VC Dauntless: Terrible Smell and High VOCs

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Stovenewbie12

New Member
Apr 2, 2022
3
Nebraska
Friends,
I’ve been a long time lurker in these forums researching and preparing for wood heating of my near century old home. I have a great room about 500 sqft with 30’ ceilings and it gets cold in the winter! I had a VC flexburn dauntless put in recently and have been burning it for about a week.

For context, I am NOT running with the cat but keep having some issues that I’d like your thoughts on:

1. Smell: The stove still gives off a strong chemical smell. It’s better than before but is still quite strong and requires me to open the windows. Interesting enough, this usually only happens when I close the damper as the fire gets >500 degrees. I am not running with the cat so I am wondering if I should be closing the damper at all, since there’s nothing to aid the reburn… BUT the manual dictates to close the damper once hot for a longer more efficient burn.

2. I have an air quality sensor in this room and whenever I close the damper the VOCs goes nuts! Where it’s usually 1-2 VOC index, will usually jump up to close to 30 after an hour of running with the damper closed. This is obviously not great with kids and pets nearby, and necessitates opening the windows once again, losing the heat.

I am wondering if 1 and 2, in fact, are tied together. Should I really NOT be closing the damper without the CAT and only controlling the system using the air control? Or is something wrong with my stove and install?

Your thoughts welcome. Thank you!
 

jalmondale

Member
Dec 16, 2021
140
NY
I would guess this is from the paint curing, and it should stop after a couple of weeks (although every time you hit a new high temp you'll get a little bit)
 

moresnow

Minister of Fire
Jan 13, 2015
2,073
Iowa
Why have a Cat equipped stove without the Cat? Seems completely counterproductive. Curious.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
6,165
Long Island NY
Why have a Cat equipped stove without the Cat? Seems completely counterproductive. Curious.
It's an option; there is also a secondary combustion path on this stove.
If one does not plan on long slow burns, I could understand this choice.
 

Stovenewbie12

New Member
Apr 2, 2022
3
Nebraska
I will soldier on and keep burning to see if the smell goes away.

Regarding the question on the cat, stoveliker already responded. But yes, it is a FlexBurn stove so the cat is optional and we don't plan to ever have it burning overnight, only a few hours in the evening when it gets really cold as this room has radiant heat as well.