Your chimney works by using drafts that push air up the flue and out of the house. These drafts occur naturally as fire is burned in the fireplace because heat rises. The heated air and gases push the particulate material, soot, and creosote up the chimney. If this draft is disrupted in any way, the chimney system will be less efficient, less safe, and will have more negative impact on the environment.
Troubleshooting Your Chimney
- New and modern homes are built more “tight” than in the past. A house that has no natural airflow may result in a draft problem for the chimney. As the chimney pulls air from the house, more air needs to replace it. If there is no access for air to come into the house, the draft needed for the chimney to work will not be possible. Try to crack a window in another part of the house to solve draft issues.
- Check that your wood is properly seasoned. Firewood should be cut and set aside to dry for 3-6 months until it is dry enough to burn. When wet, also called green wood, is burned in the fireplace, it burns incompletely, slowing down the draft that carries the smoke, hazardous gases, and particles up the chimney. You can check your wood by hitting two pieces together. They should make a hollow noise instead of a thud. Also, dry wood will pull away from the bark, gray in color, and feel light in weight.
- Check your damper. If the damper malfunctions, it may become stuck in a closed or partially closed position. When the damper is closed, it obstructs airflow and causes a smoky fireplace.
- Schedule a chimney sweep so that your entire chimney system is cleaned from top to bottom. When your flue is clean of soot and creosote buildup, it works better and is safer.
- Remember your annual chimney inspection. The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) and the National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) recommend annual inspections for safer, more efficient chimneys. When you hire West Texas for a chimney inspection, your draft problems will be diagnosed and you can rest assured that it’ll work for you all winter long.
If you have done everything you can to deal with draft issues in your chimney, it’s time to call a professional. A West Texas Chimney expert is just a phone call away. Call (806) 358-0817 today.
Contact West Texas Chimney and Venting Solutions Today
For more information, check out “100 Possible Reasons Your Fireplace Isn’t Working”. Drafts can be bothersome year-round. In winter, drafts can cause a smoky fireplace, loss of heated air and wasted utilities, and cold drafts when the fireplace is not in use. During the summer, conditioned air can escape through a drafty chimney, costing hundreds of dollars per year. If you’re tired of dealing with wasted wood, wasted utilities, and wasted time, consider a new damper. West Texas Chimney and Venting Solutions install energy saving dampers that will help your chimney save you money.