Wondering about wood burning furnaces

#1
I'm wondering how a wood burning furnace distributes heat. My grandparents used to use one, and it did not make the house smell like a fire.

I also had some of my own ideas. What if I had this installed https://www.homedepot.com/p/Englander-3-000-sq-ft-Wood-Burning-Add-On-Furnace-28-4000/300836111 or something like it, and I used the HVAC ducts to go around and around and around on the ceiling of the basement until it's released through a duct leading outside on the roof...I'll draw a diagram if I didn't make any sense.
I was thinking...
There would be vents on the ceiling of the basement...floors of the rest of the house. All of the heat generated in the wood burning furnace would be released through the basement and the heat conductive HVAC ducts into the rest of the house...because the heat will rise.

Is that dumb? Would creosote build up too quickly or could I get away with just a yearly cleaning?

Thanks,
Barry W. B
 

The Branch Manager

Winter is coming. Forever.
Gold Subscriber
#2
I've researched this a little bit because I have a really nice fireplace insert but my house is up on pilings and that's really the only reason I'm able to do this or you could do it with a new construction. I've designed a fairly simple piping system to use fan-forced radiators in the upper two bedrooms in the back bedroom downstairs on the house. It's just a simple water tank that circulates the water and a heat exchanger could make it all out of iron pipe really easily.
 

Sacajawea

Bobcat Woman
Silver Subscriber
#3
Look into masonry fireplaces; they operate on the same principle you described; the mass of stone/concrete holds & radiates the heat slowly. TuliKivi makes a woodstove that's not quite the same, but uses the same basic idea.
 

Jayclimber

Modern Minuteman
Moderator
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#4
My grandparents had one similar and there wasn't much of a firewood burning smell. Now if you were in the same room as it then you would smell it but otherwise not much of a scent throughout the rest of the house.

Radiant heat was the key. Depending on the size of your house it may or may not heat the entire thing. Usually the room the stove is in and any ajoining room will heat up. Hence one of the reasons for an open floor plan and loft in most designs surrounding one.
 

AGreyMan

I’m the kind of G the little homies wanna be like
Brass Subscriber
#5
I'm wondering how a wood burning furnace distributes heat. My grandparents used to use one, and it did not make the house smell like a fire.

I also had some of my own ideas. What if I had this installed https://www.homedepot.com/p/Englander-3-000-sq-ft-Wood-Burning-Add-On-Furnace-28-4000/300836111 or something like it, and I used the HVAC ducts to go around and around and around on the ceiling of the basement until it's released through a duct leading outside on the roof...I'll draw a diagram if I didn't make any sense.
I was thinking...
There would be vents on the ceiling of the basement...floors of the rest of the house. All of the heat generated in the wood burning furnace would be released through the basement and the heat conductive HVAC ducts into the rest of the house...because the heat will rise.

Is that dumb? Would creosote build up too quickly or could I get away with just a yearly cleaning?

Thanks,
Barry W. B
I might need the diagram of your idea!

The item you linked to is an add-on woodburning furnace. It has an air space around the firebox, and a blower to take in cold air, blow it past the firebox to heat it, then it joins the houses normal furnace HVAC ducting. There is a separate flue for the smoke to be vented outside the house.

Are you asking about routing the smoke/exhaust gasses through HVAC ducting, then outside to extract more heat? If so, I think that has a couple drawbacks. It might not draw correctly, where the fire would smolder die insufficient airflow. The other drawback would be that creasote seems to form where the flue is cold. To an extent, you need to have the flue hot enough so the creasote does not condense on the sides. Lastly, you may have trouble getting HVAC ductwork to stand up to the high heat cycles, and may need to insulate around the portions that are right next to flammable materials like plywood floors and lumber rafters.

My apologies if I misinterpreted your idea.
 
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HandLoad

Yikes...
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#6
Yeah! After an episode of "New, Better Technology" "UltraVent" on Our Gas Fired Heater unit, Splitting Open for over Two Feet, I am Insistent that Combustion Smoke and Gases GET OUTTA MY HOUSE by shortest path, and am vigilant like a Bull Guarding His Hareem about sealing, mounting, securing and checking the Exhaust piping.

NightHawk CO Monitor Saved Our Asses! Middle of the Night, no other warning.