Lots of people with woodburners that otherwise function perfectly find that smoke seeps into their room during the lighting process. If you find yourself in that position, hopefully we will be able to help you find a solution by the time you have read this article.
The most likely cause
Does the smoke come out of your woodburner only when you’re lighting it? If so, the most likely cause is that a pocket of air has formed in the flue and is stopping the draw of the smoke up the chimney. With the stubborn air blocking the exit route, the smoke created during your stove-lighting process has no choice but to come back down the flue and out of the vents and/or open door of your woodburner.
How to deal with it
If this is happening to you, one way to stop the smoke getting into your room is to put a sheet of newspaper flat on top of a log inside the firebox and light it in several place. The sudden, intense and even burn of the flat paper will cause a surge of heat up the chimney, which ought to dislodge the air pocket and allow your stove to work properly without smoke escaping into your home.
How to stop this happening again
We’ve addressed how to deal with the problem, but how do you guard against it to prevent it happening again? One way of minimising the risk of air pockets sitting in your chimney is to leave the air vents on your woodburner wide open when it is not in use. This creates a flow of air through the stove and so reduces the chances of air sitting in one position.
This is also best practice when your stove is out of use for extended periods because the air flow reduces the chances of corrosion.
Is the smoke coming out of your woodburner at times other than when it is being lit? Are you unsure whether air pockets are the cause of your problems? There are other possible causes.
- Strong wing
- Poor draw
- Exposed property location
- Lack of ventilation