Maybe you have read the stories online about those darn stoves spewing ash and soot all over the house. What causes that and how can you avoid it in the future?
Technically, your corn or pellet stove runs on a negative pressure system in the firebox (that means that it would pull air into the appliance, not spew smoke, ash and soot out of it) so it will not release any stuff into your home. The venting system runs on a positive pressure system ( blow into a balloon, that is positive pressure ) so it is important that the venting system is properly designed and sealed.
But how does the ash and soot ever get into my home?
Here are a few of the common mistakes and the culprit to the problem.
- Venting system not sealed and ash leaking into the home, the room air fan picking it up and blowing it around the room.
- Venting exit too close to the fresh air intake for the home and the home intake system picking it up and blowing around the whole house.
- Home not balanced for fresh air makeup and pulling in ash and smoke from outside.
- Someone (we won’t mention names), dumping dirty/dusty fuel into the hopper while the unit is running and dust, etc. blowing all over the house (read blog on clean fuel).
- Someone (we learned not to mention names), using a sears shop vac to vacuum out those hot ashes consequently burning a hole in the filter, blowing fire, ash and soot out the back of the shop vac and blaming it on someone else (again, not mentioning any names). 🙂 Hey, we can find a little humor, right?
Last, but certainly not least is the infamous “beer belly syndrome”. This is a condition (and it gets worse with the bigger the beer belly), where you stand in front of the stove, open the door and the air from the stove fan hits your chest, rolls off your belly and with the force of a hurricane (again dependent on the size of the protrusion) goes inside of the stove and blows the ash, and soot all over.
To prevent this occurrence either shut your appliance down, let it cool and then perform your maintenance chores or sign up at the gym. Seriously, following proper installation, operation and maintenance practices will eliminate dust, ash and soot from ever entering your home.