My reply is gone. (or never actually made to the thread, more likely)
My deepest most sincerest apologies for starting a thread and apparently dumping it. I got somewhat caught up in the pit, but I did have an update/reply for you guys. Hmmmm.
Anyhoo, it went something like this. (abridged)
Hey, I just started it up again, did the flue priming newspaper trick and it’s been going great for an hour now… blah blah blah thanks blah blah quote witty comment blah thanks… [end post]
And then, about an hour after I supposedly hit ‘submit reply’ it started backing up again; coinciding quite interestingly with the imminent arrival of a real estate agent and her potential buyers of this smoke filled house I’m trying to sell.
I didn’t have time to post just then.
I grabbed the burning logs, threw them outside. Opened windows upstairs and downstairs. Then I pulled the spray-top off a bottle of Febreeze and with arms extended, spun briskly in a graceful, if hurried circle. Then figuring if there was going to be smoke it should be at least nice smelling, I lit some incense. Ok, all the incense.
Two hours later, with the windows closed, I answer the door smiling. ( <- insert gritted teeth) "Hello, please do come in. This is our living room. Note the large fireplace. We had it cleaned and checked only recently. In fact we had a merry little blaze going in it this morning. "
Lol. Somehow, and I’m not sure how it happened or how to explain it, but I got a visual of that.
ZenBeamI heat by oil and the furnace is new. (1 year) It uses recycled air from the house. As standard as it comes.
Comparing thoughts from this thread and my own imagination, I’ve come up with this theory.
The house is old, (built in 40’s) and drafty as an architects filing cabinet; particularly when it comes to the roof (which mother nature will not allow to survive another year). This fall, eager not to repeat the errors of the preceding winter, I went on a seal’n’peel binge and caulked every damn crack/window/door in the house all to hell. Dylan made me unstick the front and back doors and a window or two but aside from that the bulk of the flow from the 1st floor was eliminated. (I think the bulk of flow upstairs is through the cracks in the walls rather than the windows)
It’s about 15 degrees Celcius below freezing outside and about 20 above inside. That’s a significant difference and I imagine that the air flow is quite strong. By sealing up the 1st floor I’ve created this huge pressure difference.
Curious to see that the flow of air heated by fire directly below the chimbly is not strong enough to over come the flow of air through the roof. Hmmmm.
But then again, the pieces of the puzzle start falling into place…
A half an hour is about the time a fire takes to ‘settle in’. That is, it hasn’t got the blazingness of a fire just started, but it’s not about to go out either.
For the second fire, I used wood that I’d bought at the local store. It was very dry and chopped into relatively small pieces. The fire was burning quite merrily for a couple of hours as I tended it and fed it. When I started to prepare for the viewing (kind of a surprise) my attention was turned elsewhere and the fire burned down a bit. Apparently enough for the roof to regain it’s title as ‘supreme evacuator of dewts air’ and pull all that smoke back into the house.
We actually do have a chimney cap up there. One of the few things around here not falling to bits. One side of the fireplace has a glass door too. That’s the side the smoke chose to come out of (also why I didn’t notice the problem until the house was filled with smoke)
I think I’m going to take Engineer Dons advice and drill a hole in the wall…