One of the most common chimney problems has to do with draft issues. Poor chimney draft can be responsible for a few things, including smoky fireplaces. Diagnosing the cause of a drafty chimney can be tricky, as several different factors could be the reason behind the draft problems. Fortunately, All Seasons Chimney has many years of experience in dealing with drafty chimneys. For over 25 years, we have been providing professional chimney maintenance, repair, and installation services to residents across the lower Hudson Valley area. We would like to tell you more about chimney draft problems and how we can help you avoid these issues.
How does my chimney draft?
According to The Wood Heat Organization, there are two major factors involved with proper chimney draft: heat and height. Because hot air is less dense than cold air, your chimney needs to generate enough heat for the gases to rise and escape from your home through the flue. As the hot air rises, draft is created by a pressure difference that draws combustion air into the fireplace and pushes out the exhaust gases. The hotter your chimney is, the stronger the draft will be. The height of your chimney also affects the draft. The taller the chimney, the more draft will be produced at a given difference in temperature.
Why is my chimney having problems with producing high enough temperatures to draft properly?
The most common reason why your chimney may be too cold to draft properly has to do with the size of your flue. According to The Wood Heat Organization, the size of the flue should be matched with the flue collar of the appliance in order to function efficiently. If you have updated your older masonry fireplace by installing a new insert into the existing fireplace opening, there is a good chance your insert is much smaller than the masonry chimney. When the flue is too large, the combustion gases spend more time in the flue, which leads to heat loss. All Seasons Chimney can inspect your flue to see if there is a mismatch in size. If we find that the flue is too large, we can construct a new flue with a stainless steel liner that is customized to match the size of your fireplace insert.
What are other reasons for improper chimney draft?
If you have weatherized your home by sealing off all of the windows and doors, there might not be enough air coming into the fireplace for combustion. This issue can be easily solved by cracking open a window in the same room as your fireplace. You may also want to check to see if your damper is completely opened to allow airflow in and out of the chimney. Another reason for drafty chimneys has to do with how the wind blows across your chimney. If you are only noticing draft problems on windy days, All Seasons Chimney can help with a special chimney cap that is equipped with vents that direct the wind into the chimney to draft properly.
Don’t let a drafty chimney keep you from enjoying your fireplace. Contact us at All Seasons Chimney today to schedule an appointment for a professional chimney inspection from our trained and experienced chimney technicians.