Q&A how to make the woodstove draw better

QandA Posted By QandA, Jan 1, 2005 at 2:20 PM

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  1. QandA

    New Member 2.
    Staff Member

    Nov 27, 2012

    The question is how to make the woodstove draw better and keep from smoking. We have tried lighting newspaper to warm the stack and we have used sterno for the same reason. But some evenings, even leaving the sterno in there for two hours did not warm the stack up enough to prevent smoking. The stove is in the basement and the stack has to go up from the basement along side the main story and through the roof. (No second story although there is an attic--which is not very deep where the stack goes through the roof.) It is so difficult to ge the fire going correctly that we just did not use it very much this winter and we are quite disappointed. I hear there are fans that can be placed in the top of the chimney stack to help it draw better, but the dealer that sold us the stove is not helpful about this. He also insisted that we needed to buy a larger stove than we planned--and did not come out to the house to look the situation over before we purchased. Therefore, the basement gets VERY hot when we do get it going unless the night is quite cold. Once somebody came out AFTER it was installed, he said that we probably did NOT need that large a stove because the basement ceiling is low. (He suggested the use of sterno.) But now we are stuck with a stove that is too large and does not draw well enough half the time to use it. Suggestions before we consider calling the Better Business Bureau??


    I can't do much about the stove being too large, but can offer some suggestions about the chimney. There are two types of electric draft fans, pipe mounted and top mounted. The pipe mount units bolt onto the side of single wall smokepipe..... and plug into an outlet. They have a variable speed control so you can "dial-a-draft".

    The top mounted units (made by Field and Exhausto) are more expensive, but are out of visual sight. They require you to run a wire up to the top of your chimney, and are also controlled by a variable speed control mounted inside the home.

    I don't consider most chimney problems to be the fault of the dealer, just natural circumstances related to your basement installation, house pressurization, etc. However, the dealer should offer solutions and helpful advice.
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