Improving fireplace draft

We are having a problem with fireplace in our new-ish doublewide that we erected for a cabin. The fireplace has a fresh air intake which comes up through the floor into the firebox. Unfortunately, it isn't enough and we get smoke in the house - not enough to set off the smoke detector in the same room but it sure makes our eyes burn. Investigating the paperwork with the unit states that when this unit is installed in an air-tight, manufactured home it 'may' be necessary to open a window for adequate draft. I'm thinking that I should be able to install a duct fan in the draft duct to keep from opening the window. Is this a good idea or do you see a problem with controlling the burn rate in the firebox? TIA Chuck
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Make sure the chimney is not obstructed. Also that the air vent to the outside is not obstructed.
Sometimes a screen spark guard on the top of a chimney will clog. It may look fine from below, but get up on roof and you will see that it is clogged so little or no smoke can get out the chimney. I removed my spark guard because it was always clogging.
Also if the air vent opening is coming from the crawlspace under your home, be sure there is an opening to the crawl space to allow air to flow into the crawlspace, then into the vent. Or it may just be a hose like a dryer vent hose going to the outside? In any case, be sure air can flow into the air vent.
Then if there is a "valve" or "damper" on the intake air, be sure it is open all the way.
Then once all that is checked, the chimney needs to get hot first so you will get a draft. Crack a door or window inside your house, then build your fire, then leave door to fireplace open a bit. This will allow the heat to go up and heat up the chimney. After a few minutes the chimney will heat up, then you can close the door to the fireplace and the door in your house.
When first heating up my chimney, I like to add some paper to the fire so it gets hot right away.
If the chimney is not hot and you close the door to the fireplace, the smoke will just hang around inside and the fire will go out.
To build a fire, I put down paper, then a firestarter, then some thin dry kindling wood, then 3 pieces of firewood. The pieces of wood on the bottom have a gap of about 3 inches between them. Then the third piece covers this gap on top. The firestarter and kindling is below this gap.
So I have built a little "room" inside the fireplace for the fire to get started.
One piece of wood will start to burn and this heats up the opposite piece of wood. And the "roof" piece keeps the heat in the 3 inch gap. So it can get hot real quick inside that little "room". Then this in turn heats up the rest of the fireplace and then the outside portions of the wood will begin to burn.
Wood will not just burn if you hold a match to it. It burns best if it is hot inside the fireplace. Sort of hard to get started.
"C & E" wrote in message

Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Just be aware that this can be an insurance or safety concern. I expect your insurance company would be looking closely at your chimney if you claimed damage from a roof fire or similar accident. Best to remove the screen and clean it, or replace it.
In our dry, remote area, one spark out the chimney could burn hundreds of acres of pine forest, including homes downwind of us . Fortunately, summers are hot enough that fires are not required until cool rainy weather hits in Autumn.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

HomeOwnersHub.com is a website for homeowners and building and maintenance pros. It is not affiliated with any of the manufacturers or service providers discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.