First – let me start off by saying great website – I learned quite a bit, and had a few chuckles along the way. By way of background – I’ll try to be brief, but give as much detail as I can. I bought my house about 12 years ago (approx. 1800 sf, plus 1 area of about 300 sf where there is a vaulted ceiling, so potential “heating area may be equivalent to approx 2100 sf +/-). The first year I was there, I bought a used VC resolute (Early model, in fact a resolute I), and vented into the existing chimney using 6” SS flexpipe kit. The flue is 12X12 tile lined. The chimney is “inside” the house, up until the point where it exits the roof, where it extends up another 8’ or so. The peak of the chimney is about 3’ higher than the nearest roof peak, which is about 10’ away. The location is Western Mass, elevation of approx 1400’. The stove, for the most part is the primary heat source. The resolute always had great draft, easy starts. I would clean the chimney mid season, and at the end of the year, and never had much in the way of creosote. My only “complaint” was that it was probably a little undersized for the size of the house. This summer, I replaced the resolute with a used Vigilant (early model, short doors), and changed to a 8” SS flexpipe. The starting and drafting of this stove seems good, but what I’ve noticed is, it appears to me, that the air holes in the fireback on this model are very low in the stove, and needs constant cleaning, or shifting of the coals and ashes to keep the airpath open. This also seems to choke the stove down during an overnight burn (or even after a few hours it needs to be tended). As a result, I now have a lot more creosote in the chimney to clean out, and overall – I’m not really happy with this stove. Is my thinking flawed in that I’m kind of blaming the stove design? Or is it that the air “demand” of this stove is much more than the resolute (i.e., the 6” vs the 8” pipe?). I know there are a lot of other factors that can affect the draft – exhaust fans, dryer, etc. but since I had 11 years with the resolute, I don’t think anything else has really changed. My thinking is probably going to the new Encore NC (maybe even the new Defiant NC <would this be overkill?>?. The stove will be pretty central in the house, so looks are pretty important (Not by any means do I mean that function and efficiency is NOT). Also, top loading is fairly important, as the hearth is at floor level, not raised, so front or side loading, I don’t want to be lying on the floor loading the stove. Am I thinking in the right direction? Or should I be looking at something else going on in the vigilant? Thanks for your help.