Temporarily open damper when adding wood to hot coals?

  • Active since 1995, Hearth.com is THE place on the internet for free information and advice about wood stoves, pellet stoves and other energy saving equipment.

    We strive to provide opinions, articles, discussions and history related to Hearth Products and in a more general sense, energy issues.

    We promote the EFFICIENT, RESPONSIBLE, CLEAN and SAFE use of all fuels, whether renewable or fossil.


New Member
Mar 28, 2022
Hi all, new owner of matrix 2700. After getting some high MC oak (which we will hold for another year or two) I have some ~15% MC mixed hardwood we are burning.

Early on when I was testing to learn this unit I was able to get this thing blazing! You could barely stand in front of it, and it kept the house nice and toasty.

Then we had several weeks of warmer temps. I've just resumed using it and I'm having trouble getting those super hot temps again.

One thing I'm wondering about is the damper control. I've been keeping it on the lowest setting, but now I'm wondering if I need to be a bit more generous with the air when I add wood on to the coals.

Today I noticed the wood was mostly smoldering, I didn't really see any flames at all (where I usually see some at the top of the insert. The wood is still being consumed, but the heat on the room is minimal.

Any ideas? Do I need to give it more air for a bit, even just a few minutes to get the wood burning, before closing the damper again?

PS -- hopefully damper is the right word, it's the slide that controls air to the unit


Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
Yes open the damper for a while after adding more wood to get the fire going again, and close down when it is burning well again.

This is kind of an experience thing, a little experimentation works best as to how much and for how long to open the damper to get the fire going again.


Feeling the Heat
Aug 31, 2016
North Carolina
Open it up a few minutes before adding fuel, rake the coals up front and add fuel. With my old stove, I would leave it open until all or almost all the wood was charred. I still have to learn my new stove when it cools down here.
  • Like
Reactions: soundofsilence


Minister of Fire
Oct 10, 2022
Something to also check is your chimney, if it builds creosote especially ate the cap it won't draft as well and it will burn slow and smolder even with the damper open.
I always open air control before adding wood, also depending on where air enters you might need to rake coals and move ash to allow air in. I have an ash pan so it gets emptied or at least checked.
  • Like
Reactions: stoveliker