Q&A backdrafting

QandA Posted By QandA, Jun 9, 2007 at 4:48 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    I have a one year old Country brand woodstove, it is a model which uses outside air for combustion. This stove is on the bottom floor of a tri-level home, 1800sq. ft. I put in an air tight model because I have a problem with backdrafting, which causes a terrible smell in the house. Before I put in the new stove spoke with people at fireplace shops and the answers I received were as follows-

    1- dirty chimney. I cleaned it

    2- chimney too low in relation to the peak. I raised it

    3- need a special cap which prevents backdrafting. I installed one

    none of these items worked so I decided to purchase a stove which uses outside air, hoping in the event of backdrafting it would just vent outside, not stink up the house. The problem has not gone away.

    I think it has something to do with the stove being downstairs for a couple reasons. First, when I open a window downstairs it seems to quit backdrafting and second, I think it has to do with the warm air rising upstairs, but I realize my assumptions may well be off base. Once I get a fire going and a draft going I don't have any problem with backdrafting until the fire is out and everything has cooled off. Help!


    teve, you have guessed the problem exactly. THe inside of your home acts as chimney itself...meaning air rises from the downstairs up. This causes a negative pressure in the downstairs room which sucks air down the chimney.

    You have already done most of the solutions and it sounds like it works while the stove is on. There is nothing you can do, short of installing an electric draft inducer, that will fix the downdraft when the stove is off.

    Try some of the stove and fireplace deodorant available at stove and fireplace stores. It does a great job of covering up the odor. Also, be sure the stove and plate (sealing plate below the damper) are installed tightly.
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