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Troubles lighting the fire in a fireplace or woodburning stove happen in one out of every four homes. Some of the most frequent issues are:

Issues igniting the fire

If you have trouble igniting the fire, it may be that you’re using improper firewood, or that there is a lack of chimney draught.

Chimney draught is created from the variation between the low exterior temperature and high chimney temperature. It may be hard to ignite a fire if the chimney remains cool during this process. As such, the draught is narrow.

The firewood used to light the fire must be dry, and you need to begin with small pieces of wood when igniting the fire. Upon doing so, the fire will grow fast and develop the required heat for a proper chimney draught.

Smoke in the living room

The chimney draught is probably not sufficient if smoke comes from the fireplace/stove. If you live in a home with a ventilation system or cooker hood, the chimney draught can weaken.

Smoke may also escape the stove/fireplace if there is a disproportion between the size of the stove/fireplace and the size of the chimney. The natural draught is stimulated by the weather and therefore can differ.

Components like the height of the chimney in proportion to tall buildings or similar constructs in the area can also negatively impact the natural draught. In several instances, it can develop downdraught, which might result in smoke seeping into a room.

The flames are dying

Proper combustion requires a consistent air supply. It is the job of the chimney to eliminate smoke, and the chimney draught must provide fresh air consistent with how much smoke the fireplace/stove produces.

Smoke odor and soot issues

When soot gathers around the door of the stove and you can smell it, it is because of inadequate combustion. The issue can happen when you use wet fuel, when you incorrectly adjust the air valve, or if you lack enough chimney draught.

Proper combustion warrants high temperatures and a steady air supply. If you reduce the air supply too fast, the unfired particles and gasses will produce foul-smelling smoke and soot.

You are not using your fireplace/stove properly

An exodraft chimney fan system allows you to regulate your chimney draught.

The fan is placed above the chimney and develops a suction, which allows the flue gasses to flow out from the chimney top, as opposed to into the living room.

As such, you can regulate the draught as required, so you can enjoy the fire in your woodburning stove or fireplace hassle-free.

Illustration of chimney fan mounted on top of a chimney

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