Hyfire II Decision

A Coal stoker furnace or stove controls most operations including automatically feeding the coal. They are quite similar to any conventional oil and gas units and easily operated for extended periods of time. They commonly use rice coal but may use larger sizes like buckwheat. They can be used as primary heat, supplementary heat or have a dual set up with your existing oil/gas furnace.
bbnx
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Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II
Location: Northern Michigan

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:28 am

Good Morning Everyone,

My name is Bill and I am contemplating the purchase of a Hyfire II coal stove. I have done a fair amount of research on stoves and compared the various manufacturers and their products and settled on the Hyfire II. Still, I am very hesitant for several reasons. First off, I live in Michigan and consequently would not have any way to get the stove serviced if needed. Secondly, and quite honestly my main concern, is the heating capacity of the unit. I have a relatively large house (5500 square feet, 3 stories), which is adequately insulated, however, has more windows than the average home. 77 to be exact with many of those facing Lake Michigan. This home sits on a large bluff overhanging the lake. The current heat system is hot water baseboard and that works "OK" until Lake Michigan starts to howl which literally sucks the heat right out of the house. It's only "OK" since it is never really comfortably warm in the house. I dream of the day when I can walk around the house in a sweatshirt during a January blizzard and be comfortable.

I have experience using a coal stove for heat years ago in a much smaller home in a more temperate area of Michigan with great success, however, that stove was primarily radiant heat with a small blower. I like the fact that the Hyfire II is 180,000 BTU but quite honestly am having a hard time actually equating that to heating ability and whether or not those BTUs will make any real difference in heating this house just by blowing heat into one room with no central duct work. I intend on putting the unit on the first (main) floor, not the lower walk out level and sealing off the 3rd floor with a door, thereby reducing the square footage that I need to heat to two floors, if necessary. The house has 10' ceilings which isn't helping the heat issue either even with many ceiling fans. My first choice would have been a centrally located large radiant heat wood stove (with blowers) that I could keep red hot most of the time but there is no chimney in the home, nor is there a way to install one economically.

I have several questions about the Hyfire II and am hoping that someone that has real time experience with one can provide some input along with any other Leisure Line owners. By the way, I understand that the Hyfire II is typically a basement stove. At this point I am not concerned with how the stove looks, rather it's ability to reliably push out massive amounts of heat.

#1 - When the stove is burning at maximum BTUs, is it hot to the touch? Can you feel heat come off the stove when you walk by...?

#2 - When the stove is burning at maximum BTUs and the blowers are running at maximum speed is the air coming out of the stove warm or hot? How fast is the air being moved out of the stove?

#3 - Its hard to see in the pictures exactly where the blower exhaust ports are located. Are those the two holes on either side of the top front of the stove? Are those the only areas where air is pushed out of the stove?

#4 - My understanding is that I will be able to override the system and turn the blowers on full regardless of temperature. Is this accurate?

#5 - How about adding coal....? Can I override the system and add more in much the same way I would be able to add more wood to a fire?

#6 - Relative to the Power Vent..... How sensitive is it to wind pressure? The vent will discharge on the Northwest side of the house over a deck which takes the brunt of the wind. I can build a wind break around it if necessary.

#7 - What is the maximum unattended burn time at half capacity. I understand that there is a 200lb hopper, however, will the ash pan hold the equivalent amount of ash?

Thanks very much in advance to anyone that takes the time to respond. I appreciate your time, assistance and ANY information you can provide, negative OR positive will be GREATLY appreciated!

Thanks again!


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WNY
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Hot Air Coal Stoker Stove: Keystoker 90K, Leisure Line Hyfire I
Coal Size/Type: Rice
Stove/Furnace Make: Keystoker, LL & CoalTrol
Stove/Furnace Model: 90K, Hyfire I, VF3000 Soon
Location: Cuba, NY
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 9:16 am

Welcome to forums, first, make sure you can GET Coal locally at a decent price. The stoves are pretty robust and usually last a while with normal maintainance (cleaning every spring), mine is a 1995 vintage, I think I have only replaced 1 blower (but the guys from LL are great! for service)

Since you already have baseboard, why not a Coal Boiler and just tie it into your existing system?

