The Chill Factor: Understanding and Addressing Drafty Chimneys

Your chimney needs a certain level of healthy draft, but what about unwanted cold drafts? Understanding drafts is a crucial first step in an efficient chimney. There are several factors that go into how much of a draft is welcomed into your chimney and fireplace and how it affects the fire and smoke.

common chimney problems in Stamford CTWhat Affects Drafts?

Air Pressure

Negative air pressure in your home can have an impact on chimney drafts. Too much negative air pressure can prevent upward airflow in your chimney causing smoke to build up in your fireplace due to the chimney not being able to pull the smoke upwards.

Chimney Height

A chimney that is not tall enough cannot provide enough of an air pressure difference to allow an upward pull. This can create the same issue as too much negative air pressure, leaving your fireplace full of smoke that could not escape up through the chimney.

Obstructions in the Flue

A flue that is not clean or contains too much debris and/or creosote can also prevent a healthy draft in your chimney as it blocks the path of the airflow.

Environmental Factors

Strong winds outside of the chimney can also create intense downdrafts pushing the smoke and gasses from your fire back down through your fireplace and into your home. While weather cannot be avoided, there are ways to lessen its effect on your chimney’s healthy drafting.

Increasing Chimney Drafts

When it comes to a healthy draft in your chimney, a clean chimney with working components is crucial. Be sure to keep up with regular maintenance and burning techniques in your fireplace to help improve the presence of a healthy draft. There are many ways you can improve the draft yourself, however some draft issues may require repairs done by a professional chimney sweep such as increasing the height of your chimney or replacing broken or damaged chimney components.

Avoiding Unwanted Cold Drafts

If you’re experiencing cold air drafts from your fireplace, it is likely that there is a damaged component in your chimney which, similarly to low draft issues, can lead to an inefficient fireplace. Let’s talk about how you can solve unwanted cold drafts.

Repair Cracks or Gaps in the Mortar

If your fireplace or chimney masonry has any cracks or gaps it can greatly affect the function of your chimney. These damages can have a negative impact on the air pressure in your chimney as well as open a pathway for cold air to enter the home.

Install a Chimney Cap

A chimney caps job is to prevent moisture and debris from entering your chimney. This function can help save you from draft issues caused by obstructions in the flue.

Proper Damper Use

Your damper is your best friend when it comes to controlling chimney drafts. When your fireplace is in use be sure that the damper is open to allow smoke and toxic gasses to exit the chimney. When your fireplace is not in use the damper has the opposite function. Be sure to keep the damper closed in order to prevent cold air from entering.

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A Final Word

While a certain level of draft is necessary, it’s important to understand drafts and how they affect the efficiency and function of your fireplace. Keeping up with regular maintenance and repairs is the best way to ensure a healthy chimney draft and safer, cozy fires year- round.

Call National Chimney Cleaners!

When it comes to chimneys, National Chimney Cleaners has your back. Our team of chimney experts can identify and solve any drafting issues and ensure you a better chimney and fireplace experience. For cleanings, repairs, and more contact us today at 800–631–6177


Use an Experienced, Established Chimney Sweep Company!

Don’t take chances with uninsured, novice, roofers, unregistered business, no workman’s comp.
Our pros have to know what they’re doing when they put their heads up a chimney and to do that, chimney sweeps obtain specialized training and have years of experience in the field.