Excessive creosote build-up????

Bethel, OH

I have had my American Eagle wood / oil fired furnace for 8 years. I have had issues with wet or "not-so-seasoned" wood in the past, but never have I experienced the excessive creosote build up I am experiencing this year. I have tried everything I know. I started the burning season with 6-month old Ash. I thought it was green so I switched to 2-year old split Maple that had been sitting outside in a pile...but was too wet. Now I am burning White Oak and Hickory that is at least 2-year old split. I have very heavy build up inside my smoke chamber and for the very first time I actually have a gummy tar residue!

While cleaning out the furnace today, I noticed that the pipe connecting to the extension pipe with my "calibrated draft control flapper" was rusted through. Could this have anything to do with the draft control and causing the issue??? I am at a loss. I have been burning wood practically all my life and have never had so much trouble figuring what is wrong.

Durhamville, NY(Zone 5b)

Something is causing it to run very cool. I'm not sure exactly what the pipe to your draft control does, but it sounds like the culprit.

SW, AR(Zone 8a)

J’
I would go with well-seasoned (for at least one year) wood from the red oak group, split pieces no wider than five or six inches, round wood diameter no larger than five inches.

I would observe exit smoke at different draft settings. The more effluent smoke the more oxygen your fire is asking for. Not enough oxygen at the fire will cause tar to build up. What’s coming out the chimney is very informative, and many wood-burners never go outside and look, especially if it’s cold out. Make numerous observations and try to make them at the same barometer readings.

If you’re burning good wood with all dampers wide open and the effluent is still too smoky, not enough oxygen is getting into the fire box. A tightly constructed house could be the problem if combustion air is not pulled from outside of the house—you can’t suck something that’s not there to suck. If there’s something there to suck and it’s not being sucked, then the sucker is the problem, and I would look for an impediment down draft of the fire box or a leak in the flue work.

You mention a “rusted through” pipe. If this hole is downstream of the fire box, combustion air is bypassing where it is needed, the fire box.

You didn’t shiver last winter, I hope. If you did, you might want to repair that rust through and see what happens this winter.

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