Back to Guides

Stove smoke when burning wood

When correctly installed and with a flue draught in the 0.1 - 0.2mbar range, the stove should under normal use not smoke back into the room via the primary or secondary air supply inlets.

If smoke is seen to come back into the room, especially when burning at a lower rate, the cause should be investigated as a matter of urgency.

Some likely causes are:

  • Poor flue draught (below 0.1 mbar)
  • Insufficient initial flue temperature before loading fuel
  • Low burn rates with wet wood
  • Over loaded fire box laid onto a poor ember bed
  • Insufficient air supply into room
  • Extractor fan fitted in close proximity to stove affecting draw


All possible causes must be checked by a qualified installer to determine the best course of action.

A poor flue draught may be as a result of:

  • Condition (leaking air into chimney)
  • Location
  • Height (less than 4.5m)
  • Restricted gas flow due to poor cleaning regime
  • Oversized chimney (greater than 12 x 12 inches)
  • Undersized flue liner (less than 150mm for a non-DEFRA approved appliance)

Always maintain a good burn rate with an energetic flame picture; never burn wet wood (wood with a moisture content greater than 20%).

Always follow you stove manual's guidance for refuelling, paying specific attention to the correct operation of the stove's air controls

Always re-fuel onto a good red-hot ember bed with small pieces of wood until a lively fire is established, then slowly load with dry hard wood logs as required. This will help to ensure a warm flue with correct draw. As previously stated, always ensure a good flue temperature is present before loading new fuel (an Arada flue thermometer is a useful aid to assist in correct and efficient stove operation).

Ensure an extractor fan is not fitted in the same or adjacent room as this can cause substantial damage to the chimney and stove, and possibly a serious house fire.