Emerald7 wrote:I am trying that right now. I have a roaring fire with air door open 3" and manual damper 1/2 way. The house temp is 66 now so it went from 63 to 66 in 2 1/2 hrs. Not too shabby huh! Maybe I need more draft, but that doesn't make much sense to me.
The strength of the draft determines how hot and fast the coal burns. It can be restricted by too much ash on the grates, or by the manual damper, or by a fault in the chimney. When shaking there should be a few red coals in the pan and a red glow reflected from the grates. Because you have to leave the ash door open indicates a problem with draft not pulling strong enough through the coal bed and the fire does not get enough air. You should be able to get a good strong fire with the ash door closed and the air setting in that door open very little. For now leave the manual damper wide open.