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How much smoke from your chimney?

Post in 'The Hearth Room - Wood Stoves and Fireplaces' started by burnt03, Dec 22, 2012.

  1. burnt03

    burnt03 Burning Hunk

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    Peachland, BC, Canada
    Have my sister in law and family staying with us for Christmas so have been starting my "overnight" burn a lot earlier in the evening so I'm not waking the kids up when I'm down making adjustments, etc.

    Got it tuned in after about an hour with air turned down to about 1/8 open, pretty good secondaries and stovetop around 600-650. Been about 3.5 hours now, no more flames and I'm getting a bit of smoke from the chimney.

    Short of setting my alarm to wake up and turn the air up in 3.5 hours, I guess I should be leaving the air further open on my final adjustment? Or does anyone else get a bit of smoke coming out too when it gets to this stage?

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  2. pen

    pen There are some who call me...mod. Staff Member

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    Yep, mine does the same thing at that transitional point in the burn. There's not a lot of smoke, but it's there.

    For my stove, especially if I burn North/South I'll see it. When Burning East-West, I get less of that, especially if I keep an air channel from that "dog house air" in the front of my stove, under the splits. Some folks refer to this as the "tunnel of love"

    If I'm up in the night, and know I don't need to conserve coals for an extended burn, I open the air up some and things clean up.

    pen
  3. remkel

    remkel Minister of Fire

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    Get the same issue here on occasion. Find the logs at the back of the firebox tend to smolder a bit. I just pull the logs forward onto the coals in the front and they get going without opening the air further. Still experimenting with how I am going to address this.
  4. BobUrban

    BobUrban Minister of Fire

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    I think it is normal to have this as the fire burns down. Unless you are getting a lot of smoke or bothering the neighbors with it I do not believe it is a big concern as most of the creo and bad stuff has burned off by this point and the smoke should not be creating much build up in the chimney. Others may come on here and correct me as I am no expert but if you have had 3+ hrs of 600+ temps with good secondary burn the bad stuff is pretty much gone by the time those back logs in an E/W burn begin to smolder a bit.

    For the record I can see where at this stage the Cat becomes the Cats Meow but I do not have the benefit of a cat stove.
  5. DBoon

    DBoon Minister of Fire

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    I have a neighbor very close by, so I try to be as considerate as possible with smoke during all stages of the burn cycle. To minimize smoke at the end, I find that putting a piece of bark or kindling vertically on the back wall of the woodstove will keep the back logs away from the firebrick so that air can get around them and burn them more completely. That prevents smoke at the end of a burn cycle.
  6. Wood Duck

    Wood Duck Minister of Fire

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    I get a little smoke just as the OP burnt03 says. To reduce or eliminate the smoke I set my air control higher than I need for the early burn on order to have more air for the late stages of the burn.I'll have to try the trick that DBoon posted.
  7. BrotherBart

    BrotherBart Hearth.com LLC Mid-Atlantic Division Staff Member

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    Sometimes when I let the cat out in the morning I will notice a little late burn smoke wafting from the chimney. I remind myself of the stream pouring out of most of my neighbors' chimneys and go have breakfast.
  8. corey21

    corey21 Minister of Fire

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    That is how i see it same here.
  9. burnt03

    burnt03 Burning Hunk

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    Thanks for the replies everyone. Nice to know that most of the creosote forming stuff is probably gone already and that's a good point about others with the thick smoke pouring out all the time

    I'm loading NS and it's usually the 2 big splits on either wall that I think are a little slower in burning.
  10. rideau

    rideau Minister of Fire

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    And there is the advantage of a cat stove. Burns that smoke, hence the slightly improved efficiency and heat output. Never see anything coming from my chimney. If on average the efficiency of a cat stove is about 9% more than a secondary burn stove, you're probably putting out up to 25% more smoke than a cat ? (63 % efficiency= 37 % lost, 72% efficiency = 28% lost , 28 = 3/4 of 37). Or, is the proper math 9 % more efficient = 9/63 =1/7 = 14%? And probably only a small portion of that smoke is put out at this stage of the burn. Anyway, compared to non-EPA stoves, you're not putting out a great deal of smoke. The idea of putting a spacer on the back wall sounds great - a simple, worthwhile remedy even if it were even part way effective. Wonder if and how much that simple step improves efficiency?
  11. dorkweed

    dorkweed Guest

    Is it smoke or steam???

    From my reading here, steam dissipates fairly quickly, while smoke will linger and hang around.

    I only get smoke when reloading................just until the flue temps come back up.
  12. Seasoned Oak

    Seasoned Oak Minister of Fire

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    I get the most smoke from my englander at any stage of the burn,less from my Country Hearth 2000 and none from my Harman once its up to temp.
  13. evilgriff

    evilgriff Burning Hunk

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    I get the most smoke just after refueling-when the fresh wood is sitting on coals. Once the stove is hot enough and I engage the cat-I don't see anything, no smoke at all. Even towards the end of the burn when I would think the cat is no longer engaged I still don't see any smoke.

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