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How To Stop a Down Draft - Stop The Smoke!

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If you have a chimney that is outside your home, you may have had a downdraft in your chimney that resulted in your home being filled with smoke when you tried to light the fire! Several things can cause this:  an exterior chimney, trees near your home, or buildings near your home.  Here is how I solved the problem in our home. I built a manifold out of wood pieces that fits around the air intake. I have thin foam weather stripping on the wood in order to form a nice seal as shown above. When I start the fire on "down-draft" days, I get the fire set up with paper & kindling, start it, close the door, and insert a shop-vac in the round opening and run it on "exhaust" so as to force the smoke up through the chimney - it only takes about a minute or so and things are drafting nicely.  When the fire gets going I of course take the wood manifold off! When I am not burning wood in the stove, I place the wood manifold back on and plug up the opening with paper tissue - it blocks nearly all of the creosote smell and cold air from venting back into the house.

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