A chimney that does not draft properly will allow smoke to come into the home rather than go up the flue. When this occurs something is causing the air flow to either slow down or reverse direction .
Here are some thing we can try:
1 Obstructions - The very first thing we need to check is whether or not there is an obstruction in the flue. Birds can build nests in the flue, dead or live animals can be in the flue. Has the damper been accidentally closed. These obvious things can slow or block the air flow from going up the chimney
2.Chimney Height The chimney must be tall enough to create sufficient draft and also to clear undesirable air currents traveling across your roof. As a general rule of thumb, your chimney should meet these height requirements. Measure down 2 feet from the top of the flue. From that point measure our 10 feet horizontally. That10 foot radius should clear all roof structures. If the peak of the roof is as tall or taller than the chimney and is within 10 of the chimney it is not going to draft properly. In this case we will need to add an extension to the flue to get the proper height.
3. Cold Chimney- On a cold day the down draft situation can be worse when you first light the fire. T accomplish drat, we need to get the air moving up the chimney. The hot air from the fire attempts to go up naturally. However, until this heat has time to heat of the chimney itself, the hot air from the fire is being cooled off as it goes up and can slow or reverse the air flow. Try starting with a very small fire made from very dry wood. The small fire with dry wood will produce less smoke. Give this small fire some time to heat up the flue before adding larger logs.
4. Fireplace opening is too large An opening that is too large will cause a poor draft situation. There is a formula that we use to determine proper opening dimensions in relation to flue size. In general the flue opening dimensions (length time width) should be no less than 1/tenth the fireplace opening dimensions. For example- if the fireplace opening is 24" x 36" the opening are is 864 square inches. 10% of that is 86.4 square inches. This means the flue dimension must be at least 86.4 square inches. As a result the minimum acceptable flue size would be 9" x 10" or 90 square inches. If your opening is too large for the size of your flue, we can correct the problem by reducing the opening size. We have decorative metal plates that mount either to the top of the opening or the bottom or both. By reducing the opening heath by 4 to 6 inches may be enough to get the opening to the right proportion for the flue you have.
If you have problems with your fireplace call Chimney Sweeps at 423-398-1632