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New Wood Stove Insert (cannot heat basement past 70) Enerzone Destination 2.3i

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by mikedahammer, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    I bought my house a little over a year ago (built in the 70's) and it had a timberline wood stove. The stove did not have a blower on it and was, so I thought, very inefficient as I could only heat the basement to about 70-72 degrees. I could only get those temps when the stove was piping hot and with a fan pointed at the wood stove to help reverberate the air to another fan blowing it out into the room.

    I looked a long time at stoves and wanted something a little more modern but still could produce heat so I bought the enerzone destination 2.3i. It looks great but the stove does a very poor job heating. The stove itself is hot and blowing hot air but it does not seem to heat the basement but I cannot get a temp higer than 70 and that is even with a heat pump running at 70-72. I am stumped.

    I broke the stove in slowly so I am just wondering if anyone has ever come across this or has ideas. I grew up with a wood stove as a kid and it used to heat our whole house.

    The basement is finished if that makes a difference. Also, the basement is about 1,200 square feet and the main room is probably 500 square feet where the stove is. The stove was professionally installed and my chimney does have a liner.

    It seems like the stove heats the masonry brick but not the house.

    Nothing like pissing away $3K - 3.5K.

    Attached Files:

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  2. jeff_t

    jeff_t Minister of Fire

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    Is there a block off plate installed at the top of the fireplace opening? If not, you are probably losing a lot of heat up the chimney.

    The basement is well insulated? What about the floor? Concrete sucks up a lot of heat.

    Is your wood dry? By that, I mean split and stacked in the open for at least a year, two years or more for oak. Can you shut the primary air down and let the secondary combustion do it's thing? Running with the primary air wide open sends a lot of heat up the flue. Dry wood is key for operating a modern stove properly.

    It would be good to know what kind of temps you are getting, but I'm not sure where to put a thermometer or get a reading with an IR on that insert.

    Welcome. Stick around, and lots of folks will help you figure this out.
  3. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    There is a block off plate that is installed. The flooring in that room is berber carpet with a carpet pad installed. The wood is dry and seasoned.

    I just had my chimney guy come back out and he thinks the stove is just poorly designed with an underpowered blower. The blower does not force air out like I would expect. The blower make a lot of noise but you cannot feel the air more than 2 feet from the stove. The chimney guy (Not the person who sold it to me) thinks the stove is just a POS. I am scouring the web to see if anyone else has this stove and what their thoughts are. I contacted the seller of the stove and they are calling the manufacturer.

    I am so frustrated right now and thanks for the welcome.
  4. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    The old smoke dragon and new efficient Enerzone both got room to only 70*. I think you're losing heat to surroundings. Is the masonry FP below grade? Heat may be going into planet Earth.
  5. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    the fire place is below grade but not by much. Maybe two - three feet. The heat is definitely going straight out. The blower is not capturing the heat the redirecting into the room. It should not be this complicated and I would think that being an insert that the design would be such that the heat would be transferred out as much as possible and not up.

    There is a blocking plate and a line that goes all the way up through the chimney. I know I am losing all the heat straight out because the brick last night was so hot downstairs that it made me uncomfortable that the brick was that warm and thought that it could be dangerous since it was extremely hot.

    Osburn brands the same stove and it is called the Matrix.
  6. simple.serf

    simple.serf Feeling the Heat

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    I have an Enerzone 2.9, their whole line is as well built as the Regency line. Our stove, (which is a freestanding unit with a blower) heats our 2500 sq. ft. house with very little difficulty, though our goal is to keep the house around 65.

    Now, I cannot stress the importance of dry wood for this stove. As in 15% -20% moisture. As in drier than anything I have ever run through a smoke dragon. I cut, split, and stack our wood 2 years in advance now, with 3 years for oak. Go to the grocery store or someplace that sells bundles of kiln dried campfire wood. Get 3 or 4 bundles of that and fire the stove with them. If you can heat your area with that, then the problem is your wood.

