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Why have I got smoke in my room from my wood burning stove?

I will start with complete honesty by saying that in all of my years retailing stoves I have not come across a stove that is faulty when it comes to "smoke in the room" or "blackening of glass". About once or twice a year we hear of this and agree to collect the stove and connect it to our own chimney for testing. Every time we have ever done this the stove has performed exactly as it should. This is what I would expect as there is so little to go wrong and the stoves themselves are identical when comparing one model to another.

Of course, there may indeed come the day when a stove is actually faulty for some obscure reason, and for this reason we still offer to test a stove should the need arise (more info further down this email).

So the first thing to do is look through this list of "the usual culprits".


When first lighting smoke pours out of stove vents or bottom of stove

When opening door to refuel smoke enters room
Do you need an air vent in the room? Crack open a window to outside an inch. Is the problem solved? Then you need an air vent.
Do you have an extraction device in the same room - this can cause issues.
This article refers to a restrictive baffle. Some installers have cured the problem by cutting a credit card sized hole out of the baffle, close to the top leading edge.

Is your chimney tall enough? Designed correctly?
See the video on this page:

If your glass is black this suggests poor chimney draught or not enough heat from your pile of wood.

Did your installer fit a chimney liner as this is pretty much a must with modern stoves.

Is your chimney connected to the rear of the stove and the smoke has to go horizontally then change direction ninety degrees. Smoke does not like this route. Much better to go off the top of a stove.

Are you sure you are using good dry well-seasoned wood? Poor wood equals low heat and poor chimney flow.

Are the logs small enough (too-big logs can sometimes smoulder rather than burn and this equals less heat, less chimney draw and more smoke)?

Are you getting enough heat going with a decent fire so you quickly get to some good red embers (otherwise you are just smouldering, see point above).

An installer on our forum says " you need to let the stove burn down before refuelling my customer was refuelling too early if that makes sense"

Have you tried opening a window to outside an inch. If the problem is then solved then you need an air vent in the room.