New Furnace Day: Drolet Heat Commander

JRHAWK9

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2014
1,658
Wisconsin Dells, WI
I'll be surprised if we use even half the wood that we used to burn between the HC and the PP130.
If the HC does better at even heating you should be able to use that solely instead of burning $$ by paying for pellets. Last time I checked, pellets are $$$ than using LP. With the more even heat throughout the burn you should be able to manage the shoulder seasons with the HC. I know Kuuma also has a nice even heat output and is pretty easy to manage during the shoulder seasons by just loading the correct amount of wood.
 
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FixedGearFlyer

Burning Hunk
Oct 8, 2010
207
Michigan's Upper Peninsula
If the HC does better at even heating you should be able to use that solely instead of burning $$ by paying for pellets. Last time I checked, pellets are $$$ than using LP. With the more even heat throughout the burn you should be able to manage the shoulder seasons with the HC. I know Kuuma also has a nice even heat output and is pretty easy to manage during the shoulder seasons by just loading the correct amount of wood.
We don't have LP or natural gas, just electric baseboard and biomass. The pellets are great for both knocking the chill off when even a small fire is more than we want and for those weekends when we're off adventuring and not home to tend the fire.

But, if we'd had the HC sooner, I don't think we would have bothered with the pellet stove. You're 100% right - it would easily and much more comfortably manage our shoulder seasons and having my in-laws load it when we're gone would be a once or twice a day button push and 5 minutes of babysitting before closing the door.
 

Pflum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
7
NKy
Just took delivery of my Heat Commander yesterday. Have been planning my install in my head. I will be installing next to my existing propane furnace; they will share supply and return ducting. Any recommendations for backdraft damper install? I'm thinking just put a gravity damper in the plenum of the LP furnace, not sure the best way to install one on the HC.
 

andym

Feeling the Heat
Feb 6, 2020
397
Hicksville, Ohio
Just took delivery of my Heat Commander yesterday. Have been planning my install in my head. I will be installing next to my existing propane furnace; they will share supply and return ducting. Any recommendations for backdraft damper install? I'm thinking just put a gravity damper in the plenum of the LP furnace, not sure the best way to install one on the HC.
Gravity is the way to go for the LP plenum as mentioned. A power closed, spring open damper is what you need for the wood furnace. I did not is the 6" take off pipes, but rather used an 8x22 duct for supply. That also made it easy to install the damper. You can check out my thread on how to wire a relay to allow both furnaces to work together. It should be down a page or two. (Haven't figured out how to provide links!)
 
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RockyMtnGriz

Member
Apr 19, 2019
106
SW Montana
+1 for andym's answer. You want all the airflow you can get when the power goes out.
 

Pflum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
7
NKy
The manual seems pretty adamant about using a 6" chimney. I currently have a 8x8 masonry chimney. Is it critical to drop a liner in it, what would I be gaining?
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,183
NE Ohio
The manual seems pretty adamant about using a 6" chimney. I currently have a 8x8 masonry chimney. Is it critical to drop a liner in it, what would I be gaining?
A working furnace, vs one that doesn't.
Keep in mind the chimney is the engine of the firebox, which will do nothing without proper draft.
They call for a round 6" flue (28.26 sq in) and you have a square 8 x8 (64 sq in) you will have VERY poor draft when this thing tries to go into "cruise" mode (which is where the magic happens)
You'll likely also have smoke rollout on reloads, and creosote buildup too...drop an insulated liner in and you'll be happy...might be a little tight at 8x8" though, might need to break your existing liner out first.
 
