Can't tell since I'm not there. You are running a stove that is a cat stove running without cats. You replaced gaskets and now the stove is supposedly starved for air and are unsure if you should not have gasketed certain portions of the stove. You are running the stove in warmer weather with a chimney that is too short. Every step of the way you seem to be guessing as oppose to trying to get the stove functioning in a proper manner. What would I do? I would look to the manual, determine what needs gaskets. Remove all gaskets. Scrape and clean off all existing cement. I would install the catalysts. I would thoroughly clean the stove. I would be sure the airways are clean and not blocked. I would then reinstall all the gaskets. Most of all, I would have done this before the weather became cold like I did with the Encore and Vigilant this summer. I bought an Encore for $350 this summer. I could have just installed it and hoped it worked. Instead I completely disassembled the stove. Thoroughly cleaned it. Re-cemented areas in need. Cleaned the bolts so they functioned properly. Removed all gaskets. Scraped the gasket grooves clean. Re-installed all gaskets (back panel, two doors, the griddle, the ash pan chamber, the ash pan door, the damper). I cleaned the catalysts and the assembly. I vacuumed the firebox and burn chamber. I inspected the air controls. I made sure the stove was functioning properly before the weather turned. If I did not do this and the stove ended up not performing properly I would have had no idea why this was happening. Now if an issue occurs I have a complete understanding of how the stove should function and all the areas that I should inspect. I am relying on these stoves to provide heat for me and my family. I need to know how they function and I need to perform proper maintenance on them. If I am not willing to do this, I need to find another solution for my heating needs.