Having Draft Problems? Request A Consultation With A Certified Chimney & Venting Expert
Draft problems can be a real pain. They can be difficult to diagnose and resolve, and can make enjoying a fire nearly impossible — but we can help. Sweepnman’s team of Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA)-certified chimney and venting professionals have decades of experience diagnosing and resolving draft problems, and we can carefully evaluate your chimney and home and come up with a solution for you. So what are some of the most common draft problems we see these days? Well, first let’s start out by identifying just what draft is.
Draft is essentially how air travels through the chimney. There are a variety of factors that can decrease the ability of air to travel quickly through the chimney. See below for the most common:
- Flue size — In order to perform optimally, the flue of the chimney must be the proper size for the appliance it’s venting. If the flue is too big for the appliance, a new stainless steel liner may need to be installed to reduce the flue size. If the flue is too small for the appliance, the fireplace opening may need to be reduced with a hood or a masonry material.
- Installation issues — Like anything, the more direct the path, the easier it is. It’s the same with your stove pipe. If there are a lot of elbows and horizontal sections, these will slow down the travel of air and lead to draft issues.
- Flue blockages — We all know chimneys need to be clean in order to work as efficiently and as safely as they should, but they can get dirty. Creosote can build up along the flue walls and reduce draft and flue size. Also, leaves, animals, nesting materials, and other debris can block the flue and lead to draft problems. In the case of a flue blockage, a good chimney cleaning can typically eradicate draft problems.
- Airtight homes & pressure problems — Modern homes are built so airtight that negative pressure can be easily created, making it harder for the chimney to function properly. This can result in backdrafts and smoke issues. One of the best ways to determine if this is to blame for your draft problems is to open a window or door and see if the problem goes away or lessens. If pressure problems are the true issue, you may want to have an Enervex chimney fan installed. These fans are designed to provide a reliable draft, fire after fire.
- Chimney height —Chimney height may seem insignificant, but insufficient height could be causing your problems. You see, in order to achieve proper draft, the atmosphere at the top of your chimney must be a lower density than the atmosphere at the bottom. Trees and other tall structures nearby can also affect the atmosphere and cause draft problems, which is why your chimney should be the tallest thing on and near your home. If height is the issue, we can extend or rebuild your chimney.
- Cold flues — Low temperature air is of higher density and is not conducive to draft. That’s why a cold flue can experience draft problems and make it difficult to enjoy a fire. To test and see if a cold flue is the culprit, try “priming” the flue by lighting newspaper near the back of the fireplace or by holding a lit newspaper up into the flue for a few moments.
Whatever is causing your draft problem, you can count on Sweepnman to help resolve it. Call us today at 978-664-6642 or reach out here on our website and we’ll send an experienced and educated draft resolution specialist to evaluate your home ASAP.