How To Troubleshoot Chimney Draft Problems

If you have fireplace smoke in your home, the first place you should look at for the likely cause of these problems is a poor chimney draft. Some of the following factors that contribute to these problems.

Flue Size

One of the first things you will want to consider is the size of your chimney flue. If your flue is too small for the size of your fireplace opening, this will diminish your chimney's the draft capability.

Chimney Height

The recommended height of a chimney is two feet above the roof. This will insure that your chimney will draft properly. If your chimney is shorter than this minimum standard, you will likely have draft problems.

Air Pressure

If you have mechanical items on your roof such as exhaust systems, fans from dryers, etc., they could be the source of your draft problems. How? These objects can cause a reverse draft where smoke is drawn downward through the chimney.

Flue Temperature

Colder outside temperatures can prevent proper drafting, because colder air, which is more dense, has a tendency to sink, rather than rise.

Blocked Flue

Often the problem with proper drafting is debris and creosote buildup blocking air from rising through the chimney, the easiest to remedy of all factors that can cause smoke buildup.