How to Move Heat from a Wood Stove: 5 Methods

The average cost of heating a 2,000 square foot home is nearly $2,000 per year, according to Energy Services Group. One way to offset that cost without spending a lot is to use your wood-burning stove.

Wood stoves provide a ton of heat for little investment, especially if you have a free supply of cut wood. But that heat tends to accumulate in the room the stove is in while the rest of the house relies on more expensive heating means.

Luckily, there are some easy (and inexpensive) solutions for spreading that heat throughout your home. Below, we’ll show you how to move heat from a wood stove with five simple and effective methods.

wood stove with a small fan on top to move heat

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5 Ways to Move Heat from a Wood Stove

Taking the heat produced by your wood stove and moving it through your house to get the full cost-saving benefits can be done in many ways. Here are the five methods that work the best.

Turn On Your Central Heating Fan

woman adjusting the thermostat

Running your central heating system can be costly, but utilizing the air-moving fans inside it, doesn’t cost much at all. 

By turning your central heating system to constant fan mode, you can quickly and easily move the hot air generated by your wood stove throughout your home. This is an effective trick if the room your stove is in happens to have an air intake vent.

Start by turning your central heating system to continuous fan mode. Then dial down the set temperature for the system to prevent the heating element from kicking on too often. 

The system will cycle the air in your home through your ducts. This process will pull the hot air from the woodstove room into the ducts and push it out into other rooms. Even if you don’t have an intake vent near the stove, the process of convection will heat ducts in that room and help circulate warm air throughout the home.

Use a Portable Fan

a woman positioning an electric fan in the living room to move heat from a wood stove

If you don’t have a central heating system, a portable fan is another good option.

By placing a box fan or oscillating fan behind your wood stove, you can help force the air past the warm surface of the stove and on into the rest of your home. Just be sure the fan is set far enough away that it doesn’t get too warm.

The larger the fan, the more effective this method will be.

Placing portable fans near stairways and doorways can also help circulate that warm air. Just be sure the fans are facing away from the wood burner, so the warm air is drawn up and out of the hotter room.

You can also use ceiling fans in other rooms to draw air out of the warm room and into those cooler areas. Make sure your fans are set to spin counterclockwise, so they pull air toward them.

For more tips on using a fan and other methods to draw heat from your wood-burning stove, check out the below video.

Buy a Heat Powered Fan

heat powered fan on a wood stove

If you lack the space to place a portable fan behind your wood burner, then a heat-powered fan is your next best option.

These smart little devices run off the heat created by your wood-burning stove. That means they don’t need electricity and don’t cost extra cash to operate. Instead, they sit right on top of your wood burner, absorbing the heat and pushing it out into the room.

Heat-powered wood stove fans are much smaller than your typical portable fan, which means they move less air. However, they are still an inexpensive solution that costs nothing to run. 

Install a Blower

Many wood stoves are designed to be used with a blower fan. These external fans force room air over or through the fireplace. The newly warmed air is then pushed out and into the room.

This is similar to the effect achieved by a heat-powered fan or portable fan but far more effective because the air gets much hotter before it enters the room.

Blower fans can be on the more expensive side. It is also difficult to find the right model to suit your fireplace style. But, if you’re serious about moving heat from your stove into the rest of your home, this is one of the most effective options.

Related Article: The Most Realistic Electric Fireplaces

Create a Draft

woman opening the window

Without fans helping to circulate the air, you’re reliant on convection currents to move warm air through your home. Depending on the layout and size of your house, the process of warming rooms far from the stove can take hours.

One easy way to speed up this process is to create a draft by cracking a window. This might seem counterintuitive, especially if it’s cold outside. But the draft created will produce an air current strong enough to pull hot air through your home quickly.

The most effective way to create a heat-moving draft is to crack the window farthest from your wood burner. This will help guarantee the heated air moves throughout your entire house.

Keep It Moving to Spread the Warmth

The key to moving heat from your wood burner throughout your house is to keep the air moving. You can do this using many different methods.

Turning on your central heating fan or using a portable fan directed at your stove are simple and effective ways to move warm air out of the room and through your home. Heat-powered fans have a similar effect and require no electricity.

Blower fans cost a little more upfront and require constant electricity, but they are by far the most effective solution. You can combine these tactics with a cracked window to create a draft and further increase airflow for balanced warmth throughout the home.

Have questions or comments about how to move heat from a wood stove? Comment below!

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