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Pflum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
7
NKy
I had a Yukon Husky in there until this year, which has an 8" smoke outlet. I don't know what the draft was without a damper, but I had to adjust the barometric damper out pretty far to get the 0.06" WC it called for. I figured I would have plenty of draft for the HC, if not too much. This is an interior chimney, I measured it at one point but don't recall now, I'd guess around 30 feet.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,183
NE Ohio
had to adjust the barometric damper out pretty far to get the 0.06" WC it called for.
The Husky (actually all Yukon Furnaces) called for -0.03" WC...if you were running -0.06" then I bet you had problems with it...
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,183
NE Ohio
I figured I would have plenty of draft for the HC
Oversized chimney will have less draft with an efficient appliance on it...doesn't warm up enough (and stay warm) to maintain draft. So it might work OK starting out, but then as the fire gets well established and the furnace controls start to clamp down into that "cruise" mode like I mentioned before, then "waste heat" up the flue goes way down, flue cools, draft collapses.
Its your party, you can try it as is, but be prepared for disappointment.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,745
Downeast Maine
You *should* be able to fit a Duraliner 6" round rigid liner in an 8x8 (internal measurement) clay liner. I'm going to try this year on my internal masonry chimney with 8x8 clay liner. Worst comes to worst I'll put a length of chain (or something) on the end of my soot eater rods and bang out the tile liner, but I don't want to.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,183
NE Ohio
Good thing about it is you still have a bit of time to try it this season, then if if it doesn't work well, there is all summer to line the chimney...
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,745
Downeast Maine
Honestly though, he might be fine if the chimney is tall. I'm running my tiny, as in less than one cubic foot firebox, free standing stove with 3-ish feet of single wall with a 90 going into a 8x8 clay liner with flue temps peaking at 250-275 df and almost never have draft issues. It's slow to start on a calm day with no wind, but otherwise I have no problems. If this were an external chimney or not 24' tall I might have a different opinion/experience.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,183
NE Ohio
You *should* be able to fit a Duraliner 6" round rigid liner in an 8x8 (internal measurement) clay liner. I'm going to try this year on my internal masonry chimney with 8x8 clay liner. Worst comes to worst I'll put a length of chain (or something) on the end of my soot eater rods and bang out the tile liner, but I don't want to.
Boy, that stuff is spendy!
I think I would try a regular preinsulated flex liner first...is going to be a bit bigger OD though (7.25" ish)
Honestly though, he might be fine if the chimney is tall.
Maybe, doubtful, but maybe...like I said, I guess its the right time of the year to try it...would hate to go into this winter thinking it was good to go without a trial run now though...
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
5,745
Downeast Maine
Boy, that stuff is spendy!
I think I would try a regular preinsulated flex liner first...is going to be a bit bigger OD though (7.25" ish)

Maybe, doubtful, but maybe...like I said, I guess its the right time of the year to try it...would hate to go into this winter thinking it was good to go without a trial run now though...
I think a preinsulated flex liner would not make it down the liner without getting stuck, torn, etc, but every liner is different.
 

Pflum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
7
NKy
You're right, it is 0.03" for the Husky. I had it set for what they called for.
I'm sure you're right about the chimney size, and I knew there had to be a reason they are so specific about the size. That's why I'm on here asking those more knowledgeable than I.
 
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Pflum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
7
NKy
Would taking a cold draft measurement tell me if the liner is needed? I'm not trying to "get out" of lining the chimney if needed, also not keen on plopping down a grand if I don't need to.
As I said this chimney goes straight up through the middle of my 2 story house, no offsets or anything.
 

brenndatomu

Minister of Fire
Aug 21, 2013
6,183
NE Ohio
Would taking a cold draft measurement tell me if the liner is needed?
No, you really need live measurements while hooked up to the HC...it's the waste heat from the appliance that makes the draft...not that you couldn't get a reading when not burning, but it really doesn't mean anything.
Its a little like a car...just because it runs, and revs up, and sounds good, doesn't mean its gonna have any real power when you actually put it in gear and drive it down the road.
 
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maple1

Minister of Fire
Sep 15, 2011
10,745
Nova Scotia
Would taking a cold draft measurement tell me if the liner is needed? I'm not trying to "get out" of lining the chimney if needed, also not keen on plopping down a grand if I don't need to.
As I said this chimney goes straight up through the middle of my 2 story house, no offsets or anything.
Have to spool the turbo up before you can measure the boost. :)
 

Pflum

Member
Nov 29, 2018
7
NKy
What size splits does this thing like for the over night loads? I've been splitting a little smaller than I'm used to. Growing up feeding Hot Blast style stoves and my old Yukon we always split some "all nighters".
Assuming the moisture level is good, are you guys still feeding these new furnaces some big chunks, say 6-7" square?
 

trx250r87

Burning Hunk
Nov 30, 2012
162
NE Wisconsin
What size splits does this thing like for the over night loads? I've been splitting a little smaller than I'm used to. Growing up feeding Hot Blast style stoves and my old Yukon we always split some "all nighters".
Assuming the moisture level is good, are you guys still feeding these new furnaces some big chunks, say 6-7" square?
During the coldest parts of the season I do put larger pieces of oak on hot coals before going to bed, to prolong a burn.

Eric
 

3fordasho

Minister of Fire
Jul 20, 2007
997
South Central Minnesota
What size splits does this thing like for the over night loads? I've been splitting a little smaller than I'm used to. Growing up feeding Hot Blast style stoves and my old Yukon we always split some "all nighters".
Assuming the moisture level is good, are you guys still feeding these new furnaces some big chunks, say 6-7" square?
With my tundra if there is a good coal bed, the large chunk is dry and it fits through the door it will burn fine. I'm sure the heat commander will handle it even better since it has better inlet air control.
 
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