Why Does My Wood Stove Go Out When I Close the Door?

Do you have a wood stove that seems to go out every time you close the door? This can be incredibly frustrating, especially when it’s cold outside. It’s even more annoying when you don’t know why it’s happening.

wood stove

There are several reasons why a wood stove may go out when you close the door. It may be that the fire isn’t burning hot enough to produce the draft needed, the air shutter isn’t open enough, the wood isn’t properly seasoned or is too big, or the chimney draft is too weak due to multiple restrictions.

It’s crucial to get to the root of the problem so you can fix it and enjoy the warmth of your wood stove all winter long. Luckily, we’ve compiled a list of the most common reasons why wood stoves go out when the door is closed and offered solutions for each. So, let’s jump right in. Shall we?

Why Does My Wood Stove Not Stay Lit?

You’ve followed all the regular safety procedures, and you’ve finally got your wood stove burning brightly. But as soon as you close the door, the fire starts to die. So why does your wood stove go out when you close the door? There are a few reasons this could be happening.

The Fire Wasn’t Burning Hot Enough to Produce the Required Draft

Draft refers to the amount of airflow necessary to keep the fire burning. If there isn’t enough draft, the fire will smother and go out. The fire in your wood stove needs to be burning hot to create the draft required to keep it going when the door is closed. 

If your fire isn’t hot enough, the simple solution is to add more dry wood kindling and let it burn for a while before closing the door.

The Chimney Draft is Weak

A weak chimney draft is another possible explanation for why your wood stove goes out when you close the door. The draft in your chimney could be weak for several reasons:

  • The chimney is too short: If your chimney isn’t tall enough, it won’t create the necessary draft to keep the fire burning.
  • Poor gasket connection: If the door to your wood stove isn’t sealing properly, it will allow cold air to enter and extinguish the fire.
  • Obstructed flue: If there are any obstructions in your chimney, it could prevent the draft from forming. These obstructions could be anything from bird’s nests to creosote buildup.

Therefore, it’s crucial to ensure your chimney is working properly to prevent your wood stove from going out.

If you suspect the issue may be your chimney, contact a professional to inspect it and make any necessary repairs.

The Wood Isn’t Properly Seasoned, or It’s Too Big

If the wood you’re using isn’t properly seasoned or is too big, it won’t burn as hot or as long. This is because there will be an insufficient draft to vent the fire properly.

To ensure your wood is properly seasoned, ensure it’s been cut and split for at least six months before burning.

As for the size of the wood, it should be no wider than the width of your stove door. If you’re using larger pieces of wood, you can always split them down into smaller pieces to use.

You’re Not Opening the Air Shutter All the Way

Another reason your wood stove fire may be going out is that you’re not opening the air shutter all the way.

If the air shutter isn’t fully open, it will restrict the amount of oxygen that can get to the fire. This, in turn, will cause the fire to smolder and eventually go out.

So, if you find that your wood stove fire is going out frequently, check to make sure the air shutter is fully open. Keep it open until the fire is burning briskly before shutting it down.

Source: Vermont Castings

Does a Wood Stove Heat Better with the Door Open or Closed?

Can you keep the door open on a wood-burning stove? One common misconception about wood stoves is that they heat better when the door is left open. While it’s true that an open door will cause the fire to burn more quickly, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your stove will be putting out more heat.

Why Does My Wood Stove Go Out When I Close the Door?
60% more efficient when it's operating with the door closed

Wood stoves are designed to work best with the door closed. In fact, your stove is up to 60% more efficient when it’s operating with the door closed. You get to maintain more heat in the room and save on fuel expenses. So, keep that door shut at all times!

Source: Gr8 Fires

How Do I Keep My Wood Stove Burning?

You may also be wondering how you’re supposed to keep your wood stove burning all night. If you constantly have to get up to feed the fire, you’re not going to get a good night’s sleep.

Here are a few tips:

  • Remove old ash: Keeping a clean firebox will help your wood stove to burn more efficiently. When you first start a fire in the evening, use a poker to stir up the ashes from the previous fire. This will help to oxygenate the new fire and get it going quickly.
  • Stack the wood in a pyramid shape: This will help the fire burn evenly and prevent it from going out.
  • Add small pieces of wood first: Small pieces of wood will catch fire quickly and help get the larger pieces of wood burning.
  • Choose the right type of log: Hardwoods, such as oak and maple, burn slowly and evenly. Softwoods, such as pine and cedar burn quickly and cause the fire to flare up.
  • Keep the air vents open for at least 15 minutes after adding the logs: This will help to keep the fire burning by allowing oxygen to flow into the stove.

It’s also crucial to keep the fire burning safely by not overcrowding the wood stove and using a screen or grate to keep sparks from flying out.

Source: Couch to Homestead

Wrapping Up

If your wood stove has been going out every time you close the door, now you know why. By following the tips above, you can stop this from happening and keep your wood stove burning all night long.

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