Vigilant 1977 still burning too hot

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New Member
Nov 20, 2022
Windsor County, VT
Our Vigilant 1977 came with our new house and we've been mucking around with it all Winter trying to get it to burn efficiently, but it just burns too hot for us. My husband replaced the gasket rope around the doors and griddle, which did help quite a bit. The living room thermostat now says 80 degrees instead of 88 after it has been going for a couple/few hours. But we're used to 68 degrees! Our house is 2 stories and just over 1500 sq ft and the whole house gets well over 72 degrees with the stove going; but our living room, kitchen and dining area are unbearably hot.

As I understand it, the Vigilant was designed to be able to load it up with 6 or more logs after you get it going and put it into "sideways" mode, and it should burn slow all night long - or all day, and it should burn mostly at the bottom of the pile. We absolutely can not load it up unless we also open up the door to our 3 season porch - which is what we're doing now, even if we load just a couple of logs in. And it doesn't only burn at the bottom. All of the logs in the stack are flaming at least a bit.

I shut the side vent completely once the fire gets going and the automatic back vent usually shuts itself completely too. It seems to be burning too hot and too fast for the amount of air we're giving it. As I said, we replaced the gasket rope on the doors and the griddle. Are there any more seals that we could replace? Or anything else we can do to slow down the burn? If this is the best we can do, I'm thinking of moving the thing into the basement!
hi welcome to the forum. since you know the temps on your stove what is it burning at? and how long do you get when there is 3 or 4 logs burning?
If you are closing the damper and it's still burning hot/fast, it is getting air from somewhere else. Those stoves are built from pieces. Lots of joints that need sealing. My guess is the joints need to be resealed.
Ours works about the same. If we reload from coals to keep a fire going, it gets way too hot. We just burn 3 separate fires a day. One time lighting a fire in a windstorm, i had a reverse draft occur. With everything closed up, i could see smoke coming out of some seams. Obviously it needs a disassembly and re-cement.
I’m no expert but is a Vigilant too big for a 1500 sq ft house? My house is 1200 sq ft ranch style and our Resolute is perfect. Even so we can only burn in the secondary burn mode in only the coldest conditions or it would throw too much heat.