Alternative heating options using a log burner?

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Alright folks.

Bit off a random 1 but I know a few handy and educated folk on here.

Been about to do up an old building for a while now but finally getting started.
Full roof off back to masonry, new floor job so all planning and building standards etc.

I'm trying to think up a way to get the excess heat from 1 end of the house to the other.
Ideally I'd like to put an oversized log burner in, if I could easy get the heat to other end off the house.( fairly long and narrow)

My daft idea is to put a vent or 2 above log burner area connected to those insulated flue pipes u use for heat recovery systems within inline fan/explain air type thing u can turn on which just blows it throu dicts to the far end of house.
Basically a cross between a glorified heat recovery system on steriods and those old-fashioned 70s style central heating systems that blew hot air up from floor.

I dare say I could even run the ducting down to ground height if that would make a difference with heat rising.
No idea if that would make a dofference

I know u get those stove fans but looking for something to move more heat further and quicker

The house will be up to modern insulation standards and have underfloor heating and a heat revery system.
But I'm looking for ways to avoid putting the heating on, I generally like a cold house anyway and have got so much free firewood I really don't know wot to do with it. A few years ago I reckoned I had 100m3 under cover split with piles of split logs, rings and timber stacked all over the bit.

I'm also tight :):) so looking at ways to heat house cheaply but also don't see the point in heating a house all day to a decent temp when it's sitting empty for most off it.
Would rather use the UFH as only a very base layer of heat if needed throu winter and top up with log burner when I get home from work.


I have heard mixed opinions about heat recovery systems, from wot I can gather folk in trade generally like them but owners think there poor.
I think they can only raise a room temp by a few degrees.
But building control like them and ticks a box so it's going in anyway

The hot water and UFH is coming off an LPG combi, so running pipework off the log burner is not an option.
Just too expensive the extra pipework and tanks etc to make it work and tried all sorts as that was originally my preferred choice.


Cheers for any advice or different ideas and hopefully the above makes sense, or if I have any glaring errors in my thinking
 

Buckaroo8

Well-Known Member
Is it too late to think about a log gasification boiler?
If you have a lot of fuel wood spare, that’s the way I’d go.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Aye the money is absolutely mental that was originally how I wanted to do it.

My prices will be out of date now but I'm sure the dearest price was 14k at the time a few years ago and that was just for plumbing relating to boiler and tanks.
Only a 2/3 bed fairly basic house, then u have the space it takes up.
By scrapping it done away with a plant room a bit of jiggery pokery with plans and got an extra bedroom which means I don't have to put an extension on.
Happy days

Even running pipes of a log burner got expensive and complicated fairly quick, and again issues with power cuts as most require a pump to move the water.
Would hate to be stuck with no power and can't even light my fire!

Plus those boilers can't run in a power cut either which hasnae been an issue last 2 years but before that was quite common + Ur servicing..

The more I looked into log gasification boilers the more I think just a typical modern over complified idea/mistake/scam.
So expensive and complicated just to get an extra 5 or 10% efficancy, when Ur old fashion back boiler heating was such a simple system

On a modern house with high insulation the domestic RHI tariffs still didn't come close to making it viable.
 

Freeforester

Well-Known Member
A log boiler, heat exchanger, underfloor heating and good thickness recticel insulation are good, if dear, the RHI scheme is tapering off more now too. Decent insulation is always money wisely sunk, while a decent air to air heat pump of the Scandinavian spec variety is probably a better way to spend £3+k to keep you warm, but free wood heat is hard to beat, I agree! A couple of computer fans are perfectly adequate to push/pull the heated air through the ducting to where you are considering, and are easily rigged up and inexpensive to buy and/or replace should this ever be needed. A 6v dc source (like an old mob phone charger) provides sufficient power to the fans to move the air steadily from a to b. Underfloor is a great thing, though not necessary throughout most of the house, especially bedrooms.

PM Thorsen here to learn about air to air heat pumps, he can advise, you at little to no cost, and really does know his onions in this regard, I know he has fitted units for other members too.
 

