I recently picked up a Vermont Castings 1977 used on craigslist. Awesome stove. I haven't had the oil burner on since I hooked it up. I'm currently running it on a 8" single wall to a 6" double wall stainless steel flue pipe that was already in the house when we purchased it. The total run is only about 14' straight up. It heats the whole house very well. The house is only about 1900 sq. ft., 2 floor cottage. My first question is does having too much ash in the stove inhibit its ability to burn effectively? I only burn seasoned wood, not coal and I noticed that when it gets a good amount of ash built up in the bottom that I have to poke the logs around more. I always make sure never to completely empty it as I've read I should keep at least a 2" base in the bottom of the stove to prevent cracking.