Furnace Fiascos Avoided

Two Common Heating Problems Wood Burning Stoves Pose New Homeowners

Many homeowners who buy homes and install wood burning stoves are often idealistic about how these stoves work. They envision a beautiful fire, and the warmth that accompanies their new, rustic-style heating unit. However, many people are shocked to find out that these heating systems do occasionally have some problems that you will need to deal with. Even though these systems are rustic and date back to the days of homesteading, they do require some maintenance and upkeep, as well as a knowledge of how to use them. So, here are two problems that are likely to occur and the solutions.

Smoke Is Entering Into The Living Space

If you set up the stove with logs, get the flame lit, and then sit back to enjoy dinner but are confronted with wafting smoke, then there is a big problem. There are two possible problems. The first is that the flue cap or damper is broken. This will prevent the smoke from exiting the firebox. The second issue is that the stovepipe connections are not tight. The stovepipe leads up from the firebox and carries the smoke outside. The stovepipe in many homes will be made of several different sections of pipe that are joined together. Those small joints can sometimes have gaps, and the smoke can exit. In some ways you are lucky to have such a big gap that makes it very noticeable because a small leak might go unnoticed and could leak carbon monoxide into the room. So, any scent of smoke should be investigated because it's not just a nuisance, it's a potentially deadly issue. You can't handle this one yourself, you need to bring in a heating repair tech to fix the stovepipe or flue. This is an essential issue and you should not try and use the wood burning stove until it is dealt with.

The Wood Is Not Igniting

If you set up the logs inside the firebox, and prep it with newspaper or fatwood (small wood that is soaked with a combustible liquid) and the logs don't ignite, then you have one of two problems. First, you may be using "green" wood. This is wood that was cut recently and not aged. It has too much moisture. The solution is to let it age. If you are using aged wood, then your problem might be the flue damper. If the firebox does not get air, the logs can't flame. Fire requires air, so the problem might be a lack of oxygen. The way to tell if the flue is the issue is to use dry wood and split it very small (large logs take a long time to ignite). If the small, dry pieces of wood don't ignite, then you know it's an air flow issue. To solve this, bring in a heating repair tech who can fix the broken flue damper.