Have HVAC Questions? Ask an HVAC Expert for Answers
do you have a combustion air pipe bringing outdoor air into the furnace area/room?
the unit sucks air from the basement for the combustion...the house, if well insulated and tight, goes under a negative pressure. Even on new homes now it is code to have a 6" intake pipe from outside to equalize the pressure.
Try an experiment and open a window near the unit and see if it runs better
You may have to add a fresh air pipe for combustion air.
This not an electronic fiasco...mechanical breakdown...it is basic draft.
What comes into play?
Cold stack (exterior chimney)
supply air and demand air...nothing magical.
If it seems redundant then to you then try something else...but it is a very simply situation...you want draft to get up and out...if you truly believe you enough leakage to feed that burner (which I doubt), unless you are seeing daylight through cracks..then you will have to look at why stack is so cold...
But that in itself can be helped with a forced draft. Or you can use a Tjerlund exhaust fan made for this...but it hinders efficiency.
I will opt out and see if someone can deliver information more to your liking.
We can do some tests on this.
If its negative pressure problem, opening a window 3 inches will solve the problem and the heater will draft properly.
Try that, if nothing changes then its the problem is with the draft opening in the stove, perhaps it is blocked or you have fire brick or some other obstruction in the way... we need to examine the stove for those possibilities, Your mention that sometimes you can run the stove with the door closed and sometimes not points in that direction.
So lets look at that first.
Next we can examine the flue pipe and chimney etc. I will need photo's for that.
Good work Bob, leaving the window open 3" was a test only, if that had reversed the problem we would know that you needed a supply air duct to the stove.