Understanding Draft Issues
By Doug Hetsch
January 11, 2018
The main function of your chimney is to pull out the exhaust gases from your home, and understanding chimney draft issues is key when troubleshooting problems such as smoke blowing back into your living space from the fireplace. According toThe Wood Heat Organization, there are two factors that affect how a chimney drafts: heat and height. To help you understand how your chimney works, All American Chimney Service would like to tell you more about how these two things keep a chimney drafting properly.
In order to draft at its best, your chimney needs the right amount of heat within the flue. Because hot air is not as dense as cold air, the hot gases rise, and this creates a pressure difference, which is the draft that brings in air for combustion and exhausts smoke and other gases. The hotter the air inside the chimney compared to the air outside, the stronger the draft. During the winter, frigidly cold temperatures can cause problems with this principle of chimney drafting. These problems can be even greater if the chimney is too large for the fireplace appliance. Masonry chimneys are typically too large for newer fireplace inserts, and if an insert is not professionally installed, the chimney may never get hot enough to properly draft. All American Chimney Service recommends always having new hearth appliances professionally installed to be sure the chimney will be provided with the right amount of heat to work efficiently and safely.
You may not realize how important height is to the successful operation of a chimney, but, according to The Wood Heat Organization, the taller the chimney, the more draft it will produce at a given difference in temperature. This can be very helpful if you live in an area with cold winters. Even if your chimney is properly matched in size to its fireplace, it can still have trouble getting hot enough when the temperature outside is 2018below zero degrees Fahrenheit. It should also be worth noting that modern building codes require that every chimney extends at least three feet above the roof. All American Chimney Service can let you know if your chimney is the right height.
Having chimney draft problems this winter?Contact usat All American Chimney Service to schedule an appointment for our professional chimney inspection services.