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Posted By Steveo,
Oct 20, 2010 at 12:15 AM
expanding on what bogy said--use a hair dryer to preheat the flue for a few minutes before lighting.
Chimney sounds clogged to me, get a mirror and check it out. Then again if you're just using this from the basement for the very 1st time it's probably like the others said a pressure issue.
About 2 months ago, I had a similar problem with the house filling with smoke. My problem turned out to be a clogged cap. Chimney was cleaned from the bottom but the cap stayed clogged. Once we cleared it, no more problem.
Sometimes I have the same problem with my stove in the basement. I have only had the stove a short period, but when I first light my fire, I always shut the door immediately for a few minutes. It seems that is long enough to heat things up and then I open the door to get the fire a blazing. After a little while again, I shut the door and adjust the air.
This is with a 32' chimney which runs on the outside of my house. I also use those pressed wood with wax starters. That might be the key allowing me to immediately close the door. No more smoke in the house with this method.
I've got an oversized short chimney that's mounted to the exterior of the house. Our stove is on the lower level. I'm going to bet opening a window near the stove will help. Also, make sure all windows/doors upstairs are shut. Just for ha-ha's, shut off any bathroom fans, range fans and the dryer. It sounds to me like you've got some stack effect going on. I have that problem at lot in the fall. I think it's got something to do with the outside temp not being that cold. Goes away once winter rolls in.
I have a basement install and my pre epa stove and my new fireview sometimes smoke up the room on a cold start. Never on a reload. I've had six fires so far this year and the first five went up instantly with no smoke in the room. Tonight was the night for negative or neutral draft. I put the first piece of newspaper in the back of the stove and it smoldered and smoked up the room a little. It went up the chimney somewhat and I threw a second loose piece in and it lit and reversed the draft. Two minutes later my fire was a raging inferno.
I have had better luck with super cedars. Put one on top of your kindling and by the time the wood catches and produces smoke, the draft is working.