A fireplace cold draft is a common problem for many homeowners. There are many reasons for a fireplace cold draft to occur, but what we know for certain is how the cold draft makes you feel. Uncomfortable. Let’s find out a bit more about some causes of fireplace cold drafts and what may be to be done to gain some control over a cold draft.
What is a Fireplace Cold Draft?
As we all know from our grammar school science class days, hot air rises and cold air sinks. That’s the basic concept of physics as it relates to fireplace draft. A good fireplace draft is when the warm air from your home goes up the chimney and exits to the colder outside air, at the top of the chimney. If the heat wanting to rise up the chimney can’t escape your home, you may have the start of a cold draft or flow reversal. How do you know if you have a problem? Here are a few things to consider.
Cold Air Coming into the Home
Hot air along with the gasses from the fire, in the fireplace, make their way up through and to the top of the chimney – Cooler exterior air helps it continue to go up and out of your home. However, when negative air pressure is in the surrounding space inside of your home, it can hinder the hot air from being able to leave up and out of the chimney. Instead of the hot air going out, it comes back down into the home through the chimney. It’s a situation you want to avoid as harmful chemicals come back into your home with it.
Obstruction in the Chimney
A fireplace draft can be caused from an obstruction in the chimney. You might have guessed what would be a great obstruction…little critters. Raccoon, squirrel, bat or bird’s nesting & debris are primary causes of obstructions in the chimney. Don’t forget, buildup of soot in the chimney and on the chimney cap can also be considered an obstruction.
Living in Chicago and the Chicagoland area, you know how the winds can be. When you see branches of a bare tree swaying in the wind, it’s definitely a windy day. The other way to know it’s windy out is by listening to your chimney. If you hear a whistling sound, it’s also a sign of a windy day. The shifting winds or even tall nearby trees can cause winds to swirl around the chimney causing draftiness.
Most fireplace dampers can control the flow cold air coming into the home. They are often called termination dampers or a chimney top damper. At Superior Chimney, we recommend the fireplace damper with lip over lip insulated closure for maximum efficiency! The Fireplace damper takes care of most cold air that can seep into the home while also acting as a superior chimney cap when closed. The benefits include:
- Seal heat in during winter months and cold in during the summer
- Keeps debris out
- Keeps animals and other critters out
- Keep weather elements from entering the home
- Keep sparks from leaving the fireplace
- No cold wind induced drafty air coming in from the outside
Contact Superior Chimney to get a fireplace damper installed. It’ll be a great way to help control the cost of energy in your home.