New Hyfire. Ducting Questions

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FrankTheTank
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Post Tue. Jan. 17, 2017 6:55 pm

Hello all,

I'm new to the forum but I've been reading up on a lot of these forums over the past few weeks and gotten a lot of good information and ideas. We built a new house this year and this is my first experience with a heat pump and it's not going well. Our electric bill is a lot more than I like and the house just doesn't feel warm. I was just under the assumption that the heat pump was the way to go. I've learned it's not.

I had plans of supplementing the heat with something in the basement so I put an 8" crock in when the walls were poured. I had no plan on tieing in to the heat pump with a stove so the crock is clear on the other end of the house. Where the heat pump was installed I don't have the room to put the coal stove beside it and tie it in.

I'm told I can tie in to the supply line and shut the heat pump down. I'm fine with doing this I just don't want to damage the heat pump. Is there anything I should do with heat pump besides just shutting it down? Also are there any issues with forcing the air towards the heat pump?

My other idea was to run 8" flex duct parallel to my existing ductwork and tie it in the return end near the heat pump and I would have the fan on the heat pump to keep the air flowing fro the hyfire blower. This would be around 80' from the stove to the heat pump so I'm not sure if this is the best.

I'm having a plenum built for the hyfire and I'm thinking of running two 8" ducts out of it to tie to the supply line if it won't damage the heat pump. I'm going to run them in the duct 1/3 and 2/3 of the way down the run. My basement is well insulated and holding right around 60 degrees with no heat so I'm sure the radiant heat will be enough down there. I also didn't insulate the basement ceiling so that radiant heat will help also. Upstairs square footage is around 2300 sq feet and it's a ranch.

Hopefully this is enough info for those of you who know what you're doing or maybe have done something similar. I sure appreciate any advice any of you may have and hopefully someday I'll be able to help also.

Thanks

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philthy
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Post Tue. Jan. 17, 2017 9:51 pm

You have an interesting situation that's hard to give advice on without actually seeing what it looks like. Some recommend against tieing into the return and using the main furnace blower to supplement air movement - many have done that very thing. Personally I've seen it done and thought it worked well. Mine is plumbed into the supply side which blows across the top of my oil furnace and works good too. For return air I pull the cover off of the oil furnace where the filter sits. Not the best but works decent for me.

Does the supply line of the heat pump run close to where the coal appliance will be located? Sounds like you have a good size house and the distance is the biggest obstacle to overcome. That alone would encourage me to make use of the heat pump fan as i'm sure its significantly larger than what is on the hyfire.

This is just an idea to get the conversation started. I'm by no means an expert but have done some tinkering with my set-up to find what works best for me. Give it a bit and i'm sure others will be along to offer some help. In the meantime, if it's not too much hassle try to get some pics of what we're dealing with.

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McGiever
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 6:11 am

One step at a time...
Going by your description of basement layout I'd say you need to abandon that existing crock and bite the bullet and add a 2nd crock where it will be most advantageous.

Do not set yourself up for a failure, do it the last way first. :idea:

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titleist1
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 8:04 am

Welcome to the forum! Do you already have the Hyfire or should you be looking at an actual furnace with the blower size needed to circulate heat through the duct?

I have seen stoves tied into both supply and returns that have worked and that have not worked well. It is very dependent on the house, duct, stove, blower, etc.

Just curious what area are you located, I am wondering what kind of heat load you have to deal with.

Have you worked out the logistics of getting the tons of coal to the stove? That may influence your decision to use the existing thimble.

Pictures of the duct layout in the basement may help.


FrankTheTank
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 8:35 am

Thanks for the replies.

I agree the length of run is probably my worst problem. The guy who's telling me to tie 8" to the supply got it to work for himself but I'm not sure he has this far of a run. I took pictures of the setup with my phone and I'll figure out how to post them. Measurement wise from the wall where my crock is the return and supply ducts both end within 6' of the wall. I have 47' to a bend then an additional 31' to the heat pump.

