Let me start this off with Yes, I am a newbie and this is my first stove. It's an Avalon 996 insert. Came with the house. Got a Rutland thermometer for it and while burning for about 8 hours the highest I got was 200 degrees. Keep in mind the only place I could mount the thing was on the top front edge of the insert, directly beneath that is the outer steel, then inside the firebox is a smoke plate, I'm not sure if that plate cuts down on the heat transmitted. It could also be a wood issue, mixed hardwoods, bunch of ash, well seasoned but not protected too good. It's a small firebox to begin with but I'm also a little gun shy filling it to the brim so I usually only have 3 splits in at a time. Trying different air intake settings made minor temperature changes. I'm definitely concerned with creosote build up from not burning hot enough. Suggestions?