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Smoke escaping from your woodburning stove

Week 2 of our troubleshooting guide:

This week we are tackling the problem of when smoke is escaping from your Woodburning stove into the room whilst the door of the log burner is closed.

The main reason for this to happen is often the weather outside. Mostly this occurs when the air outside is colder than the air inside. The cold air from outside is heavier than the smoke rising and can in cases push the smoke back down. It will then try to escape through any gaps-All woodburners do have small gaps as fire needs oxygen to ignite and keep burning, so these gaps can’t be avoided.

If it is a one off occurrence and happening especially when the weather changes in Spring or Autumn this pressure difference will be the most likely cause and not much can be done apart from using a lot of kindling and getting the stove as hot as possible to burn the smoke off.

If you have a stove in a room that you know is typically cold using some extra waxlings/firestarters and kindling is advisable to ensure the fire burns really hot right at the beginning.

Other reasons:

a) Your Chimney is blocked. It is really important to have your chimney swept at least once a year and if you are using your stove quite frequently even consider cleaning it twice a year. A chimney sweep will also check things like the chimney cowl to ensure that this is sufficiently drawing up smoke.

b) You don’t have enough updraft through your chimney. In some cases your chimney is not long enough, this can especially be the case if you have a twin wall installation or the chimney has a lot of bends inside. If this is a problem it will usually show very early on in the installation.  There are devices such as the exodraft chimney fan which helps draw up the smoke.  This is a great device to have especially with twin wall installations as a way of making your stove more efficient over all. Your installer should be able to advise right at the beginning about your chimney.

c) Not enough air in the room- This can happen especially if you have had a large stove installed and there was n oextra ventilation added. Any stove over 8kW needs an airvent to draw enough oxygen into the room, without starving your room of it. This is can be tested by a chimney sweep or a HETAS installer who also carries out maintenance services. We highly recommend using a HETAS installer for the initial installation as they will always ensure adequate ventilation is installed.

Most importantly though if smoke gathers in your stove don’t panic it will eventually burn off- You can add a couple of lit waxlings to get the fire going but have a window or door open so any smoke that does escape can escape too.

Avoid using Newspaper to light your stove as newspaper can aggravate smoke.

If you would like a free copy of our guide to 10 most common questions and problems for log burner owners please do click here to sign up to our mailing list and receive the guide as full PDF file for you to keep.

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