Another option I have is a bump out in the foundation under the dining room. If I put the stove here I can cut my run down to about 52' from the wall to the heat pump. Is this also too far? This would involve citing a hole through the wall for the powervent but I've done worse jobs than that, so no big deal.

Getting coal to this part will be a bit more work but I'll figure something out. The crock was placed at the walkout and I have a way of getting the coal in the walkout fairly easily. I almost bought an Alaska 140 but I really like what I read and hear on the hyfire and that's why I wanted to go with it.
I'm supposed to pick up the hyfire tomorrow but I'm sure if I talk to the dealer he'll understand my dilemma.

Also I'm in center county. Thanks and I'll try and get some pics up.

FrankTheTank
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 8:43 am

Hear are a few pics. I'll add more. Also the drywall is just screwed down so if I need to take any down for clarity it's no big deal. It was a code thing since I didn't want to insulate the ceiling and have plans to finish later. (Edited pics right side up this time)
Attachments
IMG_4846.JPG
Ductwork at end
IMG_4847.JPG
Duct run 47' to bend
IMG_4848.JPG
Duct run 31' to heat pump
Last edited by FrankTheTank on Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 10:19 am, edited 1 time in total.

FrankTheTank
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 8:53 am

Here's the last three pics I took. The first and second show the ductwork at the heat pump. This room is pretty tight so I'm not sure how I would put a stove in here. The last shows the room under the dining room. It would be 14' from the wall to be under the return duct. Then 7' to the bend in the duct then 31' to the heat pump. From where I'm standing the stairway is about 10' to my left and it goes up from where you are looking. I actually considered putting a large circulator in here and letting the stairway do a lot of the work. The trouble is I couldn't find a way to put a chimney out this wall due to windows and a patio.

Thanks for looking and I can get more pics up if needed. That was actually pretty easy to do from the phone.

Updated pics right side up.
Attachments
IMG_4849.JPG
Ductwork overhead at heat pump
IMG_4850.JPG
Ductwork at bottom of heat pump
IMG_4851.JPG
Bump out under dining room
Last edited by FrankTheTank on Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 10:27 am, edited 1 time in total.

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freetown fred
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 9:01 am

F, if it was so easy, how come the pix are sideways????? Just goofin--love them thar "not so smart" phones. Turn your phone & I'm thinkin they'll come out right??????????????????????????????????


FrankTheTank
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 9:25 am

Yeah go figure. I retook the pictures and the came in upside down. I cropped them and uploaded again and they're still upside down. I'll get it figured out. I didn't realize they came in sideways the first time.

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philthy
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 9:38 am

The old sideways picture dilema...

Frank, Whats the possibility of putting that stove where you originally planned then put a big a$% register up above it? Then let the basement door open for the return. Not super efficient but will work. My parents had this set up with their wood stove for years and we never went cold. This set up was in the basement of a 2-story cape cod and the upstairs stayed warm.

Sometimes we tend to over think these things when a simple solution will suffice. Take advantage of the plenum to get it closer to the register and leave the top off; basically a big funnel going up.

FrankTheTank
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 9:56 am

I have run through this scenario also. Directly above is our boys bedrooms. I thought about running its own ductwork to registers through the center of the house. I'm sure the radiant heat will take care of their bedrooms. Right now their rooms are heated well. It's the open floor plan of the living,dining room and kitchen. Along with a lot of windows. The master bedroom is clear at the other end. Thanks for the input and I may end up trying something like this. My main reasoning for using the ductwork is just that its already there. I'm not opposed to any alternatives if it'll work.

FrankTheTank
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 10:29 am

Ok I got the pics right side up. Found out when using an iPhone if you take the pictures with the volume buttons up the pics will transfer upside down. Even if you crop them.

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davidmcbeth3
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Post Wed. Jan. 18, 2017 6:54 pm

I thought that heat pumps were only useful in shoulder-month-like temps?

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