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I have a sort of rectangular house with a 25 m2 living room at one corner, and the master bedroom at the opposite long corner of the house. All of the bedrooms are up another level from the living room by 4 steps.

I installed a wood burner in the living room a couple of years ago, and I was assured it could heat the whole house up, but of course it's not doing so. When I have the fireplace going, it could be 28 deg C in the room with the ceiling temperature at 32 dec C. But the heat is not circulating and is being blocked by the wall above the living room doors. The bedrooms would be at 12 deg C.

I had a builder create a transom window above the doors and that helps only a little.

I don't have a ceiling cavity to install heat transfer ducting.

But I do have a play room under the living room, and I could put a grill in the floor of the living room and duct it to the 4 bedrooms though I have no idea how well that would work pulling hot air at floor level rather than ceiling level.

Is this a practical solution? Or, is there something better? Should I be pulling cold air from the bedrooms and push it to the living room instead?

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  • Do you have a ceiling fan in the same room as the fireplace? That'd push the hot air back down and circulate it through that door. – represton May 11 '20 at 1:52
  • Can't really help you out with getting things into individual rooms. That's why central air conditioning was invented, but a fan would definitely help out a lot. – represton May 11 '20 at 1:54
  • I was considering a ceiling fan which I gather destroys heat stratification in the room but are they effective for moving the heat out of the room? – Graham Chiu May 11 '20 at 2:10
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We had the same situation in my son's home in upstate New York. He had a wood-burning stove and needed to distribute the heat more evenly throughout the house. We installed room-to-room quiet low-speed circulating fans high in the walls between rooms. They could possibly be installed in your louvered transoms or next to them.
His home was all one level which yours is not so you may need a more beefed-up circulating system to reach other levels.
However, I noticed in your pictures that you have a stairwell outside the living room area. An efficient room-to-room fan in the living room wall could move heat to the stairwell that would then rise by convection to the second level. It might be at least a partial solution for you. Below is one Panasonic in-wall fan I found that might work for you - but there are others out there.
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  • I did think of this and was wondering if I needed a cold inlet to the room as well to balance the pressure or enhance the air movement. – Graham Chiu May 11 '20 at 5:22
  • It might help but I'm not sure it's necessary especially if you leave the doors open. I would take it one step at a time. Also, have you considered mini-split heat pumps for the bedrooms. They are in-wall ductless, energy efficient units that are great for heating or cooling small spaces. You might want to google them. – HoneyDo May 11 '20 at 16:11

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