Ventis HE1240 Not Drafting Properly

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New Member
Sep 9, 2023
Carlotta, CA
I have a Ventis HE1240 insert. I had it installed about 3 months ago, it's been working great. Except the last week we've been getting pretty steady rain and now when I start a fire when the door is first cracked, I get a ton of smoke pouring into the house. This wasn't happening previously, and I'm using pretty much the same wood (same big wood pile.) The only things I can think of is the change in weather or I have put some good size logs into the insert. Could the chimney flu or exhaust somehow have gotten plugged on the insert? Any tips are greatly appreciated.
It could be a clogged screen at the top of your liner or buildup in the chimney. It’s also possible that you hit a patch of wood that wasn’t as dry as the stuff you started burning. A moisture meter is a quick and easy way to rule out wood quality being an issue.
@EatenByLimestone thank you for getting back to me. A plugged spark catcher turned out to be the issue. It pretty much had a solid wall of fine soot choking off the air. cleaned that out insert works fine again. surprising how fast that built up with a couple months use. I've probably been burning more wood than I need to and the wood's probably a little wet also. Been using bark and twigs as kindling a lot too.
If the screen clogs up that quickly it means either the wood is not fully seasoned or the fire is being run too low. Either condition is causing the flue temps to be so low that the creosote can condense in the system.