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?
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
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
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
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
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
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