I thought it was a fluke, whenever my wife reloaded our insert, or I'd come back from somewhere, her fires were always better than mine. Better flames, more even fire, more heat, more miles out of the wood. I started analyzing, was it the way she positioned the wood? No. Then, I found her little secret. Thought maybe you all could use it as well. After she reloads, she leaves the door open for about 5-10 minutes to get good flames, then shuts the door and waits another 10-15 minutes. Here's where I found her little secret, she then grabs a poker and opens it back up and starts shaking the logs around aggresively, I asked her what are you doing? She said, my Mom taught me you need to give the logs a good shaking a half hour or so after you reload. Then she shut the door and left for work. The fire turned into a huge roaring fire, my unit whipped right to temp, and I had to shut down the air. Cut my warm-up time by a lot, and the fire as a whole is much better through the burn. Anyway, give that a shot I'm surprised what "shaking the logs up" a half hour after reloading does. I was always told to avoid opening the unit up once you've got the door shut. We load our wood side/side, red oak, and rather high in moisture.