We have had a woodburner for about 4 years now, but in the last few days
we have had a problem with smoke coming back from the burner.
The flue was swept at the end of October and the fire has been in daily
use since. We burn compressed rape seed husks that have given us no
problems in the past.
There is a vent at the top (to keep the glass clear), two dampers at the
bottom front of the fire and a flue damper.
Generally we start with all dampers open, when it is going well we shut
the bottom dampers and can control it on the flue damper. The top vent
always stays open.
BUT, in the last few days whenever we start the fire, or in fact at any
time that it is lit, if the bottom dampers are opened, copious
quantities of smoke come out the top vents. This means that to have the
fire on (and to breathe!) we need to have all the dampers shut, which
leads to a "sulky" fire, not a lot of heat and as this is also the back
boiler for the radiators, a cold house.
I have looked inside the fire and there is nothing obvious blocking
anywhere (including the flue damper).
We originally thought it may be to do with the weather, high pressure
and very still, but I am now wondering if we have a partial blockage of
the flue (there is some smoke coming out of the top of the chimney).
Before I call a sweep out, is there anything obvious that I have missed?
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