As for Size, that might be pushing it, that is one large house. but the guys at LL (or others on the forums) can give you more insight and getting the heat moved around the house via ductwork or fans may not be an easy task depending on your location of your stove, and since you have a boiler.

Heat, they do produce a lot of heat, both out the ductwork and radiant, they can get up to 500+ degrees on the sizes/front sheet metal when running full bore!
As for the vents, the 2 are on the front and it exists out the top/front too. but a heat jacket can be added for hooking into ductwork.

Adding more coal can be controlled by the CoalTrol, but it does a pretty good job on it's own maintaining temps.

Ash Capacity, probably won't equal the 200# hopper capacity, I know I have to empty mine about every couple days depending on how hot your are running it, full bore, possibly everyday. Idle to medium idle, 2-3 days depending.
- Dave
Hyfire I & Keystoker 90K heating an 1890 Victorian
- Amsoil Authorized T1 Certified Dealer

bbnx
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Posts: 43
Joined: Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 6:19 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II
Location: Northern Michigan

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 9:59 am

Thanks very much for your reply....

Coal is available within a decent drive from my house.

The existing hot water baseboard system doesn't produce enough heat to overcome the cold, wind, high ceilings and windows. During the dead of winter the boiler runs 24/7 and does NOT come anywhere close to adequately heating the home. I have a 1,000 gallon propane tank (buried) that I fill at LEAST once per month. Last winter I was spending $2,500-$3,000 per month for propane.

Duct work is not an option either as there are no existing runs.

I like the fact that you indicated the steel gets in the 500 degree range. That will certainly help heat the main floor where the stove will be located. Also, I read an earlier post about larger fans being available. (512 vs 265) That will help my situation as well. Since the house is so large and tall, it acts like a huge chimney. If I can get the stove burning hard, throwing off a substantial amount of radiant heat in addition to the dual blower capacity I may be OK and not have to use the baseboard heat.

A few days of unattended burn time is great! And knowing that I've purchased the coal up front and am not at the mercy of the propane company will be even better.

Thanks again for your response! Hopefully I'll get additional information from other members....

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titleist1
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Location: Cecil County, MD

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 10:44 am

Maybe I missed it, but did you mention the BTU capacity of your current boiler?
I drive a VW TDI, heat my home & workshop with two coal stokers and have two vintage JD diesel tractors....
The EPA just loves me!!

bbnx
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Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II
Location: Northern Michigan

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 10:58 am

The current boiler is 122,000 BTU.

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poconoman
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 5:33 pm

bbnx wrote:The current boiler is 122,000 BTU.
The Hyfire's 180K BTU may work. But WNY has a point, you already have baseboard hot water. I'd go with a boiler. Maybe Matt and Dave can chime in. 8-)

In my case, I have whole house duct work, so the Hyfire works great for me.

BTW, propane SUCKS. I feel your pain. :mad:

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Coalfire
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 5:45 pm

bbnx,
Not to set you off course, but do you not have enough baseboard, or is the boiler to small to supply all the baseboards? the HyfireII will crank out heat but without duct work or a way to distribute it you will be in the same situation, COLD. I would look to putting in a coal boiler of larger btu, or more baseboard, whichever you need.
Just my two cents, Eric

bbnx
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Posts: 43
Joined: Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 6:19 am
Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II
Location: Northern Michigan

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 7:38 pm

Thanks very much for your replies....!

Relative to the existing baseboard heat. I am not clear on how a bigger boiler or tieing the Hyfire II into my existing boiler will help my situation. The existing baseboards are ALL hot when the system is running and "requesting" heat. I could understand if my current baseboard system was CLOSE to heating the house, however, it is not. It seems to me (a guy who knows NOTHING about this type of thing...) that the only way to help my existing baseboard system would be to replumb the runs with larger diameter copper to increase the surface area, which would be prohibitively expensive. How will increasing the water temperature by a few degrees in the existing runs make enough of a difference to raise the air temp in the house 15 +/- degrees ?

