The Grand Portage Reservation is at the northeastern tip of Minnesota. The Air Quality Program has many ongoing projects in order to maintain healthy indoor and outdoor air. These projects include monitoring for regional haze and particulate matter, indoor air quality, invasive plant removal, public outreach, environmental education, alternative energy, and climate change.

Wednesday, December 31, 2008

From The "Practice What You Preach" Department

A couple of months ago I posted on how everyone should clean and check their wood stoves for leaks before the heating season. Mine was clean and ready, and I didn't think it had any leaks - until I discovered one last night.

I only fire it up when it gets below zero to save on propane, so with temperatures forecast to get down around ten to fifteen below and winds at 25-30 mph I thought I had better stoke up a nice fire.

A few hours later the fire was burning nice and hot, but my wife said she could smell an occasional whiff of smoke. I checked the dampers and vents and everything seemed fine, so I sat and watched the stove and pipe and sure enough - a short puff of smoke came out from where the flue damper was. The wind was strong enough to overpower the hot smoke and the pressure buildup caused the leak. I will need to replace that section of pipe, but in the meantime I will try to find some high temperature putty or tape as a solution for the winter.

I guess the moral of the story is; don't assume your stovepipe has no leaks until you watch it in windy conditions or test it under pressure.

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