Can anyone tell me the general draw of a squirrel cage fan in the plenum of
a heating/ cooling system in one or both speeds? I'm trying to decide if
this fan is cost effective (I'll do the math) for distributing the heat from
my wood stove. I have always contended that every use of it defeats the
purpose of burning wood. TIA Chuck
In my 5-ton A/C, 100,000 btu heating system, the blower is about 10 A, mebbe
a little more.
But this is a big-azz blower, ballpark about 1 foot long by about 1 foot
diam squirrel cage.
10 A, at a power factor of 1.0 (purely resistive) is 1200 watts, a good
sized heater in itself.
Which is something you should consider, that technically, this electric cost
is "returned" in the form of heat, altho not "free" heat, as in chopped
Of course, this "return" of heat is undesirable in the A/C mode.
I'd guess that the blower suitable for a wood burning stove would be much
much smaller. For example, the blowers in kitchen hoods are considerably
less than 5 A, some less than 2 A, gleaned from a GE Profile sheet on their
I think a current draw of 2-3 amps would increase the effective heat
distribution of a wood stove so as to be well worth the electric cost.
Ceiling fans also do well along these lines, and draw very low power.
You probably have a dual speed fan. Low speed for circulating hot air and
high speed for circulating cool air. The current draw is listed on your
specific models motor data plate, or you can just use an ammeter.
About the time I had mastered getting the toothpaste back in the tube, then
Look at the nameplate on the motor and it will give the amps for running.
The biggest drawback of a wood stove is the lack of air circulation. To be
effective in the entire house, you must move the air somehow. If you don't
use the blower from the heating system, run a box fan to blow the heat out
of the room to the rest of the house. You can get some natural convection,
but in 99% of houses, it is not adequate.
Yes, very possibly. Some heat systems run a duct (4 inch
dryer vent tube would be good) from the return air to
outdoors. So, the system pulls in some outdoor air. Helps
pressurize the building, too. Push the smoke out.
I remember the one time I was helping install a furnace. The
family decided it was a good day to kindle a fire in the
fireplace. The house was airtight enought, that the
fireplace was sucking air down the chimney (flue) for the
furnace. The smoke started to fill the cellar. Really
bitter, and miserable smoke, too. I took a plastic bag and
taped it over the open flue. And then opened a cellar window
to let fresh air in.
if the stove has a air input from outside the house there is no
problem. My fireplace, which is a heatolator type, draws air into the
firebox thru a 4 inch diameter hose which goes directly to the outside
through a dryer exhaust like pipe and hood and screen on the side of
the house. The heat exchanger is a blower that blows air around the
outside of the fire box itself. There is no air interchange between
the outside air being drawn in for combustion and the air blowing
around the fire box.
Well.... a typical furnace blower is 1/4 to 1/3 HP, some are
larger. A HP is 748 watts, or maybe 746. Can't remember.
My prediction is that using the furnace fan helps keep the
other rooms much more comfortable. Cuts down on complaining.
And helps filter ash and dust out of the air. All of those,
My furnace fan has surprisingly little effect on circulating heat from my
insert. Run for a couple hours when the living room is up to 70, the other rooms
might rise from 60 to 62. It probably depends a lot on where you cold air
returns are. If they are right next to the stove, it'll probably work better.
Thanks folks. I live in a 68' rancher and the heat does a fairly good job
of distribution since we're empty nesters not using 3 of the 4 bedrooms. In
the early winter (now) when the temps are only slightly below freezing and
up to the mid 40s during the day the stove wants to drive us out of the
house. We like a hot box in order to abate creosote and it has been working
well. We have learned to open up the other rooms to bleed off some of the
heat. But, when the temps get to be in the teens and twenties I would like
to bump some of the heat to the BR since it's at the far reaches of the
house. Ironically, our family room is behind the firebox with exposed
brick. We have to sit in there in summer attire - whew. Oh yes, I haven't
looked on the motor plate because I can't get to it without standing on my
head and twisting around. My back won't take that. That's my story and I'm
sticking to it!! Thanks again! Chuck
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