I have a 20'x30' old shed that I'm turning into a office/workshop.
The office will occupy a 8'x15' corner of the workshop and be walled
off and insulated from the rest of the workshop. I was given a fairly
large wood burning stove by an uncle and I'm wondering how best to use
it to heat both office and workshop. The office will be my home
office and will house a couple of computers a desk and a couch. Right
now I have no insulation and no walls put in and the stove is sitting
in the corner not hooked up so I'm not fettered by any existing
construction. I will be insulating the walls and the ceiling
eventually. A couple of other factors. This is in central Illiois so
the winters can get pretty cold. The roof is a fairly flat slant and
pitches to the north only, it's just a one-way slant whatever that's
called. There is a big sliding door on the east side that I'm not
quite sure how I'm going to insulate yet. Several questions:
1) Is there a certain place to put the stove to get the best
distribution. I can probably put it along the shared wall of the
office and workshop to get a central location but I don't want to have
it in the way too much.
2) Can I distribute the heat by routing the exhaust pipe through the
building? Does that put off much heat itself and are the ways to help
3) Are the are any precautions I need to take if I route the exhaust
through the drywall walls from the workshop to the office?
4) Is it any better to send the exhaust out the wall than the roof?
I'm sure there are lots of other questions I should be asking as well
so I'd really appreciate any insightes you've got.
Yeah, you can do that, but make darned sure the pipe used has a pronounced tilt
towards the stove, or you'll have little puddles of creosote under every seam.
Nasty stuff. The long pipe lets the smoke cool down so extra creosote condenses
out. There used to be a fan that fit into the pipe--part of a section of pipe,
actually--and that may be still available.
You betcha. Cement board (used to be asbestos when I was doing this) is needed
to prevent heat transfer to the drywall.
Why would it be? I've done both. Check around and you'll see that chimneys
generally come out of roofs, not side walls. Stove pipes can go either way, as
can the newest stainless steel chimneys. A straight run is generally easier
with a chimney. You really want to avoid bends where possible, as every bend,
and, really, every uninsulated section of stove pipe increases the amount of
creosote condensing from the smoke. Every bit condensed out either makes a
mess, requires you to clean the pipe and chimney more often, or catches fire.
I've had one chimney fire in my life. That's two more than I needed. Scared the
crap out of me and my neighbors.
"Ambition is a poor excuse for not having sense enough to be lazy." Edgar
Bergen, (Charlie McCarthy)
While I agree in principle, I don't see it in practice. Spent some time
this weekend in some old buildings such as Eleanor Roosevelt's Val Kill
cottage, a few buildings at the Hancock Shaker village and they all had wood
burning stoves. In every case, the pipe seemed to be about perfectly level
and longish runs, from 8 to 15 feet.
Huh? I can show you hundreds of chimneys (including mine) that are on a
side wall. They all do go above the roof not exhaust on the side if that is
what you mean.
I can show you several museums where wood burning stoves are
incorrectly installed. It's something of a lost art and modern
curators don't always do it right, just through modern ignorance. The
American Museum in Bath has their Shaker stove assembled
If I did install a horizontal flue, I wouldn't do it within 10' or so
of the stove, and I'd put rodding doors at each end.
Amen to the first part. As to the second, for any current woodstove
I've seen, 6-8 feet would be a reasonable limit for plain metal
smokepipe, if only to be able to maintain draft. That length can
materially increase overall efficiency per tests that have been
reported. The longer it is, the less draft pressure differential, and
the greater the likelihood of condensing crap inside the pipe. I'd
aim for a "sweet-spot" there in trading draft (thus overall output,
for one) for efficiency.
Some of the long uninsulated smokepipe runs in the past were used with
very inefficient pot-belly coal-burners. Makes sense there,
definitely not with wood.
It depends on where the stove will be placed.
I suggest you check with a reputable wood burning stove retailer in your
area. For proper venting of a stove there are a number of things that
must be taken into account such as:
local building codes
pitch of the roof
type of materials used the the building's construction
A good retailer may be able to suggest some DIY literature explaining
these things if you wish to install the stove yourself.
Also consider installing a ceiling fan to aid in circulating the heat
throughout the building.
Buffalo, NY - USA
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Hooray! Right answer.
Longer the inside pipe, worse the draw for starting. I'd consider trying to
share heat by locating the stove near a common wall and using a fan-driven,
thermostatically controlled heat recovery type of device in the pipe to dump
heat into the other space. Works very well for me. Means a vent down low
to recirculate, of course.
Also, don't forget to rehumidify. All the air that runs up the chimney
brings in lower humidity stuff from the outside. With four people, two dogs
and a lint-filtered dryer putting moisture into our place we have a tough
time keeping the humidity up enough to avoid URIs.
If I were doing this I would:
Properly install stove "near "office, with stove pipe runing up through
Put "window" in wall of office and shop, place filter and fan in window to
blow air into office.
This will draw warm air from the shop into the office and give office slight
postive pressure to keep dust from coming into office from opening door.
small box fan (12"x12") drawing air form shop through filter should work.
If stove is within 10' of fan you should have all the warm air you want, and
can turn off the fan if office gets too warm.
Because you are going to use the office as a home office and include
one or more computers I'd do the following:
1-Insulate the walls of the office including the wall between the
office and the shop. I'd use at least R13 and try to get up to R19.
With the price of all fuels deregulated in some fashion they won't be
dropping very much.
2-I would seal the door between the shop and the office so that no
dust or smoke get near the computers etc. You want a clean
environment for the office?
3-I'd use a reliable automatic type of heat in the office. While
electric resistance baseboard can be expensive if it is in a very well
insulated room with a set back thermostat your office will be ready to
use whenever you want at a somewhat reasonable cost. An alternative
could be a thru the wall heat pump (either a "window" type unit or one
used in hotels, schools etc). You save due to efficiency, get air
conditioning (comfortable in summer) and have a higher first cost.
4-I'd wait on installing the wood stove. If you construct a well
insulated and sealed shop your lights, dust collector and other
continuous running items will be putting 1000 or 1500 watts into a
tight building. My shop (Philadelphia weather) is set up this way and
I use just another 1500 watt electric heater (no open element) and I
can stay comfortable. Also consider a good bank of windows facing
south with an insulating balnket to cover them in the evening
(inexpensive solar collection concept).
5-If you do decide to add the wood stove first visit your building
inspector and fire marshal and maybe your insurance agent. They will
be able to highlight things like wall sheilds, double walled flues,
etc. Finally just remember that wood stoves without a catalytic
converter (yes the new stoves have them) are probably the most
polluting heating fuel around and unless you make adequate provisions
for make up air they are very inefficient and very drying. Finally
how often do you want to go out and fuel the fire?
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