Blowers much help with wood stoves? (not inserts)

Are blowers useful?

  • Yes

    Votes: 19 65.5%
  • No

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • It depends

    Votes: 10 34.5%

  • Total voters
    29

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
163
Humboldt coast, California
Blowers seem to be commonly listed as a sales option in sales literature for modern wood stoves. Do blowers make much of a difference?

My evidence is only anecdotal. Locally, two stove sales people said they don't tend to use their own blowers. I saw on another post (about another topic) where a person wrote that he prefers just using a box fan pointed at the stove.

For now, this is just a hypothetical question, but I will soon be ordering a PE T5. I assume the wisest move would be to wait to see if the stove heats enough without a blower. If yes, then no worries. If not, then start considering blower or fan options. (My hearth is not convenient to any close by power plugs.) But still fun to wonder.
 
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Adabiviak

Feeling the Heat
Dec 7, 2008
356
Sierra Nevadas, California
I have one, and when I'm re-heating the house from a 'cold start', and I want that heat moving around, the fan is convenient. A box fan would certainly do the trick though, but it's nice to have one ready to go, tucked away, with a nice speed control pushing air over the top of the stove.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,585
South Puget Sound, WA
Blowers seem to be commonly listed as a sales option in sales literature for modern wood stoves. Do blowers make much of a difference?

My evidence is only anecdotal. Locally, two stove sales people said they don't tend to use their own blowers. I saw on another post (about another topic) where a person wrote that he prefers just using a box fan pointed at the stove. What piqued my curiosity recently was that in one of BeGreen's recently posted pictures of his stove, I believe, had an unplugged power cord coming out from behind his stove.

For now, this is just a hypothetical question, but I will soon be ordering a PE T5. I assume the wisest move would be to wait to see if the stove heats enough without a blower. If yes, then no worries. If not, then start considering blower or fan options. (My hearth is not convenient to any close by power plugs.) But still fun to wonder.
There is (or should be) a plugged in stove blower in the picture. We use it maybe 25% of the time, usually only when it gets in the 20s and I want to boost heat circulation. Otherwise natural convection works well - in our house. YMMV, every house is different.

It's easy to add the blower afterward if you want to try the stove without it first.
 
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Highbeam

Minister of Fire
Dec 28, 2006
16,229
Mt. Rainier Foothills, WA
Depends on the stove, application, and even the blower whether it is the factory blower or a much more powerful aftermarket option.

Blowers are usually noisy. If noise was no concern many of us would have pellet stoves!
 

KindredSpiritzz

Minister of Fire
Oct 31, 2013
738
appleton, wi
I seldom use mine , it.s noisy and i dont think circulates much air. I have a small fan mounted on a shelf behind the stove i'll turn on sometimes, it blows across the stove and out into the house so it circulates it better. My house setup perfectly circulates the heat naturally so i dont need much help cept on the coldest of days. I couldnt ask for a better layout to circulate hot air.
 

kvesi122

New Member
Nov 20, 2018
19
Worcester County Mass
I've been running a Dovre Cape Cod (Isle Royal minus the top load) and it would heat my living room with a 20 ft high cathedral ceiling but the rest of the house was pretty cold even with the ceiling fan going.

Threw on a factory quadra fire blower and it works great once the stove is up to temp! Heats the house much faster. The first unit I received had a pretty bad bearing noise that would increase over time with heat buildup. Got a replacement unit and it hardly makes any noise. Much quieter than a box fan.
 

ratsrepus

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2018
524
Howell, Mi
I never had blowers on any stove, I didnt feel I needed them. my stove is in the center of an open floor plan so the heat is fairly even. On the Ashford, they came standard, and believe me ILL never ave another stove with out them. Like in the morning when things have cooled off, I crank the air to it turn the blowers on low and Im up to temp lickety split. There great, I love them.
 
