Where is that cold air coming from? 

We come up with all sorts of creative ways of dealing with drafts—anything to keep that sharp, cold air out of our home. Dealing with chimney drafts, however, is a little trickier than sealing windows and doors to lower the energy bill.

A certified sweep can help determine the origin of the draft problem.

A certified sweep can help determine the origin of the draft problem.

There are many things that can cause drafts, and a certified sweep from Billy Sweep Chimney can save you time and money by getting straight to the source of the problem.

Here are a few of the things that can cause chimney drafts:

Size is important. For every 10sq in of firebox, 1in of flue is needed. If this ratio is off, the chimney won’t be able to do its job. In some cases, having a smoke guard installed can resolve this. The height of the chimney also plays into draft issues. Hot air rises, and more heat can be generated inside a taller chimney, which increases the odds that the smoke will make its way out.

Blockage. Debris, birds, animals, leaves, etc. can become trapped inside your chimney. Creosote buildup can also cause blockage, and is also a serious fire hazard.

Negative air pressure. Appliances such as a vacuum, clothes dryer, or furnace all take air from the home. If there isn’t enough, air will get pulled in through the chimney.

Here are some things you can do on your own to reduce drafts.

  1. Open the damper.
  2. Turn it off.  Turning off any appliance that creates an air vacuum in the home can help with drafts.
  3. Open a window. New homes are built to be more efficiently airtight, so there can often be air flow issues when operating a fireplace. If your home is under 25 years old, open a window when operating the fireplace.
  4.  Only use dry, seasoned wood.
  5. Place fire grate as close to the chimney’s back wall as possible. This ensures the fire is positioned correctly under the chimney.

If these are unsuccessful, give us a call to schedule an appointment. We serve Boston and North Shore (and surrounding areas), as well as Portland, Maine.