Energy king 385ek not heating whole house

Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
Hello everyone!

I am very new here and very limited on knowledge of wood furnaces so be easy on me lol. This is my last resort before ripping this unit out and sticking with propane.

alittle history We had the home built 4 years ago and put in a propane unit, and a wood furnance that would allow me to tie Them into the same ducting. Right now if the wood furnance is running it closes a auto dampener to let the heat upstairs not back into the propane ducting but if it doesn’t call for heat is dumped in the basement . If I am lazy I turn the propane on and it closes the Wood dampener and propane works. That’s the function of the unit butttttttt here’s the frustrating part.

the wood stove will heat the house but does not get to the far ends of the home at all and is not reliable steady warmth. The unit seems to not get enough pressure to push the heat to the far ends but I am not hvac tech I climb towers and build dispatch centers. We are having a baby girl soon and wanna keep her room warm. Looking for some input or help. Wood is pretty darn dry. Been on the ground for a few years and out in the open field split for maybe 8/9mths

last cold day measuring the room it was 71 in the hallway and middle of the house and her room it was 61/62

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laynes69

Minister of Fire
Oct 2, 2006
2,588
Ashland OH
Wood on the ground can contain more moisture than standing, 8 to 9 months is not enough to season. I'm a year or two ahead, that's split, covered and stacked. It sounds like you have a zone system, if the home temp is met and it dumps in the basement, the ductwork cools. Then opens back up and takes that time to reheat and distribute. To me it sounds partly a ducting issue. Putting the heat in the living space and letting it circulate will do more than dumping in the basement. Normally those who have a furnace load based on demand. How tall is your chimney? The furnace looks like it's been damn hot. Also flexible ducting is a no no with solid fuel.
 

Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
I will have to check tonight but it is above the roof line. Thanks for the input on the wood I’ll get more split and open up for the next few seasons. Those are mostly returns I have one duct we had to add for the baby room so they used it for that.

Here is a pic of the chimney
 

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GENECOP

Minister of Fire
Jan 31, 2014
734
Ny
What is the BTU rating on both appliances? How much do you load into the wood furnace?
When burning wood only, can you adjust dampers to divert more heat into the cold rooms?
 

Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
What is the BTU rating on both appliances? How much do you load into the wood furnace?
When burning wood only, can you adjust dampers to divert more heat into the cold rooms?
It is 125,000
I usually load it in the am and the evening but throughout the day my wife countiously puts 2/3 things of wood in, I cannot adjust it with dampeners most of the ducts are fixed
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
Sounds like you have a number of issues going on here...might have wet wood, and flex duct in the system...that stuff has awful flow characteristics...and is not approved for wood or coal heat.
What speed is the blower wired to?
Have an air filter on it, if so, what # filter? Wood furnaces generally don't use high MERV filters...2-4...some maybe 6 at the very highest.
Your duct system is just not balanced well for running the lower CFM that wood furnaces tend to run...so you will need to install some dampers in the ducts, or put some adjustable register covers on...you need to restrict the closer ones so that there is enough pressure/flow to push some heat to the far end of the house...
 
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Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
I will look into the cfm for sure. I have tried adjusting the the restrictions on the vents and that didn’t help at all. The heat feels very weak coming out. I have only one flex duct that’s the only one the rest is solid duct insulated and sealed.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
Huh?
Well, if the wood furnace is having to breath through a MERV 11 filter, that is WAY too high...that will kill your air flow right there!
Drop a cheapy blue MERV 2 fiberglass in it and see what happens...or a white fiberglass MERV 4...
 
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Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
Huh?
Well, if the wood furnace is having to breath through a MERV 11 filter, that is WAY too high...that will kill your air flow right there!
Drop a cheapy blue MERV 2 fiberglass in it and see what happens...or a white fiberglass MERV 4...
I can get merv 6 on Amazon will that work for a test? Also the propane that is connected to the same ducting and returns when it runs keeps the house warmer and warms that farm room within 1-2 degrees
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
I can get merv 6 on Amazon will that work for a test?
6 would be better than 11...but search for a 2-4 in your size...Amazon has them...or better yet, pick one up at the hardware for a couple bucks...I think you have to buy a case of 12 when you order them online (generally) What size is it?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
Also the propane that is connected to the same ducting and returns when it runs keeps the house warmer and warms that farm room within 1-2 degrees
Its really hard to compare fossil fuel to wood fired...that LP furnace is running at 100%, and can do so for hours on end...hard to do that with wood fired...
 

Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
6 would be better than 11...but search for a 2-4 in your size...Amazon has them...or better yet, pick one up at the hardware for a couple bucks...I think you have to buy a case of 12 when you order them online (generally) What size is it?
12x24x1

very odd size

I’ve always thought of adding another return right on the wood furnance blower area for better flow also or cut the back out and do a slide in filter on the back
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
Would a draft motor help me produce more heat in the house?
Nah...natural draft works just fine...and I've had and hate forced draft!
Besides, as someone mentioned earlier, by the looks of the front of the furnace, it has been plenty hot!
 

Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
Nah...natural draft works just fine...and I've had and hate forced draft!
Besides, as someone mentioned earlier, by the looks of the front of the furnace, it has been plenty hot!
Yeaaaaaaa wellllll lol may have accidentally left the dampener open once of twice. Still hear about it from the wife Lolol

Found 12 pack of merv 4 on eBay for $30 and merv 6 on Amazon $35 i got both

I will def try that but any other suggestion? Should I add another return right on top of the circulator fan for the wood furnace?

i am out of ideas
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
What's your chimney draft like? Ever put a manometer on it?
If you have high draft that can suck the heat right up the chimney...
Should I add another return right on top of the circulator fan for the wood furnace?
I'd wait and make one change at a time....
 

Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
What's your chimney draft like? Ever put a manometer on it?
If you have high draft that can suck the heat right up the chimney...

I'd wait and make one change at a time....
I have no done that and I am going to be 100% honest not even sure how to do it. Open to suggestions and I understand I’ll take it one step at a time. My returns are so loud it’s annoying when we added a return on the propane side it made it so much more tolerable.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio
My returns are so loud it’s annoying when we added a return on the propane side it made it so much more tolerable.
Hmm...that's weird...noise means turbulence and restriction...not good...sounds like a visit from a good HVAC tech would be warranted...but those guys can be hard to find.
not even sure how to do it.
You could have it tested, but honestly I'd save my money and just buy a Dwyer Mark II model 25 manometer, and then just leave it hooked up...many of us do. Its easy to set up.
You can buy them pretty cheap on ebay/etc. Just make sure it comes with the accessories and gauge oil...its a little pricey to buy separately.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,151
NE Ohio

Benjamin5985

New Member
Feb 1, 2021
84
New York
Hmm...that's weird...noise means turbulence and restriction...not good...sounds like a visit from a good HVAC tech would be warranted...but those guys can be hard to find.

You could have it tested, but honestly I'd save my money and just buy a Dwyer Mark II model 25 manometer, and then just leave it hooked up...many of us do. Its easy to set up.
You can buy them pretty cheap on ebay/etc. Just make sure it comes with the accessories and gauge oil...its a little pricey to buy separately.
I’ll def do that I’ll look online for it tomorrow. Any tips of tricks on install or the instructions pretty solid??

Also 3 hvac techs later two first ones sucked

last one just installed two more returns in the house and another vent for littlesoon baby room for more air flow. Each time these guys visit it’s $1k out the door I am hoping to be getting close to a solution I am at about 4K so far lol.