Q&A Acrid smell when starting woodstove

QandA Posted By QandA, Nov 17, 2007 at 7:31 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I have a Vermont Castings wood stove. When starting a fire and the kindling is starting to really "roar", it emits a bad smell which -- and it seems directly proportional to how big the fire is -- sometimes sets off the smoke detector. It only happens when the fire is building and the flew and vent are wide open, though of course the door is closed. The smell is not smoky, it's more chemical; it reminds me of plastic burning. As the fire heats up and goes to coals, the smell goes away.


    If it's only in the kindling stage, you are simply producing more smoke than the flue is capable of sucking at that time. Kindling, especially fatwood and construction lumber, can produce lots of smoke. Try using less kindling and more of smaller split hardwoods..also, try keeping the doors cracked open for the first minute or so...sometimes the smoke can back draft when it cannot get enough air to combust properly - this can sound like a train (steam).

    The solution is simply in the proper starting and control previous to the flue being fully warmed.
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