Looking to ease stress and take your mind off things by lighting a fire in your fireplace? This can be one of the best ways to cozy up inside and relax, but if smoke starts entering your living space, your evening can take a sharp turn for the worst in a hurry. Learn more about why this may be occurring, then turn to the team here at Ashbusters Chimney Service to seek the resolutions you are hoping for.
The Stack Effect
In order to fully understand why a chimney may be pushing smoke and other fumes into your home, it’s important to know about the stack effect. This concept represents how air flows through your home. You see, when outdoor air enters your home (whether it’s through the fireplace, an open window, small cracks throughout the exterior, or somewhere else), it eventually warms up enough to rise and exit the home through any openings available. This creates a natural cycle which, as noted above, is referred to as the stack effect.
Now, somewhere in the middle of the air on the bottom of your house and the air rising to the top is the Neutral Pressure Plane. Unfortunately, if air is entering your home faster than it can escape, this middle line gets affected then smoke starts entering your home. This imbalance is more common in newer homes that are well-insulated, as the outgoing air then has more issues escaping.
Resolving Draft Issues
So, how can this issue be resolved? Well, one easy (albeit temporary) solution comes in the form of opening a window. This lets out the trapped air quickly and effectively, and it can offer some immediate relief. Yet, if you’re looking for a longer-term solution, you may need to request help from a qualified chimney technician.
Another simple solution is to ensure your damper is open. Sometimes, the homeowner isn’t even giving smoke a chance to escape, which then results in it entering their household and putting family members at risk. Also, consider switching to a top-sealing damper. These are known for providing a tight seal, and they don’t rust and get stuck like throat dampers are known to do. Did you warm your flue? This is another smart step to take, as it ensures the cold air inside of your chimney won’t push down the heat and smoke of your fire.
Has it been a while since your last sweeping? Then, a likely reason for your draft issues may be clogs and creosote build-up. Again, if the smoke is having trouble escaping through your chimney, its only other option is to turn back around and enter your household. Not to mention, excess creosote greatly increases your risk of experiencing a chimney fire, which causes the need for some time-consuming and expensive repair services. If you need a sweeping, don’t hesitate to reach out right away.
We also encourage our customers to use only seasoned wood in their fireplace. Burning wet logs, garbage, paper plates, plastic, or anything else in the firebox will produce more smoke, leaving you with a less than pleasant atmosphere and causing creosote to accumulate much faster than normal. Only use wood pieces that are older looking, lightweight, dark/split on the ends, produce a mustier odor, and that have been able to dry out for at least six months. They should sound hollow when smacked together, too.
Unfortunately, if these simple steps still don’t bring you relief, some bigger jobs may be on the horizon. Sometimes draft issues are a result of a chimney that is too short, too big, or too small, in which case some renovation or reconstruction work is the only route to take for a long-term solution. Other times, the chimney may be cracked, crumbling, or showing signs of deterioration, in which case some more extensive care may be warranted.
Major repair work may seem daunting, but our team has the tools and extensive knowledge to get the job done right! We provide effective solutions that work for your preferences, budget, and lifestyle, and we can offer preventative measures that ensure these problems don’t occur again down the line. Ready to get started? We’d be happy to get you through this process as quickly and as seamlessly as possible.
Don’t Suffer Any Longer – Our CSIA Certified Sweeps Are Here To Help!
Here at Ashbusters, we take education and training seriously because the more we know the better we can serve you! We are certified with the CSIA, members of the NCSG, and we are licensed and insured, as well, so you can bet we’ve got you covered no matter what. There’s no one else in the area who can get the job done as safely and as efficiently as us!
Also, please note that in the weeks and months ahead our superior cleaning and sanitation practices will be our top priority, and we will take every added precaution necessary to keep your home and family as safe as possible while satisfying your chimney-related needs. Have a question or concern? Please reach out! We’d be happy to offer the guidance and reassurance you’re hoping for.
Don’t suffer with frustrating fireplace issues any longer. The time to call is now.