The number of homes that have wood stoves installed has increases over the last few years. Many are new wood burners with little to no prior experience with operating and maintaining a wood stove. For most, the reason for installing a wood stove is to reduce heating costs during the colder months but they don’t always realize what they are getting themselves into until issues arise.

Inexperienced wood burners run into some issues that they didn’t expect during their first burning season or two and so do experienced wood burners. But we are here to help with some of the most common wood burning issues.

Many of the questions that we receive are in regards to strange odors or issues with smoke coming from the wood stove. So today these are the issues that we are going to touch base on and explain what could be causing them.

Strange Smells

So first I am going to get the strange odors out of the way. Normally this type of issue comes up when a brand new wood stove or stove pipe has been installed. With a new wood stove it takes many fires being burner for the stove to fully cure and the smell to go away. What you smell is the paint on the outside of the stove heating up. It may even smoke just a bit.

The same goes for newly installed stove pipe, no matter if it is black painted or stainless steel there will be an odor and possible smoking during the first few fires. It is normal to smell this odor for a few days but if the issue persists for up to four or five days you should contact the manufacturer or the company to which you purchased the wood stove from.

Smoking Issues

Okay, now for the #1 subject for wood stove issues…smoking! Many wood burners will experience issues for one reason or another throughout their wood burning season with smoke leaking out into the room. These issues can occur no matter the age of the wood stove or experience of the wood burner.

If you are experiencing issues with smoking you may want to look at…

  • The Chimney Run – check the entire chimney run for any obstructions and don’t forget the look at the chimney cap. If the chimney cap is clogged it can prevent the smoke from getting out and cause it to back up in the chimney stack and eventually leak into the room. Also take a peek into the chimney stack to make sure that no twigs, leaves, or other obstructions have made the way into it.
  • Door Seals – If you are seeing smoke leak from around the load door or the ash dump door it very well could be because the rope gasket has broken down and needs to be replaced. This is a simple task to complete, simply purchase a replacement gasket kit and follow the easy instructions.