Hello, So we are new to this wood stove and have been using it since Thanksgiving day. Our pipe from top of stove to where it goes into the wall and up the chimney is about 2ft. We have the magnetic thermometer placed at the elbow, which is about 2ft up. We started cutting wood a year ago, bought the reader to see what the moisture level is, and trying to burn wood less than 16% We actually are getting a cord of seasoned wood delivered today... hoping it will be much dryer! Here is our question... What is the trick to stay in the "Optimal" burning range?? We are steady at "Creosote" range barely making it to Optimal unless we have a roaring fire... which then we hear popping noises which is not the wood cracking. Do we have the thermometer placed in the right spot? I do not think we are over firing but not for sure what the popping noise is. Thanks for any input!