Having a fireplace in your home should create a warm and inviting atmosphere for your family to enjoy. When you have a fireplace that is suffering from an insufficient draft it becomes difficult to achieve the warmth that you desire.
There are a number of reasons that you could be experiencing issues with the draft. Today we are going to go over a handful of the drafting issues that you may be experiencing and also what can be done to solve those issues.
Cold Flue vs Warm Flue
As your flue heats up it will create a natural draft for the smoke to rise up and out the chimney. However if you are struggling to get the fire started you could be letting more smoke into your home rather than up the chimney.
This is a pretty simple fix; you just need to learn better fire starting practices. Make sure that you have all the supplies needed to get your fire started like a good fire starter, kindling, small and medium size logs. You want to get the fire started as quickly as possible (without using accelerants) to warm the flue up and create the natural draft.
High Winds Create a Back Draft
If you live in an area that tends to have high winds then you could be experiencing a back draft problem. During these situations what happens is the wind is blowing the smoke that is trying to escape out the chimney back down it and into the home.
To fix this draft problem make sure that you have a chimney cap installed and that it is working properly to block wind and debris. If there is already a chimney cap installed then the next thing to check is the height of your chimney stack.
If the chimney is not high enough from the roof line it can cause a back draft to occur as well. A simple fix for this is to install a Flue Stretcher. This will extend the height of your chimney up to where it needs to be to have the perfect draft.
Random Puffs of Smoke
Experiencing random puffs of smoke with no rhyme or reason? Well here is something that many homeowners don’t think about…negative air pressure. Newer constructed homes are built air tight which does not allow for the home to have its own natural draft. As a solution simply crack a small window near the fireplace to allow air flow.
One other issue that naturally occurs in a home and can cause random smoking is when air flow is caused from a door opening and closing. Bathroom exhaust fans turning on and off, windows being opened (an open window upstairs can cause a fireplace to smoke), clothes dryers, or anything that would affect the air pressure in your home. All of these things suck air out of your home creating a vacuum in your home making your flue act like a straw.
If you are only seeing small amounts of smoke leak out the top of your fireplace, this could be caused by an oversized fireplace opening. The height of the opening should be at least 75% of the opening width.
A sometimes simple solution is the addition of a smoke guardThe smoke guard reduces the height of your fireplace opening and may reduce it enough to create a proper draft.
A Drafty Fireplace Not In Use
There is really nothing draftier when it comes to fireplaces than a fireplace not being used. It does not necessarily let cold air in but it will suck the warm air out.
The best fix for this is going to be blocking the flue opening with a Chimney Balloon. A Chimney Balloon is super easy to use and it is removable. So if you decide you want to start a fire all you have to do is deflate the balloon.
Learn more about Draft Solutions for a Smokey Fireplace by clicking here!