Chimney Drafting Problems? A Chimney Pot Might Solve Them.
Does your fireplace periodically (or regularly) have drafting problems? Does smoke back up into the house when you’re burning a fire? Are your fires sluggish and never seem to get up and roar? A “yes” answer to any of these questions may point to a drafting issue. If this is the case, a chimney pot could be your solution.
What is a chimney pot?
Chimney pots are hollow cylinders that are attached to the top of chimneys to provide more draw for the air that circulates through the firebox and up the flue.
Most often made of clay, steel or copper, chimney pots can be round, square or some other shape, just as long as they’re hollow and are correctly fitted to the chimney top. Common installation methods include crown-mounted, flue-mounted and mortar-mounted.
There’s nothing high-tech about a chimney pot, but the effect it has on your fire-burning experience can be quite amazing.
Without getting overly scientific, smoke combined with combustion gases is lighter than air, so it naturally rises into the air above it (i.e., goes up the chimney). Think of an outdoor fire: the smoke always goes up, never down. But, in a relatively enclosed space like a chimney flue, the smoke needs the assistance of air flow to move upwards efficiently.
When a fireplace and chimney are built, the chimney should be the correct diameter and height for the size of the fireplace. If the chimney is too short, drafting will be impeded because there isn’t enough air-draw.
Years ago, somebody figured out that the best way to solve this problem wasn’t to build on to the chimney or reduce the size of the fireplace, but rather to add a chimney extension.
The chimney pot made the perfect extension to give the flue the added height necessary to draw air and smoke efficiently. If your chimney draws sluggishly or inconsistently, a chimney pot may be the answer. Then again, it may not.
Other reasons for drafting issues
If a chimney pot doesn’t help, you’ll need to look at other reasons for a poorly drafting fireplace/chimney. These include:
Air-tight house: Many newer homes, in the name of energy-efficiency, have been built pretty close to air-tight. This arrangement helps to keep outside air outside and inside air inside, but it can hamper chimney drafting. Chimneys rely on interior air to get the draft moving, and if there isn’t enough, smoke won’t rise as it should.
Obstructions in the flue: A large buildup of soot and creosote as well as outside debris such as bird nests, leaves, twigs and air dust can create a flue obstruction and reduce drafting ability of the structure.
Damper issues: Rusted or warped fireplace dampers may not open fully during a fire, which will impede air flow.
If you’re having problems with how your chimney is drafting smoke and the dangerous toxins it contains, rest assured that there is a solution. Black Moose Chimney & Stove of Antrim NH, is here to help. We’ll inspect your chimney and fireplace and determine why the problem exists and then get to work fixing it. Call us today at (603) 525-7905.