    If that isn't the issue, then look at how you are firing the stove. Use an IR gun to get some numbers. Is the stove hot enough to get the secondaries to light off? Is the wood dry enough to get secondary light off? On our stove, we can't get the secondaries burning if the wood isn't dry enough. I typically run ours with a 600 degree stovetop temp, and the area just above the door is usually 4-500 degrees. About midway through the burn, are you getting much smoke from the stack?

    One final note, Our stove heats the best when it has been running for about 6 hours or more with about 2-3 inches of ash in the firebox. I just did the first cold start on ours since November (had to go out of town, the stove has been burning continuously since Nov.) and it's going to take me awhile to get the house warm again. Part of the room the stove is in is below grade, and it takes alot of fire to heat that room up. Play around with it and see. I was very disappointed with ours (and I have heated my whole life with wood stoves) until I learned it's idiosyncrasies. Now, I think it's great.
  7. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    I am not sure I can get the reading you are asking for since I do not have an IR gun or wood moisture meter. I will tell you that I can get the firebox full of red hot coals that will ignite any wet piece of wood instantly (even though the wood is dry). I store the wood under a porch that is covered and the wood I am burning has been there since January of 2011 so it should be perfectly dry.

    Let me ask a more basic question:

    If a blower was off for this stove or did not work then would the stove still heat the area?
  8. mellow

    mellow Resident Stove Connoisseur

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    I would insulate that fireplace so you are not loosing heat to the masonry.

    [​IMG]
    DexterDay and Oldhippie like this.
  9. dougand3

    dougand3 Minister of Fire

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    Not as well because it would depend on radiant heat...which appears bad to begin with.

    This sounds like a purely aesthetic FP install originally...being below grade is a humongous heat sink. It may be the only way to get room to 80* is to move stove into room by 2-4' and insulate FP behind it. Is there much room on the sides and rear of stove within the FP? May be able to fashion a sheet metal "U" with Roxul backing around insert to keep heat from masonry. I don't know this insert, so make sure this is safe re: temps.

    I'd bet the best heat producer in this case would be a rear flue exit freestander on the hearth in front of FP. That may encroach on your room too much, tho.
  10. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    Is the blower on full speed? ie is there a control that can vary the speed? Is it possible the blower is installed incorrectly or a panel loose that the blower is not passing the full amount of air over the stove? Or packing material etc blocking the air path?

    Interesting to note, on the companies website on one page they list the blower as 130 cfm, and on the parts list it is listed at 120 cfm.

    Quick check lists the PE summit blower @ 160 cfm.

    Last suggestion, a quality dealer may swap a unit if you are willing to purchase another LARGER unit -- albeit for the difference in price. Not that you wanted to piss away some more $$.....
  11. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    Pardon my ignorance on this matter so if anything does not sound correct I am sure it is me not portraying the right information.

    I am sure the fireplace was aesthetic only and then someone put a wood stove in (before I bought the home) to help heat. Then I replaced to make it more efficient and have in fact made it less efficient.

    To try and answer your questions the stove fits almost perfectly in the fireplace. I have maybe 2-3 inches on the sides and at the top It might be closer to 18 -24 inches to the block if i remember correctly. Nothing is touching the masonry except for all the bottom where the stove sits (obviously). I will remove the grills on the front and post the installation of it tonight when I get home. They may help.

    I will also post a video of the stove in action with the blower on so you can see how weak it is.

    The blower only has one speed. And the materials I looked at said the blower was 110 CFM. The installer and I looked at the space to make sure there was nothing blocking the air path and it does not appear to be any blockages.

    I cannot fell the air being blown if I am more than 18 inches from the stove and that might an over statement.
  12. begreen

    begreen Mooderator Staff Member

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    ^+1 for sure here.^ Poorly seasoned wood doesn't heat for crap.

