I have been noticing that my stove has been getting sluggish. Slow to start and slow to respond. I pulled the stove pipe expecting to find it partly clogged but that wasn't the case. The base of the chimney was open and I had a decent draft I thought.
Yesterday I went up on the roof suspecting the chimney had a problem. I have been here 5 years and who knows how long it had been since the chimney was cleaned. I thought I saw and obstruction so I lowered a drop light down the chimney and it got stuck about 1/2 way down. A drop light got stuck!!!
The chimney had a buildup at the halfway point for about 3 feet down that narrowed the opening to only about 4".
I got my brush and it wouldn't fit in the chimney. I had to sit and clip the wire brushes so I could get it past 1/4 the way down. I finally got it to punch through the buildup of hardened flyash. I pulled out 3/4 of a five gallon bucket of ash that I had brushed off the chimney walls. I put everything back together and fired up the stove this morning on wood.
Before I knew it I had 750 on the griddle and it was blazing hot. I had to close off the primary air damper and close the front doors good and tight to get it to slow down. The stove hasn't ever worked this good since the day I installed it. Now I know. Having never cleaned the chimney I didn't know what good performance was.