Draft and Your Chimney

Smoky fireplace? There might be a problem with your chimney's draft.

Smoky fireplace? There might be a problem with your chimney’s draft.

While we all have hopes for spring weather approaching, it looks like we will still have a few winter nights. When the warmth does come in and fireplace usage drops, that does not mean that it is time to neglect your chimney maintenance. It is important that one has a yearly sweep and inspection to make sure the unit is safe to use. This is usually done before the burning season starts. However, when you need to schedule your appointment or have any other chimney related questions call Blue Sky Chimney Sweeps.

What is chimney draft?

It is important that your chimney’s draft in unharmed so that the toxic air can be removed from the home. As the air in your chimney gets hotter, it begins to pull air through the firebox. This is called draft. The force of the draft can be varied by increasing or decreasing fire levels and adjusting temperatures, or by building a taller chimney.

What happens to change the draft?

There are many things that can occur to disrupt a draft’s flow. One common reason is an excessive amount of creosote buildup. Creosote is released during the burning of fire and clumps together inside of you chimney. This is why you should have an annual chimney sweep by a Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) professional. CSIA has created a set of guidelines to make sure that the job is done to leave you safe and getting the most out of your appointment! Other things that could cause problems with the draft are clogged dampers and dirty chimney caps, and structural damage and building issues.

What happens when the draft is changed?

When there are draft problems, the air filled with gases such as carbon monoxide from the fire are not able to escape the home properly. Since CO is colorless and odorless, you cannot tell when it begins to fill a room. For many people this means they begin to feel symptoms before realizing anything is wrong, which could be anything from mild to fatal depending on the level of exposure. If you feel you are in an area that is questionable, you should evacuate the area and seek medical help immediately.