As far as adding more runs, that MAY help but in this house I think it would be easier (and cheaper) to buy a buy a Hyfire II. ;)

And, YES, propane DOES suck! :mad:


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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 7:52 pm

bbnx wrote:Thanks very much for your replies....!

Relative to the existing baseboard heat. I am not clear on how a bigger boiler or tieing the Hyfire II into my existing boiler will help my situation. The existing baseboards are ALL hot when the system is running and "requesting" heat. I could understand if my current baseboard system was CLOSE to heating the house, however, it is not. It seems to me (a guy who knows NOTHING about this type of thing...) that the only way to help my existing baseboard system would be to replumb the runs with larger diameter copper to increase the surface area, which would be prohibitively expensive. How will increasing the water temperature by a few degrees in the existing runs make enough of a difference to raise the air temp in the house 15 +/- degrees ?

As far as adding more runs, that MAY help but in this house I think it would be easier (and cheaper) to buy a buy a Hyfire II. ;)

And, YES, propane DOES suck! :mad:
We can dress up the Hyfire a little ,Optional colors we also can add 2 of the brass colored rub rails and a ash vendor like the Pioneer have . I can send some pics tomorrow if you like . Thanks ,Dave
http://www.leisurelinestove.com


You know when people say it was "better back in my day"?

They were right.

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tsb
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 7:58 pm

Sounds like your house was probably a summer home at one time.
Heat ? Who needs heat. The propane heater is way undersized, but you
know that.
My suggestion. Put the Hyfire II in the room that you want to be comfortable.
Any excess heat, and there will be plenty, will migrate to other rooms or upstairs.
If you are spending 2500-3000 per month, the Hyfire will give you a warm area and
pay for itself in about two months. The coal-trol will give you the ability to regulate
how warm the main room gets, and by opening up other areas, the coal-trol will just
adjust for the cooler air entering the room.
Old Houses
I use a Pioneer for a 4000 sq ft old grist mill. We keep one floor at 73 and let the heat
find it's way upstairs to the bedrooms. If the upstairs gets too cool we open the door
at the bottom of the stairs. As the first floor temperature drops, the coal-trol adjusts
the burn. It really is a fantastic device.
Tom
Coal -- It's not a hobby, It's an addiction.

bbnx
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Posts: 43
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Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
Stove/Furnace Model: Hyfire II
Location: Northern Michigan

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:20 pm

Thanks for your comments Tom....

I agree that this place was certainly intended on being a summer home. I also like your thoughts on positioning the stove in an area that we want to keep warm. That is exactly why we decided to put it on the first (main floor) rather than in the walk out. My primary concern has been whether a stove "blowing" heat w/o ductwork or relying on radiant as a primary source of transfer would be sufficient to heat even the floor where the stove is located. Based on your comment and an earlier one, it sounds like it likely will.

And btw.... That is a great pic of your place. Looks incredible! Has more character than mine for sure...

Thanks again!

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009to090
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Coal Size/Type: Anthracite Rice
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:27 pm

bbnx wrote:Thanks very much for your reply....

Coal is available within a decent drive from my house.
Hi Bill, make sure that local coal is not just Bituminous or sub-bit. You need to burn Anthracite in the Hyfire. :idea: :idea: :idea:
If it ain't broke, don't fix it!

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Cap
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:31 pm

Bill, post some pictures of your lake home. I think you have at the very least peaked most of ours interest.
Thanks, Mark
Cap
Lehigh Twp.
Northampton Co., PA

bbnx
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Stove/Furnace Make: Leisure Line
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Location: Northern Michigan

Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 8:49 pm

Thanks for your reply DVC500,

The coal I am purchasing is "Reading Anthracite Coal" in 40lb bags. I am still trying to figure out a way to get several tons shipped to my house though. I can haul a ton in my truck and a ton on my trailer but the store is 2.5 hours from me. It's ALWAYS something! ;)

Thanks again....

GeorgiePorgie
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Post Mon. Oct. 18, 2010 9:19 pm

To keep warm sometimes you have to look at things from a different angle.

At the end of this few minutes episode you'll get a hint on how to keep warm !



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