This is a long one, so bear with me! Thoughts and advice from the hotblast owners using the forced draft kits. How do you guys use them and how does it work out for you? I bought my stove three years ago, this will be the third winter for it but have yet to need it this year so far! The first year I used it without the draft kit, and basiclly kept the slide damper on the door just cracked all winter long, except when starting a fire. I had never burned wood before. I would start a fire and let
it get up into the burn zone on my stack guage, then set the door damper back as mentioned. I learned real quick how fast I could heat my 1400 square ft home!! For the first week or so, if I could keep it under 78 I was happy!! Never spent so many evenings with the doors hangin open!! I got to just loading small loads, cause if I loaded it full, I just couldn't keep it comfortable. I'd load small, and when I got home, I'd tinker with it for a bit ketting the fire going, then at night do a small load and play with it some more before work. On the weekends, or if the wife was home through the day, it wasn't bad,
cause you could just tend it as needed and load it while you still had good coals to work with. If no one was going to be around or we wouldn't be home for an extended period, I'd load it up full, just so there were coals when we got back( 9 hrs was about max for that). But man, I know the temps while we were gone were over 80. I got by that winter figureing it was learning pains. Then I came across the draft kit and thought in theory it sounded ok.
So that brings us to last winter. I put this thing together and have my fan control set for 120 fan on, 100 fan off. There is absolutly no instructions on operation with this thing what so ever, so I'm quessing at exactlly how to run it. I fire the stove and as it hits the burn zone, I shut every damper, except the flap on the draft motor, say halfway. In about 5 minutes, I have stack temps around 100 degrees, so the fire is definatlly dropped back. I set my thermostat up wich brings the draft inducer on, and I expect to see some major action before too long. Nothing! After about 10 minutes, I open the flap on the inducer all the way. Still nothing. So I open the slide damper on the door, and within minutes I can see the coals starting to liven up and eventially the fire is up and running. The whole time the draft motor is running. Once the fire is good and established, I close the damper on the door and just have the flap on the motor open. The fire does die back some, but not enough to cool to the point to shut my main fan off. So the house gets warm, the draft motor shuts of once the stat is satisfied, and the fan just keeps running and before too long its 80 in the house again! Basiclly all winter was shades of the same thing just at different fan settings and damper positions. I couldn't find a point that the inducer alone would stoke the fire up, and if the fire was going good, a point that with just the inducer flap open and the inducer motor off, that the stove would die back enough to kick the main fan off to avoid over heating the house. So I turn it all off, and just burn it like the first year. So this year I'd like to finally be comfortable that I'm using this the best I can. I have yet to use the stove because the temps wont get out of the upper 50's! A few things to point out...I was useing 1 year old oak, wich I'm starting to come to the conclusion that I wouldn't call it dry unless its been stacked for two years. So the wood was probablly less than ideal. I didn't have a barometric on the stove, just a manual. I have installed one this summer to maybe try some coal this winter also. I'ts currenttly set at .08, so maybe that will make a difference. Also, I have a stainless steel liner. So finally - QUESTIONS. Does the draft kit do what I'm expecting it to do? If not what does it do? With the liner, should I be concerned with cresote at all? If so, how are you supposed to use a draft fan and let the fire die back without your fire smoldering and creating cresote? What kind of fan settings are you useing and how big of a house are you heating? Thanks in advance for
any help...without someone here beside me to hold my hand, this forum seems to be the next best thing!
Oh for you clayton owners, my draft fan blows in the back of the stove just above the fire brick instead of up through the grates. Yours is a much better design I beleive.