Nov 27, 2008
184
Upstate South Carolina
We had a big storm this last weekend with our power off for three days. We have a Fisher and use it for our total house heat. The house has been comfortable and easy to over heat. We are both older and enjoy our house warm,usually around 80. We have propane hot water and a propane cook stove so when the power went out we were still comfortable. I had the wood stove fired up and the main part of our house was a comfortable 78. The back bedrooms were cold and I did not know if we could sleep back there. We threw some extra blankets on the bed and we were fine. We could have gone on much longer without power but I was glad to have it back because it enabled the heat to be even in the entire house. So I would say "Yes, it is best to have a blower" David
 

ratsrepus

Minister of Fire
Jan 5, 2018
524
Howell, Mi
We had a big storm this last weekend with our power off for three days. We have a Fisher and use it for our total house heat. The house has been comfortable and easy to over heat. We are both older and enjoy our house warm,usually around 80. We have propane hot water and a propane cook stove so when the power went out we were still comfortable. I had the wood stove fired up and the main part of our house was a comfortable 78. The back bedrooms were cold and I did not know if we could sleep back there. We threw some extra blankets on the bed and we were fine. We could have gone on much longer without power but I was glad to have it back because it enabled the heat to be even in the entire house. So I would say "Yes, it is best to have a blower" David

you guys need a back up generator, a portable with a transfer switch would keep you going during an outage
 

sutphenj

Burning Hunk
Nov 19, 2010
160
West MI
Depends on the stove, application, and even the blower whether it is the factory blower or a much more powerful aftermarket option.

Blowers are usually noisy. If noise was no concern many of us would have pellet stoves!
This was a very big factor when I switched from a pellet stove.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,585
South Puget Sound, WA
Blower noise varies. The blower on our stove is fairly quiet at low and medium speeds. At high speed it's still quieter than our pellet stove was.
 

mar13

Member
Nov 5, 2018
163
Humboldt coast, California
I stand corrected. My memory failed me. I went back and looked at begreen's picture of his stove, and the power cord was plugged in. Sorry about the misinformation. I'll go back in and see if I can cross out that sentence in my OP.
 
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begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,585
South Puget Sound, WA
No worries mate. It was a reasonable question.
 

Woody5506

Minister of Fire
Feb 14, 2017
694
Rochester NY
T5 blower is like $300.....I went with a ceiling fan instead. But I'm still curious how the blower would do with my setup, just not $300 worth of curious.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,585
South Puget Sound, WA
T5 blower is like $300.....I went with a ceiling fan instead. But I'm still curious how the blower would do with my setup, just not $300 worth of curious.
I can say it makes a notable difference with the T6. The differences are faster rise of room temp and better circulation of heat to some of the extremities of the first floor. We live in a milder climate so we don't need to run the blower as much. In other circumstances and houses one might be running the blower a lot more.
 

wooduser

Minister of Fire
Nov 12, 2018
680
seattle, wa
I prefer my box fan, which is cheap to buy, quiet, and very flexible in how I use it.

If the back bedrooms need heat, I move it to that area to blow cold air near the floor to the room where the wood stove is located. If I'm heating a cold house and have the stove cranked up, I direct air at the stove to cool it off and circulate heat. During the summer I use it to exhaust room air from the house so that outdoor air comes in any open window.

All too often, I find that a fan can over cool a wood stove, preventing it from getting or staying up to a good operating temperature.

Well, there you have it! Some people like a fan on wood stoves, and some people don;'t!

I actually like that. People can design the way they want to live their lives, and not be dependent on what manufacturers think we ought to like.
 

begreen

Mooderator
Staff member
Nov 18, 2005
78,585
South Puget Sound, WA
It drops the stove top temp down about 100-125º on our stove. With a 650º stove top running the blower doesn't take the stove out of good operating temp range. The firebox is still full of good secondary combustion. A box fan wouldn't work well with our corner installation and this is not something we want to have/see in the living room. But it is cheap and can be very effective in some circumstances.
 

wooduser

Minister of Fire
Nov 12, 2018
680
seattle, wa
Yep. One of the things I like about heating with wood is experimenting to learn what works for you and what doesn't. It's valuable to hear and be able to consider the ideas and practices others have, even if you don;t adopt them.

