Question: I've been getting a smell from my Vermont Castings Defiant Encore stove every time I light it. It smells like hot steel but the trouble we have is that it causes our nasal passages and heads to feel stuffed up. I tested for carbon monoxide leaks with every high-tech tester but found everything good. I installed an outside air inlet behind the stove but did not connect it directly to the stove. I also tried opening a window in the room but nothing helped. This stove was purchased about 10 years ago from a dealer that refurbished it with new gaskets, etc. I would appreciate a return e-mail on this. Answer: 1. Perhaps you've repainted or re-gasketed the stove or applied some other material to it which is out gassing. Machine oil on the cooktop will also do this. It should stop once the stove is burned a number of times at a decent temperature. 2. Nearby Surfaces - is the stove too close to walls, floor or other surfaces? If so, they may be getting overheated and producing gases. 3. Normal beginning of season smell - Many stoves and fireplaces give off an odor when fired for the first couple times each year. 4. Negative pressure in room pulling in other sources of pollution - If the room is relatively tight, a negative pressure could result. This means that the room will pull air in from the basement and other rooms around it. If a furnace or hot water heater is located in these rooms, that could result in odors. 5. Slight Stove leakage of gases. Check to make certain that the catalytic converter has been cleaned and brushed out of excess dust. Since many of these gases are not carbon monoxide, the detector might not find them. Also, make certain you calibrate the meter before use.