    Just to confirm - there is a block off plate at the damper level that is backed and sealed with roxul or kaowool insulation. Not trying to badger you, it's just that some installers call the top plate a block off plate.

    If definitely yes, then the room is sucking out heat faster than it can be produced. The Enerzone is not a pos, it's just struggling to keep up with the heat loss of this room, probably through the massive brick wall behind it. It may not have been the best choice for this space though. It is largely a flush stove and it will need the blower all the time running.

    Is there insulation behind the finished walls?

    Also, how are you running the stove? Do you have a thermometer on it? If so where and what temp is it running at?
  13. Dakotas Dad

    Dakotas Dad Minister of Fire

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    Don't take this wrong.. but quite possibly not dry at all. You need a MM to tell for sure, they can be bought for about $25 at Home Depot and the like. Oak, split to a fair size, and stacked in the open with good breeze and lots of sunshine needs 3 YEARS to really be ready.

    Get a MM, re-split a split, measure. That will rule out the wood. But you say the basement is "finished".. is it insulated? I have seen a couple that weren't.

    As far as heating without the blower on.. if won't satisfy you now, it sure won't without the blower.
  14. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    With a flush insert most of the heat is gonna be from the blower air and radiant heat from the glass. With the size of that glass in the door if you are not getting hot standing in front of that insert you are not burning it hot enough. A frequent mistake made by people coming from one of the old stoves to a EPA stove. They see a firebox full of fire and think they are wasting wood. Not so. It is just making efficient heat.
  15. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    Yea that old stove sticking out into the room was putting more heat into the room then a flush mount.
  16. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    I work for Enerzone. I believe there's a couple of users of Matrix and Destination on this board and they could jump in with their experience.

    It is a common misconception the more CFM the more heat. Actually the reverse is true. Each insert from any MFG is mated with a specific blower CFM to maximize efficiency. While more air flow will give you the impression it's blowing more heat in effect more cfm is cooling the firebox too fast thereby reducing 'peak' combustion temperature.

    All inserts and blowers are designed to complement each other. It is a matter of achieving the greatest amount of heat transfer from the unit. The key is to design the insert so air can move and extract the greatest amount of heat without cooling the firebox and hindering the efficiency of the unit. If the blower velocity were to be increased, it would give the impression that the unit heats more. However, it would actually blow cooler air and reduce the unit's efficiency. A hot firebox will burn better and cleaner. A slower but hotter air displacement is therefore always preferable. The same principle applies to the heat sensor available on many models. It is better for the heat sensor to activate the blower later, when the unit is very hot, rather than activating it too early and blow cooler air when the unit is still completing its start-up phase.

    Finally, to maximize your heat transfer you may want to insulate around the insert itself since masonry/concrete is a heat sink and will absorb much of the heat before becoming warm enough to get that heat into your room. A block off plate is also a requirement so cold air does not spill inside the chimney around the unit.

    Finally, inexpensive moisture meters are readily available at most box stores.
    hickoryhoarder likes this.
  17. Jacklake2003

    Jacklake2003 Member

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    I understand your frustration and I'm sorry. Like previously mentioned, I think the main issue is that you're just loosing too much heat through the basement walls/floor (trying to heat the earth). I recently finished my basement and my in-laws stayed down there for a few weeks. Our basement is heated by a heat pump only and it would run almost continously to mainatin their 72 deg. setting (and I live in Georgia).

    I would look at it this way. You're getting basically the same temperature in your basement using the new stove than you were the old stove, but you should be using less than half the ammount of wood. Keep experimenting with loading times/draft settings/etc. and I bet you'll be happy with the new stove soon enough. Good luck!
  18. oldspark

    oldspark Guest

    I dont believe you ever answered the question is the basement insulated?
  19. madison

    madison Minister of Fire

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    FyreBug,

    With all due respect, in regards to the blowers: If I read and interpret your statement correctly, that the BTU output is inversely related to blower CFM , I believe that this is inaccurate. Convective heat transfer requires flow. At a certain "flow" the efficiency will decrease, but the BTU's would not decrease. Low laminar flow, will extract less energy from the unit than high turbulent flow.