Davee

Well-Known Member
Single or double story? I have single story with underfloor heating set to take the edge off in winter, on a timer but no individual room controls, so when I light the wood-burner, the lounge/diner gets too hot whilst the bedrooms were too cold. I ran a ducting under the insulation from above the log-burner to the bedroom with one off those bathroom fans at the bedroom end. It works after a fashion, could be improved but hey ho I'm happy. If double story and the floor boards are up, run the pipework between ceiling and floor with outlets at skirting board height, you have to leave the bedroom door ajar for it to work properly
 

Finch

Well-Known Member
Maybe not practicable for the OP but I am considering an off-grid build myself. If I do, I will certainly have a log burner but it will be positioned centrally in the house. Either a single inglenook hearth open from both sides, or a back-to-back double hearth but in either case with the ambient heat from the flue or flues utilised upstairs by having exposed steel flue pipes acting like radiators rather than wasting their heat by burying them inside a masonry chimney.
It's much more efficient just to allow a central heat source to spread ambient warmth in all directions naturally than trying to pump it from one end of a building to another mechanically.

If I was completely gutting a building I would seriously consider moving the main hearth to the centre of the building. Easy for me to say, I'm a bricklayer so it wouldn't feel like too drastic a job for me. But it's worth thinking about. The flue of a solid fuel fire is usually a source of massive heat loss, especially external chimney breasts built of masonry.
 
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countrryboy

Well-Known Member
Cheers so far.

So it seems the concept is not completely stupid,, hopefully.!

Should of said, sngle story, about 1800s odd cottage with thick stone walls and building a modern timber 6" kit inside.

Really to far down the road to be changing the whole heating system too much ( like to any heat pumps etc)

The 1 common problem almost everyone tells u with log burners is get too hot close to them,
The log burner is at the far gable wall at 1 end off house, it's in a big room 50odd sq m.
So thought u could have an oversized log burner for room, which should heat it quickly when u come in from work, can then pump the hot air to far end off house when it's too hot.
To me seems an ideal solution, which is why I'm amazed not been done before if it would actually work.
Which makes me think must be a flaw/problem I've over looked.

My idea was a proper big 240v fan, even an explair fan on steriods, rather than a computer fan and move a decent amount of hot air about.
Go big or go home!! :) :)
Alrhou hadn't given the finer details too much thought as thought it was a typical hair brained scheme off mine.

But if u wired it throu a switch like an immersion heater u could turn it on/off when it suited u without crawling into loft, or even on a timer so shuts off after 1hr or something so not running all night.
Possibly even wire it throu a dimmer switch to control fan speed?


If the pumping/fan thing would work in theory would u want the exit/out vent low down on wall so Ur just not pumping hot air to curling height where it stays doing no good, or even forcing the cold air down?

Never thought about noise, well was more worried about fan noise than sound travelling. Don't imagine it would be a problem in this case, have to put a heat recovery system in anyway so might already have that problem, althou possibly the heat exchanger stops the sound travelling?
Never heard anyone mention that before, but also never had anything to do with hot air heating systems before other than seeing it at my cousin's house when I was young.

FinallIy is that the sort of modification/bodge u can put in a house before it has got its completion certificate??
IE building inspectors nosing around?
Or would they take a dim view on it?
Would be far easier doing it at 1st fixing stage but wether u would have to disguise it from building inspectors.


Cheers Finch, no doubt wot u say makes sense but u know how it is with renovations u always try to make the best off wot u have.
There is no chimney so in theory moving the log burner would be possible but just couldn't get the layout to tie in any other way, everywhere u want to put a wall is abloody great window.
 

Finch

Well-Known Member
Are you too far down the line to fit a log burner with a back boiler?
Depending what sort of stove you have and what species your firewood is, it can work very well to keep a log burner ticking over gently on slow burning wood, which usually doesn't burn too hot. I used to keep my old villager going easily for eight hours with dense wood. You can then take that heat around the house with radiators which keeps the whole house temperature up without having to roast one end of it with an oversized stove.

Whatever solution you use, the trick is to maintain ambient warmth above a certain level at all times (which is how ground source pumps work). If warmth is constantly maintained and you have good insulation, you don't need nearly so much heat to start with.
 
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Freeforester

Well-Known Member
Local smith to me put in a large Charnwood feeding 12 rads, did not mention it earlier as you seemed to be against the idea; it works for him.
 

JTO

Well-Known Member
Water has such a high specific heat compared to air, per cubic foot, it is the usual way of moving heat around a building.
 
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