It’s that time of year again.. you open the door to the wood stove and smoke rolls into the room. It doesn’t usually do this, but it’s gotten worse over the past few weeks.
Smoking issues in a wood stove can be caused by a myriad of reasons – clogs, warmer outside temperatures, wetter wood – but one very common issue in the late winter is a clogged spark screen on the cap. Being above the chimney top and exposed to the cold air and elements, the thin metal of a cap collects a lot more creosote than the rest of the chimney. It cakes on and eventually restricts the flow of flue gases which is what backs smoke up into the room. The obvious solution to the problem is to remove the clog – not a difficult job, but it does require climbing to the roof and then to the chimney top.
Tempted to remove the screen completely? Maybe you can, but they do serve two important functions. First, they keep critters (such as squirrels, ducks, racoons, etc) out of the flue. This is an issue in New Hampshire, particularly with flying squirrels. Second, they keep burning bits of trash from escaping the chimney top and landing on your (flammable) shingle roof or the surrounding ground. In some areas of the country where wildfire dangers are more prevalent, these screens are REQUIRED to be installed.
So, if you’re getting a face full of smoke from your stove when you open the door, this is one possible reason. Give us a call and we’ll get you cleaned out, and check other possibilities too – we can handle the job safely!
Stay warm, Spring is coming!