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Heater box duct routing
#1
I have a heater box that is basically a fire stove inside of a metal box. I can't put the fireplace in the house as there's no place to put it, for one, and secondly I don't feel like ripping a hole in the ceiling/roof to put a chimney.
So I have this box on the outside of the house next to my central air box. The air box has had the compressor/condenser coils and all that stuff cut off the box and the only thing remaining is the air box side of things with the blower fan. Later on I will use the evap coils as a radiator and pump either hot or cold water through them to help keep the temps in the house. That's a later project as it involved pumps and circuitry.

Right now as a quick thrown together piece of work, I have a piece of wood on the top with a hole cut in it to pull air from the top of the fire box into the inlet side of the air box. This is a bulky setup and was only temporary as I needed to get heat for the house within a few days and limited budget. I already had most of the parts so I fabricated something to work, which it does, just not as efficiently or as ethically as it could be.

So the hot air comes from the top of the fire box in to the top of the air box. The blower fan pushes this air into the house. To help warm the air up further, I put in a little bit of recirculation. Some of the air going out of the air box will be pushed back into the fire box at the bottom. This minimizes cold air from being sucked in, and also heats the air up a bit further. However, this is still not efficient. 

One of two things needs to be done.
1) Return air from the house needs to pass through the fire box then into the air box
2) Feed air form the air box needs to pass through the fire box then into the house

I am sorta using "both" methods at the moment.
I'm thinking option 1 is best as it will create a vacuum in the firebox thereby not push hot air out of it to the outside. The 2nd option will pressurize the firebox to a degree unless I put another blower fan somewhere, which I'd rather not do at this point.

So, now comes the question I'd like to ask from the community. Here's a rough layout of the parts:



Air is returned from the house through the light grey duct and fed back via the dark grey. The big blue box is the air box, and the red one is the fire box. What I'd like is ideas on how to divert some air from the return through the fire box and then back to air box. I don't want 100% air flow going through as the duct for the return is 14" (355mm) diameter, and I only need to use something around 8" (203mm). This reasoning is because I already have most the of 8" ducting already, I don't have anymore of the 14", and I don't need another 30' (9m) for a short piece. 

I've kinda been thinking of a diverter that would be like cutting another box (between light grey and air box) in half, and would have 45* curves to help scoop the air and redirect to the connected ducting. This could be slid in/out to adjust flow. Something like this:


Positive ideas, comments, suggestions.  Appreciated.
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#2
flexible duct from the house air intake to heat exchanger box for recirculation of heated air or cool air depending on time of year?
later floyd
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#3
(01-13-2019, 03:44 AM)floydR Wrote: flexible duct from the house air intake to heat exchanger box for recirculation of heated air or cool air depending on time of year?
later floyd

Yes, exactly. I plan on not using any electricity (except for the blower fan) to heat the house this winter. So far so good, but I'm going through a LOT of wood because a lot of heat is wasted. I hope to have something set up by the time summer temps roll around so I don't have to use the A/C at all, if I can help it.
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#4
Insulate the duct work from the heat box and the heat box
Is the firebox insulated?
Use a heavy mass with low heat conductivity, look up masonry stoves/heaters.
later floyd
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#5
I understand that. Redoing the heater box is a future project. I'll be replacing the stove with a better unit. But that's not what I'm asking about. The duct work is insulated, so that's not the issue.

What I'm asking is ideas on how to do the routing and diverting. Design ideas and such
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#6
Thank you for the great info. We have a large dehumidifier in our crawl space installed by Terminix for moisture control.

For big rain events (like hurricane Matthew) we do sometimes get some water in the crawl space.

I think the loose/leaking ducts may be our issue here so I'll get someone out to check soon. Thanks again!
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#7
To recirculate some air, might be a simple as adding just another duct similar to a hole house humidifier. 
Korishan likes this post
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#8
yeah, that's pretty much what I'll be adding. Considering that heating also tends to dry out the air, I'll have a humidifier built in as well. Basically just keep a pan full of water and let it steam into the air flow back into the house. Wink
I suppose I could put some smarts into it so it can read the humidity level on the return side and then adjust a damper accordingly
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