I am contemplating the following design:

A house has a primary electric heat pump heating setup consisting of an outside heat pump, inside air blower and all the duct work that distributes warm air through the house.

Now I want to also be able to burn wood to heat my house. Would it be possible to leverage out the existing duct works from the primary heating setup described above and conduct air into it that's been heated by the wood stove in the basement of the house? I think I have seen people do it but with radiators using water and air is a different medium so I imagine it'd be different. Would the stove be heating air directly or heating coiled coolant, similar to the heat pump if I understand how it works correctly?

Essentially, every time the person living in the house felt like doing some physical exercise to chop some firewood, they could help their electric bill by generating BTUs by burning wood, which may be cheaper than electric in the area.

1 Answer 1


I have a wood stove in the lower floor of my house. I cut a vent size opening and installed a temperature activated fan that blew the heat into the intake duct. I started out with just the opening but found the fan made a big difference. When I ran my stove I turned the furnace fan on and the wood stove kept the house warm. On really cold days or if I was too lazy to start a fire the furnace took over. I did add smoke detectors in each bedroom just in case smoke got into the intake, that never happened and it cut my heating bill over 250/month.

  • When you say it cut the heating bill by 250/month. Is that based on free wood, or does that include the cost of the wood?
    – Tester101
    Feb 3, 2016 at 14:12
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    I paid for cutting permits (in Oregon)but they were under 20.00. I use 3-3-1/2 cord/ year. This heated a 3000 sqft home. My actual savings were higher but I purchased a bigger chain saw and a 30ton hydraulic splitter that Over the last 10 years have more than paid for them and both have years of life left. If I had to buy wood my savings would been about 1/2 and I would not be in as good shape.
    – Ed Beal
    Feb 3, 2016 at 16:12

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