Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

PostBy: pjb153 On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:01 pm

Looking for advice on what to do about heating a new addition we finished in the middle of last winter. Here is the scoop.

I have a 2500 sq ft home, the new addition is 700 sq ft with a large opening to the kitchen. The addition ceiling is 11.5 ft and I have a chance to run duct thru the wall above the kitchen opening to my son’s knee wall upstairs. I can then duct some heat into the upstairs hall way.

I am currently running a Keystoker stove in the basement, which keeps the tile and hardwood in the original part of the house warm. Basement is usually at 70 to 74 degrees.

I am thinking of two scenarios to work with. I can buy a direct vent coal stove and put in the addition and still keep the keystoker downstairs. Or I can install a chimney on the addition and move the keystoker upstairs into the living area.

If I build the chimney and use the stove I have, it opens up options for a smaller or older stove in my basement to keep it warm. If I spend all of my money on a direct vent, I will have two stoves running, but no chimney on the addition if coal jumps up.

My question is, if you had this situation, what would you do? The direct vent as many know can run upward of 2k or better depending on how old, shape.. so on. The chimney will probably cost me somewhere near 1100 to 1500. Then an additional stove would be near 800 to 1k depending.

If I go with the chimney it also opens me up to use a wood burner in the room if coal gets too pricey.
pjb153
 

Re: Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 12:26 pm

If the question is direct vent, powervent or a chimney,, I'd say chimney,, the chimney once built will outlast the house. A direct vent or powervent requires regular maintenance, uses electricity, and can and will eventually wear out and need replacement. The chimney when burning coal will never need cleaning,, only the flue pipe connecting a stove to the chimney will need cleaning.

NOW, it seems like you were also asking whether to leave the keystoker in the basement, move it, or buy an addional stove... Here is what I suggest.. try moving your current heated air around better..

Is your basement insulated, that is are the walls insulated, or is the stove heating the block/concrete foundation and the surrounding earth around the house?? If not, put up insulation.

How are you moving the hot air in the basement up to the main level of the house?? Is the Keystoker's air distribution fan [s] pulling cold air off the basement floor? If you do nothing but hook a 4" dryervent to the inlet of the stove's distribution fan, and put the other end of the duct into the far corner of the new addition, or the upstairs hallway by the bedroom, you will noticably increase the air circulation in the house and make use of the wasted heat in the basement.

I would say to read most of the 'air distribution' threads on this forum,, there are many, and apply some of the techniques mentioned to move your existing heat around... and only as a last resort, install a chimney and move the stove to the new addtion.

For a few hundred, you can make a very good heat distribution system for your current heat,, and not burn a second stove.

Hope this helps.. Greg L

BTW: what model Keystoker do you have, level of insulation in your home, windows etc??
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

PostBy: pjb153 On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 1:07 pm

Is your basement insulated, that is are the walls insulated, or is the stove heating the block/concrete foundation and the surrounding earth around the house?? If not, put up insulation.

How are you moving the hot air in the basement up to the main level of the house?? Is the Keystoker's air distribution fan [s] pulling cold air off the basement floor? If you do nothing but hook a 4" dryervent to the inlet of the stove's distribution fan, and put the other end of the duct into the far corner of the new addition, or the upstairs hallway by the bedroom, you will noticably increase the air circulation in the house and make use of the wasted heat in the basement.

BTW: what model Keystoker do you have, level of insulation in your home, windows etc??


My basement is only insulated in the top sill above the block wall (where your rim joist is). The walls are concrete block and not isulated and the ceiling is not insulated (which is good because it heats the floors above).

The only way I am currently moving the air is by a vent in the floor above the stove and leaving my basement door open. The air moves decent and the house above the basement is generally warm. I do suppose with other methods I could push more air.

I have the 90k automatic stoker. It is older, about 10 years old, it still runs from the thermostat set up that is on the new stoves today.

Here is a photo from the kitchen to the new room. Keep in mind also that the addition is above a two car garage and not the basement of the house. I have insulation R30 in the garage ceiling. The addition walls are R19 and the addition ceiling is R38. Image Image

We are trying to heat the basement which is an open rear (french door), the first story and second story. I really think we need more than the 90k stove. Here is a shot of the house from the rear. Image
pjb153
 

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Re: Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:00 pm

I would insulate the basement walls.. you are losing a LOT of heat to the outdoors and the earth.. This will increase the available heat to the rest of the house.
I'd install an insulated duct from the far end of the new room [nice room !], putting a floor grate against the far wall, then run this duct to the inlet of the distribution fan on the Keystoker. This will force the air in the basement to flow up through the current hot air vent out through the kitchen to the far wall of the new room, then return to the stove.. I think you will see a very noticable increase in temperature in the new room. Right now it is a 'dead end' or cul-de-sac' for the air flow in the house.. you want to make it part of the circulation in the house through the stove.

Is your keystoker the older model with the double wall and top construction??? if so, it may be significantly clogged up with ash.. forum member eurochris has this early keystoker model, and has learned how to clean it out, and get the full heat capacity from the stove.. Do a search on his name and find his thread on rebuilding his keystoker,, this will help I'm sure.

Greg L

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LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

PostBy: pjb153 On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:08 pm

Thanks for the input and compliment on the room.. allot of hard work went into it (we did 80% of it on our own).

I can duct a cold air return across the center beam of my garage and into the basement. I can probably also duct a warm air vent directly into that new room (while still keeping the original vent from the basement to my dining room).

I still feel to heat the 3 stories, I will need a second stove. right now we have three heat sources (electric jell filled baseboard), (Propane insert and cast iron in the new room), (Coal in the basement).

If nothing else, then to put the addition coal stove at 65 degrees to take the chill out.. I want to add one. Just trying to figure out how and what is the best.

I am leaning towards a chimney.

Any more advice?.. anyone.. anyone
pjb153
 

Re: Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

PostBy: LsFarm On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:20 pm

Since you are obviously handy, and skilled,, rent some scafolding and put up a block chimney with a terracotta clay liner,, 8"x8" id, and install a nice stove on the wall opposite the open wall.. it looks like a natural spot.. the money saved by not buying the direct or power vent will go towards amost all the materials,, and you provide the labor.. I put up my own chimney,, it wasn't too bad,,

But, even though you have a pretty large house,, it is new, and probably well insulated and with good windows.. I think it is heatable with the keystoker, if the keystoker is putting out it's heat [not clogged with flyash] and you can move the air around better...

OK,, my position is clear,, :D


Greg L.
LsFarm
 
Stoker Coal Boiler: Axeman Anderson 260
Hand Fed Coal Boiler: Self-built 'Big Bertha' SS Boiler
Baseburners & Antiques: Keystone 11, Art Garland

Re: Build a chimney or buy a direct vent?

PostBy: pjb153 On: Tue Jul 08, 2008 4:27 pm

I do appreciate the advice Greg.

Maybe what I will do is install the chimney. Do the duct work on the addition (I already have enough brand new sheet metal duct left over) from when I was going to duct the entire upstairs.. come to think of it. I ran a duct from the basement to my daughter's room knee wall cubby. I may be able to push some heat into the upstairs that way. I can't remember if I insulated behind it or not though, I may loose some heat in the wall. Or i can use that for a cold air return.

If i have the chimney and I still don't feel the house is warm enough, I can move the keystoker to the first floor and buy an older stove for the basement. or use a wood burner for the really cold days.

I guess if this is my biggest problem I am doing better than allot out there. I feel bad for people with oil heat this year.
pjb153
 

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