I'm new to the group here but not new to pellet stoves, this is my third season burning two Whitfield Advantage stoves. I did however just learn something new about my stoves that I have a question about and thought that someone here may be able to help me out. When cleaning my secondhand stove recently I noticed that the previous owner had installed a rope gasket blocking the air wash system on the top edge of the window. Thinking that I was doing a good thing I repositioned the rope to allow air to flow through the air wash as intended. In the days following the cleaning I noticed that the glas did stay cleaner but also that the magnetic thermometer which is stuck to the front of the stove was reading consistently ~50 degrees cooler than before I moved the rope. Now I just had to prove to myself that it was indeed the air wash system that cost me the 50 degree loss so again I re-positioned the rope to block the air wash and sure enough I regained the 50 degrees. As a matter of fact the stove is burning even hotter than in the beginning! The thermometer is attached to the door just above the glass and with the air wash blocked I get about 225deg on 2, 325deg on 3 and so on and there is a 50 to 75 degree temperature loss by opening the air wash. I rarely run the stove above a setting if 3. So here's my questions: Has anyone here experienced this? Is there any reason that I shouldn't leave the air wash blocked and enjoy the extra heat? I know that this is not an exact science and that there is no black or white answer but I'd appreciate your opinions on whetner blocking the airwash is going to cause heat damage to the stove. I also thought that maybe some of you might like to try for yourselves, hey pellets aint cheap! TIA, Mike.