Chimney preheating-how many do it and how?

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soupy1957

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2010
1,365
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Rather than be one of those folks who feels he/she can solve all the issues noted in a Forum, (I'm no "expert" at this stuff), I'll just note that we have had really good luck as far as "draft" is concerned.

Regardless of the reason, (not having burned a fire for a while; real windy day, etc...) I seem to have no trouble warming my chimney, or at least promoting proper draft, just by lighting the end of the role of newspaper, and holding the flame under the flue opening for a couple of minutes, THEN lighting my main fire.

That seems to be all I need, to prep the Flue, (at least here, in THIS application).


-Soupy1957
 

DiscoInferno

Minister of Fire
First several years with the Ultima I had few draft problems. Then we built a second-floor addition on the other end of the house (there was always a second floor above the stove) and last year I had a lot of draft problems on cold startup. Must have changed the dynamics somehow. Hairdryer does the job.
 

Slow1

Minister of Fire
Nov 26, 2008
2,677
Eastern MA
soupy1957 said:
Regardless of the reason, (not having burned a fire for a while; real windy day, etc...) I seem to have no trouble warming my chimney, or at least promoting proper draft, just by lighting the end of the role of newspaper, and holding the flame under the flue opening for a couple of minutes, THEN lighting my main fire.

That seems to be all I need, to prep the Flue, (at least here, in THIS application).
I remember trying that method once when I had a really bad downdraft before adding to my chimney (with my first stove, but that doesn't really make a difference I don't think). Anyway, I couldn't get the ash and smoke (burned paper smell) to go near the chimney that day - it was being fanned by the air headed down the stove. When I tried to close up the stove to 'force' the hot air to collect and go up the flue all that happened was that I had paper smoke flowing out of every gap of the stove for a while.

At least the hot air drier doesn't make a stink.
 

soupy1957

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2010
1,365
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
Have you met those folks who, when they smell the smell of the wood (I realize that Slow1 was talking about the smell of the newspaper, but it gave me another thought, along the same lines) on your clothes, because you were stoking the fire in the morning before you left for work.............think you STINK! (lol).

There's a guy at work who said that to me one day (and I knew I HAD taken a shower and was wearing clean clothes, as I do and am every day), ......."Geez," he said, "you stink of, .........of, ...........burnt wood!). (lol).

I thanked him and said, "Yeah! I LOVE that smell!!

-Soupy1957
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,151
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I can honestly say no one has ever said anything about me smellilng like wood or woodsmoke in the two years I've had my stove . . . if folks are smelling wood or woodsmoke on you or your clothing something isn't right in my opinion . . . the only time I can smell woodsmoke at my own home is when I go outside and the wind is just right . . . now I do have another smell after working in the woodlot after a long, hot day . . . but that's a completely different smell. ;) :)
 
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oldspark

Guest
soupy1957 said:
Rather than be one of those folks who feels he/she can solve all the issues noted in a Forum, (I'm no "expert" at this stuff), I'll just note that we have had really good luck as far as "draft" is concerned.



-Soupy1957
Burn!
 

mikepinto65

Minister of Fire
Nov 5, 2008
684
Webster, MA
firefighterjake said:
I can honestly say no one has ever said anything about me smellilng like wood or woodsmoke in the two years I've had my stove . . . if folks are smelling wood or woodsmoke on you or your clothing something isn't right in my opinion . . . the only time I can smell woodsmoke at my own home is when I go outside and the wind is just right . . . now I do have another smell after working in the woodlot after a long, hot day . . . but that's a completely different smell. ;) :)
Yep same, I love those wisps of woodsmoke mixed with fresh air. But Jake, Im sure you go home some days smelling like wood smoke (or should I say nasty plastic, chemicals, WHATEVER really)!
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,151
Unity/Bangor, Maine
mikepinto65 said:
firefighterjake said:
I can honestly say no one has ever said anything about me smellilng like wood or woodsmoke in the two years I've had my stove . . . if folks are smelling wood or woodsmoke on you or your clothing something isn't right in my opinion . . . the only time I can smell woodsmoke at my own home is when I go outside and the wind is just right . . . now I do have another smell after working in the woodlot after a long, hot day . . . but that's a completely different smell. ;) :)
Yep same, I love those wisps of woodsmoke mixed with fresh air. But Jake, Im sure you go home some days smelling like wood smoke (or should I say nasty plastic, chemicals, WHATEVER really)!
Not in my day-to-day job . . . I might go home smelling like ABC dry chemicals or like a pre-school . . . but yeah . . . I know what you mean . . . the smoke from a house fire permeates your pores and I reak for hours afterwards even after showering . . . if someone could come up with a soap or shampoo to make that smell go away they could make some money.
 

ControlFreak

Feeling the Heat
Jan 15, 2008
492
Holden, MA
Well, I might as well suggest the method that I use when I have a cold stove. Yea, I know I'll get grief for this, but it works well, and I've only done this about a thousand times.

Load the firebox with a good handful of kindling. Put about a half-cup of Coleman lantern fuel in a ziplock baggy. Place the baggy on the kindling. Light one corner of the baggy. The baggy will release some fuel and as it flows through the kindling, you will have a clean-burning fire that starts up quickly and produces enough heat to push the cold air out the chimney. The beauty of the Coleman fuel is that it's not explosive like gasoline (VERY bad idea to use gasoline!!!), and it ignites easily and quickly. A handful of sawdust can be added to the baggy to absorb the fuel if you don't want it to start up too rapidly.

I use this method because I have an exterior masonry chimney on the north side of the house. If the chimney is cold, the downdraft can be so strong that it will extinguish any normal kindling fire and smoke up the house.
 
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oldspark

Guest
I guess I am lucky, in 30 years of wood burning my in the center of house masonary chimney has never back puffed no matter what the temp or conditions.
 

soupy1957

Minister of Fire
Jan 8, 2010
1,365
Connecticut
www.youtube.com
ControlFreak: only one comment really............well two I guess.........

1) I don't use liguid accelerants (unless I'm burning a fire outside in the fire pit, in which case I use gasoline drizzled on the wood before I light it, .....just for the effect.....perhaps I'm a pyro at heart, ......not sure) in my wood stove at all.

2) I'd wonder if I was gumming up my chimney somehow, from the use of it?

-Soupy1957
 

firefighterjake

Minister of Fire
Jul 22, 2008
19,151
Unity/Bangor, Maine
I'm a purist when it comes to arson . . . I mean setting fires. No flammable liquid for me . . . ever. Although I may use large amounts of what I call The Arsonist's Secret Weapon -- cardboard -- on outside fires . . . never fails to get a fire going . . . even burning fresh cut branches and wood.
 
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