I've got a "wood stove insert" for my fireplace. It's basically a box that retains heat, makes sure all the smoke goes in the right direction, burns everything more cleanly, and has a fan to circulate air around the firebox and out into the room. It's my second one, and while I like it better partly for the transparent window in the door (so I can watch "fire TV") I also like the fact that the fan is controlled by a thermostat, so I can just leave it on after I head to bed.
The only bummer is that even with the more open front section of the house, the rear of the house doesn't get nearly as much of the heat generated, and tends to cool way off the longer I run the stove. Even turning on the HVAC fan to circulate the air doesn't really help much, as all the vents (intake and output) for the HVAC are at floor level.
I thought about various options for a long time, and then realized that if I cut a hole in the wall to the left of the fireplace, I'd be looking straight down the hall to the back of the house. I got a register booster fan and installed it at the top of the wall, blowing into the hallway towards the back of the house. We tried it out last night, and the change was pretty spectacular. The additional fan noise doesn't even rise above the wood stove insert fan noise.
This is engineering, though, so clearly that's nowhere near enough fiddling. I've checked the wiring diagram of the wood stove insert, and it's pretty clear where I can tap into the circuit to get a thermostatically controlled outlet that I can plug the booster fan into. That way it'll all operate automatically whenever I build a fire. I'll just need to figure out a sensible way to route the wire and it'll be perfect.
Well, not perfect. But close enough for me to stop messing with it.
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