As the weather starts to get colder, it is crucial to eliminate cold air from coming into the house. Drafts can not only make interior spaces uncomfortable, but they can increase your heating and electric bills, too.
Believe it or not, one of the most common culprits of drafts can be the chimney. Since this fixture creates a direct line to the outside, it is easy for air to get in. Even with the flue closed, you can experience drafts.
Here are the top reasons why your chimney might be drafty with some solutions for each one.
No Top Damper
In most cases, a home’s chimney is designed with a built-in throat damper. This piece acts similarly to a flue, as it creates a barrier between the inside and outside. Unfortunately, over time, throat dampers can break down, as can the masonry surrounding them.
One of the best solutions for a drafty chimney is to install a top-sealing damper. Even if your fixture has a throat damper, this addition will usually keep air out altogether. A top-sealing damper is simply a device that lets hot air and smoke out while preventing outside air from coming in.
As a rule, taller chimneys are better about regulating internal air temperature. Because hot air rises and the cold air has further to travel, tall chimneys mostly prevent drafts from occurring. Although adding a few feet to your chimney might seem a little drastic, it can make the structure more reliable for the long-term.
Lack of Ventilation
At first, having an “airtight” home might seem like a smart move. Since the hot air does not escape, the furnace will work more efficiently. Unfortunately, having no ventilation or airflow through the house can be a problem when having a fire.
The problem lies in the fact that fires need air to “breathe.” If your home lacks ventilation, the fire will draw the air in from the chimney rather than the interior. When this happens, some of the cold air will come out of the fireplace, creating a draft.
Thankfully, a simple fix is to crack open a window next to the fire to allow new air to reach the flames without creating drafty conditions.
Finally, one issue that can cause cold air to leak in around the chimney is a lack of insulation. In some cases, the wall surrounding the fireplace might not be insulated correctly, which enables air to seep in.
To ensure that this problem is the culprit, inspect the area between your drywall. If there is no insulation or it has deteriorated, you will need to replace it.
Don’t suffer through another cold, drafty winter. Let us come out and fix your chimney problems, so you can spend more time enjoying a roaring fire. We can do a site inspection to locate the source of your drafts and stop them. Discover the Ray Arnold Masonry difference for yourself.