Last year the Hitzer installation and startup manual did not mention a barometric damper. They did not recommend opening the ash door vents except when starting a fire. This year Hitzer's on-line manual recommends using a baro. damper and using the ash door slots and the thermostat draft controls both. I have re-read their explanation of the use of both drafts and quite frankly don't understand what they mean. I have a baro. damper and monitor the stove pipe draft with a manometer. I maintain a .04 draft with nut coal (I have also used pea coal, but for reasons discussed in other threads, much prefer nut coal).
To start up the stove in the fall, open the ash door air slotts all the way, and set the thermostat at 10. I start with newspaper and thin split hard or soft wood. Once the small splits are burning I add several - say 4 or 5 pieces of medium size hardwood splits. As soon as the medium hardwood catches I start sprinkling pea or nut coal by hand(I have found that pea and nut catch fire equally well) onto the fire. I don't wait for the wood to burn down to embers because I want the coal exposed to the burning wood as long as the wood will burn. Slowly add more coal until the burning wood is about 1/2 covered with coal. Once the coal can be seen to turn red in spots, and probably a few blue flames will be visable, add more coal so that areas where the coal is burning are now 2 or 3 coals deep. Now you will probably need to wait about 15 minutes untill it is obvious the coal is burning well and the fire is spreading. From this point on, add full layers of coal about 2 to 3 inches deep on top of the fire until the fire climbs up to the top of the last layer of coal you laid, then repeat until you have filled the fire box up to the top of the bricks. So far, all the coal you have added will be through the big glass door. You should keep the glass door closed whenever you are not feeding the fire. Now it is time to fill the hopper to just below the little holes near the top back of the hopper. With nut coal you can fill to the top, because nut will not plug up the holes.
Now that your coal fire is fully established it is time to adjust your intake draft. I open the slots in the ash door until the openings form round holes. Look at the slots as you slide the brass knob and you will see what I mean. That will give you enough draft to maintain an idling fire. I don't like the idea of having the thermostat cut off all the intake air when the rear intake air draft door is closed. I find I get a steadier fire when I have at least enough air going to the fire all times to maintain an idle level. Then turn the thermostat to about 7. Adjust up and down as required to maintain the desired room temperature.
Check to make sure the little magnet fastened to the lower lip of the rear intake air hole is adjusted correctly. Mine was not. It should be adjusted so that it just barely contacts, or does not quite contact the little tin door when the door is closed. You want the magnetic attraction to keep the tin door from fluttering in the breaze ( and the accompanying clanging sound), but not so much holding power as to make it hard for the thrermostat to open the door back up when more air is called for.
Good luck and know that the Hitzer is a well designed and forgiving stove. You don't have to do everyting perfectly with it, the stove will take care of itself if you are doing things reasonbly correctly.