Have you ever tried to start a cold wood stove when you got home from work between 5:00PM and

7:00PM on a winter evening?  If you have, you know what I know.

We start with the paper and kindling.  It starts to burn.  We close the wood stove door and smoke pours out of the fixed primary air inlet filling up our basement or first floor with smoke.  We open windows.  Put fans by the windows backwards to draw the smoke out of the house and either try again or give up.

This all occurred because we were novices.  Now we are experienced and know that it is the cold air coming down our 6 or 8 inch flue pipe or chimney like a river of cold air running as fast as rapids.

That cold air is dropping so fast it is literally pushing the smoke out of the primary fixed air hole that supplies oxygen to the fire under normal circumstance.

What needs to be done is to reverse the air flow of the chimney from down to up.  My son who owns a Quadrafire opens the front glass door and uses an 18” floor fan to push warm interior house air into the fire box and up the chimney for a minute or two before lighting the kindling.

Another method is to use a propane torch to reverse the air flow.  This can be VERY DANGEROUS if you are not experienced with this method.  The cold air drop can be strong enough to blow out the propane torch and then you are filling up the fire box with combustible propane gas.  So, better to use the fan method as outlined in the above paragraph.


Phone:  518-585-7358

“The most tangible of all visible mysteries – Fire”.

-Leigh Hunt


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