    I would possibly agree with efficiency of the process, but not total btu output.

    - Also, the companies website (and the posters documentation) lists different CFM blowers for this insert, as well variable speed control, of which the poster states his is one speed 110 CFM...
    http://enerzone-intl.com/product.aspx?CategoId=7&Id=419 "Ultra-quiet 130 CFM blower with variable speed control"
    http://enerzone-intl.com/product.aspx?CategoId=7&Id=419&Page=spec "Standard - 120 CFM"
    http://parts.enerzone-intl.com/product.aspx?IdSite=2&Id=EB00006 "DOUBLE CAGE BLOWER 120CFM 115V"


    Could it be possible that the wrong blower was inadvertently shipped with this unit?
  20. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    I have attached a picture of the installation the best I could from inside. I have also attached coals from last nights burn (cold) and a link to two videos of the blower. Do not mind the mess we are getting ready to renovate our entire basement.

    That is toilet paper I am holding and the air flow looks really weak to me.


    Attached Files:

  21. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Well, if the brick is extremely hot, we know that the heat is getting soaked up by the chimney and bricks and not radiated out into the room.

    I think the guys point about wood is okay, but that's maybe not the issue given the heat you've got in those bricks.
  22. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    Also if I missed someones question I am sorry but the basement is insulated and finished. Basically with the unit on I can heat the basement 5 degrees warmer than what it was. I leave my heatpump at 71 and the basement is always a little bit cooler than upstairs (one thermostat) and it stays around 64. I just can't believe that this is all the stove can do. Maybe the pics will help or the videos.

    I do appreciate everyone's help!! I have asked the dealer to contact the manufacturer to see if anyone else has had an issue.

    I also do not believe the wood is the only cause. I mean the other stove did just fine (Same wood) and it is not like the wood just sits in there and seeps liquid and smoke. It burns normal. I am really hoping for user error or a bad blower but I do not have high hopes.
  23. Oldhippie

    Oldhippie Minister of Fire

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    Mike, I don't have an insert so I have no direct knowledge of the issue.. but it seems to me it is pretty clear that the heat is being transferred to that large brick hearth and hence, not being radiated/pushed out into the room.

    How big is that hearth? is it the entire wall? Somehow I think that hearth is acting like a big heat sink and just sucking up all the heat that stove can make. I think some others have tried to say the same in different words.

    Do those bricks get really hot? ...and how big is that hearth? I think "Mellow" hit the nail on the head when he says "I would insulate that fireplace"... like in his picture.
  24. mikedahammer

    mikedahammer New Member

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    I am going to send that to my installer and get his take on it.

    The hearth does go all the way up the wall and outside it is probably 30 feet high (from basement to the first floor to the attic) outside.
    Oldhippie likes this.
  25. FyreBug

    FyreBug Minister of Fire

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    I am not an engineer. However, I know our guys. They have years of experience and sits on many boards (EPA, CSA, ASTM, UL etc...) so they are not throwing spaghetti at the wall here.... Being engineers they are, if you want a lengthy and totally incomprehensible answer from them I can get it... o_O But suffice it to say they have the tests to back them up. And not just them... other MFG's will tell you the same thing. You tune your CFM to your unit.

    BTW, the EPA certification is with the blower. If we change the blower the certification and efficiencies testing must be re-done from scratch. That's why it's important to match your blower to your unit and a fair bit of testing goes first into it.

    Good point you raise about the marketing info for the CFM. I'll bring it up to our marketing's attention. Thanks for pointing it out.

    I watched the video's and cant see anything wrong with the cfm output using the toilet paper.

    Think about it for all of you who use the little whirly fans on top of your stoves. Many posts about those here with most people happy with what they do. However, do you feel a strong draft coming from those things? Yet, they still work dont they?

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