mins. I have a well burning coalbed in no time. The only drawback is the charcoal lighter smell of the Match Light. That can hang around for a while. My kids are the only ones on the block to associate the smell of Match Light charcoal with the winter.
Good Luck, Lisa