A fireplace is meant to help keep your home warm and comfortable, but drafts can prevent that from happening. It makes sense that a fireplace would have a draft as it helps draw the smoke and harmful particles out of your chimney to help keep your home safe. Yet properly designed fireplaces have mechanisms to prevent drafts, so if you’re noticing that, chances are there is a problem. Let’s go over what causes a fireplace draft and what you can do to prevent it.
What Causes Fireplace Drafts?
When there isn’t a fire burning, then the fireplace and chimney are just another opening to the outdoors. Both indoor and cold outside air will flow in the direction of high pressure, moving to low pressure. If the fireplace is below the neutral pressure plane, outdoor air will leak in and will continue to do so until the pressure at the fireplace matches or exceeds that of the top of the chimney. Things that influence the difference in pressure are:
- Wind direction Height of the chimney
- Location of the fireplace
- Temperature difference between the outdoors and inside the house
- Type of chimney (gas furnace flue or wood-burning fireplace)
Update Your Chimney Damper
One way to prevent fireplace drafts is by updating the damper. Most fireplaces have a throat damper, typically found inside the fireplace above the firebox. Since the damper is so close to the fire, the damper cannot make a complete seal. Installing a top sealing damper ensures the fireplace and chimney will make a 100% seal. Top sealing dampers are installed at the top of the chimney; since the damper is far away from the fire, it can have a gasket seal. Knowing whether your fireplace’s damper is open or closed is important and how to check it is important. A fireplace damper that’s closed or left open makes all the difference when trying to stop fireplace drafts and prevent cold air from entering your home.
Check Your Chimney Masonry
One common source of fireplace drafts is a chimney that is not properly sealed. If you have a masonry chimney, check for cracks or gaps in the mortar between the bricks. You can also check the chimney cap to ensure it is secure and prevents air from passing through.
Schedule a Chimney Inspection
An annual chimney inspection is vital for your safety. Schedule a professional chimney inspection at least once a year to detect and address potential issues. During the inspection, the technician will examine the chimney structure and look for any cracks, gaps, or blockages. The chimney inspection also involves checking the flue liner for any signs of wear.
Schedule Your Chimney Cleaning from Champion Chimneys, Inc.
When you need a trusted company for your chimney inspection and chimney cleaning, you can trust our team. 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.). 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.