A fireplace creates a beautiful focal point in your home whether it is located in the living room, family, dining room or bedroom, and it can be a great source of heat to help cut down on heating costs. It can also become a problem for you and your family if cold air is coming from your fireplace. How can you solve the problem of a drafty fireplace?
Causes of a Drafty Fireplace
There are several causes of fireplace downdraft due to chimney air, including chimney blockage, restricted airflow, flue temperature, chimney size, and patterns of the wind.
What is Obstructing the Air Flow
If there is some type of blockage in your chimney, it can stop the smoke from a fire burning to keep you warm from lifting up through the chimney to the outside of your house. It will instead come into your home and is not healthy for you. A blocked chimney stack can be caused by several obstructions, such as soot build-up in the chimney’s cap screen, a bird’s nest inside or over the top of the chimney, a build-up of creosote in the lining of the flue in the chimney, or broken bricks that are lodged inside your chimney.
You can try to remove obstructions yourself but many times it is easier and safer to call a professional chimney cleaning company. The professional chimney sweeps recommend having your chimney inspected and cleaned every year before you use your fireplace and if there is an obstruction, now would be a good time to enlist the help of one.
While you want to stop airflow into your home, there actually needs to be a little bit of airflow in your chimney to help pull the smoke upward and out of your dwelling. If your home is sealed up well at the windows and doors, your chimney may not be getting the airflow it needs to function properly, causing smoke to filter into your home, along with cold air. Opening a window a bit that is located near the chimney to help the airflow circulate properly.
The Temperature of the Chimney Flue
As most people know, hot air rises while cold air stays closer to the ground or in this case, the floor of your home. If the flue is too cold, it may make the gases from the fire in your fireplace to come back into the chimney rather than be released like they are supposed to. You may need the masonry around your chimney checked and replaced or re-positioned to solve this particular issue.
The Size of Your Chimney
Size does matter when it comes to your chimney. There are certain guidelines for the correct height of a chimney but many times, building codes or aesthetics prevented the chimney from being placed correctly. You will need a chimney professional to determine if this is the cause of cold air coming into your home and if so, they will have options to provide to you to help resolve the issue.
Patterns of the Wind
The draftiness of your chimney may be caused by wind patterns. This means you may need to install a draft-reducing cap on your chimney that will help correct this issue. Also, a nearby tree or other tall structure could be affecting the way the wind blows around your chimney and causing the draftiness.
After determining the issue of cold air coming into your house through your fireplace, you can once again safely enjoy the many benefits of your beautiful fireplace and its warmth.