Smoke In The Room?
The flue has ‘cold chimney syndrome’!
This is caused when the air pressure within the flue is lower than the air pressure outside of the flue.
Low pressure is heavy and sinks; heat rises. Should the pressure within the flue be heavier than the heat (flame) rising up it, the low pressure will extinguish the flame and push smoke back into the firebox, through the vents in the stove and into the room.
To prevent/minimalize this from occurring, the flue has to become hot as quickly as possible to cause the low pressure to rise.
Using the ‘top/down’ method of lighting the stove allows this to happen as wood burns downwards, causing the heat it is producing to rise quickly. This method is as follows:-
- On a bed of ash lay a couple of either kiln dried logs or seasoned wood that has no more than 20% moisture. (it is advisable to have the wood stored within a basket or similar receptacle for 24 hours indoors before using to remove the ‘chill’ from it).
- On top of the logs lay kindling in a ‘jenga tower’ fashion until it is near the baffle/throat plate of the stove.
- On top of the kindling lay a fire starter.
- Ensure that the air vents for the stove are open to the full to allow maximum oxygen into the fire (fire triangle being oxygen/fuel/ignition).
- Light the fire starter and push the stove door too but not fully closed.
- Once the kindling has burnt approximately 3/4’s of the way down the ‘jenga tower’ and the flames are being drawn over the baffle, add some more kindling or small logs. Keep the air vent open and the door slightly open.
- Monitor until bottom logs are ‘flaming’.
- Close the stove door and control the heat using the air vent.
If the stove is rarely used it can be beneficial to use a hair dryer to help warm the flue prior to lighting the fire. With the fire chamber of the stove empty of wood, aim the nozzle of the appliance close to the baffle, turn on and hold in place for 3-5 minutes. Then use the top/down method as previously explained to light the stove. Alternatively, lighting a small fire a couple of times a week as the temperature begins to drop in the early autumn months can help to keep the flue warm and help prevent excessive low pressure within it.