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Extra resources for A Guide to Residential Wood Heating
The chimney produces no draft whatsoever. The slight negative pressure in the basement, caused by the house’s stack effect, is enough to pull the cold air down the chimney and out through any openings in the stove. 40 Homeowners with installations that are susceptible to the syndrome have found ways to get the fire started. For example, they open a window on the same level, on the windward side of the house to relieve the negative pressure. Then they light some newspaper in the base of the chimney to get enough heat into the flue to produce some draft.
Open the air inlets fully for five to 20 minutes, depending on load size and fuel moisture content. When the outer pieces have a thick layer of charcoal, reduce the air control in stages to the desired level. Removing Ashes – Some advanced combustion stoves have ash pans as standard equipment or as an option. Some use a simple grate through which ashes drop into the pan. Others have a plug in the stove floor that, when lifted, allows ashes to fall into the pan. Make sure that the ash door is well closed and sealed.
Second, pellet stove exhaust fans aren’t powerful. If a strong wind blows against the vent wall, exhaust can be forced back into the house. And third, the stove may smoke into the house if the power fails, because there is no natural draft to draw it outside. Experienced pellet-stove installers often recommend venting the stove vertically up through the roof. At the least, they install some vertical rise, so that you have enough natural draft to draw the smoke outside during a power failure. Since the exhaust fan puts pellet stove vents under positive pressure, seal each joint carefully with high-temperature sealant.
A Guide to Residential Wood Heating