Do your eyes water every time you light a fire in your fireplace? If so, you might have downdrafts! While it may seem like a minor issue, it can indicate that something bigger is wrong with your chimney. So, what exactly are downdrafts, and how can you fix and prevent them?
What are Downdrafts & What are the Causes?
Chimney downdrafts happen when smoke doesn’t rise properly through your chimney flue and gets pushed back down into your home. They can be caused by anything that can generate enough pressure to prevent smoky air from rising through the flue—things like a drafty fireplace, a damaged damper, or the stack effect. The stack effect happens when a slight vacuum is created by warm air rising, which can also increase the pressure in the area above your home. This pressure change pulls the air underneath back down into your home. Also, if you have an indoor exhaust fan, they can pull smoky air from your chimney and blow it into your home too.
How Can You Tell You Have a Downdraft?
Did you know that soot is actually difficult to see at first? Soot can blow back into your home via a downdraft, and you may never see the particles in your home. However, if you notice your eyes are very irritated when you light a fire in your fireplace, that may be a sign you have a downdraft. Other signs are your carbon monoxide or smoke detectors going off when you light a fire.
How Can You Fix and Prevent Downdrafts?
The first step in fixing downdrafts is to understand precisely what is going on in your chimney flue to cause it in the first place. We always recommend having a professional inspection and assessment of your fireplace and chimney. A reputable professional has the right tools to see exactly where things are going wrong and offer repairs or replacements if necessary. Preventing downdrafts can be as easy as regular cleaning and preventative maintenance!
Call the Experts at Champion Chimneys for a Chimney Inspection Today!
Champion Chimneys, Inc. is a fully licensed, bonded, and insured chimney service company that has served customers in Baltimore County, Howard County, and Anne Arundel County, Maryland, since 2001. Our team is trained and certified by Certified Chimney Professionals, Inc. (CCP, Inc.). Courteous service is our trademark, and our crews arrive on time in uniform, driving fully equipped trucks. We specialize in all aspects of your chimney system. Whether you need chimney and flue cleaning service or a full chimney rebuild or inspection, contact us at 443-Chimney today and let us fix all your chimney problems. Also, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Pinterest.