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Issue with wood stove

I have a wood stove that was given to me by my father-in-law. The wood stove will occassionally shoot back smoke dampeners. If I can give a rough idea of this, you have two little boxes with small vents in the bottom. These are located inside the stove in each top corner. They are attached together by a pipe that goes along the top and then goes down and out the front. This is the small manual dampener to control air flow.

What is happening is this. Smoke is building up and coming out the manual dampener occassionally. My father-in-law said this happend to him and no embers ever came out so it is not a safety issue. However, he did say if I opened the stove's large dampener it won't heat as well but won't come out either.

My wife has sinus allergies and is blaming the stove smoke. Is there anything to eliminate the smoke?

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