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Using Furnace To Circulate Air?

Unless you have a variable speed blower on your furnace or air handler, running your fan for long periods of time will cost you plenty in energy, quickly cutting into any energy savings by heating with wood.


  • 396leader
    396leader Member Posts: 3

    Is this a good idea or not? I have installed a pellet stove to save on propane this year. I have an idea I was thinking about trying. The stove is located in the same room as the thermostat and a couple of cold air returns. If I pull the disconnect on the air conditioning condenser outside, and set my thermostat to cool, and then program it to cool at certain times, wouldn't it turn the blower on and circulate the air throughout the house?

    The only problem I can think of is that if the stove runs out of fuel, the furnace won't come on for back up heat.

    So far we haven't needed to do any thing, it has been working great. It hasn't been that cold yet. When it does get cold, I think the bedrooms upstairs may be cold and I will have a hard time getting the kids to get up for school.

  • Use a Honeywell VisionPro thermostat

    These have a setting for on: fan runs continuously, regardless of a call for heat or cooling, auto: fan runs only when there is a call for heat or cooling, and circ: fan runs 3 times /hour for 10 minutes, regardless of a call for heat. It will work with the heat or cooling switch off. You may need to make some wiring changes. The VisionPro is only available to the trade, there is no retail equivalent.
  • Lil-Roc
    Lil-Roc Member Posts: 50

    If you put the t-stat on cool the fan would only turn on on temp rise. You should have a fan on settting on your T-stat. By keeping the fan on 24/7 you would even out some temps and move some of the warm air that straitifies to the ceiling around. This way you are also cleaning the air if you have a good air cleaner or filter on your system.
  • 396leader
    396leader Member Posts: 3

    That was part of the idea. The fan would run when the room warms up, like when the stove fires up. That way if the fire is out, the room would cool down and the fan would shut off.

    The stove I have is a Harmon that is totally automatic, just like a furnace. It has it's own thermostat with a room temp. sensor. When it calls for heat, it fires up, turns on a blower and runs until the temp. is reached. The room temp rises a few degrees when it is on. If I set the central thermostat a degree or so below the temp reached when the stove is on, it should only turn on the furnace blower when the room warms up. Additionally, I can program it so it would only do it during the hours that I want to send some heat to the rest of the house. Like evenings an hour or so before bedtime and early in the morning just before getting out of bed.

    I think I will try it and see how it works.

    As far as a thermostat only being available to the trades, that's not a problem for me. I am a licensed plumbing contractor in business for 18 years.

    Thanks for the suggestions.
  • Home Depot Employee
    Home Depot Employee Member Posts: 329

    Oh yes they are available retail, besides being on internet and priced within $10 what a good pro would pay, just add shipping.

    Don't you just love secondary sellers of boilers and controls to the public?
  • 396leader
    396leader Member Posts: 3
    It Works...Mostly

    Tried my idea last night, it worked pretty good. The blower would turn on and after awhile the room would cool down and it would turn off. Once the room reheated it would run again. I may need to turn the feed rate up on the stove.

    The only thing I hadn't thought of is that my furnace and most of the duct work is located in an unheated section of the basement. That means when the blower first kicks on, there is a small blast of cold air. Also because the air is not that much warmer as it circulates, it makes it feel a little drafty. Kind of like with the old heat pumps. Overall I think it will be a big help evening out the temps throughout the rest of the house.
This discussion has been closed.