Harman Accentra 52i - what's wrong here?

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SidecarFlip

Minister of Fire
Feb 7, 2010
5,273
S.E. Michigan
In my humble opinion, every solid fuel stove can benefit from outside combustion air, some more, some less but why use your heated air for combustion, it's counter productive and at least my experience is, the colder the combustion air coming into the firebox area, the better the fuel burns. If these units outputted a large amount of BTU's then maybe that would negate the impact of using outside combustion air, but they don't so why use the air you already heated to support combustion.

Not looking forward to Sunday here. We are supposed to have a 'Polar Vortex thing. Highs in the teens, lows well below zero. I don't believe the stove will be able to keep up and the central furnace will be running as well. Shouldn't be too bad unless it gets windy, then it will be bad.
 

MapleHill

New Member
Jan 22, 2021
16
Vermont
OP, I know this is frustrating for you. I think you will have to take it upon yourself to do some investigating... your installers may not have done a good job sealing up the chimney after they installed the liner. This has to be a tight seal or much of the heat you're creating will go up there, and create drafts in the process. If you put your hand on the floor or hearth in front of the stove, do you feel a cool breeze?

Grab some 2x4s and make a small stand for the stove. It's easy and you are going to need it for the yearly cleanings anyway. You can slide the stove out fairly easily and see exactly what is going on back there. And then provide us with some photos.
 

Kyle6286

New Member
Apr 4, 2019
36
New England
Well part of the problem I think has been addressed. Yesterday we had our state's home energy assessment company come out to inspect our home to determine areas in which we can improve on in terms of energy efficiency. Thanks to my persistence, as they originally weren't going to check it, they took a couple of samples and found that our exterior walls have virtually no insulation left (home was built in 1960). Signed the contract last night and hopefully a team will come out in the next month or so to blow insulation - Class I cellulose - in all of our exterior walls. The cost is heavily subsidized by our utility company, so the cost isn't very much at all. Our home was just recently renovated, but understandably the insulation part was overlooked.

Hopefully this will pay for itself in a couple of years.
 
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Kyle6286

New Member
Apr 4, 2019
36
New England
Has the stove and venting been cleaned lately including cleaning the esp .

Yes, had it professionally cleaned for the first time last year. The company who installed it highly recommended it being cleaned professionally at least the first time. I also do the whole maintenance cleaning about once per month, from taking out the medallion and side plates to brushing and vacuuming out virtually every inch inside the stove, emptying the ash catcher thing where the ignitor is, etc.
 
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Kyle6286

New Member
Apr 4, 2019
36
New England
OP, I know this is frustrating for you. I think you will have to take it upon yourself to do some investigating... your installers may not have done a good job sealing up the chimney after they installed the liner. This has to be a tight seal or much of the heat you're creating will go up there, and create drafts in the process. If you put your hand on the floor or hearth in front of the stove, do you feel a cool breeze?

Grab some 2x4s and make a small stand for the stove. It's easy and you are going to need it for the yearly cleanings anyway. You can slide the stove out fairly easily and see exactly what is going on back there. And then provide us with some photos.

I agree completely. Sorry for my lack of knowledge with this stuff and I appreciate everyone's patience. I'm by no means well informed on anything fireplace-related, and we only bought this pellet stove less than two years ago, so definitely still learning.

I have the same suspicion that the stove may not have been installed properly, or like you said, it wasn't properly sealed. Yes, if I put my hand right on the hearth under the stove, it does feel cooler there. I'm not so sure there is a draft, there may be, but it does feel a little cooler.

I will definitely try to take the stove out during my next good cleaning and will snap a couple of pics.

Thanks again for the help!
 
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Kyle6286

New Member
Apr 4, 2019
36
New England
I've never looked under here with a light, but I snapped a pic under the stove and I can see some insulation hanging around way in the back, but directly under the stove, there's some cobwebs that have accumulated over the past couple of years that are noticeably moving if I look close, which would imply there's a draft.
 

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MapleHill

New Member
Jan 22, 2021
16
Vermont
Well, the distribution blower will pull from there too so that isn't entirely conclusive. However, if you feel cooler air in front of the stove, that's not a good sign. The insulation will make a big difference! Hopefully they suggested some air sealing improvements as well. Sounds like you're on your way to a warmer home.