I just bought a new home and the living room has a wood stove with a fan. It heats the 1st and 2nd floor great, however since heat doesn't sink, what do I do about the basement? I live in NE Mass and the winter has come (6" snow tomorrow!) and I'm worried about pipes freezing in my basement. Should I be worried at all or can I do something to ensure they don't?


There's two questions here.

1) Will my pipes freeze in my unheated basement?

Probably not. Provided you don't have a lot of the foundation wall exposed to the air outside, the basement will likely always remain above freezing due to ground temperature. Ensuring that you properly insulate the stud bays and the like will make that even less likely to freeze.

2) how do I heat the basement with a wood stove above it?

I'm not sure that you can short of there being perhaps some sort of duct-work system designed for wood stoves where you could force warm air into the basement.

The alternative would be to move the wood stove. Put it in the basement allow it to heat from the lowest point.

  • So i guess the next question is how do I "properly insulate the stud bays". Simple jam fiberglass insulation in there? – David Lozzi Oct 28 '11 at 20:42
  • 1
    sorry, not stud bays--meant to stay joist bays---the space above the foundation wall between the floor joists. Fiberglass is better than nothing, but the typical problem is air leaks, so ideally foam spray or foam board (sealed). – DA01 Oct 28 '11 at 21:23
  • Absolutely right DA01 – shirlock homes Oct 29 '11 at 21:30
  • I might add. Some heat tapes if a crawl space, foam insulation on the pipes and no drafts will usually stop freeze ups. Will be very difficult to use woodstove heat on the first floor to heat a basement. If this is a full basement with little exposed wall, you should not have a problem. – shirlock homes Oct 29 '11 at 21:32
  • Thanks all, i threw a thermometer down there and we just had a nice storm, snow and all. Lowest it reach was 49 deg. I'll be getting some spray foam and insulation to sure it up. – David Lozzi Oct 30 '11 at 12:43

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