Your chimney works hard to vent your fire’s harmful byproducts every time it’s burning. It’s a carefully constructed system that depends on many variables to create the perfect draft to allow ventilation. If your fireplace is excessively smoky, you probably have a draft problem.
How Your Chimney Works
Your chimney uses the stack effect for the chimney to work. The stack effect is the movement of warm air upward. When it exists in a properly-sized unit, it pushes through and exits out the top. The fire creates a warm draft that assists the chimney in venting the warm gases and vapors out of the home. Believe it or not your chimney can be affected by many variables that exist inside and outside the home. If you have noticed that your chimney isn’t working as well as it used to, you should begin to troubleshoot right away to save time, money, and comfort.
Common Causes for Draft Problems
Homes are built more efficient than in years past. Your house may be so tight that the air moving up and out of the chimney isn’t being replaced by air in the home. Try cracking a window in another part of the house to allow air to be pulled into the house. It will not cool your house enough to make a difference in temperature, but it will make your chimney work better, helping you heat your house more efficiently.
Obstructions in the chimney flue can restrict airflow, causing a draft problem. You can avoid this occurrence by keeping up with your regular preventative maintenance like chimney sweeps and inspections. It’s during these important appointments that CSIA Certified Chimney Sweep® (CCS) will assess and clean your chimney system, insuring there are no obstructions or other problems which can affect the draft and efficiency.
Attempting to light a fire in a cold chimney can mean a draft problem. If the fire doesn’t produce gases and smoke hot enough to push through the cold air in the chimney, the updraft won’t exist. To prime your flue you can burn a roll of newspaper at the throat of your chimney before building your fire.
Burning wet wood can cause your fire to produce more particles, soot, and creosote, lowering efficiency, and affecting the draft. Always burn properly seasoned wood in order to keep your fireplace and chimney working at its best.
To learn more about common problems with your chimney, click here. You can also contact a certified chimney sweep for more information. A Chesapeake chimney sweep can answer all of your questions and help get to the bottom of your chimney problems. Schedule an appointment with Chesapeake Chimney today online or by phone 410-535-0052.