Customer Questions: Why Does My Wood Burning Stove Smoke?

We recently heard from one of our customers who asked us this question about their wood burning stove that was causing a lot of smoke:

Q. I recently installed a wood burning stove in my home and I have put a stainless-steel flue on the outside of the house. The flue gets very cold even though it has double-insulation, so the problem with this is that the room fills with smoke when I light it, in particular if it’s a cold day.

I have even tried warming the fire first by lighting newspaper in it.

Should I build a brick chimney around the stainless steel flue of the wood burning stove? It would definitely be more pleasing to the eye, but will it help the smoking matter?

 A: The way that the solid fuel flue works is by convection. This means that the warmer gasses will go up and therefore gasses that do not reach a warm enough temperature to rise will sit until they are warm enough.

We recommend that you insulate your flue pipe in order for it to heat faster. You might want to build a brick chimney stack for it and then insulate it with a material such as perlite or vermiculite.

However, you will also need to check that none of these factors are involved too.

Check the ventilation of the room. There should be an air inlet that is coming from outside next to the stove. This will ensure that there a good amount of combustion air available for the fire without pulling in draughts from other parts of the room such from around door and windows. If you have draught-proofed your room then the fire could be starving for air.

Another fact is that the flue outlet should be positioned so that it’s not affected by outside wind or lack of wind. If there is no wind, then the up flow will be affected.

This is why it’s recommended too use a HETA registered heating engineer. They will know all of these factors and would save you from looking to resolve these types of issues.

If you have any questions about the operation of your wood burning stove, please send them to us and we’ll do our best to answer them.

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