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Wood furnace woes?

Posted by dgdubya (My Page) on
Sun, Oct 5, 08 at 9:48

We installed a Yukon Husky/Eagle wood-oil combo recently and I was hoping others here have experience with these furnaces. It took a while to get the heat rise adjusted, i.e., the blower speed, so that when burning oil the fan wouldn't cool down the unit to the point of shutting off the blower before reaching the temp that was set on the thermostat. Still I'm only able to get a 75 degree heat rise rather than 90.

I'm wondering, however, about the wood side of things. The furnace doesn't seem to draw enough air to sustain a really hot fire. If I leave the ash drawer cracked open the fire is hot enough to keep the plenum temp between 120 and 160 degrees. If I close the drawer the fire cools down so that the blower short cycles. The draft control seems to be working correctly and I'm burning seasoned maple and ash.

The guy I keep getting at Yukon is telling me that it isn't cold enough outside and that's why it's shutting down (he doesn't get it that the thermostat isn't shutting the blower off, it's the fan limit switch).

Does anyone have a suggestion? Thanks!

DGW


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Wood furnace woes?

My parents have a klondike and have used it for over 20yrs with no problem other than replacing the rope gaskets a couple times and a couple fire bricks. I would say there is something wrong with the flue setup or the house is too sealed and not letting the air flow into the draft box.
I think it is ok if the temps are moderate outside the thermostat will not keep the draft open long enough to really get a bed of coals going good on theirs either.
I would wait until it gets colder to make any decisions because the colder it gets the better it will work. The plus side is it does not run you out of the house when the temps are moderate outside and many do. When the thermostat is not calling for heat the draft door is almost completely shut to keep the fire as low as possible for this reason.

You will be MUCH happier with it later this year!


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

There might be an "over the fire" port that can be adjusted with wood, which needs such air. I greatly control the smoking by using mine, but I don't have the same unit as you do. I slightly allows undampered/uncontrolled burning, but fills the gap when the flap is closed. Whatever you do, make sure you know how to control the fire and proceed experimentally, observing the results and be ready to return all settings immediately. My unit is a boiler, not a furnace.

75 degree heat rise in a heat exchanger is about maximum if it's steel. Any more than that and you take the chance of warping it and ruining it.


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

Thanks for the comments and sorry to take so long to get back. There is a control for secondary burn air which is open. This morning it was about 27 degrees when I got up. Fired up the furnace which drafted a little better, but it still runs best if the ash door is open (which it's not supposed to be). I'm going to try to bring in some extra combustion air from outside. My house and basement are far from tight (it was built in 1821) but it won't hurt to try. My biggest worry with the whole thing is that the flue reduces from 8"-6" where it goes into the chimney liner. If that's the problem, there won't be a fix in sight.


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

It depends upon the draft in your chimney. You probably should have a negative .02 reading at the door and a neg. .04 at the breech. If not, your chimney isn't drafting properly. Tjernlund makes draft inducers, but they might not be practical in your case.

Are you sure that you are permitted to have more than a 75 degree rise in the heat exchanger? You might be asking for warpage if it's any higher.


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

" Code " NEVER reduse a flue size from collar to stack
or chimmney, EVER. You just found out why. Look at Baymee's
last post.


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

That is one awesome wood furnace you have and when the draft issue is remedied it will keep you warm and toasty through the coldest of winters and will not consume a forest in the process. I think the reducer is the problem also.


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

The manual says a 90 degree rise. I believe the unit is cast iron, not steel. So if you're not permitted to reduce the flue size, what options are there?


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RE: Wood furnace woes?-update

I've definitely got a draft problem. That being said, the unit still works nicely, keeping the house way more toasty than we're use to. And the burn seems to be efficient. Nothing but a little white ash.

Guess I'll be back on the phone with the folks at Yukon in the morning about the installation (not their fault) and what I can do to remedy things.


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

I have exactly the same furnace, installed two months ago, and I get exactly the same guy when I call them, and he tells me exactly the same thing. I have also had many days when the wood fire is not hot enough and fan switch short cycles.

My smoke pipe and chimney liner are 8" all the way up. The manual calls for 0.03" of draft; I bought a manometer gauge and it has exactly the draft it should.

Burning wood is a highly nonlinear process and does depend closely on how dry the wood is, and how cold it is outside. I agree that the little draft door seems not big enough to give sufficient air on marginal days. Although the manual warns against leaving the ash drawer open, I think it's ok to leave it open for a time until the fire gets really hot - then shut it. Keep a close watch on it.

Have you tried to burn coal?


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

I'm looking at the Yukon wood/gas furnace to replace my high efficiency gas furnace which just went bad - and must decide shortly. I have also used a wood stove for the last 6 years which helped me to burn only about 400 gallons of propane per year for heat, cooking, water heating, and clothes drying. I'm located in Illinois. Does anyone have any comments in light of the cold winter we're having? Thanks


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RE: Wood furnace woes?

I understand the frustration that comes with our furnaces when they are not set up properly or wet wood is involved.

Having to leave ash pans open indicates to me that there's a draft issue or wet wood involved.
As to drafting a cold chimney can be a killer to building a good draft.
Not enough make up oxygen can also make it tough to get a fire going.
I want to ensure you that if you are having issues to please call the factory and ask for me.

As to the short cycling of the blower.
It seems to me that from time to time we can get a bad batch of fan & limit switches that will cause that.
I'd ask again that you call me.
I am a pro as to the Yukon's and my mission is to make sure everyone has theres running as they should.
With the thousands out there we are bound to have a few acting up ,but let me assure you these issues stated here are most certainly not the norm.

Thank you for posing your questions ,I'm glad to have found you.
Please call the factory so I can help.
Keith


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