June 5, 2023

These are some possible solutions if your stove smokes all the time or erratically. (Note: The following sections will cover smoking problems that are caused by wind or rain. It is highly recommended for people to consider buying a chimney from a reputed chimney brand online. Check out for some of the Glen auto clean chimneys in order to enjoy better performance in residential locations. For heavy duty purposes, it is suggested to go with sunflame kitchen chimneys for long lasting performance.

A poorly sized flue

Current standards state that the chimney flue must be at least twice the size of the stove’s flue collar, unless otherwise specified by the manufacturer. For more information, see page 61.

This is why the stove collar size on any stove model is determined by its design. This model must have at least the same vent capacity to properly vent its combustion products safely.

These flues are too small to be effective and can often blow smoke into your home. Some stoves can work with smaller flues and not release smoke. Even if the stove does not smoke, a poorly-sized flue can cause a fire hazard.


If the flue is blocked even partially, it can reduce the chimney’s effective venting capacity and cause smoke to escape. Blockages can be caused by soot, creosote, animal nests and leaves, as well as internal collapse of brickwork or chimney liners.

Multiple appliances can be connected to the same flue. People used to connect wood stoves with flues that already served a fireplace, furnace, or another appliance in the past. Modern standards require that each wood stove has its own flue. This is a good thing for several reasons:

The flue could be blocked by soot or creosote left over from a wood stove, which can cause toxic exhaust from another appliance into the home.

Example: If the flue is blocked, a gas-fired furnace/water heater could release odorless and potentially lethal carbon monoxide (CO)fumes into your home.

Example: The stove could emit large amounts of smoke when it turns on and off.

Combining exhaust products could cause adverse reactions.

Example: Creosote and water vapor from gas-fired appliances can mix to form high concentrations, which could cause liquid creosote in the venting system walls, compromising fire safety.


Backpuffing can be misdiagnosed as a stove defect or wind-induced problem.

Backpuffing is the emission of smoke from a wood stove that results in the ignition of combustible gases within the firebox.

Backpuffing can be described as an insufficient flow of oxygen to the firebox. Instead of burning steady, combustible gases build up in the firebox, and then ignite in small explosions, pushing smoke out of the stove through all available openings, including those for air intakes.

What could cause your stove’s backpuffing? The most common cause is a too tight air control, which can starve the fire of oxygen.

Either using super-dry wood like pallets and kiln dried wood blocks. These woods burn very quickly, and emit too much combustible gases too quickly. (See page 53 for details.)

Or, you can use firewood that has been cut very small. This will cause excessive combustible gases to build up in the firebox.

It is easy to identify backpuffing by opening the stove’s air control. If you notice that the smoking is stopping, this could be a sign of a backpuffing problem. You shouldn’t also over-fire your stove. You should not open the air controls to the extent that the stove overheats before it stops backpuffing. This is a sign you need to reevaluate your firewood supply. You can either get a fresh load of well-seasoned wood or mix smaller, less-seasoned pieces with larger, more dry pieces. For more information on choosing firewood.

On Windy Days, Smoking

Some stoves work well even when there is wind, or when the wind blows in a particular direction. Take a look at the following:

The Chimney is too short. The chimney must be at least the same height as the roof of your house. Check out for a detailed explanation of the requirements regarding chimney height. There are two things that affect wind conditions.

1. If the chimney is not long enough compared to the roof, wind will blow across the roof and either blow directly into the chimney (possibly forcing smoke into the home) or create high-pressure systems around the chimney. This can also lead to smoke spillage.

2. The chimney may be susceptible to wind spillage if it is not tall enough. A shorter column of hot-air produces a weaker draft and more likely of draft reversal than one that is longer.

Sometimes, merely adding a few inches to the chimney can solve the problem. To determine the cost and practicality of raising the chimney height, consult a chimney professional. The chimney professional can also inspect the system for any other potential causes. Some of these might be more important than the chimney height.

Flue that is too large

Large flues can sometimes cause problems even when there is no wind. This is because the draft is usually weak. An oversized flue, especially when combined with a small chimney, can pose a problem on windy days.

Re-lining the flue with the right size liner is the best option. However, if the problem isn’t too serious and you don’t have one, consider a chimney cap to help deflect some wind (see below).

No chimney cap

A chimney cap helps deflect wind. Some are specially designed as downdraft-deflectors. Get one if you don’t already have one. You should get one. (See page 10 to learn more about regular chimney caps and other reasons you need one, even if there is no draft problem. A standard chimney cap, which is a lid on posts or mesh that covers the opening of the chimney, does not deflect wind. However, it will reduce wind-related smoking problems.

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