How do you know when you are having chimney draft problems? The most obvious sign is when smoke fills the room, but chimney draft issues can also cause problems with igniting a fire in the fireplace. Smoky, unpleasant odors coming from the fireplace when you are not using it can also let you know there is something wrong with the draft in your chimney. Draft is essential to making your chimney work efficiently because it pulls the byproducts of combustion out of your house through the chimney. When the draft is not working properly, your chimney is not functioning as safely as it should be. What causes chimney draft problems? Weststar Chimney Sweeps would like to answer this question by sharing some of the reasons for this issue.
THE FLUE IS TOO LARGE FOR YOUR HEATING APPLIANCE
If you have converted your old masonry fireplace into a more efficient heating system by installing a new fireplace insert in it, you may have chimney draft problems if the size of your flue is not properly matched to the insert. In order for draft to work correctly, your chimney needs to be hot, and, according to the Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA), newer fireplace inserts use most of the heat they produce to heat your home, so the temperature within your chimney is much cooler. Because less heat is directed into your chimney from an insert, the flue must be matched exactly with the insert for it to function safely and properly. Not only does your chimney need draft to pull smoke and toxic gases from your house, but it also needs draft for the combustion process to be completed. Incomplete combustion can lead to a very hazardous situation: the production of carbon monoxide, a poisonous gas. Even worse, the carbon monoxide can easily be forced back into your living space when the chimney draft is not working correctly. To avoid this problem, you should always have a fireplace insert professionally installed. Our CSIA-certified chimney technicians at Weststar Chimney Sweeps can construct a new flue from a stainless steel chimney liner that will match the size of your new insert.
THE FLUE IS BLOCKED
If your flue is blocked by animal or bird nests, fallen bricks, leaves, or other debris, the blockage can interfere with the chimney draft. Air cannot sufficiently get through the blockage. Your flue can even become blocked by the buildup of soot and creosote, and it does not take much to reduce the diameter of the flue enough to cause chimney draft problems. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can inspect your chimney for blockages and remove the debris that is causing this issue. We will even check the mesh siding of your chimney cap to be sure it is not clogged as well.
NEGATIVE PRESSURE IS AFFECTING YOUR HOME
You may have weatherized your home by sealing up the windows and doors to keep heated and cooled air from escaping the house. Although this saves you money on your utility bills, your home could be sealed up too tightly, which creates negative pressure. Clothes dryers and exhaust fans can also cause negative pressurization. When your home is affected by negative pressure, it battles against the chimney draft and even pull smoke back down from the chimney. To solve draft problems caused by negative pressure, you can simply open a window in the room. Weststar Chimney Sweeps can also fix this problem by installing tight-fitting glass fireplace doors and effective gasketing.
Have you been dealing with smoky rooms and unpleasant odors from your fireplace? Contact us at Weststar Chimney Sweeps to find out how we can help you solve your chimney draft problems.