Boreal Outdoor Innovations

THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING CHIMNEY EXHAUST SMOKE

If you pay close attention to smoke exiting the exhaust pipes of your portable wood stove, you will notice that the colour varies. Gaining an understanding of what the different colours mean can help you to:
  • Reduce the amount of wood consumed
  • Improve the efficiency of your burn
  • Reduce your exposure to cresoste (harmful by product)
There are 3 colours of smoke to look out for:
White Smoke
White smoke is inevitable when starting a wood stove as the stove and wood is usually cold. Later on, if your stove temperature drops, if you add new, cold wood, or when moisture is present it may occur again. This indicates a less efficient burn and your interior tent temperature will drop, creating a less comfortable environment.
Blue Smoke

Blue smoke is typically caused from burning more wood than required and not enough oxygen present. Also known as a rich burn. Blue smoke contains more creosote, causing potential health risks. This condition can also be caused by burning birch bark that contains natural oil. Avoid this type of burning as much as possible since it can clog your exhaust pipes, reducing the efficiency of your stove and increasing the creosote levels. This is achieved by either removing excessive wood or increasing air flow.

No Smoke (Thermal waves)
The smoke coming out of the exhaust pipes should be almost colourless and thin. This is the most efficient smoke possible where all the wood is being burned uniformly. It also indicates an efficient burn.