Question: We have an older non-catalytic, non-airtight stove with a damper on the stove pipe. I have surfed around trying to find advice as to the proper use of the damper in conjunction with the door vents. Can you help or point me in the right direction? I understand that a hot fire is necessary for the first 15 minutes or so. After that I usually close the door vents a fair amount and almost close the damper on the pipe. Is this the best setting for use at night? I want a hot fire that burns long. Answer: It's very much a "touch and feel" thing. When starting and loading the stove, leave all dampers open. When the fire is in it's initial stages (flame,etc.) close the top damper part way and open the bottom ones..this allows for plenty of combustion air to burn the gases off of the wood. When the wood gets down to red embers, close the top damper most of the way and the bottoms also (depending on draft, wood, etc). This holds the heat into the stove and create a log burn time at this fire stage.