I actually have a chimney in both basements. The larger basement is accessed from a door leading from a short hall, next to my boy's rooms, and off of the entrance to the dining room. There is a very inefficient sliding glass door to the outside, about 10 feet from the exisiting fireplace hearth. It is at this location, I have had my Vermont Casting's Defiant Encore, and am looking to fill with either a wood/coal, wood only, or coal only stove or insert. The problem however is that it is only 28 inches tall and 35 inches wide. Yes, an insert will fit, but for the moment, cannot afford a new one.
As for my office basement, it too has a flue, and is currently hooked up to a large Fisher wood stove. Though I know it is not very efficient, I am able to burn just about anything in it, including my office papers that otherwise I would have to shred, or recycle. Across from where the stove is, there is a staircase up to the first floor. There is no door there, rather it goes into a very small washroom, and then with bifold doors, into a bathroom which also in unheated. When I burn wood in the winter, that bathroom is nice and cozy. When I don't it is downright freezing, until a small electric heater pumps some heat into it...and then, it fights with the cold that tries to infiltrate from the unheated washroom and basement below. Right next to where the Fisher sits diagonally in the corner, is a door to the outside, where I have a stack of hardwood stacked, and could easily store coal as well.
Within the basement/offic masonary chimney is another terracotta flue, which has been unused all the time I have lived in the house, and will see the Defiant Encore moved into the room above, which is my living room. Currently, my Whitfield Pellet stove resides there and is direct vented around the chimney.The living room is directly over the basement office, and if I were to open vents from below, would only be heating that room even more.... unless the added heat would cause a bigger convection current to move out of that room? could it do that?
As to the solid basement wall that separates the two basements, it is cinder block. I once tried to knock out a block when I first purchased the Defiant Encore, thinking I could move the heat with a single block removed. Fact is, I didn't have the proper tools to remove it all, and in the end, was told that more than a block or two, and I would want to have a sill installed, since it was a load bearing wall.
From what I gather, heat wants to rise and will do so, given a path. My real dilemna however is finding a way for it to also move sideways, as well as replace the heat with cold, in order to create the currents to reach other parts of the house. I hope to have both a wood stove cranking the better part of the winter, as well as the option of a coal in either my office of semi finished basement. There is this possibility where 3 stoves will be burning this winter.
Thanks for your recommendations. I look forward to solving the puzzle.