A couple of years ago I bought a house that had a fireplace with an insert installed. The insert is a Forester 4100 I think. The design is very close to this: http://rs.woodmanspartsplus.com/company_41/4100.pdf Note part number 3. I suppose this is the damper? It appears to be just a steel plate that slides back and forth via the handle.
The problem is that this insert just flat chews through wood without making much heat - at least not much males it into the living area. It is better than just a fireplace, but nowhere near what I would expect. My only frame of reference though, is a Vermont Castings stove that I had in a house several years back. That thing would easily run you out of the house. Back to the insert... Not only does it not produce sufficient heat, a load of wood in the firebox generally yields a pile of warmish coals when banked for the night.
Is the lack of the damper causing this? I have been looking at wood stoves, but if I can get this insert to run better, I would rather keep it and avoid the hassle and expense of swapping out. A small amount of googling has yielded no sources for this damper. Anybody got a source? Reckon this is anything more complicated than a piece of plate steel? Thanks in advance.