Rhode Island, South/Southern RI, Charlestown, Coventry, 02912, 02826, 02830, 02839, 02858

Formerly Wakefield Stove

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52 Main St, Wakefield, RI.
Phone: 401- 783-6054 Email: johndebar@gmail.com
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The flash combustion of smoke!
Free Stove Info from Fireside
Free Stove Info from Fireside

Troubleshooting Initial Start Up Smoking - for Wood Stoves

Articles are for info only. Fireside cannot be held liable for their use or misapplication.
Written by John Debar, Owner / johndebar@gmail.com / 401-783-6054

To reduce or stop smoking, it is important to understand a few things about chimneys.

Early fall season smoking is common.
But smoke pathway being blocked off is not usually the problem!

Several factors that vary from day to day can cause initial start up smoking. When more than one factor is present, the smoking can get worse. Each factor, or condition, has a simple remedy to rule it out as a cause.

Here are simple troubleshooting steps that work 90% of the time:

Chimneys don't 'draft' on start up when inside & outside temperatures are similar. Initial draft performance is best when inside & outside temperatures differ by a wide margin.

When it's over 50 degrees outside, it is likely that there's little difference between inside & outside temperatures. This is one ingredient for a smoky start-up. Other factors can combine to make the smoking worse. These are called variables, because the degree to which they are present often change.

Remedy: Initialize the draft. Peel away a single sheet of newspaper. Put it in the stove without folding it tight. Unfolded, it will flare up quickly and go out in seconds.

Repeat if necessary. This will get a cold chimney drafting. If this does not work, continue on...

Other variables that contribute to initial smoking:

Insufficient Make Up Air
Homes are getting more air tight these days. Make up air for other venting appliances tries to get in the house down through the wood stove chimney. This is what causes the smoke to come out of the stove. It gets worse when all of the other appliances are exhausting at the same time. Examples of other appliances are the furnace, dryer, kitchen and bath vents, and some roof/attic ridge vents.

Remedy: If smoking is lessened by supplying make-up air from a window, then remember to crack open a window, especially when the chimney draft is weak when cold starting. Once the chimney is warmed, you'll likely be able to shut the window or door if your home is not unusually air tight.

Other contributing factors:

-Prolonged low exhaust temperatures from smoky/smoldering type fire starters, and partially seasoned or green wood leads to sluggish chimney performance and smoke in the house.

-Initially, the stove is absorbing much of the heat that could be inducing a good draft. During this initial half hour, do not turn the draft control down below halfway.

If you follow the above recommendations and have problem smoking, verify the stove pipe is clear and not restricted with a build-up of soot. To do so, simply tap the pipe firmly and listen for falling creosote.

Burning recently obtained wood is the main cause of all problems and can double consumption.

Obtain and cover the following year's wood the summer before this heating season ends.

John Debar - Engineer/ RI Reg # 1719
Heating Appliance License #7808 - Since 1987
Ocean State Chimney (www.OSChimney.com)
Fireside Stove Shoppe (www.FiresideOnline.com)
52 Main St, Wakefield, RI 02879
401-783-6334 / 401-249-1818 Providence / 401-847-3882 Newport