That makes it more fun than just pushing a button to get heat. For me, anyway.
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
Last January we were hit with a brutal arctic blast here...if not for the dual fan set up on my Princess I dont think I could of kept up with the heat demand! Those fans were worth every penny and then some! To think I almost didnt get them...that would have been a very foolish mistake!
 
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bfitz3

Feeling the Heat
Jan 6, 2015
389
Northern Michigan
When I first installed my stove, I considered getting a stove-top fan (sterling engine.) I’m glad I didn’t blow the money. Using an incense stick, I ‘visualized’ the convective currents around my stove and in/out of very room in the house. The air moves much faster than I thought possible. I can feel the ‘wind’ on the stairs to the second story. Rooms farther from the stove are cooler, but none are uncomfortable even in the coldest weather provided the stove is kept well fed (we’ve had nights pushing -40 and days that don’t top -5.) I’ll admit that I may have lucked out with house layout (4’ hallways/stairs and no ‘header’ in the opening to the stove room.) Fans might be a useful thing for others, but I can’t see them helping my setup. I also should add that I’m a very light sleeper and used to get woken up by the furnace kicking on in the night. Not having a fan is a dream come true!
 

Tar12

Minister of Fire
Dec 9, 2016
1,536
Indiana
When I first installed my stove, I considered getting a stove-top fan (sterling engine.) I’m glad I didn’t blow the money. Using an incense stick, I ‘visualized’ the convective currents around my stove and in/out of very room in the house. The air moves much faster than I thought possible. I can feel the ‘wind’ on the stairs to the second story. Rooms farther from the stove are cooler, but none are uncomfortable even in the coldest weather provided the stove is kept well fed (we’ve had nights pushing -40 and days that don’t top -5.) I’ll admit that I may have lucked out with house layout (4’ hallways/stairs and no ‘header’ in the opening to the stove room.) Fans might be a useful thing for others, but I can’t see them helping my setup. I also should add that I’m a very light sleeper and used to get woken up by the furnace kicking on in the night. Not having a fan is a dream come true!
Sounds like you have the perfect set up going on! Not so ideal here! Headers everywhere and a not so open floor plan.. I am a heavy sleeper(thats not necessarily a good thing) and little bothers me..and my stove fans are not that loud and on the rare occasion when I need them its a non issue and a blessing to have them.
 
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kennyp2339

Minister of Fire
Feb 16, 2014
4,386
07462
My stove is in the basement, the ceiling fan in the upstairs dinning room stays on lowest speed in reverse 24/7 when the stove is running. I don't need the blower when temps are in the upper 20's, but once they dip below that the stove blower gets turned on low speed, when the temps dip into the low teens the blower gets bumped to medium. I don't think I ever had the blower running on high setting for any long period of time.
 

Ashful

Minister of Fire
Mar 7, 2012
14,907
Philadelphia
My situation is nearly the opposite of @ratsrepus. Whereas he has a stove in the middle of a mostly-open floor plan, I have my stoves stuck back inside fireplaces at either end of the house. One is in a large open room (1000 sq.ft. with 14 ft. vaulted ceiling), and the other is in a small (170 sq.ft.) room in the more disjointed older part of the house. In both cases, having the stoves back in fireplaces really favors the use of the fan, but I think we could get away without it in the more open end of the house. The one in the smaller room really benefits from using the fan, as it helps stir that hot air past the doorways at either end of that small room.
 

EODMSgt

Member
Dec 11, 2018
142
White Mountain Region, NH
I use my stove to heat the main floor and the loft. I use the blower when the temps drop below 25 and I use the ceiling fans whenever the stove is going. It's a small house but with cathedral ceilings and the stove at one end of the main floor, the blower makes a big difference. Been using it for around nine years with this set up.